In countries whose governments are slower off the mark, major companies have acted independently, shouldering their corporate responsibility but also seizing the opportunity to develop services, solutions and products that offer cost efficiencies, drive research and development, enhance their reputation and open new revenue streams. Momentum has been created to develop the skills, products and assets needed for a net-zero future.
Adoption of a systems approach that recognises inter-organisational and cross-sector connections and interdependencies, has revolutionised the way businesses tackle carbon neutrality. Skills in systems thinking have been rapidly developed and governance processes integrated in order to reduce inefficiencies and exploit synergies. This is complemented by the power of information management which enables businesses to make decisions on cost-effective approaches to carbon neutrality.
Decisions are routinely made on a ‘least regret’ whole-life carbon basis, as data collection and analytic capability has made scenario planning quick and accessible. Companies in developing countries that are not encumbered by old, carbon-intensive industries and infrastructure see the possibilities and benefits of pursuing low and zero-emission growth.
Even in infrastructure and manufacturing industries facing substantial capital and operational carbon challenges, many companies decarbonise their corporate operations to signal to their workforce and investors alike their intent to achieve root and branch carbon reduction. Businesses successfully embed the carbon neutrality agenda into staff engagement, such that employees understand why the changes matter to them and their families and have become advocates for the societal benefits they bring.
Great progress made by businesses drives wider public familiarity and acceptance of the need to reduce emissions from travel and heating. This is supported by a market geared to providing low carbon solutions, and clear cost savings encourage more citizens to tackle their emissions.
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