Goal 13 Impact Platform

Goal 13 Impact Platform

Goal 13 Impact Platform: emerging findings

How companies are managing the transition to a low-carbon, resilient and valuable future

The Goal 13 Impact Platform partnership aims to stimulate cross-sector collaboration by providing pragmatic and transparent information about the most impactful climate related initiatives in place, highlighting significant gaps in progress, and encouraging more ambitious commitments and action.

Executive summary

The Goal 13 Impact Platform is the result of a partnership between Deloitte, the Confederation of British Industry, Chapter Zero, The Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project, Dell Technologies and the Met Office. The goal is to accelerate progress in the climate transition, in order to reduce emissions and enhance resilience. We aim to do this by publishing company insights, inspiring further climate commitments and action, and facilitating collaboration.

The partners have undertaken research with c.100 companies to date, with respondents including strategy, sustainability, finance, and procurement leaders, executives, and board directors. Interviews have captured company-specific insights into climate commitments, the organisation of climate programmes, the most impactful initiatives, their climate and commercial impact, barriers to progress and lessons learned. The purpose of this report is to share the emerging insights from interviews to date.

Key findings

Commitments are becoming more ambitious, but more is needed to increase their scale and scope.

The net-zero commitments are typically more recent, longer-term, and represent bolder ambition than the absolute carbon reduction targets. However, only approximately half of the headline carbon reduction targets appear to be science-based targets, and more than half of the companies define their targets within a limited boundary.

Companies are feeling pressure from all stakeholders.

More than half of respondents talk about broader societal shifts or implications for brand and reputation as drivers for change, reflecting the growing expectation for companies to be credible players in the climate transition. Customers are seen as the strongest influence across both B2B and B2C companies. Consumers are expecting brands to offer climate-friendly products and services as their own consumption behaviours change, and business customers are looking to decarbonise their own supply chains due to regulation or pressure from stakeholders.

In many cases the climate programmes remain siloed, although many are working to embed programmes better across the business.

The report identifies four stages of programme maturity, on the basis of four factors: the positioning of the agenda in the organisation, the scope of action across mitigation and adaptation, who is involved and the level of coordination, and management between different climate related activities. The largest concentration of companies is at the earlier stages of maturity.

Companies are primarily focusing on their operations, but supplier and customer engagement is increasingly important.

A significant proportion (c.45%) of initiatives mentioned by respondents impact their own operations, such as energy efficiency in buildings and production, fleet efficiency and waste reduction. However, there is growing recognition of opportunities to market and monetise low-carbon products and services, with c.40% of initiatives impacting customer or consumer-facing activity. There is also recognition of the need to focus on closer engagement with suppliers. However, significant barriers remain to implementing these initiatives, including supply chain fragmentation and issues with data transparency and consistency.

Unclear policy roadmaps, industry structures and other barriers are inhibiting progress.

The most frequently cited external barrier is an uncertain policy and regulatory environment. This leads to concerns around, for example, who will pay for the significant costs of upgrading assets to meet new regulations, and the future cost scenarios for different types of energy. Coherent policy across jurisdictions is also an issue for those with significant international footprints. Industry structure often creates challenges, and there are concerns about the differences between geographic markets, a lack of shared responsibility up and down the value chain, a lack of consistency in defining scopes and measuring across companies, and reliance on markets or sectors that are still nascent. 

Progress is reliant on extensive collaboration, both internally and across the value chain.

The importance of collaboration across the supply chain, and with policy makers, customers and peers, cannot be overstated. This has proven to be invaluable for sharing learning, developing joint projects and propositions, innovating existing and nascent technologies (e.g. in hydrogen, EVs), and adapting existing technologies for climate actions.

Progress is clearly underway, but more is required to trigger systemic change.

Momentum is building to deliver large-scale climate action and there is a real sense of optimism. However, delivering on the Paris Agreement will require more ambitious company commitments and action. Moving up the maturity curve requires companies to build capabilities in areas including data and technology to baseline their carbon footprint and prioritise areas of focus, scenario modelling to determine the unique risks and opportunities for their business, new product development & innovation, as well as employee training, KPIs and remuneration structures to cascade skills and responsibility throughout the organisation.

Report

Panel discussion: The Goal 13 impact platform