Yesterday, I was called an innovative 'leader'. At the time I was sat amongst some smartly dressed professionals who've also signed up to the Net Zero Barnsley project.
Innovative leader? Truth is I'm actually more of an innovative 'stumbler'. In my quest to do the right thing for future generations, I find myself meandering into 'stuff' that seems to make sense. And it turns out (once you've filtered out political pot shots), this whole Net Zero malarky really does make sense.
What is Net Zero?
Net zero in the UK refers to the government's commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 100% from 1990 levels by 2050.
Every business in the UK is required by government legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 100 per cent (relative to 1990 levels) by 2050. Barnsley Council has set an earlier target of 2045. Hence Net Zero 2045.
What does it involve?
Businesses embarking on net zero in the UK, need to:
Set a net zero target. One that is aligned with the UK's net zero goal of 2050. They should also set interim targets to help them track their progress.
Measure and report their emissions. This is essential for businesses to understand their current emissions footprint and to identify where they can make reductions.
Develop a net zero plan. This should outline the specific actions that the business will take to reduce its emissions and achieve its net zero target. The plan should be regularly reviewed and updated to ensure that it is on track.
Implement the net zero plan. This will involve making changes to the business's operations, supply chain, and products or services. Businesses may need to invest in new technologies and infrastructure, and they may also need to change the way that they operate.
Engage with stakeholders. It is important for businesses to engage with their employees, customers, and suppliers on their net zero journey. This will help to build support for the transition and to ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal.
It's a LOT. I won't lie. BUT we ARE committed (we've the title of 'innovative leader' to live up to after all). When you (constantly) tell people to look at the problem as lots of small solvable problems, (instead of one big overwhelming mess)...you kind of have to follow your own advice.
What are we doing?
measuring our emissions. Using factors such as how much electric and water we use, how far our team travel to work, how much waste we generate (and how we deal with it) and how far our products travel etc.
setting a target. Our final target will fall in line with Net Zero Barnsley 2045.
developing a plan. Using information from measuring our emissions, we will identify the low hanging branches....the easy wins in our aim to be net zero. We already know we can do better simply by changing our lighting and updating our chillers to more energy efficient models.
implementing the plan. In other words - we're walking the walk. Not just talking the talk.
engaging with stakeholders. We'll be approaching our suppliers to discuss how they can help reduce our carbon emissions. Can we receive fewer deliveries for example, do they really need to put that product in thrupty billion layers of bubblewrap....
We're excited to be on the net zero fun bus. Honestly, it's a no brainer as practising what we preach is non-negotiable.