The decarbonization of the economy is not as catastrophic as some may think at first, but it is definitely not an easy road either. It is precisely this duality that we will be exploring below.
We can no longer turn our backs to the need for decarbonizing our economy. In fact, it has been a long time since this was the case. But with the effects of climate change being more prevalent than ever and people’s demands starting to shape the market, companies have no other choice but to look at sustainability in the eye and help guide change.
Nonetheless, aligning companies, big and small, form all across the globe won’t be easy. Most of the time, companies don’t even know where to begin with their sustainability and decarbonization strategies. Understanding what decarbonization implies (what it is and what it isn’t) is the first step.
What is the decarbonization of the economy?
Decarbonization, as the word itself suggests, is the process by which CO2 emissions thrown into the atmosphere resulting from human activity are reduced. The most ambitious goal yet is to, at some point, get rid of CO2 emissions overall.
Ideally, the first step towards decarbonization is to transform the way in which we produce and later consume energy into renewable sources, or at the very least low carbon energy sources.
We need to decarbonize our economy, this is, the way in which we produce and consume goods and services, as it is the only possible way out of climate disaster. If temperatures keep rising climate destabilization will likely begin to have more dangerous and stronger consequences. It is therefore one of the most important processes to reach international climate targets.
Just because it is a necessary and fair transition does not mean it won’t be costly.
Decarbonization in companies
Each company, each industry, and each context will require its own specific solutions for decarnonizing their production processes. So today we will avoid giving any tips on how to start such a journey; instead, we want to focus on what the current reality for decarbonization in the corporate world implies:
It won’t be cheap
An assumption made too many times, and often encouraged by someñ, is that transforming our economy towards low carbon or renewable sources will not only be easy, but also cheap. Unfortunately, this is not the case generally speaking. Just because it is a necessary and fair transition does not mean it won’t be costly.
Our entire system and economic progress is based upon the emission of carbon and other similarly damaging green house gasses. Consequently, the transformation of a given company into a sustainable one, in terms of decarbonization, would require a change in its infrastructure. This is, it won’t be a light transition and it will take significant human and economic resources.
It won’t fix everything
Unfortunately the damage endured by our beloved mother earth is far beyond that which we can fix by solely getting rid of vast carbon emissions from our economy. The same economic system that has endured CO2 emissions, as we mentioned above, is also responsible for other key factors of the climate crisis such as environmental exploitation, destruction of habitats, or pollution, just to name a few.
As much as decarbonization will most definitely offer a bit of rest to our atmosphere, the relationship of the economy (therefore companies) with nature needs to change in order to provide our entire environment with space to restore itself and breath again.
Not everything is bad news
We don’t want to end this on a bad not, because we don’t believe everything is just doomed for companies to fight climate change and achieve decarbonization. In fact, we belive companies have one of the most powerful resources out there for a more sustainable future: people.
What are companies but a group of cooperative individuals working towards a common objective? Isn’t that what we need to fight climate disaster? Cooperation among individuals to work towards a common goal: sustainability.
The amount of time we spent working throughout our lives, and the power of bringin together so many people with all kinds of backgrounds is what makes the workplace the perfect place for taking action against the threat of climate change.
In DoGood we have developed a corporate government tool that helps establish ESG impact objectives for employees in regards to the sustainability strategy of the company. Through our technology we are able to activate and track employees’ impact, creating engagement that translates into improved ESG metrics, reputational value and an overall positive impact for the environment and society.
If you want to know more about how we work to create a positive social and environmental impact, click here.