Ambition and transparency

Quite a few large Swedish companies received a letter this week. The senders were financial actors, such as Nordea Asset Management, Handelsbanken Asset Management, Alecta and Swedbank Robur. The message was crystal clear: Set new climate goals in line with with the Paris Agreement 1.5-degree goal and aim to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

The initiative is global. As many as 137 financial institutions have placed the same demands on large companies around the world. Furthermore, the sharper goals should be scientific, so a further call for the companies were to join the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

Balance in life – not everything is usually green

Why this call? Well, because they want to know which companies are serious in their climate work. If the targets are approved by SBTi, they are reviewed and verified. It simply becomes transparent and comparable.

We’ve talked a lot about transparency with different customers this week. Transparency is perhaps the single most important word when it comes to sustainability – alongside ambition. If you are transparent in where you are with your ambitions and challenges, it’s easier for investors, customers or for that matter, a potential future employee, to decide whether the company is something to have, or whether it’s just green talk.

SSAB’s climate goals approved by SBTi

SSAB is at the top of the list of greenhouse gas emitters in Sweden. Last week their climate targets were approved by SBTi. The reason for this is ambition (HYBRIT), and transparency. It is not easy to throw out the blast furnaces and restart with completely new technology that does not yet exist. They are very transparent about this.

All our customers are ambitious. They want to measure, but wonder how: what if we don’t have everything in place? What should we measure, how should we measure and who knows how? It is easy to get confused by all the directives and initiatives. This is when you need to look at the big picture, evaluate the value chain, structure, draw, and think together.

The report flood is here again, so hold on to your hat. It might feel like a roller-coaster short-term. Long term, however, the transparent companies with the right ambitions will remain in business.

The image shows an ambitious company working together to identify their most significant greenhouse gas emissions throughout the value chain. The method used is Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG), which is also the basis for SBTi.