Climate change refers to the observable and measurable deviation from the average climate conditions of Earth. Over the last couple of decades, the Earth’s temperature, sea level, and frequency of severe weather are increasing. Out of the ten warmest years, seven have been recorded since 2014. Although climate change is caused by different kinds of natural and human activity, it is difficult to blame a particular corporation/organization for it. Therefore, it is the responsibility of all individuals and organizations to take progressive actions to fight climate change. Not only does climate change make human life difficult, but it also affects businesses. According to a New York Times report, climate change can potentially cost leading corporations around $1 trillion by 2024.
Similarly, another report by Swiss Re Group suggests that the world’s GDP could go down by up to 18% if nothing is done about climate change by 2050. Therefore, leading companies are already taking action to address climate change to ensure a sustainable future. Environmental and Social Governance is an essential part of a good governance strategy. Below are some steps that companies can take to fight climate change:
1. Monitor Your Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Four of the top 100 companies producing the most carbon dioxide emissions are located in India. Unless companies take responsibility for these emissions and take progressive steps to reduce these emissions, mitigating the impact of climate change is not possible. The first step that any company can take to cut down its environmental impact is monitoring its greenhouse gas emissions. Once you have measured your greenhouse emissions, you can analyze that data to see which of your activities produce the highest emissions. After such analysis, companies can reduce their climate impact by making strategies for alternative ways to perform those activities.
2. Reducing Energy Consumption
Reducing energy consumption means both sustainability and cost savings. You can make your supply chain more sustainable by reducing your dependence on renewable sources and using non-renewable sources of energy instead. You can consider alternatives like recycled aluminum to make your products. Several companies optimize their energy consumption by moving to LED lightning, efficient cooling, and heating systems.
3. Revolutionize your Supply Chain
Companies need to shift to sustainable suppliers to ensure that their products are not impacting the environment. Sustainable products are also good for the business since modern consumers want environmentally friendly products. According to a recent survey, 88% of Indian consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable products. Additionally, 60% of those consumers have already reduced their purchases from businesses they deem non-sustainable. Therefore, being sustainable is no longer an option but a necessity. Given the demand, more and more suppliers are now offering sustainable products that use less energy.
4. Create Awareness
As a sustainable company, you must take steps to raise awareness about climate change amongst your employees, business stakeholders, and clients. India is the third-largest producer of greenhouse emissions in the world. We produce almost 2.46 metric tonnes of carbon every year, which amounts to 6.8% of total greenhouse emissions. You can have training sessions and workshops for your employees to make them understand their carbon footprint and educate them about how they can reduce their impact on the environment. If you are passionate about this, you can even create a “green team” in the company that takes environmental initiatives to reduce your company's carbon footprint.
5. Reduce Your Waste
Waste management is a major problem in India. Our plastic waste has doubled in the last five years. Companies need to seriously consider how they are managing their manufacturing and production waste. They must make sure that their waste is not going into a landfill or ocean. Instead, they should consider recycling their waste materials. An effective recycling plan reduces the emission of greenhouses gases and the need for a lot of raw materials and saves energy. Additionally, recycling waste can improve the sustainability of supply chains and reduce costs in the long run.
To conclude, this is not an all-comprehensive list of things your company can do to reduce its impact on the environment; instead, these are the initial steps. To truly make progress, you must continuously strive to make your organization environmentally friendly and sustainable. As discussed above, Environmental and Social Governance is essential for a good corporate strategy on how to reduce carbon emissions and foster a culture of awareness and proactive initiative for a better climate.