Like many other global businesses, we have made our own commitment in the drive towards net zero. For us, it is that we will be a carbon-neutral business before the end of 2022. The big question then is, how will we get there?
We immediately recognised that we can’t do this with a top-down approach. Our own experience – of developing the innovative products and solutions that sit as part of our Lighthouse suite – showed us that innovation no longer comes from the IT office, it comes from the operations. For us, it came from the people who spoke to our clients and listened to their needs, it came from the back-office staff who were fed up with pushing paper.
In a very similar way, our journey to being a carbon-neutral business will be driven by the people behind the systems and processes. It is by channelling their desire for change, their innovation and their desire to speak up that we will reach our goal. We need our people to tell us how to do it better. We are already seeing many examples of this across our business – from young and fresh graduates challenging our established processes to experienced operations managers driving sustainability through their sites.
That’s also why we are part of the Pioneer Programme with Pawprint - an app for individuals to measure, understand and reduce their carbon footprint – so our people have more ownership of their own actions.
Our simple message to our colleagues across the energy industry - give your people the opportunity to drive the change you need and watch the success you have. As an industry, we will benefit from encouraging diverse thinking and rewarding this with a willingness to put themselves above the parapet and push for change.
The energy industry’s transition to net zero will be driven by individuals – by young, hungry talent in many cases – those who are willing to shout about their brilliant ideas and that will challenge the norms.
For the individuals, who might be asking themselves what can I – as one person – do to make a material difference, here’s some food for thought.
Firstly, own your footprint. The large-scale change needed globally to reduce carbon emissions must be driven by industries and organisations, but we all have a role to play. Challenge yourself to ensure you are doing all you can to ensure your own footprint is as low as it can be.
Secondly, that idea you have to make a difference, to drive down your company’s emissions – tell someone about it. Then tell someone else. Even if people don’t get it the first time around, they will eventually. If you truly believe you can help your business improve, be evangelistic about it, recruit new believers and make a compelling case to change.
And finally, don’t accept the ‘as is’ – you might be new in a job and have asked yourself why a certain part of your job is so inefficient or has such a damaging environmental impact. If that’s the case, there will undoubtedly be a solution that will allow you to drive out that waste. Challenge the norms. If you don’t, who will?