Climate change has been one of the hottest topics of recent years, with scientists arguing about whether it happens, what (or who) causes it, and whether there is a solution. However, scientists in their findings have long warned that the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere should remain below 450 parts per million in order to prevent potentially catastrophic climate change. In 2016, the concentration exceeded 400 parts per million, the hottest year ever, and increased by about two parts per year, if this increase keeps pace, then we have about 25 years (2041) to prevent a climate catastrophe.
As a result, the Paris Climate Change Agreement came into force that year and aims to reduce warming to well below 2 ° C above pre-industrial levels by allowing countries to voluntarily reduce carbon dioxide emissions and other greenhouse gases. In 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that emissions would not be sufficiently reduced with the current Paris Agreement quota to avoid even 1.5 ° C of heat and calls for more ambitious reduction plans. According to the IPCC report in 2010, industrial processes as an economic sector contribute 21 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, making businesses the second largest contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions after the electricity/energy sector.
If we are to achieve a climate of 1.5 °C, then businesses need to rethink their business model and operations and develop strategies to enable them mainstream climate adaptation and mitigation plans across all business touchpoints. Globally, this is further enhanced by environmentally friendly employees who put pressure on their
employers, consumers who hold their purchasing power, and investors who are gradually incorporating ESG (environmental, social, and government) issues into their decision-making process.
Nigeria’s retail space is seen as a driver of economic growth with exponential growth surpassing its historically dominant oil and gas sector. In 2013, the Nigerian retail sector contributed 16% to overall GDP growth, with a significant figure due to its rapidly growing informal market . Despite the growth witnessed in the sector and the urgent need to combat the menace of Climate Change, it is crucial to examine how the retail sector is contributing to climate change, the threats, and risks climate change poses on the industry, and how the retail sector is re-engineering operations and supply chain for climate change resilience.
In this segment, our focus is on how the retail sector is contributing to climate change.
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About the Author
Henry Ukoha a General Partner at Climatr is a Cradle 2 Cradle catalyst, an avid researcher, and a cleantech enthusiast passionate about developing sustainable business models, developing products and services, optimizing processes and operations from an innovative viewpoint.
He is driven by his intense passion for the environment and approaches his work from a systems perspective with special attention to the circular economy and cradle-to-cradle design principles thereby positioning an organization strategically in the green economy.
He works with both the private and public sectors to achieve a more sustainable product/service offering.