There are a number of things that corporations can do to limit global warming. Never before has corporate leadership been more important. Never before have the stakes been so high and never before have the potential returns been as large.
Corporations must play a leadership role in the effort to keep temperatures from exceeding the upper threshold limits (1.5°C-2°C above preindustrial norms).
As brands, as corporate citizens, and as competitors seeking market share corporations cannot afford to ignore climate change. From interupted value chains, to supply shortages and property losses, climate change is a direct threat.
According to a recent CDP report disclosure is the first step. Corporations must monitor and track their carbon emissions. As stated in the report, “Meaningful action starts with transparency”
However, the real work is about greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction. To stave off the worst impacts of climate change corporations must radically slash the amount of GHGs they emit into the atomosphere.
Although many corporations have already set emissions reduction targets they are not setting the bar high enough. “Setting more ambitious targets is vital”, states the CDP. We need to ratchet up ambitions because the current corporate emissions reductions targets are simply not enough. Companies need to develop longterm science-based targets. While these targets must be ambitious the CDP cautions that they must also be realistic.
An internal carbon pricing scheme is an efficient way of quantifying emissions reduction. By internalizing the external cost of GHGs corporations can make targeted cuts based on real-world data.
In addition to reducing their own GHGs corporations must look for opportunities to cut emissions throughout their entire value chain.
Collaboration with others can also be helpful. Inviting input from diverse stakeholders can yield useful feedback, insights and information.
Investing in research and development is among the most important of all corporate activities. These are the efforts that yeild gamechanging breakthroughs. These are the tehnological and paradigmatic innovations that will ultimately shape the world of tomorrow.