5 steps to create a climate action plan
What does it take to build an effective company climate action plan? Discover the steps necessary to ingrain sustainability into your organisation’s processes and structure.
Climate action plans in general include an inventory of an organisation’s existing emissions, reduction goals and targets, and prioritised reduction actions, paired with a solid implementation strategy. An example of climate action plan objectives include reducing carbon emissions by purchasing energy-efficient office equipment and investing in energy management software. This means having a focus on internal carbon pricing, energy efficiency and innovative finance.
C-suite leaders should look for actionable steps to reduce their carbon footprint is a key first step when it comes to launching a climate action plan. Companies are now placing an increased focus on renewable energy and operational carbon neutrality goals. This is being driven by customer awareness and feedback, wider public and stakeholder interest and employee experiences. In 2021, ONS reported that over a third of adults in Great Britain were worried about climate change, with more than 40 percent of Americans concerned, according to Gallup.
Not only will a company climate action plan help create a better environment, it will also attract more environmentally-conscious talent who will aid the team in developing their climate action plan.
Here are five steps to launch (or support) your organisation’s climate action plan:
Sustainable Leadership: Climate action plan
- key takeaways
- sustainable leadership
5 Steps to becoming a sustainable leader
1. Build sustainability into the brand and culture
Incorporating sustainability into your organisation’s brand and making it a part of your workplace culture is one of the first steps to building your climate action plan. Being able to amplify green issues is another way of instilling that mindset into your brand and teams.
According to IBM, more than 70 percent of job seekers said they want to work for more environmentally sustainable companies. As a result, companies are implementing environmental initiatives to appeal to eco-conscious job seekers and demonstrate their commitment to sustainability.
Patagonia, Disney, HPE, Nike and eBay are among many others who are implementing energy-efficient practices by keeping track of their GHG emissions, setting goals for renewable energy usage and reducing waste output. One other way leaders can encourage this continued commitment to sustainability is by selecting a green champion. This can be categorised as someone who is passionate about climate action and engages other staff in sustainable activities.
2. Save energy and reduce waste in the workplace
This involves encouraging employees to manage offices in a green, more environmental and sustainable way. This could range from making sure that buildings are properly insulated to using low-carbon or recycled sustainable building materials, such as steel. Common methods of saving energy in the workplace include installing energy-efficient LED lights and switching from desktop computers to laptops.
In addition to this, organisations have been advised to use motion sensitive lights, encourage staff to take the stairs and even install an eco-friendly coffee machine for the team to use. Encouraging this eco-friendly mindset through these small changes can further increase awareness within the office and team as a whole. For example, Unilever is rethinking their approach to plastic packaging, reducing waste in their factories and tackling food loss and waste.
3. Make use of the cloud
The wave of hybrid and remote working allows employees to make use of cloud computing. This also gives executive technology leaders an opportunity to implement a green IT strategy – the practice of using environmentally sustainable computing. This method of IT will minimise the negative effects of computer-related operations and increase energy efficiency and resource efficiency.
Other than complying with government regulations, green IT gives businesses a competitive advantage, using ESG to attract potential customers, talent and investors. In addition to its many benefits, cloud computing is 93% more energy-efficient and has 98% lower GHG emissions than on-premises data centres. Several cloud computing and data centres replace fossil fuel-based energy with renewable energy that can significantly cut down carbon emissions. While this doesn’t apply to them all, the ones that do are able to minimise energy requirements, consumption and cost.
4. Encourage more sustainable commuting
Reducing any form of travel in your work routine is another effective way of reducing your carbon emissions. This applies whether it’s air travel or driving your car to the office – cutting back on pollution is key. “If everybody who is able to work from home globally did so just one day a week, it would save around 1 percent of global oil consumption for road passenger transport each year”, according to the International Energy Agency.
It believes that, for those who usually commute to work by car, working from home significantly reduces their carbon footprint. Companies can help their teams reduce their carbon emissions by advising them to take public transport, carpool or cycle to work where possible.
5. Launch green initiatives and projects
Taking on the responsibility of launching major green initiatives and hero projects encourages teams to think big and make them feel part of the solution. As suggested by our HotTopics.ht community members, some examples of companies and organisations establishing green initiatives and projects include:
- Salesforce: In 2020, the company made its aim clear to achieve 100 percent renewable energy by 2022. Not only did they complete this by 2021, they also achieved net zero residual emissions and unveiled their Sustainability Cloud 2.0.
- IKEA: The furniture retail company is undergoing a series of initiatives to become a more sustainable brand. One of which is the IKEA Forest Positive Agenda – their agenda towards 2030 is focused on protecting and supporting the world’s forests.
- Ford Motor Company: The automobile manufacturing company is said to be making positive contributions by reducing emissions and responsibly managing operations. In addition to making Europe one of the first Ford regions carbon neutral, they have also joined the New Deal for Europe initiative.
- Building a culture of awareness and focusing on sustainability will benefit your organisation in more ways than you can imagine.
- Saving energy, reducing waste and utilising the cloud are just a few ways to start off your climate action plan.
- A variety of leading companies are launching climate and green initiatives to support their own plans and encourage more sustainable habits among their teams.
Starting the journey of creating your organisation’s first climate action plan is the first step towards limiting greenhouse gas emissions. The steps for launching this plan in organisations is made up of a combination of things. This includes promoting sustainability within teams and encouraging workers to take on more environmentally-conscious practices—and changing their old habits. Leaders are catching onto this and implementing these strategies into their business operations with the help of carbon accounting platforms.
Not sure where to start? Analyse your organisation’s current position, delegate and set some actionable climate goals for the future while following the outlined steps.
Sustainable Leadership 2023
Starting the conversation on sustainable leadership is the key to adopting a more responsible approach according to leaders. This includes considering the impact of business decisions and other actions on wider society and the environment.
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