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Embed climate ambition within your organization's purpose and strategy

To be successful, your climate ambition should be part of your organization’s DNA. This is a pre-requisite to ensure your organization can deliver, for two main reasons:

  • Prioritization and securing of resources to meet climate targets: having your targets considered at the same level of importance as other types of targets set by your organization will be crucial to securing financing

  • Building the foundations to support your organization mindset shift: i.e. not only piloting pure decarbonization efforts but creating a long-lasting competitive advantage under creative constraints

Follow net zero strategy integration best practices and case study lessons learned below:

Best practice:

1. Educate strategy leaders on climate

Expose your management team and directors to the fundamentals of climate science and economics. Your team’s strategy leaders need to understand climate and the projected net zero transition implications to fully integrate your net zero into your business strategy.

  • Host a climate workshop for senior leadership to understand growing net zero commitments within the business communities and future implications

  • Identify key climate summits with relevant industry networks and send senior team members to network and better contextualize sectors climate moves

2. Build an agenda for integrating net zero into strategy

Task management with planning and integrating your net zero ambition into the business’s strategy. Frequent updates will be required, given the fast-changing nature of climate science, regulation and market dynamics.

  • Establish a sub-committee within the executive committee responsible for delivering a net zero integration plan to reconcile your decarbonization journey with your organizational strategy

  • Integrate net zero integration status updates into standing leadership meetings to ensure that progress is continually shared and updated, as appropriate

3. Emphasize offense over defense in net zero strategy

Net zero’s integration should address defensive moves such as retiring or repurposing assets with high carbon intensity, but should not overlook aligned growth opportunities. In particular, your strategy should pursue merger and acquisition opportunities and scale up nature-based solutions, such as reforestation.

  • Conduct a competitive market scan to understand competitor actions on net zero and where there are openings for differentiation that align with your organization's core competencies (e.g. R&D, operational excellence)

  • Consider merger and acquisition activity to acquire key talent to accelerate the transition or technologies that could create differentiation on your net zero journey to provide a strategic advantage

4. Build capacity for innovation

Given the unpredictability of the net zero transition, when embedding your ambition into the broader business strategy, your management team should consider the need to build innovative capacity. Your company's ability to succeed in net zero will depend on its ability to adopt new processes and technologies and adapt to new climate policies.

  • Upskill workforce through training to ensure the team is well equipped to perform (e.g. digital toolkit for tracking emissions data)

  • Invest in agile working structures to help teams adapt to net zero changes with greater fluidity, faster decision making and more innovation