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Three Ways to Help Leaders Address Sustainability Crisis




Climate is no longer just a science crisis, but a leadership crisis. There is a new urgency. The entire industry is at a crossroads and must transform, reform itself and remain competitive in a net-zero world. The consequences of negligence are rarely so dire.

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report, known as the “now or never” report, is predicted to be different in the future due to its urgency and sustainability crisis. .. Climate change, social inequity, complex value chains, and regulatory transparency make CEOs unable to afford to be too specific about climate. Now is the time to act, and leaders act in the context of these broader challenges, often understood through environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards, to ensure a just transition. Is important.

Sustainability and environmental impact have become paramount to executives around the world, and many are beginning to prioritize sustainable changes in how they operate. In a recent survey, 74% of executives believe that sustainability can drive business transformation.

But executives need help. 65% admit that they want to pursue sustainability efforts but don’t know how to do it.

There is no doubt that this call for action will take place during difficult times for business leaders. They address uncertainty about the global economy, geopolitical instability, and significant tensions on existing business models. If they continue to do business as usual, they will fall, and if they fail to transform, they will fall.

So how should leaders respond?

What is needed is a company-wide transformation large enough to pivot the entire industry. This leadership responsibility and opportunity needs to consist of three aspects.

Lead your company

Lead in the organization by challenging leadership, reaching all employees, and changing practices to identify the largest areas of action. Leaders are starting to take action. Based on a survey of 1,200 CEOs, Accenture found that more than 70% of CEOs are actively working to develop their net zero emissions targets. But we still have a long way to go. Sustainability must be at the core of the business and integrated into strategy, technology development, and employee involvement. Sustainability leadership can vary from organization to organization, and there are several different approaches to combat climate change. Having different perspectives and taking everyone together is the key to tackling this global challenge.

Leading the industry

Lead the industry by building common indicators, ensuring transparency, improving supply chains, and strengthening regulatory relationships. It is imperative that leaders work at the industry level to ensure that new sustainable models are adopted and successful. Sustainability is a data issue. Increased data visibility is essential to enable companies to make more informed and influential decisions. My company, Google Cloud, is a master class created in partnership with Intel that works on best practices across the industry, opens a platform for innovation, and shares the expertise of sustainability sort leaders, such as Sustainable IT – Decoded. Provides educational resources.

Lead the world

We are a world leader in knowing that corporate climate change measures go beyond the four barriers to everyday life. Veolia COO Estelle Brachlianoff has literally decades of advocacy and a list of great awards to prove it. Now let’s duplicate them and deploy them. Learn how to reduce food, water and energy waste and learn about the circular economy with tools such as Your Plan, Your Planet from Google, the California Academy of Sciences, and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

Related: First Carbon Neutral Utility

This conversion is possible. We have know-how, tools and technology. Look at Ørsted. Known as Don Energy in 2006, it was one of the most coal-consuming generators in Europe. In 10 years, Don has transformed into Ørsted, a green energy company that develops and operates wind and solar energy farms, energy storage and bioenergy plants and provides energy products.

Ørsted has been ranked by Corporate Knights as the world’s most sustainable energy company, and HBR has ranked that transformation as one of the top business transformations of the last decade. Most importantly, Ørsted’s transformation has reduced CO2 by 86% and doubled operating profit. The key success factors for their transformation are the CEO’s vision and leadership, especially the commitment to highly ambitious goals, the dramatic advances in technology, especially the leveled cost reduction of renewable energy, the ecosystem. For example, cooperation with partners.

Leaders face many competing priorities, but climate change affects us all and we need to take measured risks. More than two-thirds of executives believe that technology is essential to their commitment to future sustainability, and technology measures and reports on business transformation, broader socialization of initiatives, and the impact of their efforts. Prove to be useful. When it comes to solving urgent problems as big as climate change, we need strong leadership and true cooperation to make the progress we need to see.

Justin Keeble is Managing Director of Global Sustainability on Google Cloud.




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