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February 11, 2020

How Companies Can Achieve Sustainability Goals by Setting Bold Targets

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By Scott Tew, Executive Director, Center for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability

The need for climate action has never been more urgent as we have until 2030 to bend the curve against catastrophic global warming.

People around the world have started making small changes to counteract the negative impacts, and emerging leaders are growing more vocal about the changes they expect to see the rest of the world make.

Corporations, in the meantime, tend to be slower in making operational changes toward sustainability. And there are a few reasons why. It requires substantial financial and time investment with sweeping behavior changes that involve the support of the most senior executives and stakeholders to truly succeed.  But as we approach the no-return temperature rise of 1.5° C above pre-industrial levels, corporations - particularly those with solutions that can move the needle - must step up to lead.

“We know there is more work to do and it’s crucial that we deliver on our bold commitments, work together with policy makers and other critical partners, and find opportunities to collaborate to advance and tackle the climate crisis.”

Scott Tew, Executive Director, Center for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability

For us at Trane Technologies, sustainability is not just how we do business—it is our business. Sustainability is at the center of our strategy and influences how we make every decision. This focus helps establish our culture and guides how we view innovation, engagement and our role in solving some of the world’s greatest challenges. Our 2030 ESG commitments are driving us further to take a leadership role in tackling the world's environmental and sustainability challenges as we amplify progress towards a more sustainable future.

We’ve learned a few best practices along the way - namely, making big, bold climate commitments requires the participation and support of leadership, encourages employee engagement and can position your company as a leader in the market to your customers as you help address big challenges.

How?

  • Inspiring Participation and Support from Leadership – No great initiative can be successful without the support of the executive team or the board. These types of cultural changes must be top down.

  • Encourages Employee Engagement – While top-level support is critical, widespread behavior change is grass-roots driven. Creating ways for employees to feel included will support your sustainability strategy and can lead to long-term employee retention.

  • Company Positioning – Making bold commitments signals to the market that you’re willing to invest the time and resources needed to meet – and exceed – the demands of the market and expectations of all stakeholders. What’s more, being first to market with new sustainability strategies encourages additional innovation and ideation. In the end, customers won’t have to make a choice between being green and being fiscally responsible. It’s good for the bottom line and better for the environment.

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