3 climate resolutions corporate leaders can make in 2023
This article was originally posted on LinkedIn.
2022 was a momentous year. I have so much to be thankful for, and so much gratitude and respect for everyone who made CLEAResult’s year successful. The industry’s push to grow the impact of energy efficiency is incredible. I see it measured best by our increasingly large backlog of new programs, and I’m looking toward the new year filled with excitement to deliver them.
The groundwork for sustainable action has clearly been laid, many businesses have set their course, and leaders everywhere are ready to hit the ground running in 2023.
Today, I’d like to share some simple advice that climate-focused business leaders can pick up and run with immediately.
Here are 3 climate resolutions all companies should consider in 2023:
1. If you haven’t started, start.
It may sound obvious, but many leaders I talk to find their biggest barrier is simply getting started. I applaud every business who has already taken the first, second or hundredth step toward making their companies more sustainable. It’s a huge accomplishment that executives and employees can be proud of together. No commitment to sustainability can be achieved in a silo.
Find the first step that’s right for your company. Open up conversations with your employees, customers and partners to see what people care about most and what will have the biggest impact for your business.
2. Build a team to drive focus on sustainability.
With your ideas in hand, it’s time to assemble a team to guide your next steps. Creating a team to drive sustainability provides critical structure for leading, coordinating and reporting on the company’s progress. This team should have representation from all levels across the company, including senior leadership, operations managers, finance folks and more.
Most importantly, this team should be comprised of people who are passionate about the cause. People who are eager to set goals, identify the gaps and build a plan to improve. CLEAResult is fortunate to have environmental sustainability as a core part of our company’s purpose and culture. We have passionate people at every level pushing us to achieve our reduction targets. Its why people work here, why our customers and partners choose our teams again and again, and why I know we’ll reach our goals.
3. Learn where your company stands today.
To know where you’re going, you first need a clear understanding of where you are. Measuring your company’s carbon footprint is an essential first step for any sustainability team. Before setting goals, you’ll need to understand your baseline by doing an assessment. This will include scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions—explained nicely by our friends at National Grid who’s CEO spoke in depth about their net-zero journey on the Cleaning Up podcast earlier this year.
From there, your team can set short- and long-term goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. These goals should be made visible internally to make sure everyone’s on board and give people tangible targets that bring the mission down to earth. Short-term goals in particular, like improving energy efficiency, are an important way to achieve quick, continuous wins that keep moral high throughout the process.
On Earth Day this year, CLEAResult committed to reaching Net Zero by 2025 in our corporate sustainability report. Meeting that commitment has become a collaborative and continuous learning process for everyone on our team. Reducing energy use is built-in to our mission, yet this commitment feels like a fresh start—a new goal that aims higher and holds us accountable.
These 3 resolutions are tied together by a common theme I emphasize often, relying on your people. Listen to what’s important to people in your organization, customers who help you innovate, and the communities you serve where your impact matters most. Then, in 2023, rely on each other to get the job done.
Finally, remember it’s a journey—not an event or a task. Continuous improvement is the key, and I can’t wait to see what next year holds. Thank you to everyone who has followed along so far. There’s plenty more to come.
Wishing you all a happy and healthy new year!