At Greenfish, we actively look for the latest innovations and trends in sustainability. Each month, we organise our Impact Sessions, a sort of mini conference that aims to share knowledge and debate with specialists on sustainability-related topics. This is an opportunity for our consultants to learn more about their field and feel more integrated into our Greenfish community.

On Thursday, June 13th our #3 Impact Session was held in the French office, presented by Antoine Faure, Matthieu Canova and Matthieu Beaudet, respectively Business Catalyst, Analyst Consultant for Consulting and Consultant Intern. Three points were investigated:

  1. Antoine Faure shared his experience as a former Deputy Assistant at the Assemblée Nationale, and particularly explored lobbying and how it can wear many different faces.
  2. Matthieu Canova, manager of Greenfish France Consulting, presented the infamous Kaya equation, and its implications for political and social strategy as well as on our individual habits.
  3. To wrap up, Matthieu Beaudet, Consultant at Greenfish France, presented the company’s Carbon Footprint to our consulting and contracting team, our strong points and the areas in progress.

Many of us have a negative opinion about lobbying and how it hinders political and social processes. However, Antoine Faure illustrated through many real-life experiences how a lobby group may differ from what we may think.

Lobbies can take many forms, from an association in a village working to preserve the right to pursue their hobbies in peace, to conglomerates who see a threat in a future law. They can try to influence politics by mail, by threats, by promises or even by food tastings! But the goals are the same: to enforce a change in the text of a law to preserve or include what may have been forgotten or overlooked.

Melvin Duveau, consultant at Greenfish France, shared his lobbying project as a member of The Shift Project. The group aims to write amendments to laws in progress to ensure they respect the goals France set in terms of CO2 emissions reduction and energy transition.

He, for instance, worked on a law that will merge two French entities: one regulating hunting and fishing, the other focusing on preservation of biodiversity. He intervened by modifying the law so that one of the missions of the new entity would be to guarantee that energy transition would be considered as a clear target. This would mean that in the case of a solar power plant or wind turbine installation, this new entity couldn’t simply block the project for “biodiversity” reasons, but had to put this risk in perspective in terms of the environmental impact gain.

Our second presentation was on the Kaya equation:

This equation, however simple it may seem, allows us to target what terms are directly proportional to CO2 emissions. One can observe the term GDP/POP (PIB/POP) which is simply economic growth per capita, therefore proving the direct correlation between CO2 emissions and growth.

Other factors are energy intensity (CO2/TEP) which literally represents the carbon content of 1 unit of energy produced, energy efficiency of the economy, or how much power one needs to produce 1 unit of currency, and the population.

With a population that could reach 10 billion by 2050 and a target global growth of 2-4% per year, one can easily grasp the technical challenges we must overcome to reduce our CO2 emissions to zero. In fact, if we maximised the energy efficiency of our industry and reached a 50% decrease in energy consumption to produce 1 unit of wealth, we would still need to divide the carbon intensity of our energy by 4 to reach the 2°C target set by the IPCC (60% of CO2 emissions reduction by 2050 compared to 2010 levels).

This goal can be achieved through massive investments in renewables and nuclear power, but it remains highly controversial because of the intermittency of these means of production in terms of security and environmental issues raised by nuclear energy.

Should we then review our current growth models and head towards a stand still (0% growth per year or even negative growth or degrowth), or even deliberately reduce our consumption of goods and energy?

Greenfish wanted to evaluate their own impact on global warming and how they could reduce their emissions. The aim of the last presentation by Matthieu Beaudet was to present the results of a 3-month investigation of Greenfish employees, their habits in terms of transportation, electricity usage or meals, the usage of computers and electronics inside the company, and the consumption of electricity and heat.

Thus, a Carbon Footprint report was made to evaluate these impacts and present a clear roadmap to reduce our CO2 emissions. Consultants participated in finding the appropriate solutions to improve our overall situation and the discussions were numerous!