However, aiming for results that are too ambitious without implementing a governance and dedicating the appropriate human and financial resources is bound to fail. It’s important to remain realistic and put quantifiable, measurable, and concrete actions in your roadmap. “The implication and the posture of the management team are central in the process: they determine the priorities, provide the means to take action, but also make sure not to deprioritize the engagements because of external factors. A determined and committed management team ensures credibility with the rest of the company. Without transparency and communication, these actions are obviously useless.”
To support this dynamic, teams need to be concretely mobilized. It’s not about building awareness anymore, it’s now about training them. “How do we measure an indicator? How do we comply with new legislation? How do we internally fix the carbon cost? Employees need to have both the means and the resources to act so they can efficiently contribute to the action plan that’s been defined.”
Accelerating energy transition and decarbonization across every sector
In France, the national low-carbon strategy is moving in the right direction. Restrictive sectoral objectives are being defined which helps to accelerate the decarbonization in some sectors. “Things are moving in construction with the RE2020 and Décret tertiaire regulations in France. I can also mention the transport industry which is allocating important resources to electrify light vehicles and to develop biofuels. And also the electrification of freight and the hydrogen train (Alstom is developing projects in these domains).
The decarbonization of the industry is not left behind – especially for the bigger groups, where they have more resources. Saint-Gobain and Schneider Electric are moving fast and have defined their carbon trajectory. However, most economic and individual players still find it difficult to plan ahead for several decades to implement a structural change. We tend to underestimate the impact of our activities. Right now, what we need is a complete 180 of our behaviors. We need to look further. And if we all pitch in, this will work.”
Sectoral alliances, for instance, have already helped ambitious decarbonization strategy projects come to fruition. One example of a successful collaboration is the one between Yuka, Marmiton, and La Fourche. Their project? Creating an “ecoscore” to help consumers make better choices. Each product has a grade that takes into account its carbon and water footprint and its impact on biodiversity. Other players have added reducing their emissions and circularity to their core values, as was the case for ecommerce player Vestiaire Collective, whose model relies on purchasing and selling second-hand articles.
“It’s all moving in the right direction and it’s supported by restrictive legislation that will finally force companies to be transparent regarding their emissions (see our article on CSR and the future CSRD). But what’s more pressing is to put in the effort that’s needed to reach the goal of carbon neutrality. Just like the United States in the 60s when they needed to land on the moon in less than ten years,” concludes Laurent. “Colossal means for a colossal objective!”
Carbon trajectory is a scenario established by the company to specify how it plans to concretely reduce its direct or indirect greenhouse gas emissions. It’s a long-term projection of the evolution of its carbon footprint.
Carbon neutrality is the balance between carbon that was emitted and carbon that was absorbed (sequestered) by carbon sinks such as soils, oceans and forests.
“Carbon offsetting” (or “carbon sequestration”) is the mechanism by which greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are permanently captured and stored, for example in natural settings (forests, fields, meadows…).
- Get your carbon diagnostic with the Diag Décarbon’Action plan, launched in 2021 by the ADEME in collaboration with Bpifrance. It helps small companies, PME and ETI with less than 500 employees, measure their GHG emissions and define a suitable transition plan, and they benefit from personalized assistance.
- Calculate your carbon footprint with the Ademe.
- Learn more here:
– How to reduce the footprint of an industrial site?
– How to reduce my company’s heating consumption?
– About the legislation : introduction, CSRD, webinar