Understand the full climate impact on society from the company with a focus on the products the company provides and what is needed in society
Most companies still only use tools and assessments that focus on their own emissions (scope 1-3) and do not assess the actual climate emissions in society. Only if the whole society was static, and the future would be the same as today with no new companies and no new solutions, would such an approach make sense beyond a risk perspective. The major change with a full climate impact assessment is that the focus now is on the impact in society, not the company itself, from different perspectives. With a full climate impact assessment, including an understanding of the impact on human needs and dynamic feedback mechanisms, it is possible to assess the full impact of the company in society.
Initially a full impact approach can be daunting in a compliance driven culture, where external reporting and risk management, rather than actual impact in society has been the focus for a long time. However, even a rough assessment of the different impact areas often helps companies identify areas that are orders of magnitude more important than their current compliance drive work. In addition, many companies realise that the current risk/reduction climate agenda is only one part of a full impact strategy that involves many more parts of the company. A focus on the core business and the possibility to link increased sales to increased positive climate impact provides the opportunity to engage not only new parts of the company, but also opens up for new interactions with other stakeholders, far beyond reporting consultants and offsetting organisations.
Assessment focus (Steps 1, 2, 3, 4)
An initial overview of the potential positive impacts in society requires all the four assessment steps, as such an overview will provide insights into new areas that most companies do not include in their current innovation and climate strategies. To view the need for globally sustainable solutions in society as an innovation driver, a focus on human needs and the inclusion of dynamic feedback mechanisms are still new areas of inquiry for most organisations, so surprises are almost guaranteed. An initial overview also allows many different parts of the company to engage and a new generation of innovation to flourish. Based on such an overview, different ways forward can be discussed.