Tackling scope 3 was unanimously recognised as the greatest challenge, especially as the majority of emissions are produced at this stage. Tim suggested using internal audits on suppliers and producers, allowing you to choose good partners who actively demonstrate they are on a net zero journey too.
Packaging was also a talking point. While good packaging is a key to reducing food waste, it is still hugely important to look for small, impactful ways to reduce it. One member of the group changed plastic lids to aluminium foil, another changed the ink they used on their cardboard. This is another area full of small wins, and again, external partners can save a lot of legwork in identifying them.
Offsetting – Imperfect but necessary?
A hot topic at the moment, the validity and usefulness of offsetting emissions was our final ‘deep dive’ topic. A number of the group expressed their concerns with offsetting, with one CEO comparing it to ‘buying tokens to get out of jail’. Many were finding it hard to gather information about where invested money actually goes, resulting in them taking their own steps: one CEO actually chose to plant 60,000 trees instead of paying for offsetting, with another investing in tin recycling plants in Indonesia to make recycling more efficient in the region.
There are a number of different paths to take and Tim was keen to point out that offsetting is not a perfect solution, but one he still firmly believes you should take to ‘keep momentum going while you build the rest of your plan for net zero’. Two important steps to take with offsetting were: finding a partner who is ‘gold standard,’ and therefore trustworthy and proven. Secondly, use the Climate partners websites as a great resource to find more information.
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Thank you to our Volunteer Advisor and Circle host Tim Lee for his insights in another advice-filled gathering. Becoming a more sustainable business and making a net zero plan is not an easy journey, but with Tim’s tips, one that you can start making progress with. Huge thanks goes to Tim for hosting the session and to our attendees for their insights and questions throughout.
Resources mentioned by the group: