Recently, as a business, we took it upon ourselves to develop our understanding of the climate crisis the world is currently facing – it’s in the news every day, it impacts our daily lives, it’s brought up in casual conversations with friends, and it’s something businesses are having to address and discuss in the public forum.
As part of our product offering with Salesforce Net Zero Cloud, we are advising businesses on how to measure their carbon footprint to enable them to report on it and start making reductions. How can we really do this without really understanding all the factors that drive climate change? So, we needed to learn more ourselves.
We started out learning about the common terms used. Do you know the difference between Climate Crisis and Global Warming? Can you explain the difference between Carbon Neutral and Net Zero? Would you know what changes you can make that have the biggest impact? It’s easy to get a bit overwhelmed and lost about what we can do, and we were in the same boat.
One of the key takeaways from the session was a better understanding of the climate “buzzwords” that get thrown around – for example, why is it now a climate crisis when it used to be global warming? Or climate change? And these are still used widely across the globe but as time has passed, so has the way we’ve viewed the challenges we face. Global warming for example gave the implication everywhere was getting hotter – but then how could it possibly cause a snowstorm and a sudden drop in temperatures in places? The fact is that these have still been caused by climate change and even whilst temperatures occasionally drop in places, our average temperature has continued to climb over the years as shown below.
(Image courtesy of showyourstripes.info)
So global warming, climate change, climate crisis all relate to the same global challenge we are currently facing; that the temperature is continuing to rise, causing more and more natural disasters around the world.
This has caused the world, and businesses in particular, to start looking internally to the part the have to play in reducing emissions and ensuring our planet does not warm up more than 1.5 degrees. By restricting this temperature increase, we are aiming to stop the severe climate disruptions that the world could face.
As such, we’ve started seeing more and more language coming from companies who are attempting to be “greener” and more “eco-friendly” or “sustainable”. Two phrases that have come out are “Carbon Neutral” and “Net Zero” but what are the differences? Well firstly they both show us that a brand is looking to take responsibility for their carbon footprint. The key difference though is that Carbon Neutral is where a company will look to offset their emissions by investing in measures that then counterbalance the emissions they cause. Whereby in contrast, Net Zero is the aim to completely remove one’s carbon emissions so to have an output of 0. This was a huge shift in understanding as a business as whilst Carbon Neutral is easier and will slow down the rate at which we hit 1.5 degrees, all businesses should be aiming in the future for Net Zero to ensure that we leave little to no impact on the planet we are living on.
Part of this change will be largely down to how we generate and consume energy. Renewable energy is by no means a new science anymore, but how quickly can countries and large businesses adapt? Who will pick up the torch and blaze a trail for us all to follow through more sustainable and renewable sources. A look at the map below will give you an indication of how far we have to go as a planet.
(Image courtesy of ElectricyMaps.com)
Other elements of our Carbon Literacy training were more technical – a review of what our carbon intensity was: the quantity of emissions over the revenue generated as a business. Something all businesses will be investigating - whilst they want revenue to continue to grow, they will need to put in measures to reduce the amount of emissions per £ made.
Over the coming years a lot is going to change – it simply has to.
As a business we are putting ourselves at the forefront of this change, in a hope that we can support business transformation through Salesforce Net Zero Cloud and help businesses measure, understand, and then reduce their Scope 1, Scope 2, and Scope 3 emissions.