Incrementalism is out and transformation is in for Net Zero

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When it comes to our historic tackling of the climate and nature crisis, Einstein’s quote of “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results” has never been more apt.

The UK’s Net Zero Strategy requires a complete decarbonisation of all sectors of the UK economy, from transport to agriculture by 2050. However, 2050 is too late to ensure a safe future for humanity. Sir David King, previously the UK government’s chief scientific advisor urged that “we must revise global targets beyond net zero, and commit to net-negative strategies urgently.” We have very limited time to keep 1.5 alive, if even at all in light of this year’s forthcoming El Nino.

We can no longer kick the decarbonisation can down the road, trying to deliver net-zero plans through small incremental changes to the business-as-usual models. As coined by Mike Townsend, author of The Quiet Revolution, this leads to a position of the net-zero crunch – when you have made as many reductions as possible and cannot go any further. This risks creating path dependences, that will be harder to challenge and change further down the line – resulting in no further change. We need to step outside our comfort zone and redesign a completely new business operating system – a system radically different to what went before, and one designed to deliver a zero-carbon future.

A transition to a decarbonised global society requires innovation and a transformative mindset capable of alchemy. Businesses must expand their frame of reference to take a whole-system interconnected-ecosystem approach to transformation. This means completely redefining and redesigning what it means to be a business and moving to a stakeholder capitalism model – creating long-term value by taking into account the needs of all stakeholders, and society at large.

Decarbonization doesn’t happen instantaneously. Transitioning from carbon is a long and complex process that requires the buy-in and support of many people, starting from today. From the beginning, business leadership must be onboard because decarbonization requires major strategic and operational changes throughout the entire organization, for an authentic transformation.

Leadership must set a transformative agenda that establishes a net-zero vision and gives leaders the mandate to disrupt a high-carbon status quo. Business needs to be prepared to change everything from purpose, products, value chains, business models, infrastructure, supply chains and market ecosystems, as well as their internal business culture. Everything needs to be reconfigured for net-zero including redesigning value chains with a focuson being a net-positive business.

We need businesses to address not just their own emissions, but also to work in tandem with the social, economic and natural systems around them. We need to actively engage stakeholders including markets, the business community, policymakers and investors and bring them along into low carbon transformation.

Incrementalism is out and transformation is in – so make sure you avoid hitting the net-zero crunch.

Inspired but not sure where to get started? We can help….

To support our existing and new business clients, we have launched a Sustainability Service. The service consists of up to 4 hours of free consultancy and sign posting to free resources, to help your business align with the 1.5 temperature goals.

The sustainability service is available free to all Naturesave Insurance commercial insurance clients with an annual premium of over £750.

Through this programme, Naturesave business clients can draw on critical professional knowledge which is key to making the transition to net zero.

Naturesave business insurance client? – book your free consultation click here (please note you will need your policy number)

Not currently insured with Naturesave? Find out what we can offer here

Book in today for your free net zero support – Find out what we can offer here