Companies have a key role to play in the global response to the climate crisis - and more are taking this responsibility seriously. We turned to our community to ask which resources have supported them in helping their company take meaningful climate action.
Top tools for the climate transition
So much has been written about climate action for companies that it can be hard to know where to look. That's why we asked climate experts from leading companies to share their go-to resources. This shortlist of top tools will equip you and your company to support the transition to a net-zero future.
1. Climate science and data
Climate systems and human interventions in those systems are complex. To be effective, your company’s climate action must be based in evidence.
If you're looking for data, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) — the world's leading voice on climate science — is the leading authority. The IPCC issues regular reports¹ that assess the latest science behind climate change. These reports lay the foundation for UN negotiations and global actions to limit warming to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels and adapt to unavoidable climate impacts. The IPCC's latest 'code red' report² shows that delay is not an option; the time for your company to act is now.
NASA's Global Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet³ is another valuable repository of data on climate causes, effects, and solutions, as well as interactive images of current climate impacts and multimedia visualizations of future climate scenarios.
The University of Reading's #ShowYourStripes⁴ graphics are simple illustrations of global warming trends since 1850 at specific locations, including where your company operates. These visuals can be used to communicate climate data within your company and beyond.
Warming stripes for the globe from 1850-2020 by Professor Ed Hawkins, University of Reading.
In terms of your company’s contributions to climate change, the Greenhouse Gas Protocol⁵ sets the global standards for measuring and managing greenhouse gas emissions. The Protocol offers tools and courses that can help you calculate and inventory emissions across your company's operations (scope 1), purchased energy (scope 2), and value chain (scope 3).
2. Climate goals and strategy
Climate information is only useful if it enables and inspires action. That's where the Science Based Targets initiative⁶ (SBTi) comes in. So far, the SBTi has helped over one thousand companies develop emissions reduction goals based on science, including what is needed to limit global warming to 1.5°C. They have also recently released a net-zero standard⁷ that includes a four-part framework for setting near- and long-term goals that account for the footprint of your operations and value chain, and for making investments outside of science-based targets to help mitigate climate change elsewhere.
CDP⁸ (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project) provides companies with sector-specific research and reports on climate change. CDP's resources can help you measure and disclose your company’s climate impacts and risks as a first step to mitigating those risks and taking advantage of opportunities in the net-zero transition.
The Future-Fit Business Benchmark on climate action⁹ outlines how companies can contribute to SDG 13: Climate Action through actions like low-carbon procurement and investing, ecosystem restoration, and carbon capture. By establishing priority actions needed for a sustainable future and steps for how to get there, the Benchmark can help your company do its part.
There are many ways that businesses are already contributing to climate action. Vancity's Planet Wise Business Guide for Climate Action¹⁰ provides an overview of key actions that even small and medium sized businesses can take to address building, equipment, and transportation-related emissions. The Guide is a good starting point for you to support your business in reducing its carbon footprint because it defines key terms and clearly outlines the business case for acting now.
3. Climate news and education
With new climate science, commitments, and impacts emerging daily, it's hard to keep up. Helpfully, climate news outlets do the heavy lifting; all you need to do is subscribe! Bloomberg Green¹¹ is a go-to source for the latest data, news, and think-pieces on all-things-climate: adaptation, finance, energy, politics, and more. Bloomberg’s Green Daily¹² newsletter is free of charge. WIRED’s Chasing Zero¹³ newsletter also offers relevant climate content, with solutions-oriented weekly updates documenting innovative responses to climate change.
4. Climate-related risks, disclosures, and investor expectations
Climate change threatens the future success of businesses from all sectors. The public, investors, lenders, and insurers are increasingly calling for businesses to embed climate risks and opportunities in their decision-making and strategic planning.
The Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations¹⁴ will help your company identify, disclose, and respond to the physical and transition risks of climate change. Tools like the Transition Pathway Initiative¹⁵ can help companies meet investor expectations regarding preparedness for a net-zero future. And the Embedding Project’s Guide¹⁶ and YouTube series¹⁷ on climate risk oversight for corporate leaders outline why climate change matters to companies and how to proactively respond to risks and opportunities through climate-aligned disclosure, financing, and goal setting.
And now, it’s over to you. If we learned anything from the COP26 negotiations, it is that now is the time for bold climate action. These top climate resources will help you and your company transition to a climate-resilient future.
¹ "Reports." Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2021, https://www.ipcc.ch/reports/.
² "Climate change widespread, rapid, and intensifying - IPCC." Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 9 Aug. 2021, https://www.ipcc.ch/2021/08/09/ar6-wg1-20210809-pr/.
³ "Global Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet." NASA, 3 Nov. 2021, https://climate.nasa.gov/.
⁴ Hawkins, Ed. "#ShowYourStripes." University of Reading, 2020, https://showyourstripes.info/s/globe.
⁵ "Greenhouse Gas Protocol." n.d., https://ghgprotocol.org/.
⁶ "Science Based Targets." n.d., https://sciencebasedtargets.org/.
⁷ “The Net Zero Standard.” https://sciencebasedtargets.org/net-zero.
⁸ "CDP Sector Research." CDP Worldwide, 2021, https://www.cdp.net/en/investor/sector-research.
⁹ "SDG 13." Future-Fit Business, n.d., https://futurefitbusiness.org/sdgs/climate-action/.
¹⁰ "Planet Wise Business Guide for Climate Action." Vancity, n.d., https://www.vancity.com/BusinessBanking/ResourceCentre/Planet-Wise-Climate-Change-Guide/.
¹¹ "Bloomberg Green." Bloomberg L.P., 2021, https://www.bloomberg.com/green.
¹² "Bloomberg Green Daily." Bloomberg L.P., 2021, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/newsletters/2020-01-21/green-daily.
¹³ "Chasing Zero." WIRED, 2021, https://www.wired.co.uk/newsletters/chasing-zero.
¹⁴ "TCFD Recommendations." Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures, Jun. 2017, https://www.fsb-tcfd.org/recommendations/.
¹⁵ "The TPI Tool." Transition Pathway Initiative, 2021, https://www.transitionpathwayinitiative.org/.
¹⁶ Bertels, Stephanie and Mireta Strandberg-Salmon. "Climate Change and Climate Risk Oversight: A Guide for Corporate Leaders and Directors." Embedding Project, 2021, https://www.embeddingproject.org/resources/ep-climate-change-and-climate-risk-oversight.
¹⁷ "Climate Risk Oversight for Corporate Directors." Embedding Project, 29 Oct. 2021, https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOmXHcVvm8FBjDNLaga7EUOt7rXOmngpo.