Apr 25, 2022
The theme of Earth Day 2022 is “invest in our planet” — and can be seen as a direct call to businesses and investors to act on reducing their adverse environmental impact. In the lead-up to Earth Day, Jennifer Leitsch, Managing Director in the Climate Change and Sustainability Services (CCaSS) practice at Ernst & Young, LLP, spoke to Cynthia Curtis, Senior Vice President for Sustainability at JLL, about the challenges and opportunities of ambitious net zero goals, and the actions the real estate and construction sector, a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, should take now to achieve them.
Earth Day 2022’s thematic shift from citizen activism to corporate action poses some important questions on industry actions and accountability. While carbon offsetting can often be described as one of the answers to a business’s carbon emissions, it is unlikely to be the only solution. And as offsetting measurements come under increased scrutiny, how can proposals such as the “Carbon Credit Quality Initiative,” spearheaded by the World Wildlife Fund and the Environmental Defense Fund, help provide confidence in credible and verifiable offsets?
The collaborations among organizations can be an important step toward reaching net zero emissions. Public-private partnerships, governments and long-term policy changes could also be important to building a low-carbon economy, and helping incentivize more green business practices that are both ethical and lucrative.
Many industries are increasingly aware of the possibility to have a sustainable and thriving business. Cynthia and Jennifer discuss why it’s time for businesses of all shapes and sizes to act: