Harnessing the lessons of Covid-19 to restart the zero-carbon journey

Covid-19 has meant that businesses worldwide have lost valuable time in their carbon-reduction programmes. Of course, returning from the lockdown requires the health and well-being of employees to be prioritised above all else. But beyond this, there are huge challenges in getting the UK’s net zero project back on track.

Kevin Dibble, ENGIE’s CEO - Energy Supply Division,  recently spoke to Future Net Zero  about  the Net Zero reset and discussed how as businesses rebuild, we must harness the lessons of this crisis, and put zero carbon at the heart of the economic recovery – ensuring we avoid an even greater global crisis.

 Many businesses have already recognised this, and more than 200 leading UK companies, investors and organisations have jointly called for a green coronavirus recovery plan.  In an open letter to the UK government, they stated: “The current crisis, in moving us all away from business-as-usual, has already created shifts in how we operate, and we believe we must use the recovery to accelerate the transition to net zero. Efforts to rescue and repair the economy in response to the current crisis can and should be aligned with the UK's legislated target of net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest.”

Recently, in an extended edition of its annual assessment of progress towards the UK’s decarbonisation targets, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) called on the government to embark swiftly on a major green investment drive to deliver a resilient recovery from Covid-19 and lay the foundations for a net zero economy.

 So, what can businesses do to ensure that carbon reduction is an integral part of their economic recovery in the wake of Covid-19? The first step is to assess the scale of the problem – to measure carbon emissions associated with business operations and understand where they originate. Organisations then need to assess all the possible options to develop a clear roadmap for achieving carbon-reduction targets. Technology and collaboration are key ingredients, alongside flexible energy management, green sourcing, smart technology, and a commitment to drive change.

The good news is that measures to reduce carbon emissions can support cost savings and operational efficiencies that will benefit businesses in the long term. Sustainable economic recovery has to be the priority for businesses of all sizes, and there are many ways this can be achieved while managing short-term costs and ensuring businesses have the funds they need as they take their first steps back from the crisis.

 Read the full piece on Future Net Zero here

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