The active involvement of the business world has a crucial role to play in protecting the environment, facing major challenges such as the fight against climate change, the protection of biodiversity and respect for the environment and waste management through the promotion of the circular economy.
For years we have been talking about the important role of business in the fight to curb climate change and the negative impact we as a society have on the environment. But it has only been in recent years, driven by the pandemic, scientific consensus and financial analysts, that companies have become aware of the real risk that climate poses to their business models.
The 2015 Paris Agreement marked an undisputed milestone in this direction, further reinforced by COP26, and the institutions committed to curbing the rise in global temperature below 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels.
Targets to 2030 to curb climate change
Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions must be reduced by 45% by 2030, and be zero-net by 2050. In this direction, the European Union has made an ambitious bid to bring the continent to carbon neutrality by 2050 with the European Green Pact.
In this context, companies have limited time to act. All sectors in all markets need to transform.
Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions must be reduced by 45% by 2030, and be zero-zero by 2050.
A number of international climate action initiatives are leading the way in supporting companies on their path to net zero. Among them is the Science Based Targets, which allows them to determine how much and how fast they need to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to prevent the worst effects of climate change by setting short- to medium-term targets to achieve zero-net.
Scope 3 emissions, the big stumbling block
A path that is certainly not without its difficulties. Reaching zero-net does not only imply acting on the scope 1 and 2 of the emissions of a company, but also on its scope 3, those emissions that come from a company's supply chain and therefore over which it has indirect control.
Scope 3 emissions are those that come from the supply chain and therefore over which the company has indirect control.
This will require not only proper supply chain management, but also a profound economic transformation across the entire business sector. This will be driven by technological advances and the redefinition of the global energy sector that will increase the maturity of sustainability integration in companies of all sizes.
The transformation process in which the business sector finds itself is unstoppable. Many large companies have already started to leading the way and the risk of inaction may even have an impact on their survival.
However, it is not only large companies that need to transform. Urgent action is also needed by SMEs which, due to their own operational context, face an unquestionable challenge that they will have to overcome in the coming years.