Signals #7 – Carbon Neutrality

Challenge

  • Excellent products are no longer enough. Customers demand sustainability.

Opportunity

  • Grow faster than the competition with carbon neutral products and services.

Get Started

  • Develop a simple action plan towards sustainability:
  • 1. Measure your emission footprint.
  • 2. Set a target:
    • Lower absolute emissions
    • Lower relative emissions (per employee, per product, per unit of revenue)
    • Go carbon neutral
    • Go carbon negative
  • 3. Reduce first. Target low-hanging fruit:
  • 4. Offset the remainder.
    • It’s hard to reach net zero or go negative without carbon offsets. Make sure you buy high-quality offsets. And be aware of the problems: your carbon offset forest might burn.
  • 5. Get certifiedand spread the word to your customers. Keep the data and evaluation processes open.

Tools

Pros

Cons

  • Greenwashing is still a problem. Don’t hide behind the green curtain. Play the long game and stay true to your customers.
  • Carbon easily gets the most attention. There are also opportunities in reducing methane emissions, nitrous oxides and plastic waste.

Cases

Forecast

  • Sustainable products will continue to outperform: they grew 7.1x faster during 2015-2019 than standard products. There are no signs of this trend ending anytime soon.
  • Customers will increasingly call out vague promises and lack of proof. Case in point: H&M’s Conscious Collection.
  • Companies list reputation as the main reason and customer demands as the secondary reason that fuels climate action.

Resources

Takeaways​

  • Customers are increasingly demanding and purchasing sustainable products and services. These products can be sold at a premium.
  • The high-level action plan for lowering emissions is simple: measure, set goals, reduce, offset, get certified.
  • Don’t take shortcuts and fake climate actions. You’ll be called out and might suffer reputation damage.