The case for prioritizing net-zero carbon emissions, particularly in worth chains

The case for prioritizing net-zero carbon emissions, particularly in worth chains

As we breathe smoky air from one other devastating wildfire that’s threatening Northern California communities, we’re as soon as once more reminded of the necessity to aggressively handle local weather change regionally and across the globe.

The fires observe catastrophic injury from Hurricane Dorian within the Bahamas and historic flooding within the Midwest. Because the frequency and energy of maximum climate occasions improve, the impact of local weather change on our planet and communities has turn out to be ever-present — making it tougher for residents, governments and companies worldwide to disregard the affect.

Kaiser Permanente and BSR not too long ago partnered with Newsweek for a survey of 300-plus multinational corporations on progress towards carbon neutrality and located that 70 % of firms are experiencing disruptions in operations resulting from local weather change. Now, these companies’ efforts to scale back their carbon footprint and combine sustainable practices into their operations have created new challenges — and alternatives — for international provide chains.

In line with the 2018 Nationwide Local weather Evaluation, we should obtain net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 or earlier to stop irreversible hurt to our planet’s well being. Newsweek’s survey outcomes point out momentum is constructing throughout industries to embrace sustainable applications.

Globally, seven in 10 respondents reported climate-related occasions had disrupted provide chains over the previous yr, with six in 10 experiencing direct impacts to their operations.

For instance, we have been inspired to seek out that 76 % of corporations surveyed have set a objective to realize net-zero carbon emissions from organizations’ operations, with 90 % aiming to achieve this objective by 2030. 

These findings reinforce the urgency of the state of affairs at hand and highlight the significance of growing adaptable insurance policies and constructing resilience to remain afloat. To take action, corporations should be taught to organize, plan and adapt to altering environmental circumstances to mitigate danger for the local weather, clients and backside line.

Disruptions within the provide chain

Globally, seven in 10 respondents reported climate-related occasions had disrupted provide chains over the previous yr, with six in 10 experiencing direct impacts to their operations.

As seen within the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, climate-fueled occasions can rupture the worldwide provide chain, resulting in months of nation-wide shortages for essential provides reminiscent of saline luggage at hospitals together with Kaiser Permanente. 

Witnessing the typically devastating results of local weather change firsthand, it comes as no shock that many companies’ main motivation to realize carbon neutrality is insulation from future local weather dangers.

For corporations reminiscent of Kaiser Permanente, this implies embedding efforts to mitigate local weather develop into day-to-day operations — together with how the corporate manages buildings; purchases meals, medical provides and tools; consumes power; and processes waste. By decreasing emissions via climate-smart applications and advancing environmental stewardship throughout provide chains, organizations can catalyze decarbonization throughout the financial system.

Decreasing upstream and downstream emissions

Focusing solely on emissions that corporations have underneath their direct possession or operational management misses these which happen via the services and products companies buy, and likewise in how their very own services and products are used.

In truth, these so-called “Scope three emissions” account for the biggest quantity of emissions that corporations can affect. And decreasing emissions related to an organization’s worth chain presents the potential for aggressively mitigating the worst impacts of local weather change.

Examples of climate-smart actions within the worth chain embrace:

buying from suppliers with decrease carbon emissionsincreasing product lifespans and decreasing wastereducing car journeys by workers and customersshifting investments away from fossil fuels

Along with revising procurement requirements, our survey outcomes point out leaders actively interact and help key suppliers to scale back emissions — with six in 10 executives recognizing the crucial for corporations’ essential suppliers to change to renewables as a part of the group’s net-zero targets.

BSR encourages its community of members to set results-driven targets and embrace an “act, allow, affect” framework to advance an efficient local weather technique.

By first appearing to deal with operational emissions, corporations then can encourage and allow motion by suppliers and companions to scale back downstream and upstream emissions at scale. Nevertheless, Scope three emissions are sometimes unfold thinly throughout provide chains, so with out an efficient affect technique, corporations is not going to foster the coverage setting wanted to realize these targets. By addressing emissions and inspiring suppliers to observe go well with, firms concentrating on Scope three emissions are main the cost towards web zero. 

A shared objective for all: collaborating for a more healthy planet

The trail to attaining web zero by 2050 isn’t simple, but it surely’s achievable. Nobody group, industry or authorities can do it alone and it’ll take a collaborative, coordinated effort to succeed.

Main organizations are setting themselves aside by embedding a core dedication to sustainability inside their current company mission. Enacting such a cohesive technique will solidify partnerships, finally the driving drive for change within the house. On common, survey respondents with net-zero targets listed 10 companions from a listing of 18 they imagine may have a cloth affect on attaining outlined targets. By involving key leaders within the sustainability subject, companies can speed up success in reaching these goal numbers. 

Be part of us

Partnerships with NGOs and involvement in coalitions reminiscent of RE100, a community of corporations dedicated to sourcing 100 % renewable power, kind a vital a part of Kaiser Permanente’s zero-carbon technique — Kaiser Permanente is proud to be properly on its option to being carbon impartial in operations in 2020.

At Kaiser Permanente, we prioritize partnerships to develop insurance policies and methods that strengthen neighborhood well being and defend our surroundings. The affect of local weather change on each our surroundings and human well being is substantial and impacts everybody, with the best affect falling on those that are most weak.  

BSR continues to construct its portfolio of collaborations and coalitions aimed toward enabling corporations to take efficient local weather motion. Lengthy-standing efforts such because the Clear Cargo Working Group, Way forward for Fuels, and our work with the We Imply Enterprise coalition, have been joined within the final yr by our new Worth Chain Danger to Resilience platform, and the formal launch of the Renewable Vitality Consumers Alliance in partnership with WWF, WRI and the Rocky Mountain Institute.

The highway to web zero would require continued public-private and cross-industry collaboration from leaders. Subsequent week, BSR will convene thought leaders to collaborate on the trail ahead for companies to deal with essentially the most urgent sustainability points, together with local weather change on the BSR Convention 2019: The New Local weather for Enterprise in San Jose, California.

We invite you to affix us and collaborate with like-minded organizations. Collectively, we’ll pave the best way for corporations, individuals and the planet to thrive on this period of speedy change.

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