Boston Consulting Group
Explained byBoston Consulting Group

Drive upskilling beyond your organization

How to upskill your ecosystem and customers

Though building your climate abilities begins within your own organization, it should not be limited to this. Your ecosystem – suppliers and customers in particular – will play a significant role in achieving your climate ambition and, therefore, upskilling beyond your organization is a critical part of your Net Zero journey.


Upskilling your suppliers is an essential component of decreasing your upstream Scope 3 emissions. Your company should consider providing educational and technical support, as well as sharing best practices with its suppliers. For example, Danone provides training programs for farmers within their supply chain to improve costs and shift to sustainable farming practices (1) p32. Your company can also help suppliers identify value-generating efficiency opportunities and co-invest in their climate efforts to help them get started. You should also encourage your suppliers to come forward with innovative solutions and be a part of your climate solution. This will not only address your Scope 3 emissions, but in many instances will also result in cost savings for your suppliers and will almost certainly foster a strong relationship based on trust and mutual value. For more information, see Reduce 2.3: Decarbonize your upstream value chain.

Partners and ecosystem

To support broader, industry-wide decarbonization, your company could support industry associations, non-profit organizations, and partnerships dedicated to promoting and sharing decarbonization related knowledge. For example, AP Moller-Maersk has pushed the shipping industry forward on climate action through sector-wide climate initiatives (2) p33. In 2020, Maersk joined several partners, including shipping companies, environmental groups, and government organizations, to create the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping, an independent research and development center focused on decarbonizing the shipping industry (3). For more information, see Reduce 4.3: Partner with others in your ecosystems.


Finally, your business can also engage its customers in their climate efforts. This includes educating customers on how to properly use and dispose of products to maximize their usable lifetimes and minimize emissions and waste, as well as raising awareness of your company’s climate transformation efforts. This also helps reduce your Scope 3 downstream emissions. For example, you can encourage your customers to recycle their batteries, or create a buy-back scheme for used items to be incorporated in your new products. For more information, see Reduce 2.3: Decarbonize your downstream value chain.