Festival Net Zero: Co-operation and partnership on the road to net zero

Experts from Co-op Power, Schneider Electric and Water Plus took to the stage to discuss the importance of collaboration, as well as why you can’t go net zero without thinking about water

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Experts from Co-op Power, Schneider Electric and Water Plus took to the stage to discuss the importance of co-operation and partnership on the road to net zero, as well as why you can’t go net zero without thinking about water.

Speaking to the audience gathered at Festival Net Zero, Alex Pitman, Energy & Carbon Performance Manager at Co-op Power, said there was no point in trying to go net zero alone – as the target needs to be delivered across the economy, it is vital for businesses and organisations of all sizes to include their supply chain and other partners in the journey.

He noted that to deliver the ambitious goal by 2050, it is not possible to do a slightly improved version of business-as-usual and meaningfully cut emissions – it is crucial to rethink your business model in a fundamental way.

He noted that in many places, supply chain pressure is already driving change in small businesses and predicted this was almost certain to ramp up as society gets closer to the decarbonisation milestones in place.

David Williams, Vice President of Marketing at Schneider Electric UK & Ireland agreed that it is necessary to rethink relationships between businesses, suggesting that behaviour must become less transactional and much more lifecycle-oriented to drive sustainability.

He warned that the UK “isn’t really on track to meet its 2050 net zero commitments”, despite there being a clear appetite to get ahead and a societal shift towards tackling climate change and added: “If businesses want to be operating in 10, 15, 20 years time, they need to start doing the right things now to ensure this is the case.”

The impact of not considering the economics of your water use also has very far-reaching impacts, said Laura McNamee, Head of Commercial Strategy at Water Plus.

She urged the audience to be aware that climate change is already happening right now and warned it was already affecting customers.

In an indication of how important it is to reduce these threats, she emphasised that only 3% of the water in the world is usable right now – she warned this supply will become only more finite and pressured as population grows, climate change worsens and leaks continue.

 

We have produced a thought leadership report with all of our partners to help you navigate your path to net zero – you can download it here.