Greenly has officially joined the alliance of Net Zero Initiative signatories. ✌🎉
It's an understatement to say that we are happy to support these 10 principles in favor of an ambitious climate strategy, developed in partnership with a host of professionals fighting against climate change: including firms, consultancies, and leaders of net zero projects globally.
Signing on is serious business! 😎 It's nothing theoretical, demagogic or vague, quite the contrary.
This unique work, supported by ADEME (French Environment and Energy Management Agency), was conducted from September 2021 to June 2022, with the aim of laying the foundations for a science-based climate strategy in line with achieving the goals set by the Paris Agreement in 2015.
💚 Understanding the Net Zero Initiative
What does Net Zero mean? 📖
It's a common misconception, but the concept of "net zero" or "carbon neutrality" cannot be applied to an organization.
A company - or any structure - cannot claim to be "net zero". That's impossible. ⛔
The concept of "net zero" refers to a global goal, aiming to reach a state of balance between our CO2 emissions and the absorption of these emissions.
In short, it is simply a matter of removing as much CO2 as is emitted, in order to stop the accumulation of this CO2 in the atmosphere and thus achieve a stabilization of the current temperature. 🔥
In this context, any given organization could contribute to the transition towards this "net zero" (or carbon neutral) model.
While a company cannot be "net zero" itself, it can, however, develop a net zero strategy, in order to operate the necessary transformations within itself to contribute to the achievement of global carbon neutrality in 2050.
👉 Did you know? If we want to limit global warming to 2°C (or even 1.5°C), this global CO2 balance must be met before 2050. Similarly, to meet the targets set by the Paris Agreement, we must rapidly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.
The start of the Net Zero Initiative 🌳
The Net Zero Initiative project was initiated in June 2018 by Carbone 4, in collaboration with a dozen other companies.
Supported by a scientific council, it has established a universal framework for carbon neutrality.
Simply put, this document defines a common language for all actors wishing to contribute to achieving net zero on a global scale.
👉 Did you know? In France, the doctrine known as the "National Low Carbon Strategy" (or SNBC) refers to achieving this balance between emissions and absorptions within France by 2050.
More specifically, the Net Zero Initiative has worked to define the framework of a corporate climate strategy worthy of the name.
It is based on 10 fundamental principles, outlined below…
📝 What are the 10 principles of an ambitious corporate carbon strategy?
1. The concept of "net zero" refers to a global goal: to achieve a balance between our GHG emissions and our carbon sinks. 💨
The goal is to limit global warming in line with the caps set by the Paris Agreement.
How? By mobilizing the resources needed to achieve this ambition on a global scale as soon as possible, and by 2050.
2. Developing a net zero strategy implies that a company undertakes the transformations necessary to contribute to the goal of global carbon neutrality. 📅
There's no room to twist words: a corporate climate strategy worthy of the name aims to make the activity concerned compatible with global carbon neutrality in 2050.
It is therefore imperative that it be part of a logic of effective contribution to this objective.
3. In order to structure their actions, companies must distinguish between three types of action: reducing their emissions, avoiding these emissions, and sequestering them. 📋
To structure its climate strategy, a company has three levers:
- it can reduce emissions in its value chain;
- it can help other organizations to reduce their emissions;
- it can help develop carbon sinks.
In this context, these three axes must be measured, objectified, managed and monitored separately.
4. Reducing emissions must be the priority climate action for companies 📌
Reducing the direct and indirect emissions is a priority of companies willing to implement a climate strategy.
Beware: reducing emissions alone is not enough. It is also a matter of making this reduction at the right level and at the right speed.
5. NZI companies must report on the total emissions of their value chain. 💻
All of a company's direct and indirect emissions should be considered when measuring its GHG footprint.
6. Reduction targets must be consistent with climate science. 🎯
For a climate strategy to be credible, the targets set must be consistent with climate science. In short, they must be sufficient to effectively contribute :
- to a + 1.5°C target for scopes 1 & 2 emissions ;
- to a short-term objective of 2°C for scope 3 emissions.
7. Companies must obtain concrete and rapid results in reducing their emissions. 📉
Let's be clear: companies must give themselves the means to achieve their ambitions. In fact, a climate strategy is only valid if it leads to the real reduction of its company's GHG emissions.
The defined transformation plan must therefore be actively piloted and monitored.
8. Companies must participate in the decarbonization of their ecosystem, by contributing to avoid as many emissions as possible. 👌
This is not just a matter of reducing their emissions alone: companies must contribute to the collective decarbonization effort, by developing a low-carbon strategy that is compatible with the 1.5°C objective - thus avoiding the pollution caused by their product when it's consumed, and by financing so-called "additional" emissions reductions (i.e. outside their value chain).
9. Businesses should support the proper development of carbon sinks. ✅
In addition to their action to reduce their emissions and contribute to the decarbonization of third-party actors (emission avoidance), companies are encouraged to contribute at their appropriate level to the sustainable sequestration of CO2 in carbon sinks. This should be a priority within their value chain.
10. Companies must communicate rigorously and honestly about their climate strategy. 💬
No more greenwashing. Companies must communicate transparently about their climate strategy.
In fact, they must focus on their concrete results, using precise indicators in order to promote a rigorous approach to climate-related issues.
👉 For more information concerning the Net Zero initiative, take a look at this document.
👀 Interested in becoming part of the Net Zero Initiative?
To find out more, check out the Net Zero Initiative site here.