Bureau Veritas encourages businesses to build on the momentum of COP26

As the dust settles on COP26 and we see what the outcomes of the various pledges really mean for the global climate crisis, sustainability authority Bureau Veritas is urging UK businesses to build on the momentum of the summit and take individual action to drive change – irrespective of how quickly the ambitions of the conference become legal requirements.

Hosted in Glasgow and intended to turn the tide on climate change, COP26 saw the world’s leaders gather to discuss key global issues to drive ambition and action. A series of key pledges were made during the conference, which included:

  • an end and reverse to deforestation by 2030, signed by over 130 countries. This will change food supply chains – in particular for products such a beef, soya and palm oil;
  • a (now compromised) coal pledge, which will see the phase out of coal power to accelerate the global transition to clean energy. This requires investment into alternative technology such as wind power, battery storage and the technology hubs to support these transitioning industries;
  • a verification scheme, which will see largest firms and financial institutions show how they intended to hit climate change targets, in-line with the UK’s net zero ambitions. This will lead to an era of transparency, with stakeholders able to clearly see the social and environmental projects investments are funding;
  • the launch of an Urban Climate Action Programme (UCAP), which will support the decarbonisation of buildings globally. This means building will need to use more efficient and sustainable materials, along with alternative heat technology, but still able to handle extreme weather conditions;
  • a commitment to reach 100% zero emission car sales by 2040 or earlier, which will lead to a rapid roll-out of required infrastructure to support EVs – changing the way we travel.

Now, almost a month on from the global climate talks, Julie-Anna Smith, South & West Europe Sustainability Services Leader at Bureau Veritas, is reminding businesses of the importance of acting quickly to make changes from the ground up as we strive towards net zero.

Julie-Anna said: “Whilst COP26 didn’t deliver on all the ambitions we had hoped to see and there is clearly a ‘no one size fits all’ solution to climate change, it made some good progress in addressing some fundamental global issues. There is clearly a long way to go before we see the ambitions agreed become a reality, but the intentions outlined through a series of pledges have scope to have a huge positive impact in the coming 30 years as we strive to meet net zero targets.

“The challenge for UK businesses now is to build on the momentum of the issues that COP26 has bought into focus and to make change happen. Already in a matter of weeks we’ve seen the private sector mobilise into action, and we’re seeing now, more than ever, individual organisations and whole industries adopting a much more forward-thinking approach when it comes to both social and environmental issues.

“COP26 has escalated the thought process when it comes to sustainable practices and has really encouraged businesses to put plans into action. The pledges made during COP26 will change how businesses operate, it is crucial that they start to adapt and adopt practices, processes and procedures now to meet future requirements head on.”

Bureau Veritas works with organisations to meet increased sustainability expectations. This includes a range of services across the ‘BV Green Line’ of services and solutions dedicated to sustainability, which are all aimed at supporting customers operate responsibly as the world transitions to a low carbon economy.

To find out more about Bureau Veritas’ sustainability services, or to discuss individual requirements with a member of the team, call 0345 600 1828 or visit www.bureauveritas.co.uk.

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