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What goals should corporate treasury set itself to cut carbon impact?

Irreversible climate change is happening, regardless of what the dotard Donald Trump says, e.g.:

  • Sea level rise is accelerating and predicted to rise as much as 60 centimetres by 2100 
  • Scientists are predicting the cities with the highest annual flood costs by 2050:

Source & Copyright©2018 - Climate Desk

  • 17 of 18 hottest years on record have occurred since 2001
  • “It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of warming since the mid-20th century,” according to the US government climate science specialists.

So what can companies and corporate treasurers do about it? 

The first step in any initiative is to decide where you want to go? What goals do you want to achieve?

Should companies set themselves any goals at all?

Even if you are a denier about climate change, there is mounting evidence that setting sustainability goals improves a company’s competitive positioning, e.g. Pearson, see WEBchat, have found that their sustainability programme has “improved their global market standing and has provided the framework for long term growth.” It has also made their company more attractive to work for.

Another reason for setting goals is that what gets measured gets managed.

What goals should companies set themselves?

A recent article in 3degreesinc.com highlighted the different types of goal that companies can set to reduce their carbon footprint, including: emission reduction goals, energy efficiency goals, and goals for increasing the uptake of clean energy and low carbon solutions.

But not all companies and industries are the same, they recommend choosing from a portfolio of options including onsite solar, renewable energy certificates (RECs) green tariffs and power purchase agreements (PPAs) that suit your company or industry. The variation in solutions/industry is shown in the figure below:

Source & Copyright©2018 - 3degreesinc.com [EACs (energy attribute certificates) include RECs, GOs, and IRECs.]

3degreesinc recommend that, “By taking a portfolio approach to establish environmental targets, organizations are able to diversify risk, manage costs, and have a greater overall impact. This all starts by determining the most meaningful goals for your organization.”

Corporate treasury department climate change goals

Clearly the corporate treasury department has to comply with their group or company’s goals, however, are there goals that the corporate treasurer can set for their own department, such:

  • Minimising travel, e.g. could you have a video conference rather than meet face-to-face
  • Using systems and processes that minimise carbon impact, e.g. what carbon imprint does your SaaS solution have and can it be minimised?
  • Maximising sustainable investment.

CTMfile take: Climate change is the single biggest threat to business and world population. It is being taken more seriously by businesses world-wide, but what can the individual corporate treasury department do about climate change? What can you do? What can TMS suppliers do? What do you want your banks to do?

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