Achieving net zero will look different for every business but using emissions management software makes it easy to plan a realistic and robust strategy. A steady progression through adding alternatives and reducing carbon will improve quality of life, and please eco-friendly consumers, eco-conscious investors, and attracting green talent.
Now, companies are going past sustainable and aiming to build back better. What are regenerative companies doing to take climate action? And how can you follow their examples in reaching your net zero targets? In this article, we'll take a look at some of the ways international companies have begun to implement strategies.
A PwC analysis says that by February 2021 only 8% of the world's Fortune 500 companies had pledged to become net zero. They also state that between 2009 and 2019, carbon emissions went up by 1.5% per year when we need them to be cut in half by 2030 if we are going to achieve net zero by 2050. Businesses will eventually have to keep up with governments as 50% of the countries adding up to over 50% of global GDP have made the net zero by 2050 pledge. Eventually, there will be policies that will become laws and businesses will have to get going in that direction before it is too late. It is easier if companies do their part to achieve what they can in concurrence with or even before policies are in place as it is inevitable.
Environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) measures have been on the rise for the past decade regarding climate change and will only gain momentum in the next. Since there is so much to be done and ESG is becoming more and more integrated into green business practices as of late, companies are at a loss of where to begin. What is more, with transparency being the supply chain trend of the 20's, clients are caring more about carbon footprints and fair working practices so it is in the best interest of companies from every industry to start taking corporate sustainability measures.
Some companies are so eco-conscious that they will only do business with other companies taking transparency and sustainability to the next level: regeneration. In fact, sustainability is no longer good enough; it is passive. Many will not use vendors or outsource to suppliers without knowing their full green plans. Implementations of regenerative procedures at least must be in the works to draw the attention of certain companies, or partnerships with them will be overlooked.
Nestle will be moving onto regenerative agriculture and only using renewable electricity. On December 3, 2020, Nestle came out with a press release in Switzerland saying they will focus on regeneration in their climb to net zero. Their impressive 49-page roadmap has details about their plans and what will work for them to halve their carbon emissions by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2050. They will only use renewable energy for production and aim towards cleaner logistics.
One of Nestle's impressive goals is to plant 20 million trees every year in the next decade in regions they source from for "improved diversity and soil health." Reforestation and ending deforestation by 2022 in the soy and palm oil tree industries is another goal to improve farming communities in those regions. Since nearly two-thirds of their carbon emissions are due to agriculture, this transition will combat most of their emissions. Nestle's targets have been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and comply with the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Most importantly, Nestle will only do business with other green partners. From agriculture and packaging to logistics, they are green all the way down the supply chain. So far, their model still lies in the linear supply chain, not circular as it isn't clear what will happen at the end of life for their products and packaging.
More and more brands are out to restore resources and environments and make the world better through their products, work practices, and packaging. "SC Johnson has already made 94% of its plastic packaging recyclable, reusable, or compostable." according to Forbes. GM plans on 20 new electric car models being made by 2023 to begin eliminating carbon emissions. And Levi Strauss will make their facilities 90% CO2-free by 2025. It may look expensive in the short-term to change to renewable energy and produce new packaging that is more sustainable, but in the long-term, the toll it will take on natural resources will be much more environmentally friendly and cost-effective for businesses and end consumers. Forbes also reports, "First, climate change is worsening, and resources are getting scarcer. This year, Earth Overshoot Day—the point in the year when humanity’s natural resources consumption exceeds the planet’s ability to regenerate—was on August 22, earlier than ever." There is also the challenge of triple regeneration which industry leaders are looking to embrace which entails restoration and renewal of people, places, and the planet.
If you would like to know more about how your business can take climate action, read these articles from our free library:
• Article: Carbon Emissions and Mitigation Strategies
• Article: What Is Sustainable Business & What Are Their Practices?
• Article: What Is a Carbon Offset and Why Do Companies Need It to Achieve Net Zero Carbon Emissions?
One of the greatest factors that is trending in the value chain is the need for a circular economy, ending up with little to zero waste at the end of the supply chain cycle when logistics has brought the product to the end consumer. The circular economy includes net zero carbon emissions.
Patagonia went through many trials and errors with supply, geography, and upcycling concepts buzzing through their workshops and eventually leading them to a circular supply chain. They were pioneers of taking the concepts of recycled wool and other products that were actually cheaper and still had life to give, and building a company off of not only sustainable, but regenerative clothing and packaging that would last for years based on earth-friendly, quality materials and crafting, in the textile industry which produces 10% of all CO2 emissions. The Patagonia article above reports that if the textile industry doesn't act, they will use three times as many resources by 2050. Patagonia had a vision for an eco-friendly brand before it was a trend, which has led the way towards the circular economy. They are better equipped for handling the shift than most brands because sustainability was at the core of their business from the very beginning. They use waste-to-fabric materials and partner with sources that use innovative textile workings for optimal earth-saving results. They also make functional and practical products that can be reused for ages so they don't end up in the bin creating a need for producing more. “We need to work on being more aware of what’s going on in our full product life cycle. Every product has an end of life, and from there, it’s our job to make new products out of it. That’s going to be the model going forward." - Ciara Cates, Patagonia’s lead material developer.
There are industries, such as oil and gas that are necessary for transportation and more at this point, but could have been significantly reduced in usage and hopefully can be eradicated and replaced with a more environmentally friendly material in the future. These transitions into new markets make workers and industry leaders fearful but it paves the way for a new, cleaner, and healthier way to live, segueing into green jobs and opportunities for everyone to benefit from the resources and results in the long run.
In February 2021, Royal Dutch Shell announced they were setting out for net zero emissions and claimed their carbon emissions peaked in 2018 and oil production peaked in 2019. Some of their strategies include selling clean power electricity to 15 million business and retail customers around the world by 2030. They plan to invest $100 million a year on natural projects. Royal Dutch Shell will also transition to LNG assets. Regarding chemicals, they will produce them with recycled waste for a circular economy and cut their 13 refineries down to 6 to reduce the production of transitional fuels by 55% by 2030.
Achieving net zero is important because carbon emissions are already at toxic levels, destroying the planet. Secondly, it is the law in over 50% of countries producing over 50% GDP to achieve net zero by 2050, so businesses will have to comply. Get started as soon as possible because it is what is most beneficial to the planet and the demands of end consumers.
Book a free demo with Net0 to start taking action on your carbon reduction goals. Net0 is a carbon management software that can accurately measure your carbon footprint in real-time, give insights with simulations on reduction strategies, enables 140+ offsetting programs within the platform, and generates investor-grade, GHGP-compliant reports. Get carbon neutral certified when you reach net zero.
Cover photo: Climate Zone