In March 2019, South Pole co-hosted the Nature for Impact Event in London together with International Platform for Insetting (IPI) and Ecosphere+.
Corporate climate leaders from L'Oréal, Nespresso, Chanel, Kering and Olam gathered in London to share experiences and discuss the benefits of developing emissions reduction projects in and around the supply chain - also known as 'insetting". Sessions focused on the strong links between insetting and Science-Based Targets and the key role of nature-based solutions in supporting supply chain action on resilience, climate water and forests.
While organisations define insetting slightly differently, during the conference, a clear thread could be identified that we call the “insetting philosophy". In a nutshell, it's about creating concrete impacts, that are well monitored in a company's value chain. Nature-based Solutions are actions that work with and enhance ecosystems while helping to solve social challenges.
“Insetting represents the actions taken by an organization to fight climate change within its own value chain in a manner which generates multiple positive sustainable impacts."
– International Platform for Insetting, IPI
Insetting is a leadership strategy, demonstrating a strong commitment to deliver positive impacts in the supply chain. It involves taking suppliers, customers and other stakeholders on a journey to generate shared value. Leading companies, already engaged in insetting, are effectively and efficiently fighting climate change in the areas where it most matters to them: their own value chain. In some cases, insetting projects can also help to achieve scope 3 emission reduction targets, for example, Science-Based Targets.
Working thoughtfully with nature is critical in reducing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. It helps to increase carbon sequestration by reestablishing natural carbon sinks, increase soil health, restore local water cycles and fight the loss of forests and crucially biodiversity. Nature-based solutions aim to take into account social challenges as well as environmental ones, community projects for example increase critical livelihoods of farmers and communities, and a healthy, carbon-rich soil ensures high productivities and thus farmer income. Corporates shared experiences of how they are applying nature-based solutions.
Nespresso, having identified the threat of the deforestation, climate change and loss of habitat to their predominately small-scale coffee growers, took decisive action to secure their supply chain. They worked with the farmers and other stakeholders to implement agroforestry techniques, supporting the community ensured that coffee production could continue to meet their demands. They have built-up the resilience in their supply chains and helped to mitigate climate change. Similarly, L'Oréal addressed potential risks across their supply chains by developing projects with the local communities in and around key raw materials. A comprehensive approach was taken by developing projects for efficient cookstoves, agroforestry, peatland restoration and forest conservation. L'Oréal championed collaboration for decarbonisation, supply-chain resilience and enhancing the livelihoods of communities it operates in.
With collaboration at the core of insetting, this sharing of expertise delivers impactful results through ambitious action and innovative techniques. Leading companies act as lighthouses in their sectors or geographies, inspiring others to take action beyond the most prevalent sustainable supply chain strategies. When applying the “insetting philosophy", the focus shifts from routine product certification, risks assessments, procurement policies and supplier audits to focus on the positive impact delivered by concrete action. By using impact-focused monitoring, it is ensured that the positive impact goes beyond episodical evidence, but reaches the scale and longevity needed to protect the ecosystems and communities that productive supply chains so critically rely upon.
Want further information on delivering positive impact through concrete action in your business's supply chain? Contact South Pole's Director of Sustainable Supply Chains, Tilmann Silber (firstname.lastname@example.org), for more information, or join the International Platform for Insetting , and learn how they facilitate the integration of insetting practices in the business world.