For organisations and businesses across the UK to reach net zero carbon emission targets by 2050 requires change at every level of trading and production. Achieving this goal involves instigating a top to bottom assessment of current ways of working alongside data gathering, process reviews and target setting. It’s a task that feels overwhelming for many businesses which is why they are turning to management consultancy to achieve this.
Net zero: what does it mean and why 2050
When the term net zero is used it means the greenhouse gases or carbon emissions produced by your activities across every facet of human life are negated. It is essentially the balance between the carbon that is emitted into the atmosphere and the carbon we remove. This balance when achieved is what is termed net zero and for this blog, we will discuss it in the context of how we operate our businesses. The UK government has set the year 2050 as the date for achieving net zero emissions as a realistic timeframe that takes into account how the action we need to take will impact the economy. That said, we would need to effect serious change by 2030 to get close to avoiding the ‘catastrophic’ 1.5 temperature rise by the year 2100.
Sustainability strategy and challenges
Increasingly businesses understand sustainable practices and carbon emissions are not simply about what they do in their offices or what they make in their commercial premises. To create serious change and meet net zero targets, organisations need to look much deeper at how they trade. This requires a full assessment of the value chain from start to finish so that sustainability is embedded into every single stage. It’s not just day-to-day responsible business practice, the roadmap to net zero requires examination of the design process, manufacturing, suppliers, subcontractors, transportation, and distribution all seen through the lens of sustainable practice and assessment of net zero targets.
It is easy to see why organisations are increasingly looking outside of their companies to management consultancy firms to advise on the way forward.
Using a management consultancy solution means bringing in creative and critical thinking to drive change and innovate. The benefit is the experience and understanding of the market as a whole and the ability to draw on other successes either within the client’s market or outside of the sector. Let’s look at some of the areas that need to be addressed and how management consultancy helps:
- Supply chain and sourcing
Advice on local and ethical sourcing for business. Reimagining supply chains through risk assessments informed through ESG criteria. Utilising supply networks that positively impact the local community as well as the business
- Production and manufacturing
Helping to develop sustainable product design to create sustainable business models. Considering Production power and decarbonisation solutions that align with the workforce.
- Technology to facilitate transparency and visibility
Utilising state-of-the-art technology that accelerates change and provides data capture and reporting that aids ESG analysis.
Developing logistics solutions strategies that encompass supply chain routes and electrification of transportation fleets.
The role of consultancies is therefore to provide assessment in the first instance, meaningful data and thereafter the knowledge of technology and responsible business practice that gives clients strategies and a route forward towards their net zero targets. By definition, a business does not trade in isolation and thus the common-sense approach is to utilise an experienced management consultant that can develop a joined-up strategy for their clients’ net zero journeys.