🌱 IPCC Report: 10 Ways You Can Take Action
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This week was a big week in climate news. So, we’re focusing on resources, inspiration and education:
The IPCC Report: 10 ways you can take action.
How Abel & Cole are serving up inspiration, in 5 key areas.
In case you missed it: Our MEASURE Database, helping your business start its climate journey by finding a carbon accounting partner:
> Good News This Week
🎯 Ocean Bottle have partnered with Gails Bakery, launching NFC smart chip impact platform through which Gails will fund the collection of ocean bound plastic for hot drinks purchased.
🎯 Higgidy have secured B Corp status.
⭐️ Gousto has built on it’s existing partnership with Fareshare, by launching a partnership with DPD to re-distribute any failed deliveries.
⭐️ Greggs has pledged to ensure that 100% of its cocoa meets Fair-trade standards, across their supply chain. This aligns with previous commitments to Fair-trade coffee and fruit.
⚡️ British Chamber of Commerce launched a new Net Zero Hub in partnership with O2, after discovering that only 11% of smaller businesses are measuring their carbon footprint.
🎯 = Small businesses hitting the bullseye, ⭐️ = Bigger businesses deserving a mention,⚡️ = Exciting climate news, research and/or announcements/
> Click on each link to read more.
> Quick Take
The IPCC Report: 10 ways you can take action.
On Monday, the Nobel-prize winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released their 6th report. If you’ve been on social media, or seen the news, you might be all too familiar with its message. The stark clarity of what would happen if we did not meet reduction targets, mitigate emissions and instead continued on our current global trajectory was overwhelming. For many, the Monday blues really hit.
An overview: The global impact of every 0.1C warming is clearer than ever.
Our overview: What we can save by mitigating every 0.1C warming is clearer than ever.
To help you mobilise in response to the report, we’ve broken down what the report is, what is said, and most importantly what you and your business can do:
1. What it is: A brief background.
Report title: Sixth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis.
The IPCC was formed in 1988 for the purpose of tracking and communicating the state of our climate. Reports are produced roughly every 7 years, and Monday’s release was part 1 of 3. It was written by Working Group I (WGI), which focuses on examining the physical science underpinning past, present, and future climate change. The next two parts, to be released next year, will focus on the impacts of the climate crisis and the ways to mitigate them.
The report is a result of 8 years of work, by hundreds of scientists, following decades of research. It was agreed to by 195 countries before it was released.
2. What is said: A few key points.
We have delayed curbing our fossil-fuel emissions for so long that we can no longer stop global warming from intensifying over the next 30 years.
A small window of opportunity remains to prevent the most dangerous levels of climate change. Time is of the essence.
Humans are already responsible for 1.1C of warming since the Industrial Revolution, largely by burning coal, oil and gas.
This warming is a direct trigger for the wildfires, ocean acidification, coral reef bleaching, permafrost melting, and 100-year floods across inhabited regions on Earth that we are already seeing.
The last decade was hotter than any period in 125,000 years.
Global mean sea level rise is the fastest it’s been in 3000 years.
If we sharply cut emissions today, total global warming is likely to rise to ~1.5C within the next 20 years.
1.5C is the optimal ceiling set out by 195 countries in the Paris Agreement. Any higher than that and we trigger tipping points, or ‘runaway climate change’ that put warming into a dangerous and unstoppable positive feedback loop.
3. What we can do: 10 ways to take action.
Being spooked by this IPCC report, or by the relentless stories of disastrous real time impacts is absolutely understandable, but we cannot allow ourselves to get stuck. It’s critical that we train our minds now so that we can orient ourselves to land in relative safety: to deliver the emissions cuts and unleash positive systemic tipping points in the solutions that are already beginning to emerge.”
Christana Figueres - Outrage and Optimism
👉 For businesses:
Set Net Zero Targets. 1/5th of the worlds largest companies already have. Aim for sooner than 2050, many consumer goods brands are pinning 2030 as their goal in line with the Science Based Targets initiative.
One example: Pip & Nut worked with the Carbon Trust to set their net zero targets.
Implement climate solutions. Project Drawdown’s list of climate solutions is the authority in this area, and there’s something on their list that every single business can apply.
One example: Partner with Soil Heroes to promote regenerative agriculture in your supply chain.
