Innovation That Matters

The roadblocks to achieving global net zero

Sustainable Source

Within an organisation, what are the roadblocks to achieving a net-zero world? And how can innovation overcome them?

1. Capturing data on carbon emissions

If businesses don’t know where their carbon footprint lies, how can they properly target their initiatives to reach net zero? Thankfully, we are seeing a flurry of carbon-counting solutions.

Similarly, how can we assess whether carbon reduction plans—especially those that encompass the entire supply chain—are credible? Luxembourg-based SustainCERT has developed new software that tackles this problem. The technology verifies the impact of individual carbon reduction initiatives, focusing on hard-to-tackle supply chain emissions.

2. Scaling solutions

Every day at Springwise we see exciting, inspiring, and sometime quirky innovations. But the challenge many innovators face is how to scale their breakthroughs. And part of the solution lies in established companies partnering with innovators for mutual benefit. 

A great example of such collaboration comes from the packaging industry. London-based startup Notpla recently partnered with online delivery service Just Eat to to create seaweed-lined takeaway containers. It has also run trials with American soft-drink giant Lucozade. 

3. Supply chain co-operation

Food giant Kraft found that over 90% of its total emissions were from the supply chain. And this situation is typical for a large business. This means that co-operation across the supply chain is essential for reaching net zero. 

Manufacture 2030 is a platform that facilitates supplier collaboration to reduce emissions. It began as a peer-to-peer knowledge exchange. Now, its solution enables companies to reduce the carbon emissions of individual supplier sites in line with their targets.

4. Having the right skills in place

It’s not all about tech – people are important too! Even if we design the perfect heat pump, it won’t mean much if we don’t have enough technicians to install them at scale. Workforces around the world need the skills to take advantage of new opportunities. And it can be hard predict what these skills will be. 

An Israeli startup has shown that AI can play a role in forecasting skills gaps.’s artificial intelligence-powered platform identifies the skills a business needs to meet future industry demands. 

5. Cultural alignment

A final roadblock is culture. Many large organisations are siloed, and a lot of employees lack understanding of sustainability and circularity. Everyone within an organisation needs to be engaged and involved in sustainability initiatives if they are to be successful. 

Software platform EarthUp, makes it easier for sustainability teams–including those with limited resources—to educate and engage employees with their sustainability initiatives.

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Words: Matthew Hempstead