Are you ready for Net Zero Carbon compliance?

One of the most urgent priorities currently facing organisations is how to navigate the journey to Net Zero Carbon (NZC) status. Closely behind the immediate precedence of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change has emerged as the defining issue for this generation of leaders. Some organisations who made an early start are already there or are even at minus zero carbon.

Why is it time to act now?

The UK Government announced a Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution to accelerate the path to NZC covering a broad range of initiatives to drive a green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and further policy initiatives have followed, including the monitoring of organisation’s progress and performance against environmental, climate change and NZC related targets. So, the time to act is now and the transformation journey to NZC should be at the top of everyone’s change portfolio and very high up on the corporate risk register. But, don’t worry, there is help.

Having played a leading role in programmes such as the deregulation of the energy market, the National Smart Metering Programme and even the current move to digitisation, I know this problem can be tackled in a similar fashion to other externally driven transformation programmes. This is a bit different though, organisations are experiencing unprecedented external pressure from the whole spectrum of stakeholders. Expectations are coming from consumers, supply chain partners, Government bodies, Regulators, Shareholders and Investors, and employees, as well as the media and general public who demand a response to climate change, a plan to achieve NZC and compliance with environmental legislation.

How do you make this complex transformation simple?

Organisations need to consider the transformation required from a number of perspectives; their stakeholders, production processes, purchasing decisions, financing, operations and every aspect of how they operate will need to be considered through a NZC lens. But there is a way forward through this complexity. A well-planned, considered and extensive transformation programme needs to be initiated to ensure a holistic and consistent approach is applied, with due consideration to every aspect of an organisations internal and external operations.  I have designed a simple six-step process for organisations to prepare themselves for the transformation journey required to move to a NZC future:

  1. Firstly, understand your current status as a carbon emitter both directly and indirectly as defined by the three scopes of carbon emissions . Where are you compared to other organisations? How carbon free is your supply chain? What current policies do you have to reduce carbon and how effective are these? You need to be able to understand where you are now before you set targets and embark on a carbon reduction programme.
  2. Map all of your stakeholders and understand their expectations of you regarding NZC? What are their perspectives? What are they doing to move to NZC?
  3. Define your NZC vision and strategy? How does it align with your organisations business vision, strategy, goals and objectives? What is the right NZC strategy for you and all of your stakeholders?
  4. Define the steps you need to take to get to NZC across all of your operations to realise your strategy.
  5. Design a transformation programme to implement the strategy, as well as the performance indicators to measure your progress. Think about the teams that will be involved, what partners you will use to help you and how you will cover your entire business operations including people, process and technology as well as your supply chain. Have you got the right skills identified to implement this kind of transformation programme?
  6. Mobilise your resources and partners, communicate the transformation vision across your organisation and start the implementation.

You are now ready to embark on your journey to NZC.

There are examples to use as reference points and support is available from Government agencies and business forums set up to provide support. At Project One, we are heavily involved in the Business in the Community NZC Taskforce, as part of the Leadership Team and Technical Advisory Group and have extensive experience of this kind of programme, (including our own) helping organisations in many different sectors transform their operations and processes in a consistent and compliant manner.

Do you need change expertise?

So, if you are responsible for driving the NZC agenda in your organisation and are looking for support and guidance on how to get there, please get in touch with me at for an initial discussion.

POSTED BY: Sean Ellis - Consulting Director


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