Climate change is a fundamental business issue that will only continue to increase in visibility and importance over time.
Climate change is a concern for both established global leaders and high growth companies. In a recent EY survey of global organizations with greater than US$25b market capitalization, 73% had made commitments to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.1
Leading organizations know the benefits of acting early. They have seized the opportunities and taken the risks and are now reaping the rewards. They are leveraging their climate change agenda to help generate revenue, reduce costs and meet stakeholders' expectations. They are:
- Proactively marketing their climate change strategies to enhance their brands
- Exploring emerging carbon market opportunities
- Seizing opportunities to offset reductions through existing carbon markets
- Taking full advantage of tax credits, grants and other incentives to encourage businesses to become more climate change friendly
If you are a leading organization, you likely have a coordinated program management effort in place to build on your strategy — and continually improve your efforts in response to the fast-changing environment. If you don't, there is a chance that others will soon take the lead.
If you haven't started yet, it's too late to act early. But it's not too late to act now. Here is a good place to start:
- Establish your current GHG baseline
- Adopt a framework for how to approach climate change
- Designate senior level accountability
- Determine your vision, direction, goals and plans
- Decide how you will execute and allocate resources
- Monitor, measure and improve as you learn
Climate change isn't going to slow its pace on its own. Rather, it will continue to accelerate until more than a small minority of leaders from all sides of the spectrum show the courage that's needed to make the tough decisions — the right decisions.
Viewing climate change as a transformational opportunity will only strengthen your organization and position it for future growth and success. Ignoring the issue or approaching it with ad-hoc initiatives means being left behind.
1 Internal research gathered through conversations with EY Office of the Chairman clients across 16 industries.