There’s no day that passes by without conversations about climate change and global warming.
Everyone is pushing to reduce emissions to 1.5C and corporates are not left behind in the net-zero targets as they have already set net-zero goals and are doing everything they can to cut down emissions from their products and services.
However, there is still so much to be done on the 1.5C target.
There is still an over-reliance on fossil and non-sustainable biomass fuels in Africa. For corporates to reduce their greenhouse gases emissions, they will need to increase renewable energy use, be more energy-efficient, and use low-carbon technologies.
They will also need to invest their resources in other areas like forest management (encouraging reforestation and curbing deforestation), sustainable waste management to push for a circular economy in Africa, and climate-smart agriculture to solve the food crisis.
Beyond that, corporates should prioritize increasing climate change awareness among their staff and training them on climate change risks and opportunities.
They can develop training programs to build technical capacities. That way, when there are climate-focused projects to be executed, their staff wouldn’t be caught off guard.
For the fact that climate change is bringing about innovations in the form of sustainable products and services, it is important for corporates to identify the opportunities that this presents to them and reinvent their operations based on their research.
Companies must integrate climate change mitigation and adaptation actions into their strategic business plans after they must have factored in the risks that climate change presents to their businesses. This can be early warning and emergency response systems, and plans around conserving water, using water efficiently, managing wastewater, etc.
As part of their strategies, corporates should also make finance and capacity provisions for women and youth seeing as they play a big role in climate change mitigation and adaptation.
In addition to that, they need to be part of the climate discussion by participating in climate forums and contributing to critical climate-related issues.
Indeed, African corporates can help in the climate crisis and strategically position themselves for the opportunities it presents. However, taking the actions mentioned above will only translate into something tangible if corporates report their carbon footprints.
By providing their sustainability reports, they will be able to measure their carbon footprint and make informed next-step decisions depending on what their reports say.