Business Trip and Climate Change: "Mind Shift" is a key for Sustainable Business Trip
March 18, 2022
March 18, 2022
Hi, I am Shion, Accenture Japan's environmental lead.
I am taking care of environmental initiatives at Accenture Japan, including internal and external communication, and managing events on environmental themes. In May 2021, I transferred to the Workplace Environmental team.
Today, I would like to introduce the first challenge, which I faced in my career as an environmental lead.
The current role is my dream job! Since my high school days, I kept wishing to communicate science through my job. During the first days of my dream job, however, I immediately found it very challenging.
It was when our team conducted a training session for employees to promote oura project to reduce CO2 emissions. After the session, we received a lot of questions and feedback. That made me feel that I should have explained more thoroughly about the project.
Then, I realized that I can do something more to follow up these questions and feedback. So, I knocked the door of my colleagues from the departments promoting the project, to consult to get more ideas to leverage the feedback. I had very interesting discussions with them; therefore, I decided to share what we talked during our discussion in our entire Japan offices.
Here, I am going to share some of our interesting discussions with you!
Before getting into the discussion, let me introduce Accenture's sustainability targets. Accenture has set environmental targets over 10 years. Toward 2025, we have set the following three objectives.
These days, you might see various corporate environmental and sustainability goals. I highlighted the characteristics of Accenture's goals as described with "★" mark.
■ Achieve Net Zero Emissions by 2025
★ In addition to CO2 emissions associated with Accenture's direct emissions and electricity usage (Scope 1 and 2), our target also covers indirect emissions or Scope 3, including purchased services and business trips.
■ Move to Zero Waste
★ Efforts will be made not only to reduce CO2 emissions but also the waste. This includes 100% reuse and recycling of PCs, servers, and office furniture.
■ Plan for water risk
★ In addition to the efforts to curb our environmental impact, we also plan to respond in case water disasters increase due to the impact of climate change.
Here, I would like to talk about the "Net Zero Emissions," one of our goals.
One of our approachs is to recover CO2 from the atmosphere through nature-based solutions, but first, we are promoting initiatives to reduce CO2 that we emit.
A major part of the carbon dioxide emissions of Accenture are associated with business trips, as we do not produce any products. Accordingly, Accenture Global announced its commitment to increase the share of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAFs) used in global aviation industries by 10% by 2030. (World Economic Forum Website Link)
Accenture Japan also offers Multi-Modality Project to help employees’ travels in ways that take climate change into account when traveling to customers’ sites. Currently, we are focusing on promoting environmentally conscious business trip methods and raising awareness among the employees. Specifically, a key is to "add sustainability as a factor for making decisions on business trips through shifting a mindset of employees.
It is not easy to change people's mindset. At Accenture, a global enterprise, its employees from diverse backgrounds are working on a variety of projects. The thoughts of each employee are also truly diverse. It is important to communicate with each stakeholder while understanding the circumstances of each project. For this reason, we have put a system in place that allows us to disseminate information as closely as possible, including trainings for employees and introductions at large-scale meetings, and receiving questions and opinions on this new project at any time.
Still, I received several strong opinions and questions. It is good to receive such responses because it also means that employees are aware of this topic. Nevertheless, they were good but tough comments. For example, "I'm already traveling sustainably, but I see some people who are not doing same. Why?" or "It's okay to set stricter rules."
Accordingly, I decided to discuss these various opinions with Mobility Team, which supports Accenture's business trips, and then summarized the opinions and information we received in an article in our internal newsletter. Here, let me introduce some of our discussions.
Enjoy this virtual meeting opportunity with the Mobility Team who support Accenture's business trips!
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Raj We would like to promote Multi-Modality Project in many places and hope that each one of you have a chance to change and become more environmental and sustainable.
We already started receiving many good feedback and questions on our project. This is good and exciting for us because we understand some of you have started questioning and thinking about environment and sustainability, and this is what we want!!
Until now, the means of transportation has basically been decided based on factors such as cost and geographic convenience. By learning from our Multi-Modality Project (e.g. usage of the latest base materials and the wind direction affect CO2 emissions), we would like you to start thinking about the sustainability goals of both Accenture and our clients as well as the other factors.
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Junko Let's talk about the goal of Multi-Modality Project.
Policies are to help you to perform your job better. They shouldn’t bother your work. I want travelers to shift their mindset to willingly take more sustainable actions, rather than choosing train to avoid nuisances. From a standpoint of a business traveler, is it truly sustainable to enforce rails without awareness of environmental need? I don’t think so.
I think, you will start thinking about choosing more eco-friendly business trip methods by positively communicating the meaning of practicing eco-friendly business trips. For example, some of Accenture's internal tools allow you to verify CO2 emissions for each airline easily. When you use this for a flight reservation, you can also choose a route with less emissions among multiple options. Every one of them may be a small one, but I would like to support them in choosing by themselves and being aware that this leads ultimately to the achievement of their goals.
There is some challenge to talk about environments always in positive ways, so we are currently exploring more effective communicational options for this. We start our journey from awakening employee’s awareness of the project.