Impact+ Road to Zero: Our Net Zero 2030 strategy
Climate change is one of the most challenging problems our society will face, with consequences being felt already today. In fact, 2020 was, along with 2016, the joint hottest year on record (source: WMO) — closing out the warmest decade on record. The global average temperatures reached about 1.2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. All this is making us get uncomfortably close to the 1.5 degrees C cap on average warming that governments committed to aim for when they signed the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. Isn’t it eye opening?
Despite being a complex issue, it can be explained the substantial increase in Greenhouse Gases (GHG) emissions that started in the industrialization era mainly due to fossil fuel burning and land use changes. Increased GHG emissions causes more heat to be retained in Earth Atmosphere and thus more heat to be retaining, leading to an increase in average temperatures.
This can lead to multiple natural, human and socio-economic consequences, either direct or indirect, of which we have highlighted:
- Melting ice and rising seas, which leads to more frequent floods or even the disappearing of entire cities;
- Extreme weather events, which lead to shifts in rainfalls, more frequent and intense draughts and less water resources available;
- Increased hunger and climate refugees, especially true for people living in less developed countries which are more dependent on the environment and natural resources for surviving.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), we need to drastically decrease our GHG emissions until 2030, with especial focus to Carbon Dioxide emissions, to keep average temperature, increase below 1.5ºC or 2ºC, in reference to temperature in pre-industrial levels. There are different consequences for each level of increase which you can check here.
Although this is a worldwide issue that should be addressed by different agents with a comprehensive range of different solutions based on co-creation, everyone has a role to play. Everyone, every government, and every company.
In fact, we believe that businesses have a critical role to play in the transition to a low-carbon economy by reducing their GHG emissions in an economically sustainable way.
Which is why we decided to do our part. We committed to be Net Zero by 2030.
As a social business, our purpose is not only to maximize our financial results but balance it with our positive impact on the Planet and People. In fact, our mission reflects just that: to support and empower local non-profits with social and environmental missions. This is important for us so we can be true to our identity and values and because our employees, clients and partners expect the highest standards from us. Even though we are a small business, we believe we play a role on contributing, positively or negatively to Climate Change. According to the World Bank, they make up about 90% of businesses and account for 50% of employment worldwide. We do believe that small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will play a critical role in the global response to climate change and we want to be part of that change.
Nevertheless, we are aware that, as a business in the tourism sector, our environmental footprint has a considerable negative impact in the environment. For that reason, since always we have strived to be different and to mitigate our negative impact in the environment.
Today, we give another step in the pathway of becoming a more sustainable business. We would like to share with you our strategy to achieve this commitment we made in 2019 together with other 500+ B-Corps:
It took us some time to gather all the necessary data, to structure our analysis and to, in the end, calculate our emissions but we finally did it! Because sustainability was always a core concept in everything we did, we realized we already had many initiatives in place to minimize and some of our emissions. However, having the whole picture of our environmental impact, helped us understand better the long way we have in front of us to achieve our goal.
We built this strategy based on the principles of Transparency, Relevance, Consistency, Accuracy and Completeness and we consider it a work in progress document as we expect it to change and improve over time.
This first strategy made us rethink some of our internal processes and helped us define ambitious goals. However, we recognize that there is still a long way to go to overcome some limitations of this analysis and of our own expertise to some calculations. There are estimations that can certainly be most accurately calculated, there are emissions that were altogether excluded from this calculation because of lack of reliable data. This strategy is just a starting point to help us guide our decisions better and for us to be able to take the first steps towards measuring better these emissions and reducing it.
While we recognize that some categories are easier to tackle than others, we will work hard to create new actions plans to reduce systematically our different emission sources, especially the most relevant ones.
This strategy is far from perfect, but it is one step further. The first of many.
We hope you enjoy reading out strategy and join us in this global quest to fight Climate Change!
Happy Earth Day everyone!