What 50 leading organisations think about sustainability
Sustainability in the corporate world was little more than a buzzword designed to enhance the status of a business. However, in recent times sustainability has become much more integral to the way modern brands are choosing to run. At EMSOL we are constantly looking for ways to help businesses and business owners actively reduce pollution.
It is important to understand the way in which businesses perceive sustainability. Companies need to have an environmental strategy and look at some of the best ways they can do things in a more sustainable fashion. Let’s take a look at some of these factors, and try to gain more of an understanding of what 50 of the UK’s leading organisations think about sustainability.
Important sustainability terms
There are a lot of sustainability terms that you should try to familiarise yourself with as much as possible. Not all businesses use them, but they extremely helpful to understand.
Net zero is a common term that businesses will encounter when it comes to sustainability, and this a term given to the practice of trying to remove as much carbon from the atmosphere as is emitted. This could involve offsetting these emissions, or reducing them to zero, and the term carbon neutral is often used to mean the same thing. Tech giants Apple have revealed plans to be ‘net zero’ by the year 2030.
Recently the UK government have announced that disclosing climate risk analysis reports will be mandatory for organisations from 2025, with a large majority of requirements and rules being put in place by 2023. Find out about the impact this will have on businesses.
The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were developed by the UN in 2015, and are typically used as a blueprint to work towards a better and more sustainable future for all, by addressing 17 socio-economic themes. Some companies, such AstraZeneca, choose specific SDGs to target and work towards. Other companies, like Arup, claim they are working towards all 17.
We wrote recently spoke about SDGs and air quality, and why the SDGs don’t go far enough for those who are serious about improving air pollution.
‘ESG’ stands for Environmental, Social and Governance. It is mostly used within the finance community, and sets the standards for a company’s operations as a screen for potential investments. On the environment side, this means a company has considered its influence on the environment and their ability to mitigate various risks that could cause harm.
B-Corp is a term that requires companies and organisations to meet certain sustainability standards and environmental performances. There is also an emphasis on transparency and accountability, and the idea is to focus on businesses that promote purpose as much as profit. In the UK there are around 200 companies (Ben & Jerry’s, Toast Ale) and over 3400 worldwide.
What the results showed
EMSOL analysed the sustainability strategies of 50 leading organisation in the UK. We found that Net Zero and SDG were the terms most used. 53% of companies targeted Net Zero, while 48% used SDG as a consideration.
Another big factor when looking at sustainability is to deal with air pollution, and this needs to be a priority for businesses. Of the reports, 50% mentioned air quality as a concern, but only 14% actually had air pollution reduction as one of the core pillars of their sustainability strategy. This could be because of the fact that air pollution is viewed as more of a public health concern than a sustainability issue, and due to a lack of clarity of solutions such as EMSOL’s. The importance of tackling air quality means EMSOL need to help businesses deal with this issue.
The role EMSOL plays
At EMSOL we like to work on improving air quality, but we also recognise that tackling poor air quality is interlinked with the goal of reducing CO2 emissions from vehicles. To put it most simply, net zero focuses on reducing climate change, while air quality focuses on improving public health. Tackling both at the same time means hitting sustainability targets and reducing the impact of your operations on human health. That’s EMSOL.
EMSOL’s technology focuses on improving air quality through the best possible business practices, as it essentials for businesses to balance both of these things.
As you can see, there is a big growth in the area of business sustainability, and there are more opportunities than ever for businesses to get involved with this. At EMSOL we hope to be able to work closely with like-minded businesses and corporations to clean up our towns and cities, cut down on air pollution, and help companies to understand what they can do to be more sustainable in the future.