The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) is underway in Scotland.
High-level discussions about the disastrous destruction humanity has wrought on the planet can either lead to feelings of nihilism in the face of impending doom or spark a move to action with unrivaled urgency.
In DocuSign’s ebook titled ‘Building Sustainability into the Modern Business Landscape’, the company outlines the urgent need for change, as well as how businesses can effectively begin implementing sustainability strategies.
The need for sustainability programs
There are clear benefits to being a green company.
For instance, Gen Z cares about the ethics of the companies they work for. In fact, LEWIS found that only 19% of Gen Z would work for a company that doesn’t share their values.
On top of this, it has been found that this trend extends beyond the younger generations. Reuters noted that 65% of employees would rather work for a company with a strong climate pledge.
But it’s not just employees that are interested in company sustainability initiatives. DocuSign adds: “It’s becoming increasingly common for consumers to examine a company’s position on broader issues like sustainability.
“Faced with multiple options, environmentally conscious buyers would rather purchase products from organizations that share their values.”
Additionally, sustainability initiatives attract investors.
DocuSign commented that investors are “raising their expectations with regard to meaningful climate action and disclosure, allowing for a better understanding (and mitigation) of their investment risks.”
Regulators are also pushing for companies to be sustainable in their operations, and by setting out plans now it is possible to avoid possible mandates or fines in the future.
DocuSign is clear that when implementing sustainability initiatives there are three categories of emissions for organizations to be aware of.
This includes emissions under their direct ownership or operational control, emissions from their purchase of electricity, heat and steam, and, finally, indirect emissions made from up-and-downstream partners in the supply chain.
In order to reduce emissions in all these areas, “the best strategy is to identify achievable targets and commit to specific reduction goals.”
Of course, each company will contribute emissions in different ways. This means there will be different strategies to reduce waste.
Nonetheless, focusing on renewable energy can greatly impact the emissions that a company and its partners create.
Fortunately, the move to hybrid working has reduced the need for people to travel to meetings. This does reduce the pollution created by transport, albeit while emphasizing the need for companies to encourage or require those working remotely to rely on a renewable energy source.
In terms of aligning power suppliers with company sustainability initiatives, broader partnerships will need to be made to ensure targets are met.
Acting on strategy
In an effort to help companies with their sustainability goals, DocuSign will be offering a “paper-impact calculator” as part of its core e-signature product.
This calculator will assess the waste that companies produce, as well as note what emissions have been reduced from abandoning materials like paper.
Many will undoubtedly hope that the largest polluters invest in ways to reduce their impact on the world, and with these changes come positive opportunities whether in terms of higher profits or attracting top-class talent.
DocuSign concluded: “The modern organization has a unique opportunity to embrace environmental momentum and build sustainability into every part of an entirely new workflow.
“The wastefulness of traditional, outdated workflows is being replaced by remote-friendly cloud workflows that can reduce or even eliminate certain types of waste and emissions.”