Business is running faster than politicians to find solutions to carbon emissions
ESG expert Kris Russell was recently honoured at the COP26 conference on climate change for the achievements of the team he led at Dallas Fort Worth, making it the biggest airport in the world to become carbon neutral.
In the latest Moore Intelligence podcast Russell, now senior ESG manager at Armanino in Dallas, part of Moore North America, explains how an initial push to improve air quality led to an 80% reduction in carbon emissions over a ten-year period and generated positive financial benefits for the airport operator.
“There are about eight million people in the conurbation and in 2007 we started thinking about how we could clean up airport operations and play our part in improving local air quality,” says Russell. “In the early days we focused on improving customer service and reducing consumption – our targets were 100% renewable electricity and 75% renewable natural gas.
“However, as we went on we realised there were significant cost savings as well in what we were doing. Over the past 15 years we achieved a 50% reduction in energy costs, which amounts to around $20 million.”
These achievements were recognised at COP26 meeting in Glasgow where Kris and his Dallas Fort Worth team received the 2020 UN Global Climate Action Award.
Now at Armanino, he is keen to share his experience and help companies explore the benefits of embedding policies on ESG (environmental, social and governance).
“It was clear to me at the recent COP26 that policymakers and businesses are fully behind this issue,” he says, reflecting on his trip. “However, I think businesses are a bit more agile and can move more quickly – it as if they are taking positive action and waiting for the legislators and regulators to catch up.”
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