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Louis Collinet

March 8, 2021

carbon strategy

What is preventing companies from
taking action against climate change?

 

 

As Millenials, we are the first generation born knowing our lifestyle's weight on the planet. Although I thought of blaming my parents for their lack of action, today, being a father, I've come to understand that we will be part of the blamed generation. Adults, with jobs and responsibilities. Some even pretty neat ones with meaningful charges at outstanding companies. Maybe it's time for us to leverage our experience to move the lines. Long story made short: we have to act. I refuse to be held responsible and have to find a way to explain "why?" to my grandchildren … All things considered, it's way easier to act than to experience flashback flame or backlash in the future from our children and family.

 

Today, climate sceptics are the exception. Most companies acknowledge the situation, the risks and the potential consequences. In our collective unconscious, when a problem that might impact our lives so dramatically is identified, we fix it, or at least we try. If I'm detected with cancer, I will try to fight and cure it even though no miracle solution exists yet. In our case, why are companies not acting on climate change? Problems have been identified, risks are widely documented (pretty scary ones), and solutions exist; however, the action leaves much desired. Why? 

 

After 18 months building Tapio, I met and interviewed over 100 companies (SMEs, listed corporations, international NGOs, SaaS, natural-based solutions, green-tech, etc.). I started to identify a pattern as to why companies are so slow to respond to the climate situation. 

 

First, companies face a massive lack of internal competencies. Fixing climate change is not part of their core business. It is a resource they have to acquire, develop or hire for. As we can imagine, they already have work to do. So, as long as they can avoid it, some will. Who are we to blame? Luckily, climate change is becoming a pressing priority due to public and government pressure.

 

Then, when they decide to act, they face an incredibly complex universe of standards, calculation protocols, external auditors, a wide variety of solutions, regulations and frameworks—highlighting a lack of human and financial resources. They have to find a way to act with precision and quickly on their main emission driver(s). They have to move forward step by step, and the first step is the most important one and the most complex one.

 

Eventually, the process takes place in a changing environment. Indeed, mentality and regulation are evolving, luckily for the better but still evolving. Companies do not know the destination, and they just started to accept they'll have to start the journey. This adds a layer of uncertainty to the whole process. How to measure which action is worth taking if you do not know the exact goal or how results will be calculated? Companies are blind sailing on an unpredictable ocean.

 

To conclude, highlighting the problems does not mean we defend inaction. If we remember, one thing from primary school is that "you have to read and understand the problem statement to respond to it". Now that we roughly know the issues let's act.

 

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At Tapio, we've developed our Carbon Strategy Platform attempting to take action as easy and efficient as possible; removing external blockers, like the ones mentioned above. Our goal is to build the tools that will allow your company to take responsibility and transform your carbon-related commitments into reality. Together, let's walk the talk.


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