After the Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and later signed by 175 Parties globally, it increased the urgency for businesses, cities and governments to respond to the threat of climate change and help protect the future of the planet.
In response, more organizations than ever are including sustainability at the core of their strategy and purpose. Where sustainability efforts were once a “nice to have,” ENGIE Impact reported in our recent Global Executive Survey that 83% of successful companies report significant alignment of sustainability initiatives to business strategy.
While that is encouraging news, our analysis of 2019 Climate Disclosure Project (CDP) data showed that while 84% of companies have defined sustainability targets, only 28% are on track to achieve those goals.
We must work together to close the gap between ambition and action.
Like globalization and digitalization, sustainability is a major disruptor for organizations, driven by today’s financial, environmental and societal pressures. A World Economic Forum survey of decision-makers reports that climate-related issues make up the top three biggest risks to businesses today.
Concurrently, rapid technology innovation and new business models are making the economics of sustainability more viable than ever before. Renewables are more affordable. Data and technology has made managing resources more effective. Leading companies are proving that greener strategies and operations create real competitive advantage.
Yet, these plans for decarbonization are going unrealized every day.
Sustainability transformation requires a deep understanding of emerging technologies, strong engagement with stakeholders, and a series of investments tailored to each unique organization. Therefore, leading organizations need to think holistically and strive for both speed and scale.
It’s time to make longer, faster strides toward a more sustainable future.
Achieving Net Zero requires organizations to commit to a sustainability journey far beyond the incremental change companies are accustomed to. These changes need to include solutions for the entire value chain anchored around three dimensions: the decarbonization levers organizations deploy, the scales at which they engage and transform operations, and the enablers that serve to unlock opportunities and accelerate change.
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More governments and organizations than ever are announcing net zero or carbon negative goals, but most don’t know where to start. Leaders are asking:
How do we track disparate data sources across resources and geographies to have an accurate picture of environmental footprint?
What clean technology and renewable energy opportunities are there. When and how do we procure them?
How do we implement the right programs and processes to minimize resource use as our business grows?
What is the impact of our value chain and how do we reduce Scope 3 emissions?
How do we manage unknowns to increase climate resilience and minimize risk exposure over the long term?
Decarbonization refers to the reduction or elimination of carbon dioxide (CO2) or greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Full decarbonization means net zero CO2 emissions from energy generation and industrial processes with the ultimate goal of a CO₂-free global economy.
A comprehensive decarbonization strategy addresses all resources—energy, water and waste—that have an economic and environmental impact. An effective decarbonization strategy is data-informed and holistic, transcending the organization and influencing operational efficacy, product design, logistic schemes, digital strategy, brand reputation, employee engagement, customer engagement and satisfaction, and risk mitigation. It must extend to the entire value chain.
Data is key to decarbonization, providing insight into current state of energy, water, waste and carbon to determine baselines and understand the path forward. It’s critical for building a business case, informing goals, implementing projects, evaluating decisions, and tracking and reporting that decarbonization strategies are on pace.
Cascading ambition from leadership, developing clear risk scenarios, and investing in innovation can improve preparedness and carve out a competitive advantage amidst the uncertainty of climate change.
Businesses must require that suppliers along the value chain are similarly invested in sustainability by co-investing with strategic suppliers, strengthening supplier relationships and amplifying their own sustainability efforts.
Finance—and the role of the CFO—should be restructured to accelerate project deployment and realize the full value of sustainability. New capital allocation models, programmatic approaches to project finance, and third-party partnerships are critical levers to success.
ENGIE Impact helps corporations, cities and governments bridge ambition and action, unlocking the data and analytical intelligence to accelerate economic and environmental benefits and overcome the complexity of sustainability transformation.
From modeling climate risk scenarios, to engaging the entire value chain in embracing sustainability, to redefining financing mechanisms to accelerate progress, we help clients identify the key levers to achieve their decarbonization goals and put them into action. Our global sustainability consultants advise clients and provide insights on the solutions that are driving deep decarbonization today: clean technology, e-mobility, renewable energy, and innovative business models.
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ENGIE Impact partners with the world’s most influential cities and businesses on accelerating their sustainability transformation to achieve long-term economic growth. The process starts with customized, tailored roadmaps to help organizations establish and achieve their sustainability goals. From strategy to implementation, clients receive actionable solutions to help improve the bottom line, drive growth, satisfy stakeholders and extend resources.
Through assessment and analysis, tailored programs support setting achievable targets, enabled through long-term sustainability roadmaps.
Comprehensive resource management programs, design & engineering plans, and large scale project management helps achieve goals.
Momentum is achieved through proactive insights derived from client data and transparency through disclosure, compliance and certification programs.
As policymakers and organizations invest in a low-carbon economy, they must build strategies that intentionally deliver green jobs, infrastructure and improved health outcomes for the communities that need them the most.
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