The COVID-19 pandemic has underlined the need to ensure our economy is sustainable and resilient in the long term. It has reminded us how the biggest crises, whether medical or environmental, demand an ambitious and collective response. That is why it is our vision to help all our clients to set and achieve ambitious decarbonisation targets.
As we build and immunize our way back to health, and navigate a possible recession, renewable energy and sustainability must be at the heart of the recovery. The glimpse of fresher air, contrail-free skies, and a calmer, commute-free lifestyle for many people, means that many customers and stakeholders have got used to a new normal. Awareness of the next big, global challenge looming, is not far from everyone’s minds.
It has been heartening to see those companies with higher Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) score have performed better through the crisis. This echoes how post the 2008-9 financial crash, the country which emerged fasted from the financial ashes was South Korea, largely because it spent 70% of its recovery fund on green investments. Harnessing renewable energy and carbon efficiency could spur the post-pandemic economy while tackling climate crisis, and companies will play a leading role.
The net-zero transition, in particular, will offer plenty of opportunities for businesses that are proactive in the green agenda. By ‘going green,’ companies future-proof their business by cutting costs and hedging risk, and distinguishing themselves with their stakeholders and customers. When the UK Government first announced its legally binding 2050 net-zero target, it was regarded as world-leading. Aside from encouraging similar commitments from nations across the globe, the target will require businesses of all sizes and sectors to accelerate decarbonisation work. The 2050 deadline may seem far away, but it is a lot closer than people think as it can take time to develop a realistic, achievable strategy and even longer to implement it. Furthermore, investors will expect to see companies set a series of targets to reach along the way, such as reducing emissions by 50% by 2030. We help our clients to start their sustainability journey today by developing a long-term emissions reduction strategy that benefits both the climate and their bottom line.
According to the UN coalition, Race to Zero, over 1,000 companies have made the pledge to decarbonise. In the UK, a recent survey by BSI poll across all major sectors revealed 7 in 10 organisations have already made a formal net-zero commitment or are planning to do so (a recent survey of our clients produced similar results). However, 8 in 10 respondents feel they need more guidance to deliver net-zero, and 44% cited cost as the biggest barrier to decarbonisation. Net Zero sounds simple, but it’s not. Achieving net-zero is unique to each organisation and full of complexities. Any plan must also adapt and evolve in line with policy and innovation. Quite simply, we help our clients to make a net-zero master plan. One which will continue to adapt and evolve as you progress on your net-zero journey in line with policy and innovation. Throughout the process we keep their stakeholders engaged and ensure that hard data informs them as to the best technologies and approaches to tackle their biggest emission hotspots.
Whilst there is a growing, wide-spread commitment from business leaders to achieve net-zero by 2050, investors will expect to see companies set a series of targets to reach along the way, such as reducing emissions by 50% by 2030. We help our clients to create a robust, flexible plan to decarbonise. The first step of any net-zero engagement with our clients is to help you understand what Net Zero entails, map out where you currently stand, analysing the options, create a roadmap – preferably one that includes science-based targets – and implement strategies to achieve the plan. Keeping the plan flexible is key as technology and policy evolve. What won’t change is the science, and the need for urgent action.
Economists believe the renewable energy industry’s increasing ability to attract investment combined with public policy support and prices below those of fossil fuels, could spur growth, innovation and BUILD BACK BETTER employment whilst tackling the climate and air pollution crisis. As such, Renewable Energy is critical element of a company-wide ambition to reach net-zero emissions. Thanks to the RE100 initiative over 280 companies have set time-specific goals to reach 100% renewable energy. Alfa helps its clients to set targets that are aligned with the latest climate science. The costs of renewable energy production have de-coupled from fossil fuel prices and are likely to get cheaper in future’. Therefore, as well as being important for reducing emissions, renewable energy solutions can help you to achieve cost savings and assure an electricity price hedge.
Our vision is for our clients to go 100% renewable wherever this is practical – compensating Scope 2 emissions with certificates or green tariffs – and implement a long-term plan that allows our clients to takes advantage of the falling cost of renewables, shield against price volatility, and ensure new wind and solar assets are added to the grid. Solutions here include corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs) or on-site renewables, depending on their energy demand and facilities.
Business will play a pivotal role in powering a green economic recovery. We don’t want you to miss out.