As companies worldwide brace for an imminent shift towards mandatory sustainability reporting standards, one question looms large: will organisations choose to merely comply with the new regulations or seize this opportunity to further integrate sustainable practices into their strategies?
Businesses will find themselves downstream of climate legislation, and as awareness of the climate crisis grows, investors and consumers are increasingly demanding that businesses disclose their carbon emissions and energy usage.
For many businesses, this presents an opportunity to benchmark their performance against their peers and identify opportunities for improvement. In some cases, disclosing energy data can also be a key step towards achieving climate-related goals such as energy efficiency or net zero emissions.
How to best prepare for climate regulations
Making sustainability KPIs central to your strategy
To become a net zero and energy-efficient business, consider harnessing the power of key performance indicators (KPIs). From reducing emissions to cutting water and energy usage, as well as improving waste diversion – selecting effective sustainability indicators can help your organisation reach its green goals while positively impacting procurement decisions.
Nurturing sustainability throughout your organisation is essential to achieving net zero emissions. To reach this ambitious target you must empower and equip your team with the capabilities they need to succeed through training, mentorship, and an internal group of experts leading a new strategy for long-term success.
Establishing a sustainable culture
It is essential for c-suite-level stakeholders commit to net zero objectives and set appropriate expectations from the outset. Sustainable culture must be nurtured as your organisation grows and changes to see success when onboarding new colleagues, partners and other stakeholders.
An organised structure will create a framework of expectations in order to achieve long-term sustainable goals. When done right, this structure can facilitate effective communication between team members of differing levels within the organisation. This will support stakeholder and partner engagement in line with agreed sustainability goals that have been relayed through a common cultural narrative.
Knowing sustainability reporting frameworks
It is important to understand the different reporting frameworks available and how they can help your company achieve its sustainability goals. Understanding these frameworks ensures that you can accurately report on outcomes to external stakeholders, based on clear and consistent standards.
Even more importantly, evaluating which framework is most suited to your business operations allows you to go beyond simply reporting by integrating sustainability into your company’s short-term goals and long-term strategy. In short, having an awareness of the framework options out there and using the right one is essential for any business looking to remain competitive and make an impact in their industry.
Adopting a scenario-based approach to sustainability
The scenario-based approach to climate projections and risk assessment is the best practice way to stay prepared for future scenarios. It is promoted by the Taskforce for Climate-related Financial Disclosures, as it allows for agility in decision making and helps to better prepare for changes in scenarios.
This approach enables organisations to develop robust strategies that are resilient to change. It also provides valuable insights into possible scenarios which can improve a company’s understanding of climate risks. With a better understanding of the potential scenarios, businesses can gain a competitive edge by anticipating and capitalising on opportunities ahead of competitors.
Staying current on environmental laws helps ensure compliance and protect your organisation’s reputation. Specifically, business benefit by staying up to date about the applicable environmental laws to:
- Participate in the consultation of future legislation. For example, the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive will become official at the start of 2023.
- Avoid sanctions, fines, and penalties if they do not abide by mandatory regulation.
- Demonstrate responsible corporate environmental performance.
- Implement necessary preventive and corrective actions to avoid negative impacts on the environment.
- Foster the improvement of corporate sustainability.
- Improve corporate public image.