Look beyond net zero!

by | Nov 13, 2023 | Climate Change

This month sustainability expert Kelly Hobson, dives into the interconnected topics that represent environmental challenges for businesses to consider. Topics she explains all future facing business leaders should not only become more familiar with but should consciously address in their everyday decision making.

I see many organisations currently tunnelling down rabbit holes, focused solely on collating energy consumption data in direct response to climate change headlines. What tends to be missing is the knowledge to understand how to take that data and develop tangible steps to reduce a reliance on fossil fuels, whilst extending sustainable thinking across multiple areas to represent a truly sustainable business model.

In the UK our journey to net zero continues to be bumpy, with many barriers ahead that halt progress and dilute ambition. Without the right legislation and financial support from the UK government, we are unable to move at pace on energy reduction programmes within our industry but that should not be an excuse to avoid progressing within other environmental areas while we wait.

Roadmap Your Journey

To represent a truly sustainable business you must understand how your business is impacting our planet on a broader scale. Through a Materiality Assessment the most significant impact areas for your business can be identified and future planning should directly explore how to reduce negative impact across your value chain.

What areas are included within the environmental pillar

  • Climate change
  • Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
  • Resource depletion including water
  • Waste and pollution
  • Deforestation
  • Biodiversity

Of course, nothing happens overnight but it’s important that a business moves forward with planning that demonstrates intent to clients and other key stakeholders . Consider every topic and create a three-to-five year roadmap that prioritises the most impactful areas and outlines milestones for everyone to move towards i.e. by Jan 2025 every site will send zero waste to landfill.

Sphere of Influence

Due to the enormity of our impact on the environment, I always encourage business leaders to consider their sphere of influence and explore ways to collaborate and influence.

We all know that two heads are better than one, imagine the positive impact of numerous businesses working together to reduce negative impact on our planet. That might be competitors, clients, NGO’s or suppliers, the opportunities to create big waves of change are limitless.

Directly related to clients, freight forwarders should not only be looking at ways to provide accurate emission data to their clients to capture scope 3 data but empower them with intelligence that improves their future footprint. From supplier locations and packing requirements, to consolidation and modal mix there are multiple opportunities to add value as you decipher client data and regularly talk through short and long-term options.

By improving your understanding of environmental topics you are able to create genuine commercial value for your business and ensure you continue to lead a journey of success.

To discuss your sustainability requirements get in touch: kelly.hobson@shapetomorrow.co.uk