Yesterday's email might have been a little blunt 😳
What might a 2030 climate policy look like, to ensure your organisation is still viable? (2030 is when we're aiming to have reduced current emissions by 50%. Half again by 2040, then zero emissions globally by 2050).
You might have seen me call it an impact program, or a sustainability page on your website.
In my view, they can all amount to the same thing - a set of actions you've either taken or plan to take, that you declare publicly, be transparent about your progress, and that moves you towards zero emissions.
Some if it is easier than you might think... some less easy.
If we look at it in terms of the 3 scopes of emissions, you can see where your low-hanging fruit is, and where you need to build in more planning time.
It never hurts to repeat this so apologies if you've seen it lots already.
Internationally, emissions are broadly categorised into 3 "scopes":
👉 Scope 1: Direct emissions from your owned sources (like your factory or your vehicles).
👉 Scope 2: Indirect emissions from energy sources you purchase, such as your electricity and gas provider.
👉 Scope 3: Indirect emissions from everything else up and down your supply chain - from your raw materials to your suppliers; from your delivery logistics system to your software; from your banking to your superannuation and insurance.
This only affects you if you own vehicles, factories, mines, or other assets that combust fuel or emit fumes. Vehicles can be just one or a fleet.
The oversimplified solution to vehicles is switch to electric. Australia is slowly heading in that direction, so the increased demand and government grants should help accelerate it.
The oversimplified solution for factories is to electrify them.
Both are huge transitions that will likely require complex programs, maybe even additional budgets, to make them happen. If it's too big to tackle today, put it on the agenda to discuss next quarter, then again the following quarter. Just having it on your radar, you'll start seeing others going through the transition around you, which will start giving you ideas for where to start.
If we're talking about low-hanging fruit, this is usually it for most orgs.
Your energy supplier is most likely the entirety of your Scope 2. If you have solar on your roof, or generate your own renewable power in some way, you can mark this one as complete.
If not, the Green Electricity Guide lists every power supplier in Australia by state, and ranks them from cleanest to dirtiest. The names you know best are down at the dirty end - if you're with one of them, it takes minutes to switch to a cleaner alternative, and you've mostly dealt with Scope 2.
You could stop there.
Or you could leave it on your 5-10 year agenda to figure out how to generate your own power, or join (or start!) a community run grid.
As I said above, this is everything else.
Supply chains are complicated things.
The Upstream stuff is everything before you - raw materials, suppliers etc. Downstream is everything after you - freight, customers, waste management and so on.
It also includes things you invest in or "give your money to" in other ways, like your bank, super or insurance company.
To clean up your scope 3, you need to look at every single point of your supply chain, and one by one make a decision on whether to keep or switch.
From the software you use, where you source uniforms, where you get office supplies, where you buy coffee, where you buy computers - everything you either spend money on or have some influence over. Bookkeepers can provide a list of expenses for say the last 3 years, which is often a good starting point.
Look into those suppliers' policies and see if they're on a climate-friendly path themselves, or if they're completely indifferent. Check them against alternative options and make a call on whether to stick with them, or switch. There's not always a better option, but always worth checking before assuming.
The quick wins in Scope 3 are bank accounts, insurance companies, and superannuation funds (there was a campaign called the triple-switch where they encouraged you to switch all 3 to cleaner alternatives). These institutions are typically the ones who invest in dirty industries like fossil fuels. By switching to cleaner alternatives, your money goes towards renewable energy projects, education projects, and lots of other cool stuff. Again, these can just take a day or two to fully switch, and the wins are pretty big.
This is just scratching the surface of scope 3, but hopefully it gives you a sense of where to start, and what parts of your scope 3 will need more time.
Use the above as a discussion starter within your organisation, and start getting a few things on your 2030 roadmap.
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