Start-ups: ease into net-zero with collaborations

retailers, zero emissions, net-zero
Carbon footprint concept – 3d rendering

Start-up mode can be relentless and exhausting. Too quickly, we become hyper-focused on the unique demands our business places on our attention. Add to that the introduction of new green governance in the form of Net-Zero and ESG regulations, and life may seem overwhelming. However, the true reality is green governance is a call to opportunity and a way to build collaborative networks of like-minded people.

A shared mindset is one of our strongest assets. When supported by local and regional green governance initiatives, including “Net-Zero” requirements, stakeholder accountability, and ESG (environment/ social/ governance) regulations, not only do our language and goals come into alignment, but collaboration becomes a natural mode of operation. Additionally, embracing low-carbon activities signals to savvy investors and consumers that you are walking your talk.

Low carbon = opportunity

It may seem like an obvious suggestion, but think about how your own low-carbon operations can be amplified if you prioritise working with others who operate similarly. Interestingly, low-carbon does not have to be limited to recent technologies, but can be a combination of old and new.

For example, at Lord of the Trees, our drone fleet is equipped with leading-edge imaging capabilities. Those capabilities are meaningless, though, if they are not informed by local and Indigenous people who possess knowledge of landscape, water, fire, and life. So, we partner with tribal communities that enable us to make precise yet sensitive decisions about ecosystem restoration.

If, however, you work with legacy clients that have not yet committed to greener practices, consider offering your expertise to do targeted assessments. It may be possible to generate alternative revenue by aiding or even boosting your client’s compliance. Your help may come at the right time and enable a collaborative relationship that will yield today and in the future.

Ready steady

If your business plan has you headed down one road but you need to course correct, don’t sweat it. You can do it. Transitions take time and will be most effective when they are embraced by the entire staff, including management. Be brave to initiate changes and also thoughtful about how you make them.

Externally, seek others who are transitioning and have discussions. Admit what you don’t know, and make it a priority to get up to speed. Determine which changes you can make internally, and which might require external expertise. For example, there are plenty of available science-based frameworks for achieving Net-Zero emissions, so no need to re-invent the wheel. But, if you find ESG confusing, locate an expert to help.

Waiting too long may turn out to be costly in unanticipated ways, particularly when appealing to informed customers and clients. But keep in mind that the company you hire to assist may turn out to be a lasting relationship because goals of achieving reduced emissions are shared.

Green governance doesn’t have to disrupt profit structures but can enhance them, paving the way for industry, research, communities, and governments to build the national skills and readiness for a low-emissions future.

Just as a tree cannot flourish without a healthy ecosystem, businesses owners, too, require resources from many places. Today’s regulatory environment makes it easier than ever to work together and accelerate forward on solutions-based paths.