What is a climate strategy?
Integrating climate action into your strategy means creating a comprehensive plan for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In your plan, take metrics on current emissions and set timebound goals for cutting them.
Your climate strategy will also look at risks and opportunities. Do you face regulations? Will key stakeholders push to go faster or resist? Can you access new markets thanks to this new strategy? You will answer these questions when you make an action plan for achieving your targets.
The benefits of strategic thinking
We’re heading towards a low-carbon economy, and it’s better to start now than play catch up later. Planning is part of risk management. It allows you to stay on top of new regulations in your industry and what your competitors are doing.
It also lets you coordinate climate goals with the other priorities, such as reducing costs, managing assets or hiring new people. Thinking strategically means that you won’t neglect what’s good for the planet when you’re focused on running your business.
Roadmap to building a climate strategy
Commit to carbon reduction by setting goals and KPIs
It’s critical to get a picture of your current carbon footprint. This means you should evaluate your activities and assets to determine how much GHG emissions each one produces. Calculating your GHG emissions as well as auditing your waste or energy will help you to get a sense of where to start your journey. This is also a perfect time to write a clear statement of why climate action is important for your company.
Build an action plan with the right people
The next step is to set a company-wide action plan to help you reach your carbon reduction goals. Consider what are your risks, opportunities and barriers to success. Your action plan should include:
- A manageable list of impactful projects
- A timeline for achieving each one
- The employee responsible for each project
- The metrics to gauge your progress (milestones and key performance indicators)
- A dashboard to monitor progress
Also, let your stakeholders (employees, supply chain, shareholders, clients) know about your ambitions. It’s key to raise awareness among your workforce, as your employees are your biggest ambassadors and will be key players in rolling out your action plan.
Share your progress and find other entrepreneurs doing the same thing
Continue to communicate and engage your stakeholders to make them aware of your achievements, best practices and new goals. Also, collaborate with other organizations and spread the word about how you’re taking the lead on fighting climate change.
Stay on track
It’s easy to start with high ambitions and get waylaid by day-to-day pressures. That’s why regular check-ins and a dashboard are essential for monitoring progress, resolve problems and taking corrective actions. Your climate dashboard is where you can track KPIs and set improvement targets. Problems will crop up so it’s important to remain agile and flexible.
Find the right grant for your climate action
Discover our list of over 60 governmental active grants, tax credits and loan programs to support the environmental initiatives of Canadian businesses.
CRA Canada: Sustainability is good business
Explore resources from CRA Canada to discover how organizations focusing on sustainability can successfully balance bottom-line results with other key factors, including impacts on society and the environment.
Business Council of Canada: Climate change and clean growth
The Clean Growth reports provide both analysis and practical recommendations on climate solutions.
The content of this webpage is provided for information purposes only, and the reader is responsible for any decisions resulting from its use. The results of applying the content are not guaranteed by BDC and may vary depending on the context, market, sector, financial situation and size of the company. Content originating from a source outside of BDC is the sole responsibility of the author of that source.