Lessons from COP26: 4 steps businesses can take to help tackle climate change

COP26, this year’s United Nations’ climate summit in Glasgow, marks the most significant diplomatic moment this decade in the campaign to tackle global climate change.

Past events include COP21 in 2015, when the Paris Agreement was signed – enshrining the target of limiting global warming to “well below” 2 and preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.

At this year’s event, however, the pace of global change is called into question. Experts are concerned that the world is not currently on track to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.

While COP26 brings together world leaders to address this challenge on a global scale, it remains clear that organisations of all sizes must make their own commitments to tackling climate change.

Are you ready for change? Here are four steps your business can take towards becoming a net zero organisation:

Join the Race to Zero

COP26 president Alok Sharma has called for businesses to join the Race to Zero campaign, which commits signatories to science-based carbon reduction targets. The campaign has more than 2,000 signatories so far.

The objective is to build momentum for a decarbonised economy and send a clear signal to governments that businesses are united in meeting the Paris Agreement goals. Businesses that submit a Race to Zero partner application must pledge to reach net zero within a year of joining and set out the actions they will take to achieve this.

Set an emissions reduction target

Organisations need tangible targets to work towards that go beyond just the high-level concept of Net Zero. The Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) is an organisation that uses science-led targets to outline how much companies need to reduce their emissions by to help mitigate climate change – and the timeframe in which it should be achieved.

SBTi offers a range of target-setting resources and guidance for organisations and independently assesses and validates those targets. The SBTi works with businesses from a cross-section of industries, in some cases offering sector-specific solutions.

Switch to 100% renewable electricity

While many businesses are already reducing their carbon emissions, the global RE100 initiative goes a step further. RE100 commits companies to using 100% renewable electricity by 2050, with the average target date for businesses signed up to the initiative currently being 2028.

The ideal is to find an energy supplier that can not only provide your business with renewable electricity, but that understands your electric assets and energy needs.

Move to electric vehicles

Making the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) is a key part of allowing the UK to meet its objective of being a net zero nation by 2050.

The UK government’s ban on the sale of all new petrol and diesel cars after 2030 has given businesses an added incentive to start the switch to an EV fleet.

Beyond environmental incentives to go electric, there is also a business case to be made. Over time, EVs can significantly reduce your business’s energy and car maintenance costs.

Drax’s Electric Vehicles team can help your business navigate the transition from petrol and diesel vehicles to EVs, reducing both cost and emissions.

As COP26 highlights, the globe is at a turning point when it comes to tackling climate change, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and addressing global warming.

Drax’s renewable electricity and services can support your organisation in your efforts to reduce emissions and achieve net zero. Find out how they can help your business prepare for the future, including tools such as Drax’s My Electric Vehicles portal, can help manage your electric fleets and support a smooth transition to EVs.