Dr Susanne Köhler is a consultant at myclimate and heads up climate strategy preparation within the foundation. As well as climate strategy consultancy, her areas of expertise are environmental and carbon footprint calculation, and reduction goal-setting and modelling.
Jan Philipp Trusheim supports companies on their path to effective climate protection in his role as Senior Manager Corporate Partnerships. He is a specialist in climate strategy consulting and is particularly involved in process management of strategy projects.
Jan Philipp, what is a climate strategy, essentially?
Jan Philipp Trusheim: As I see it, a climate strategy is one of the most valuable approaches that companies can use in countering climate change. Focussing on an ambitious long-term climate target and an individual roadmap for carbon reduction, the climate target forms the foundation for strategic climate protection in the company.
This means companies can meet the increasing demands of various stakeholders including customers, investors and employees. It also serves to satisfy regulatory requirements which affect the company either directly, or indirectly through the supply chain.
Susanne, who should adopt a climate strategy, and why?
Dr. Susanne Köhler: In principle a climate strategy makes sense for every organisation. And it is highly relevant for companies of greater complexity, and in certain sectors, such as energy-intensive industries and agriculture. A structured, holistic approach can help reduce complexity and consolidate measures across different departments and business units. And then there are times when a climate strategy is a must, where laws demand it, and where there are external requirements for systemic efforts and communications, such as the CSRD guideline. To meet these requirements, it makes sense to develop a climate strategy and use it as an instrument.
What distinguishes the myclimate approach to climate strategy consulting?
Jan Philipp Trusheim: As a non-profit climate protection organisation, myclimate represents more than 20 years of holistic and effective climate protection. We use our expertise to help companies become pioneers in climate protection. We offer a broad spectrum of solutions, from classic steps like carbon footprint calculation, target development and identification of carbon-reduction measures, to employee engagement, progress monitoring and support in sustainability communications. The modular structure of our climate strategy consulting means our clients can align solutions precisely to their requirements.
What is the initial workshop, exactly?
Dr. Susanne Köhler: The goal of the initial workshop is to give future clients a detailed look at what a climate strategy would mean for them. We present the various modules and discuss what needs to be included in the specific offer. We also answer client questions and give them space to determine whether what we’re offering accords with their wishes and requirements.
At the same time we use the workshop to find out as much about the client’s background situation as possible, so we can focus on what they want and need. With this information in hand we can come up with a tailored quotation for a climate strategy over multiple years.
Why does a climate strategy have a circular structure?
Dr. Susanne Köhler: The typical climate strategy process begins with a status analysis. Then we work on a specific climate vision including reduction targets, before the measures are implemented and progress is reviewed. This cycle is repeated regularly to check that these steps are contributing to the targets. This process allows early identification of measures that aren’t having the desired effect, and the ones that are working particularly well. Then we and the company can respond, adjust, and make optimal use of resources.
Many companies want to be “climate neutral” or “net zero” before the federal government’s target year of 2045. What specific support can a climate strategy offer here?
Jan Philipp Trusheim: The term “climate neutrality” has been the subject of growing criticism recently, because it is sometimes applied in the context of misleading advertising. There are also regulatory changes on the carbon market that recommend against using this term. As part of the climate strategy, myclimate can highlight this kind of paradigm shift in climate protection and provide support for credible sustainability communications.
On the other hand, when you refer to a “net zero” target, this implies a focus on the avoidance and reduction of greenhouse gases, with only the residual emissions neutralised. Here the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), for instance, offers a recognised framework which sets out how you need to configure a reduction pathway to comply with the 1.5-degree target.
As such, myclimate recommends and supports the development of science-based climate targets under the SBTi. Our particular strength lies in working with our clients to develop a roadmap which contains measures with quantifiable impact, to keep them on the carbon reduction pathway and secure climate targets.