WHY TAKE ACTION

For Industry

One of the most significant risks that businesses face today is climate change. But industry has an opportunity to deliver a range of business value by mitigating its climate impacts and transitioning to a sustainable business model.

And we are talking about a transition. Companies need to start to take action now to lower emissions with the target of net-zero carbon emissions after 2050.

Companies have choices in this transition period. They can make changes internally to reduce emissions or they can continue with emitting emissions and buy emissions reductions which happen externally. ‘Buying in’ emissions reductions by using the carbon market can often represent a more economically attractive option and a way to reduce emissions whilst companies phase out high-emitting businesses or operations and products and introduce new ones.

We believe that buying forest carbon credits is one of the most cost-effective, natural climate solutions with amazing co-benefits that also have incredible storytelling potential for businesses to engage their stakeholders, employees and customers to also change their behaviour.

We are glad you are here to find out more.

The low carbon transition

The transition to a low carbon economy is underway, but it is not happening nearly quickly enough to meet global climate goals. In fact, at current emissions levels, we only have 5 years left till we spend our ‘carbon budget’ for keeping global temperature change to only 1.5oC. This means 5 years left to take urgent action to change our economy and prevent dangerous climate change.

carbon-budget-5-years

Time is running out. To be successful, the necessary changes to our economy cannot just come from the energy sector. Industry has the power, the opportunity, and the responsibility to take accountability for its carbon impacts. Not taking action soon poses significant threats to business stability down the line and stakeholders are pushing organisations to be more transparent about these risks. Read more about the rising pressure for climate risk disclosure here.

To reach our climate goals, in addition to slowing carbon emissions, the world needs substantial sinks for carbon. The high-tech solution of ‘carbon capture and storage’ is too expensive and it is simply unrealistic that it can be scaled up to the volume needed.

But forests are a natural climate sink, and photosynthesis one of the oldest technologies in the world. This natural climate solution is cost-effective, available right now, and not only stores carbon, but also has a whole host of additional co-benefits, such as protecting biodiversity for endangered species, uplifting impoverished communities and safeguarding ecosystem services for clean water and air.

Our global forests are being cut down at a terrifying rate, and the way to stop this is to put a value on trees and ensure they are worth more alive than dead. Sustainable land use can deliver up to a third of the carbon emissions needed to reach our climate goals.

Private sector finance has the potential to scale up sustainable land use and, by doing so, close the gap in necessary climate action, but we need companies and consumers to embed the cost of carbon if we are going to make this happen.

A successful climate strategy

Responding to the risks and opportunities climate change poses is critical for industry today. Generally, there are six key stages that are applicable across all businesses to designing a robust and holistic climate strategy:

ecosphere6-steps

Internal emissions reductions are undoubtedly essential to any credible climate change approach. But even with the best intentions, for the vast majority of businesses, at some point the benefits of making internal energy efficiency measures do not outweigh the costs, take too long for emissions reductions to come on-stream, or are simply impossible in order to remain in business.

There will still be significant unavoidable emissions.

This is where the flexibility to be able to buy in emissions reductions becomes valuable. Remember the atmosphere doesn’t care where the emissions are reduced, just that the overall global total is coming down.  The emissions reductions you buy finance projects that avoid emissions offsite, such as our projects that avoid deforestation.

Why? Real-life reasons industry is taking climate action

There are many brand and business reasons why industry is taking climate action, working towards climate neutrality and purchasing carbon offsets.

  • Climate leadership: Some companies see an opportunity for making a statement on facilitating a climate safe future and mitigating the climate impact of their operations
  • Responsible business: Taking accountability for one’s climate impact aligns with and gives credibility to goals of being a responsible business
  • Stakeholder engagement: Forest carbon assets, particularly, pose an opportunity for engagement beyond just carbon with customers especially on how businesses are helping to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals
  • Talent attraction: People care deeply about the values of the company they work for so this helps in attracting, engaging and keeping talented employees
  • Addressing risks in the supply chain: Understanding deforestation in the supply chain and working to eliminate this can be paired with investing in saving threatened forests for a true net zero, or even net positive, impact
  • To achieve climate targets: Carbon offsets can help companies achieve their climate targets, such as becoming carbon neutral or science based targets, and provides experience for upcoming regulatory obligations
  • Market differentiation: Some companies recognise the amazing storytelling value of supporting forest carbon projects and see this as a marketing opportunity
  • Investor pressure: There is increasing pressure for companies to disclose climate risk and strategies to manage this from investors and other stakeholders. Read more here
  • Pre-compliance: Many industries are preparing for emissions regulation and purchase offsets to understand the market and gain access to a cheaper product by acting early
  • Regulation: Various regulatory emissions trading systems around the world put a price on carbon and require businesses to purchase credits to cover emissions. Learn more about these systems here

A price on carbon

Putting a price on carbon is the most effective way for industry to account and mitigate for its climate impact. Industry has been calling for carbon pricing for a long time as a cost-effective way to manage carbon risk.

For example, the World Bank Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition brings together public-private support for carbon pricing and joins leaders to share experience working with carbon pricing and to expand the evidence base for the most effective carbon pricing systems and policies. See here for more information on the coalition and its members.

Leaders from the oil and gas industry also released a statement of support in May 2015, recognising that putting a pricing on carbon is an essential tool for businesses to meet climate goals.

In the absence of participating in regulatory emissions trading schemes, companies can voluntarily pay for their carbon use through purchasing carbon offsets. In the case of forest carbon assets, this helps to put a value on the services trees give.

And here is where you can play your part.

How Ecosphere+ can help

We work with companies to mitigate their climate impacts, risks and opportunities. Placing a price on trees, so that they are worth more alive than dead, accounts for their true value to society, health, sustainable development, biodiversity and, of course, climate change.

We are developing new and innovative ways to finance forest carbon. We can help your business achieve carbon neutral status, launch a new ‘zero-carbon’ or ‘deforestation-free’ product, develop a circular economy approach, reach your broader environmental and social goals, or engage your customers and staff. We do this through offering straight-forward purchase agreements or access to more structured products such as a forest bond. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.