Employees are the key that can unlock your Net-Zero goals 

Why are employees key to meeting net zero targets?

In response to growing environmental concerns, companies are increasingly setting Net Zero targets and making sustainability commitments to reduce their company’s emissions.

Such commitments not only align with broader global efforts, as the world tries to halve emissions this decade to limit global warming to 1.5°C, but also reflects a recognition of the importance of corporate responsibility in fostering a sustainable future.

When looking to cut company emissions, many will start with the areas over which they have most control, such as their direct emissions (scope 1), or indirect emissions (scope 2). But scope 3 emissions are often the largest and most complex category of emissions for businesses, as they include a company’s supply chain as well as how customers use products and services. In short, the entire value chain. For most companies they are also the largest, therefore most influential and impactful, as they represent the potential for businesses to drive change and innovation in their sectors and markets.

This is also an area where employees need to be involved to help you meet these targets, both through their actions but also supplying you with the information needed to calculate current emissions.

75% of company emissions come from suppliers, customers, work travel and waste*
*75% refers to average company total scope 3 emissions

There are two key benefits, alongside cutting carbon, that are motivating the shift to sustainable behaviours at work:

  • Save money
  • Hit sustainability targets

And this is all against a backdrop of more and more groups taking an interest in what companies are doing to be more sustainable. This includes:

  • Regulators demanding more carbon emissions reporting and governments implementing policies and incentives to promote low carbon travel.
  • Employees wanting to work for companies with strong environmental credentials.
  • Customers / consumers looking for firms whose green values align with their own and who expect them to demonstrate their environmental responsibility in different ways.
  • Companies looking for suppliers who are measuring their own carbon emissions so they can be part of sustainable supply chains.

In short, there are many reasons to act.

What areas of sustainability can I focus on?

The first step that many companies take is to measure and report on emissions, then set targets and action plans to reduce them. Surveys can help see where emissions are coming from. In turn, this information helps companies understand the most impactful areas and come up with a plan focused on taking action, where it will count the most. Whilst this will vary greatly, dependent on your company industry, size and workforce, here are some of the most common areas on which to focus with employees:

  • Commuting
  • Business travel
  • Energy saving at work
  • Waste at work
  • Working from home

What are the next steps?

It’s clear employees need to be involved for companies to hit their sustainability targets, but it can sometimes be challenging to shift mindsets and effectively engage them.

We recently undertook a research project to find out what companies are doing to bridge the gap between sustainability strategies and employee action, and the current best practices used by market leaders to close the gap. This information is available in our new guide ‘How to align your teams with your sustainability goals‘. It includes:

  • Why employees are key to meeting Net Zero targets
  • Areas of sustainability you can focus on such as: Commuting, business travel, energy, waste and working from home
  • Practical suggestions and steps you can implement today
  • How to raise awareness and engage employees to get involved

Please, fill out the form to download the guide:

If you’re ready to start raising awareness about sustainability at work, inspiring employees and bringing teams together to support your sustainability goals, then chat to us about our employee engagement programmes. Delivered through challenges that inspire people to take action at work and at home. All supported by data and insights. We’ll work with you to deliver a customised programme that’s right for your culture, helping to shift mindsets and bring teams together to see the power of collective action. It’s fun too!

For more ideas and to run a work challenge to help employees understand the role they have to play in reducing company commuting emissions, get in touch.