Limiting beliefs consistently keep companies from reducing their carbon emissions. Hesitating to act on carbon could have serious consequences. Corporations need to determine whether these faulty assumptions are the root cause for paralysis:
Limiting Belief: There is no link between energy use and carbon emissions.
In reality, CO2 is always a by-product of burning fossil fuels. All businesses harness fossil fuels – in the form of gasoline, diesel, coal and natural gas – to move vehicles, heat buildings, and electrify production processes.
Limiting Belief: Energy and carbon emissions can’t be controlled.
In reality, organizations can control their energy use and energy costs. No business will be limited by this belief for much longer. With rising utility and fuel costs, controlling energy will soon be on everyone’s agenda.
Limiting Belief: Reducing carbon emissions is costly.
In reality, 360 Energy has consistently delivered a return on investing in energy and carbon emissions management of 300% or more.
Limiting Belief: No one important cares if my business ignores carbon emissions.
In reality, growing numbers of customers are asking their suppliers to reduce carbon emissions. Investors and lenders are requiring climate related financial disclosures in order to access capital markets. Governments and regulators are creating transition pathways to achieve net zero carbon emissions.
Limiting Belief: Climate regulations and a government imposed carbon price are passing fads.
It is true that politicians are contesting carbon emissions regulations. In reality, however, markets are pivoting to take advantage now of profitable new low-carbon business opportunities whether regulations change in the future or not.
Limiting Belief: Technology and equipment upgrades will fix our carbon emission problems.
It is true that technology has an important tactical role in reducing carbon emissions. When in reality, technologies are only as good as the managers that deploy them. Executive teams need to be well equipped with up-to-date knowledge and a robust strategy. Reducing carbon emissions and avoiding energy costs is a strategic, not a tactical, choice.
Limiting Belief: Carbon emissions are someone else’s problem.
In reality, boards are responsible for all that goes on in their organizations. Reducing carbon emissions is not simply a problem to be solved, it’s an opportunity to be seized. Boards are short changing their organizations if executive compensation KPIs don’t incorporate carbon emissions reductions.
Addressing these limiting beliefs gives CEOs a good roadmap for cutting carbon emissions:
- Commit to understanding the link between energy use and carbon emissions.
- Commit to taking control of energy use.
- Engage the entire executive team. Use facilitated conversations if needed. Give permission to express limiting beliefs and develop a process to overcome them.
- Undertake a baseline review. Understand where and how energy is being used.
- Implement easy wins. There are many ways to reduce energy costs without capital investments. Your executive team will gain confidence, look deeper and go further.
- Track and internally report the carbon emissions avoided by early actions to control energy.
- Incorporate carbon reductions into the Strategic Plan. Help your board take ownership and communication with key stakeholders.
Paralysis can never be a viable strategy for dealing with climate related risks. CEOs are obligated to find out what is limiting action and take corrective measures. Uncovering and addressing limiting beliefs is always a good place to start the journey to carbon emissions excellence.