A science-based approach to climate action
COP 27 article series: This is how AFRY applies a science-based approach to climate action
Climate change is the most pressing challenge of our time. Science provides us with an understanding of what climate change is, what its drivers are and why it has the impacts that it has. Most importantly, science tells us how to address climate change. Therefore, we at AFRY apply and advocate for a science-based approach to climate action.
Science states that we need to limit global warming to a maximum of 1.5°C compared to pre-industrial levels to avoid catastrophic consequences for people and the living environment. To meet the 1.5°C ambition, Stockholm Resilience Center has developed the Carbon Law. The Carbon Law states that greenhouse gas emissions need to halve every decade and reach net zero by mid-century. This approach can be applied at any scale; a country, an individual, or an organisation. AFRY follows the Carbon Law – below we describe our concrete and practical way to apply science to our climate action.
To ensure that we meet the requirements of the Carbon Law, our climate action follows the 1.5°C Business Playbook developed by the Exponential Roadmap Initiative. The 1.5°C Business Playbook provides a framework for all companies to reach net zero emissions rapidly based on four pillars: (1) reduce our own emissions, (2) reduce our value chain emissions, (3) integrate climate in strategy, and (4) influence climate action in society.
Pillar 1: Reducing our own emissions
The emissions that are within our own operation, which are referred to as direct (scope 1) and indirect (scope 2) emissions are included in our emission reduction targets that have been scientifically validated by the Science Based Targets initiative to be in line with the 1.5°C ambition. Emissions from our own business operations will be minimized by measures such as decarbonizing our vehicle fleet and choosing fossil-free energy for our offices. To ensure rapid decarbonisation we are focusing our actions on our largest markets where we have to most emissions.
Pillar 2: Reducing our value chain emissions
The emissions stemming from our value chain are referred to as other indirect emissions (scope 3) and are also scientifically validated to be in line with the 1.5°C ambition. We minimize our scope 3 emissions by always conducting purposeful and sustainable travel. This means that we always consider virtual collaboration before traveling and consider the climate impact of all necessary traveling.
In addition to this, we engage with our suppliers, aiming for them to set their own climate targets in line with the 1.5°C ambition. Climate action amongst our suppliers leads to reduced emissions from our purchased goods and services. To ensure rapid decarbonization we are focusing on prioritized suppliers with a larger carbon footprint.
Pillar 3: Integrate climate into strategy
All sectors and industries that we as a company operate in are influenced by climate change, which is why the ambition to limit greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt society to a warmer climate is an integral part of our business.
All our employees conduct sustainability training which includes climate change mitigation and adaptation. Our people are thereby transformed into ambassadors for the 1.5°C ambition and help our clients in their quest to reach net zero. Moreover, to increase our impact we encourage our clients to adopt sustainable solutions and we seek innovative and transformative assignments.
To further increase the impact of our strategy in support of our mission, we intend to grow as a company – delivering more support to our clients’ transition, sustainable solutions, and committed climate ambassadors.
Pillar 4: Influence climate action in society
Science makes it clear: we need to tackle climate change together. Therefore, we need to challenge the limits to our impact and further influence climate action in society. For us at AFRY, this means contributing to climate action beyond our operations and assignments.
We do this by sharing knowledge and expertise, showcasing climate solutions, and engaging with strategic partners – because we only win if we win together. Examples from our broad solutions portfolio can be found on our website and in our publications the Sustainable Stories magazine and AFRY Insight reports.
In addition to this, Exponential Roadmap Initiative has developed a report, the Exponential Roadmap, presenting 36 scalable climate solutions with the potential to halve global greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 – all of which we can support you in applying in your business.
If you want to find out how we can help you transform your business, contact one of our 19,000 ambassadors situated in offices in over 40 countries working with different aspects of the transition to a sustainable society.