Net Zero: Now is the Time!

When you see companies as diverse as O2, GSK and Brewdog matching the Net Zero environmental ambition of the Extinction Rebellion you know that times are changing.

Earlier this year O2 announced the most ambitious plans to be Net Zero by 2025.

Last week BrewDog published concrete plans not only to be Net Zero but to be carbon negative. We’re not sure if the term carbon negative or carbon-reducing or even ‘Negging’ will stick, but it’s a great initiative. This is our approach too.

Net Zero BrewDog

This approach can be applied to any business big or small.

  • Measure your footprint
  • Make concrete plans to reduce your footprint with SMART goals.
  • Plant trees to compensate in the short term.

This week GSK announced plans to become Net Zero by 2030 too. They’ve realised that their mission to make healthy people needs to ensure a healthy planet for those people to inhabit.

As GSK CEO Emma Walmsley, said, “As a global healthcare company, we want to play our full part in protecting and restoring the planet’s health, in order to protect and improve people’s health. Improving the environmental sustainability of our business also makes us more resilient, protecting our operations, so we can deliver the products that patients and consumers rely on.”

In fact, thanks to the efforts of the organisation Science Based Targets over 1000 companies from across Europe have signed up. Check the list on their website and see if your organisation has signed up to back the emissions reductions the scientists are recommending and if not go and ask your management team why not.

As these large organisations are finding the business benefits of measuring and reducing your emissions are clear:

  1. Minimise waste and costs
  2. Improve employee satisfaction/engagement
  3. Gain a competitive advantage by reassuring your customers that your operations aren’t harming the planet we all share.

All these benefits apply regardless of the size of your business.

Earth Day 2020

Today, Wed April 22nd 2020 marks the 50th Earth Day. The Earth Day movement has been running since 1970 and getting louder each year.

I really love the fact the environmental movement seemed to take off once the iconic Blue Marble photograph was taken in December 1972 by astronaut Harrison Schmitt on the Apollo 17 mission.

In fact Wikipedia states that this is one of the most widely distributed images of all time, which gives us hope in a world of Kim Kardashian selfies.

The Earth Day 2020 mission:

Our world needs transformational change. It’s time for the world to hold sectors accountable for their role in our environmental crisis while also calling for bold, creative, and innovative solutions. This will require action at all levels, from business and investment to city and national government.

Earth Day website

That’s where we come in.

As individuals, staff members, directors and industry leaders the time for bold, creative and innovative solutions is now and we’re the people who must deliver it for our planet.

Before it is too late.

Covid-19 Provides a Welcome Check and Reset of Our Compass

Covid-19 certainly put the brakes on our company launch! 

For the first few weeks of the lockdown here in the UK, most businesses were solely concerned with survival, making sense of the Government’s support packages, and trying to ensure staff could work from home effectively.

Now that we’ve established our routines and worked out our emergency short-term survival strategies business leaders are now starting to look up and ahead to the future and to make sense of their place in a post COVID world – whatever shape that takes.

The RSA has published a fascinating set of insights based on a YouGov Poll of over 4500 respondents in conjunction with the food industry. It reveals some fascinating insights into how the psyche of the British public has changed over the last few weeks. More importantly, it shows how their attitudes are likely to change once we start our recovery.

Amazingly the poll finds that a massive majority of 85% of respondents want to see personal or social changes that they have experienced continue in the future. Only 9% want everything to go back to how it was before the pandemic.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Screenshot-2020-04-17-at-17.23.30-1024x428.png
Graph from the RSA report

According to the poll, and also anecdotally speaking to our contacts, people have enjoyed feeling fitter through more exercise, have been eating better by cooking from scratch, have felt an increase in the sense of community and have appreciated the cleaner air.

We think this means they’re going to be looking not only at businesses from a consumer point of view but also considering the type of organisation they work for, and ones that help support their vision for a better future.

You can read the story in full on the RSA website and download the full dataset here