Climate change has emerged as the defining priority of our time. Organisations are expected to have strategies for Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), and Net Zero Carbon (NZC), aligned to corporate commitments and our global need to reach Net Zero by 2050. The time to act is now, but how do you progress your climate change agenda?
Backed by changes in regulation, law, consumer and investor action, organisations need to improve their climate change activity and implement transformation programmes to enable and embed, not only new strategies, processes, and policies; but also, a culture that embraces and formalises these principles. Change and transformation decisions and actions will need to be seen through a climate change lens, as well as the return on investment or mitigation of risk.
The need to comply with sustainability regulation
There have been many legislative advancements, strengthening the importance of the need to act. These include the Taskforce on Climate Related Financial Disclosures (TCFDs), which introduced reporting, mandating FTSE organisations to declare their climate change approach. Likewise, corporate investors and analysts will refer to organisational climate plans when making investment decisions. In addition, the evolvement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), are seen as an urgent call for action by all countries to work in global partnership.
In time, the way that organisations procure products or services within their own supply chain will be influenced by the climate related status of their suppliers – led by adherence to Scope 3 reporting.
Sustainability transformation is the future of responsible business
We are seeing organisations setting enterprise-wide climate transformation programmes, leading the way in terms of strategy, change, reporting and monitoring, enabling lasting cultural change. Others will be partially responding, but many have still to develop a policy or strategy, or even see any need to act. This needs to change.
What are the six key enablers to achieving a successful sustainability transformation?
- Understand the current carbon emissions baseline: Utilise existing data where possible to baseline current carbon emissions status. Build on existing support and understanding.
- Define the climate change vision and strategy: Define the vision, aligned to business strategy, and secure senior commitment. Be realistic on timescales, with an achievable strategy.
- Include enterprise-wide scope: Extensive enterprise-wide coverage is important, including operations, technology (incl. data), travel and production. Engage employees in the vision, as if part of a transformation programme.
- Manage stakeholder expectations: Understand stakeholder perspectives. Engaged and interested stakeholders will include investors, employees, customers, and the supply chain.
- Engage the supply chain: This is critical for indirect emissions, including in compliance reporting. Map the supply chain with their climate change ambitions, targets and achievements.
- Effective programme delivery: Climate related change on this scale is like any other transformation programme and needs structure. Mobilise a capable team with adequate levels or resource. Produce a detailed plan aligned with the vision, strategy, and scope. Assess the risks and establish an effective reporting mechanism.
How to implement the journey to net zero
Complex transformation is hard to get right. We’ve all read the stats about failure, with programmes out of control and delivery teams lost in the detail, making poor decisions, losing stakeholder confidence, and not achieving the promised business value. It’s important not to underestimate the project and programme management capability required to lead a transformation, it’s a specialised skillset to scope the changes needed, provide pace and confidence, driving the key outcomes with independence and full visibility.
People are the driving force for change
Key to the successful implementation of any climate change strategy is cultural change and engagement. People are the driving force for change and developing culture to align to sustainability is key to changing behaviour. Driving real change and making a real difference is at the core of Project One’s purpose, helping organisations to change, thrive and grow.
Project One is an independent, leading management consultancy with specialist sustainability transformation expertise. We work with our customers to infuse a deep level of delivery skill and change expertise to bolster in-house capability, drive with pace and clarity, mitigate key risks, focus on the business outcome, and ensure their business can land a sustainable solution.
Spotlight on mobilising major sustainability transformation programmes
Our customer, a global FTSE 100 organisation, sought our help in mobilising a new programme tasked with developing a cross-enterprise carbon and Greenhouse Gas emissions reduction strategy, aligned to their Race to Zero pledge. Project One mobilised programme activity, implementing governance and control alongside action-oriented delivery to create momentum, and developed clear and consistent monitoring, ensuring progress was tracked and outcomes delivered. In addition, we coached the programme leads in best practice governance and delivery to build enduring change capability.
Another of our customers, a government-owned business, asked us to provide support in the mobilisation and governance of both their ESG and NZC transformation programmes. They had strategic objectives to deliver but were unsure of the right approach. We provided guidance and practical advice in the most effective way for them to govern and manage the programmes.
How have Project One developed and progressed their own sustainability journey?
We have been members of the Business in the Community (BiTC) NZC Taskforce and Technical Advisory Group for three years, engaging their membership in climate change commitments, alongside delivering our own strategy, including our Race to Zero pledge (only one of 1,800 SMEs globally). We have been implementing changes to reduce our carbon footprint and have already saved the carbon equivalent of c. 25,000 trees.
How Project One can help you
Project One is a leading, independent consultancy, specialising in change and transformation delivery. We have developed sustainability transformation expertise, helping businesses achieve climate change objectives. This means we not only understand the context, but we know how to make change happen. We work as one team, transferring knowledge to our customers whist driving delivery. If you would like to discuss your challenges and how we can help, please get in touch with [email protected]