Race to Zero Emissions
28 May 2021 - The Science
Race to Zero: Our commitment, measurements and benefits of joining
It is now beyond doubt that in order to keep our planet’s temperature rise to less than 2.0’C above pre-industrial averages, humanity needs to take rapid action; we have done too little for the past two decades, and therefore have a lot of catching up to do. A temperature shift above 2’C would be catastrophic, with rising sea temperatures that would melt sea ice and flood low lying areas, trigger deadly storms, and desiccate areas of forest and agricultural land worldwide. Many different ecosystems would be critically threatened.
Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions
The best way to slow down this rise is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and to capture the gasses that are already in our atmosphere. Countries, cities and companies are making commitments to reduce their GHGs, in order to reach net zero, by various dates (in most cases 2050 to 2060). But we cannot continue to emit increasing amounts up to that point. We have to start reducing emissions of CO 2 and Methane (CH 4 ) right now and start to reverse the long-term trend. Climate scientists refer to the last 10 years as the “lost decade” because despite recognising the scale of the problem, not enough was done to reverse the level of emissions globally.
Re-evaluating Frog’s Supply Chain
At Frog, we recognise that although riding our lovely bikes is a very green activity, and in many cases means that families are not using their cars to get to school, the unavoidable fact is that a new bike is made of aluminium, and the production of aluminium causes carbon emissions. So we are re-evaluating our whole supply chain to find ways we can reduce the amount of primary aluminium and other materials we use. In fact, all our activities use energy: from turning on the lights and heating our premises, to running our assembly line, even driving to work and storing our data in the cloud, and some of this energy comes from fossil fuels.
Frog's Race to Zero
We have signed up to make some really substantial changes, by committing to the United Nations Climate Change “Race to Zero” programme. This means we have committed to halving our emissions by 2030, and be net zero by 2050. We don’t want to wait that long and hope to be able to demonstrate some big improvements every year from now on. We will be sharing our progress with you, as we believe it’s really important to be transparent and to share what we learn with other organisations that are working towards the same goals.
As most companies are finding, it is easier and quicker to reduce the emissions from activities that are directly within our control e.g. how we travel and what electricity we use. The harder emissions to measure, and to reduce, are those further up our supply chain. The bike industry has very long, global supply chains, with multiple parties involved. But the good news is that our industry is getting more determined to crack some of the harder issues and to put pressure on raw materials suppliers to improve their practices. It will take both time and concerted effort, but it is achievable. We’re already seeing some innovation in bicycle tyre recycling and reuse, for example.
SME Climate Hub
We have chosen to work with the SME Climate Hub to help us get there because they have curated a set of tools to help us measure and then reduce our emissions. They have recommended tools that can help us calculate our emissions for business areas as diverse as global freight, home working, and waste management – and the tools are reviewed by climate experts, so we can trust their output. Around 720 companies are already using the SME Climate Hub to help guide our climate-positive decisions.
UN Climate Change Conference
In the build-up to the UN Climate Change Conference; COP26 this November, which will bring parties together to accelerate action, there is even more momentum and activity from businesses, universities, cities and countries worldwide. We are all wrestling with the biggest issue facing humanity and working out what we are each able to do to combat the threat of climate change. The scale of what’s required is daunting, but if we all take action quickly the necessary changes are achievable. And there’s plenty of support out there to help businesses, both large and small.
To find out more:
UN Climate Change:https://unfccc.int/climate-action/race-to-zero-campaign
SME Climate Hub:https://smeclimatehub.org/