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Four actions businesses can take now to transform to net zero

28th September 2023 Transform to Net Zero 3 min read

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The theme of Climate Week NYC 2023 was We Can. We Will. As the Masterclass Series Partner, Transform to Net Zero brought some of that can-do energy in two action-oriented Masterclasses, supporting company executives to identify tangible actions they can use when they return to their businesses.

During Masterclass 1 on ‘Accelerating business-wide transformation to net zero’, Mark Kroese, General Manager for Sustainability Solutions in Microsoft’s Environmental Sustainability, Microsoft shared how sustainability has been embedded across the functions throughout the company to achieve corporate level targets.

“For any organization’s environmental sustainability journey, it is critical to set commitments, develop a strategy, and build an operational roadmap—all while measuring progress and ensuring accountability. We’ve learned a lot over the last three years of Microsoft’s sustainability journey, and we hope that sharing our approach can help other organizations as they develop their own roadmap,” said Melanie Nakagawa, CSO, Microsoft, ahead of the event.

Noel Kinder, CSO, Nike, Inc. shared how the company’s sustainability strategy is driven by its key environmental impact areas, and how its Science Based Targets are translated into actions by each team.

Masterclass 2, ‘Engaging with suppliers to reduce Scope 3 emissions’, generated lively discussions with procurement and supply chain leaders. Lisa Martin, CPO, GSK and Susan Kenniston, Global Head and VP Sustainability, Wipro presented their targeted approaches to supporting suppliers to measure, manage and reduce their emissions.

Four actions from the Masterclasses:
1. Use EDF’s Net Zero Action Accelerator to identify actions on the pathway to net zero, choosing actions relevant for your business.
Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) unveiled the Net Zero Action Accelerator at Climate Week NYC, a new climate action hub to help businesses fast track and scale climate progress, reach their sustainability goals and galvanize net zero leadership across supply chains. The Net Zero Action Accelerator prioritizes the highest-impact climate solutions for companies, across six industries.

2. Categorize the highest-impact climate solutions, e.g. implementing a building management system, installing on-site renewables, or decarbonizing owned and leased vehicles, by the following categories in order to make a transformation plan:
- Prioritize – Actions with high emissions reduction and easy internal buy-in
- Build case – Actions with high emissions reduction and difficult internal buy-in
- Plan for later – Actions with low emissions reduction and easy internal buy-in
- Wait – Actions with low emissions reduction and difficult internal buy-in

3. Identify Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions hotspots. “At GSK, we’re committed to a net zero, nature positive, healthier planet, with ambitious goals set for 2030 and 2045. These will help make GSK more resilient, protect our supply chains, help us adapt ahead of anticipated regulation change and provide potential growth opportunities as demand increases for low-carbon medicines and vaccines. In pursuing sustainability, it is essential to methodically identify Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions hotspots. By thoroughly examining and prioritizing these emissions sources, we can foster collaboration across sectors, offer targets support to suppliers, and recognize the fundamental link between nature and climate. Only through this comprehensive approach, can we pave the way for a more sustainable future,” said Lisa Martin, CPO, GSK.

4. Engage with suppliers on Scope 3. Use the Supplier Transformation Framework to a) assess suppliers’ climate performance; b) train supply chain and procurement functions on climate-related issues; and c) provide suppliers with targeted decarbonization support.
“We share the Transform to Net Zero Supplier Transformation Framework with all of our clients to help them reduce their emissions, as it acts as a very good common language. We work with all of our suppliers in helping them through the phases of maturity in the Framework,” said Susan Kenniston, Global Head and VP Sustainability, Wipro.

The Supplier Transformation Framework is available online and to download here.

Transform to Net Zero is the Masterclass Series Partner for Climate Week NYC. Catch up with all the action from Climate Week NYC and watch on demand now. 

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