Climate Change: Chartering A New Pathway Towards Net Zero – Key Takeaways from Verdantix 2024 Sustainability and EHS Summit

Panel discussion at a conference event.

by Jade Voice, ​​​​Director of HSE, Omni Group

In the pursuit of net zero, organisations must understand the multifaceted challenges they face and how they overcome them. By circumnavigating these challenges, organisations prioritising data, action, and strategy have a comprehensive approach to net zero.

The 2024 Sustainability & EHS Summit Europe, hosted by Verdantix, was a pivotal event that brought together senior executives from across Europe. This two-day summit provided a platform for these leaders to engage in panel discussions, explore strategies to tackle emerging challenges and navigate the complex climate change issues shaping our world.

Jade Voice, a panellist discussing The Rising Challenge of Climate Change: How Are Sustainability and EHS Leaders Getting Ready to Tackle It

The panel discussion centred on how EHS professionals, who also cover sustainability, can prepare for the impacts of climate change and create or revisit contingency plans for organisations to ensure operations resiliency and staff safety and health. Here are some of the biggest takeaways from the conversation.

Data Is Fundamental in Understanding Climate Change

Climate change poses significant risks to organisations worldwide, and mitigating these challenges requires access to reliable and contextual climate information. While data is valuable in addressing climate risks, many companies fail to use it entirely for informed decision-making. Implementing technology and systems designed to provide real-time data on emissions is crucial for enabling accurate and informed decisions that can increase resilience against the impacts of climate change.

For Omni Group, data is critical to our sustainability approach. Measuring and understanding our carbon emissions is paramount to our operations. Our data comes from two sources: technology and our employees. With technology, Omni can implement systems and software that accurately measure our carbon emissions in line with the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme, a mandatory energy assessment scheme for organisations in the UK. This guideline allows Omni to audit energy used by our buildings, industrial processes, and transport. Empowering our employees is critical to driving positive climate action. By investing in training and raising awareness about climate change, we equip them to become leaders in our emissions reduction efforts. Their valuable feedback on our operations has been instrumental in developing sustainable and environmentally friendly practices.

Strategy And Action Go Hand-In-Hand

Climate change has transcended from a social issue to one that organisations should shoulder. Organisations must meet the basics by incorporating rudimental and robust eco-friendly operations. The secret lies in understanding how strategy can effectively make operations more sustainable. Having the nuance to implement a strategy and creating a buy-in via action is prolific in ensuring emissions reduction.

Our ethos at Omni has always been to evaluate and identify our emissions throughout our value chain. This includes assessing the solutions we provide and working closely with our partners. Continuous monitoring ensures that our strategy adheres to best practices and allows us to define parameters for implementing scientifically proven methods to reduce emissions. We collaborate with our partners to incorporate sustainable solutions across our value chain, and this flexibility enables us to integrate a valuable strategy with measurable actions towards our sustainability goals.

Approach: Moving From The Status Quo

As the journey to net zero draws near, reducing emissions is a key building block for meeting this target. Often overcomplicated by organisations, this approach is the most intrinsic investment in reducing emissions. Developing a comprehensive and accurate roadmap for carbon emission reduction is paramount, encompassing the intricate details of Scopes 1, 2, and 3 across an organisation’s operations and value chain. A profound understanding of the approach to tackling these emissions is vital in formulating a robust and effective strategy.

Omni’s objective to net zero is built on our roadmap, which is predicated on the importance of data, a formulated strategy underlined with targeted actions, and an accountable approach. This comprehensive roadmap ensures that no significant source of emissions is overlooked, and efforts are strategically allocated across the entire value chain, thereby maximising the potential for substantial and long-lasting environmental impact. By adopting a holistic perspective, Omni can collectively address the multifaceted challenges of climate change and pave the way for a more sustainable future within the FM industry.

A journey that is fraught with complexities

The path towards net zero emissions is undoubtedly complex but presents organisational challenges and opportunities. To successfully navigate this journey, a collaborative mindset is essential. Organisations must recognise that individualistic approaches are insufficient in tackling the climate crisis. Instead, they need to secure buy-in from senior leadership to drive a comprehensive roadmap across their value chain, working closely with clients and partners. By embracing this collaborative approach, organisations can turn the complexities of the net zero transition into a catalyst for climate change and sustainable growth.

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