Six Actions to Accelerate Decarbonisation
Making a public decarbonisation commitment is an important first step — but is only a first step, not a standalone goal.
Having a corporate decarbonisation goal has become common. Nearly two-thirds of the organisations in ENGIE Impact’s research say they have now made some form of public commitment or target to address carbon emissions reduction within their organisation.
Corporate decision-makers increasingly recognise that to achieve their ambitious decarbonisation targets takes sustained effort, investment, and strong leadership. For some organisations, decarbonisation may even require a multi-decade approach.
For most organisations today, the biggest barrier to effective decarbonisation is not a lack of organisational will. Instead, the biggest barriers centre on the very
practical implementation activities and decisions required to achieve meaningful decarbonisation: budget allocation, organisation structure, and supply chain issues.
ENGIE Impact has commissioned independent research among 505 senior corporate decision-makers, each of whom have responsibility for making or influencing decisions regarding decarbonisation strategy and/or implementation within their organisation. All respondents are from organisations that employ more than 10,000 people globally, and the 505 research respondents represent a range of industry sectors.
What are the six actions organisations can take to achieve greater impact?
- Maintain Long-Term Focus and Belief
Organisations should double-down on their decarbonisation resource allocation now and turn short-term volatility into long-term competitive advantage. Strong leadership can disrupt the cycle of short-termism when measuring ROI on decarbonisation investment. Cutting decarbonisation funding when the momentum for change is building is a mistake.
- Establish Governance and Accountability
While there is no single correct approach to building decarbonisation capabilities, our survey shows many organisations empowering local or functional decision-makers to embrace decarbonisation solutions. Every organisation should establish a model that will deliver maximum return on decarbonisation investments.
- Close the Implementation Expectation Gap
There is a misalignment between the expectations of senior executives and those responsible for implementing decarbonisation initiatives, threatening to derail future progress. Successful organisations have realigned their executive vision with their operational know-how to unlock their decarbonisation firepower.
- Increase Executive Accountability
Empty corporate promises and limited follow-through increases the risk of greenwashing accusations. It is vital for executives to be held accountable for the success of their organisation’s decarbonization activities, treating carbon reduction commitments as seriously as financial targets.
- Activate the Right Decarbonisation Enablers
Executives need to make sure they are using all the tools at their disposal to accelerate decarbonisation impact. Our research reveals three enablers will become increasingly important between now and 2025: innovative finance models, carbon pricing, and investing in decarbonization data maturity.
- Collaborate with Supply Chains
Successful decarbonisation leaders recognize they cannot achieve long-term carbon reduction on their own. Implementing shared incentives and joint interest initiatives by partnering closely with supply chain organisations is a necessary step for addressing Scope 3 carbon emissions.