Challenge 2: Climate transition.

Climate transition is a now a fundamental requirement of every individual, family, community, organisation, and society. Navigating the change required – adapting systems and behaviour – is complex and challenging. Getting it right creates social, environmental and economic value.

What is it?

The climate is changing and affecting urban and natural landscapes, sometimes with devastating effects on people, property, the viability of our systems and organisations.

Increasingly, nature is being valued as an economic asset, related to carbon sequestration and food security as well as health and wellbeing.

Every organisation – and level of government – needs a coordinated strategy and plan for transitioning to sustainability; particularly, now, with a legislated net zero emissions target to reach.

In strategic planning and governance, that requires understanding and applying concepts such as sustainability, circularity, regeneration, sequestration – and such as mitigation and adaptation – to achieve a just transition.

Sustainability requirements and ESG frameworks represent a cost, but also an opportunity to drive innovation, and create shared value: social, economic (financial) and environmental.

In Australia, the policy narratives, and customer, employee and shareholder expectations, have already shifted. There is a broad and sustained demand for change from markets and communities.

The best organisations will prepare, lead, and be on the right side of history.

The case for change.

Human life has already surpassed planetary limits – we are using more that the Earth can regenerate. So, it is no exaggeration that the business case is our continued existence.

People from poorer countries and regions are disproportionately affected by climate change and the competition among wealthy nations and companies for increasingly scarce resources. There is a moral obligation to manage a just transition, and ensure we avoid the economic and social impacts of poverty, ill health and social unrest.

Solutions and alternatives exist for many of the component issues we face. The challenge is investment and adoption, often at scale.

Investing in climate transition brings many potential benefits:

  • Drive innovation within the organisation, with customers, and within the supply chain.
  • Reduce environmental and related financial and social risks.
  • Control your destiny. Ensure a seat at the table where decisions are made; influence the upstream and downstream context.
  • Access lower cost capital by demonstrating climate consciousness and risk mitigation.
  • Attract long-term, committed, higher value investors; escalate the transition.
  • Attract and retain employees who back the purpose and the journey.
  • Attract new customers and stakeholder advocates
  • Manage and reduce costs through more efficient operations
  • Build brand equity and reputation (including ‘social licence’)

Almost all large organisations are required (by investors, customers or regulators) to report on a set of sustainability metrics. That is a sunk cost unless we pose the question: ‘how might we create value from investment in climate transition’.

Ultimately, all Australian employees are investors (via superannuation funds), and are making their demand for action felt in where they place their dollars.  They expect their employer to be clear about the journey to net zero for the sake of their employment, their family, and the nation. Likewise, at the ballot box this year, Australian’s have made their demand for political action on climate clear.

We’re taking a stand.

Time’s up. There is no excuse not to get started right now.

The issues are evidenced and legitimised. It’s time to address them.

The answers will come. Get started.

Strategy and design for people, place, planet.

How we can help.

We support leaders in progressive organisations to understand future scenarios, roadmap change over time, develop strategies and roadmaps, and communicate the journey they are on to employees, customers, stakeholders, and shareholders. Materiality assessments identify issues to address and opportunities to innovate using shared value framing.

Our multidisciplinary teams guide organisations through the future foresight and research process to define a vision, strategy, and roadmap.

We bring a knowledge of the commercial drivers of sustainability, and the interface of environmental outcomes in sociological and organisational contexts.

For governments, accelerating work on the settings and interventions for a just transition, we support policymakers understand, engage, and change communities and industries that are transformed or benefitted.

We have over a decade’s experience in the industries impacted and implicated in climate change: waste, water, energy. And, we have conducted large scale research and innovation projects in biodiversity and landscape use.

In delivery, our work looks like:

  • Purpose statements and supporting narrative
  • Impact frameworks, measurement, and reporting
  • Strategy and planning
  • Activity roadmaps
  • ESG, sustainability and impact reporting
  • Shared value strategy
  • Experience, product and service innovation
  • Creative campaigns, for awareness, attitude, and behaviour change
  • Community and stakeholder engagement, including hard to reach, diverse groups
  • Digital engagement and marketing, including web UX/UI, social and lead generation campaigns
  • Employee engagement including sustainability strategy activation
  • Branding and repositioning regions, cities, organisations, and initiatives
  • Media and public relations

Further reading

Case studies: