What have we learnt from CDP 2013?
With the publishing of the CDP supply chain report for 2013, it seems like a great opportunity to have a look at what progress the Carbon Disclosure Project has made in its five years. It also presents a chance to talk a little about some of the trends that the sustainability community are starting to see evolve from the clarity of data that the CDP reports provide (the full report is a good little read and you can find it here by the way).
For me, I think there are two really impressive facts that I would encourage any company considering increasing their commitment to sustainability to take away.
Being more sustainable saves you money.
From their CDP submissions, we know that 29 percent of suppliers have saved money by reducing their CO2 emissions. When you consider that only 38 percent of suppliers even have emission reduction targets, then the 29% of companies who are saving money is pretty impressive. What makes it more impressive is that the amount of money they are reporting as having saved is $13.7bn. Which is roughly what NASA think it would cost to launch another mission to the moon.
Sustainability doesn’t require a long term approach
From my experience there does sometimes seem to be a belief that sustainability initiatives are expensive projects with a long pay back. Whilst that certainly can be the case if we are talking about major building renovation or building an entirely new head office with sustainability at the heart of it, the data from CDP illustrates that on the whole, this just isn’t the case. From the supplier data, we know that 62 percent of sustainability investment activities paid back within 3 years and in fact nearly a third of activities paid back within 12 months or less.
For me, these two simple facts underpin one truth that more and more of our clients are getting on board with – Sustainability isn’t hard. Changing to a more sustainable way of working isn’t always about low carbon installations or building refurbishments. The most important first steps are transforming the attitudes to sustainability and understanding what your company can achieve. Driving behavioural change is a low cost, high impact step in becoming a more sustainable business, and it’s such a great step to take. It will naturally lead to feedback and enthusiasm for further sustainability progress, making the next sustainability project you launch more likely to succeed.
SustainIt have helped clients understand how to engage with their employees on sustainability and how to communicate the progress made. Through data transformation, sustainability workshops and through including the business in the sustainable journey, we’ve dodged organisational inertia and helped clients achieve success in their sustainability projects from day one.