In fewer than seven years, it’ll be 2030, the year in which the world needs to have cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 45% (from 2010 levels) as called for in the Paris Agreement.
Based on current national climate plans, we’re actually on track for a 10% increase!
Sounds discouraging, right? Well, it’s time to turn that disheartenment into action. After all, we know we can’t rely solely on our global governments to do all the heavy lifting. Everyone has a role to play, and businesses can play a big one.
Here’s the good news: more than a third of the world’s largest companies have already taken action and are already committed to net-zero targets. The same goes for countless small and medium sized businesses. It’s a promising trend.
Still, commitments are just words unless they’re backed by action. But with so much pressure to optimize, electrify, decarbonize or otherwise, it can be hard to know where to start.
So, what do businesses need to consider along their path to fight climate change? And how can they navigate that path when it looks like a jungle?
Let’s take a look.
Understand your footprint.
At this point, be it from stakeholders, tenants, staff or customers, almost every business is facing some degree of pressure to decarbonize its operations. For business leaders, this is an ongoing challenge complicated by competing priorities, an intimidating learning curve, and a lack of time or resources. It can be hard to get the ball rolling.
The truth, however, is that no business can build forward without the proper foundation, which is why it’s critical to have a sightline into your building’s emissions.
A carbon footprint assessment is your best first step. A base assessment can tell you how much carbon your building produces, where and how it produces it and what measures you can take for the greatest impact.
Plan for resilience.
We know global warming is getting worse. We know the choices we make today, as business leaders, will have an enduring impact tomorrow. But how do we mitigate what we can’t control?
Physical climate risk is one thing, our vulnerability to extreme weather events and the price tag that comes with them – from higher insurance premiums to repairs and maintenance costs after a disaster.
But there are other risks we need to plan for, too. As global climate deadlines close in, who knows how policies and regulations will evolve? Who knows to what extent carbon pricing will continue to ratchet up the price of natural gas?
At some point, the financial burden of our emissions might have us kicking ourselves for not investing in more sustainable equipment and infrastructure a decade ago, simply because the payback wasn’t clear from the onset.
It’s a lot to consider, future-proofing your assets, but it can’t wait. Now is the time to factor emission reduction into capital planning and social stewardship. With the right analysis, you’ll likely find the metrics make sense.
Assess new technologies.
As businesses, we have a responsibility to deliver value to our shareholders. We also have a responsibility to find cleaner ways of doing business. And that’s where technological innovation comes in – an irrefutable means of facilitating these two priorities.
Technology opens a world of opportunity to not only add value to our customers, but to decarbonize our operations, which requires both digital and physical systems.
Consider advances in building automation, for example, which can automate fuel-switching to help you cost-effectively begin to electrify your office or plant.
Or how about energy dashboards? With a smart one, you can harness machine-learning and analytics to track your energy consumption, flag anomalies and pin-point opportunities to save.
Yes, the technology is out there. The challenge, however, is finding the right investment for your business, especially when you’re busy trying to run it.
Apply for funding. (Now’s the time!)
Grants, incentives and subsidies to help reduce pollution and improve energy efficiency are accelerating like never before. All levels of government are introducing support for everything from fleet electrification to decarbonizing commercial buildings (which currently account for nearly 40% of global emissions).
Not sure where to start?
Get an expert in your corner.
The bottom line is that we’re in the midst of an unprecedented global shift in the way we do business. Everyone has questions. Everyone has concerns. And everyone’s struggling to balance their energy and climate objectives with their fundamental business needs.
Wherever you are in your journey, you need a partner who understands the energy industry inside and out. A partner who can objectively guide you in tackling one of the most complex corporate priorities of our generation.
At Envari Energy Solutions, we understand the pressures that businesses are facing. That’s why we’ve introduced the Energy Advisor Plus program that provides on-demand access to a team of energy experts, helping you navigate the complexities of the changing energy market. We make it easy to plan for tomorrow in a way that makes sense for your business today.
Better yet, you can count on us to steer you in the right direction, provide unbiased advice and implement practical solutions that cut costs, reduce carbon and extend the life of your assets.
Wherever you are on your path to sustainability, we’re ready to help. Contact us today to learn more.