Transition to renewable energy resources, as quickly as possible. The impact of fossil fuels is immense, and your businesses’ energy outputs will be larger than you think.
One example: Octopus Energy
Support policies that can revolutionise business practices, nationally and globally.
One example: The Better Business Act needs your signature. Read our interview with them here.
Join a coalition, and encourage other businesses to follow in your footsteps.
One example: Tech Zero.
👉 For individuals, within businesses:
Support policies and movements working to stop the climate crisis.
One example: Green New Deal Rising
Green your pension fund, and that of your colleagues. 21x more effective at reducing your carbon footprint than going vegetarian, stopping flying and switching to renewable energy.
One example: Check out the Make My Money Matter petition.
Educate yourself on the climate crisis, and how you can fight it.
One example: School of Systems Change by Forum for the Future
Reminder: Ensure your education is intersectional.
Lastly, be an intrapreneur. Use your skills and passion to drive change within your business, whatever your role or industry.
Still unsure? Perhaps start by figuring out your role in the climate movement.
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> Brand Spotlight
Abel & Cole: Goods that go the extra mile.
Abel & Cole believe that ‘food has the power to change the world’. Champions of organic farming and responsible sourcing since 1988, their boxes showcase the best of British produce and an incredibly high standard of sourced goods. They achieved B Corp certification in August 2018, and scored 88.4 ( with 31.5 points for environment) on their latest B Corp impact assessment. Describing themselves as an ‘organic veg (and lots more) box scheme’, Abel & Cole are really doing a lot more.
We broke down 5 sources of inspiration Abel & Cole are serving up:
1. Cutting Carbon
As the first organic food delivery company in the world to join the UN’s Climate Neutral Now Initiative and achieve the Carbon Neutral International Standard, Abel & Cole really do have a handle on their heat. Working with Green Element to measure their Scope 1, 2 and (the all important) Scope 3 emissions, they’ve set clear Science Based Targets - putting in place a rigorous long-term reduction strategy.
The result of their work? Whilst Abel & Cole have always been conscious of minimising their emissions (they’ve had a zero air freight policy in place since the beginning), understanding their hotspots better has led to significant reductions already. They’ve switched their energy supply to renewable resources, and are assessing the carbon impact of their different packaging materials...
2. Low-Impact Packaging
Focusing on ‘only where necessary’ as a packaging approach, they use innovative products like WoolCool® to temperature regulate their goods. An April 2021 study showed that they use 75% less plastic than 4 different major supermarkets, and they estimate that their returnable cardboard boxes have saved over 65,000,000 plastic bags! They’re not stopping there. Abel & Cole are currently evaluating their milk packaging by working with the ReLondon (previously called the London Waste and Recycling Board), commissioning them to create an Impact Calculator to assess the environmental impact of different packaging options at every stage of their lifespan. One option, Ecolean pouches, have been trialled this year. Read more on their research here.
3. Engaging their Customers
Abel & Cole do their best to make it easier than ever for you to reuse, recycle or compost any packaging their consumers receive. Launched with the help of ReLondon, the UK Plastics Pact and Unpackaged - Abel & Cole are engaging their customers through their ‘Club Zero’ scheme. They use returnable ‘VIPs’ (Very Important Pots) from which customers can decant goods in their home, and then return to Abel & Cole via their collection scheme. Read more here.
4. Engaging their suppliers
Often a challenge many brands face, Abel & Cole have taken the important step of reducing upstream emissions throughout their supply chain into their own hands. One way to do this? A Responsible Supplier Programme. Partnering with an independent third party to assess and track their suppliers across four categories (environmental, community, workers and governance), this voluntary programme has seen 15 suppliers sign up (as of March 2021). They’re aiming for an impressive 25% of their year-round supply chain by August 2021. One sign of success: James Foskett Farms has worked to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions as a result.
5. Fighting Food Waste
Last but not least, the all important fight against food waste. With a goal to cut their food waste by 50% by 2030, Abel & Cole have been working with WRAP to understand and monitor their surplus. Charity partnerships with City Harvest and The Felix Project helps excess food feed those who need it, and any goods that can’t be used are donated for animal feed or turned into Compressed Natural Gas to power vehicles. Abel & Cole veg is really going the extra mile.
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