Explained byWBCSD

Cascade a net zero strategy across your organization

In order to safeguard support and action towards your new targets, your organization must translate its net zero strategy into action:

1. Implement a coordinated internal launch campaign:

  • A voice from the top: communications directly from the most senior leadership (e.g. CEO) will demonstrate that net zero is core to the organization's future

  • Clarity of communication: strategy incorporating net zero ambition needs to be very clear for all organizational stakeholders; test the completeness of materials with smaller groups to ensure they are suitably comprehensive

  • Multiple touch points: training on the target details and revised strategy should take place over multiple months and through different sessions to give teams time to absorb and action changes

  • Two-way communication: communications should be established to both share new content and respond to questions. Leaders throughout the organization should be briefed in more detail with business unit specific context so they can respond to ad hoc questions within their departments

  • Energizing a new message: take time to create attractive materials, identify charismatic leaders as ambassadors, and find ways to excite presenters to ensure the strategy is introduced to teams with an inspiring energy

2. Incorporate targets within your organization performance management system

Net zero KPIs must be developed and linked to executives’ or board members’ remuneration to ensure targets are pursued with equal importance to other business priorities. Consider adopting best practices for integrating emissions into performance management systems:

  • At the business unit level, develop KPIs that cascade up to the broader net zero targets to ensure alignment and ownership

  • Create accountability for KPIs by assigning individual responsibility for delivering on progress

3. Create transparency on the targets

  • Develop metrics to track and reporting systems that highlight progress and challenges at each level of the organization (e.g. through a real time dashboard accessible to everyone)

  • Set KPIs to track key initiatives within the net zero plan

  • Streamline net zero KPI reporting with other central reporting with your company to make sure progress and challenges can easily be followed by management

  • Ensure data insights are actionable by 1) ensuring data is refreshed frequently enough to be relevant for decision making 2) developing analysis with decision makers to ensure relevance

4. Establish change inducing governance structures

Adopt organizational structures that have been used to successfully drive other types of transformations within your company. New structures will help implement new strategies by accelerating information sharing and decision making. Follow best practices for transformational governance structures:

  • Create an independent office to roll out net zero initiatives with ties to key business units involved in your net zero plan

  • Establish a direct reporting line to the CEO or other senior leadership to ensure rapid decision making, as well as early and sufficient resources

  • Create clear ownership for key initiatives within the net zero plan that aligns with appropriate decision making and context

  • Promote information sharing and meeting structures between net zero office and relevant business units where key transition activities are being implemented

  • Review progress against work plan with the net zero office and executive team and ensure flexibility in plans to adapt in early launch phases

5. Develop or acquire new capabilities

Hire or upskill the current team to ensure they are equipped to lead your organization through transition risks and opportunities (e.g. shifts in regulation, investor preferences, consumer behaviours, competition). Equip your team to better track emissions through digital tools in internal operations and supply chains.

6. Allocate sufficient resources

Net zero transitions require resources. The executive team should set clear targets for capital allocation for the transition and follow up, in order to ensure sufficient talent and operational capacity to deliver the strategy.