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Op-ed:-Achieving Net Zero

Achieving Net Zero
Achieving Net Zero

What is on your bucket list?

Did you add climate change to your bucket list? Hopefully, the answer is YES.

How can business leaders help?

Every generation is looking to business leaders and governments for feasible action plans that will reduce the emission of greenhouse gases (GHG) released from the use of fossil fuels, as well as offsetting measures that will also play an important role in achieving net zero targets.

Systems to help a business to  achieve net-zero

Continuous Improvement Projects Ltd (CIP) is committed to developing a support system for organisations that would enhance their contribution to the zero-carbon target set by the world economies. They decided to collaborate with interdisciplinary researchers to create a research and evidence-based framework to address this urgent need. The team identified that the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development (FSSD) has been developed and tested within the manufacturing sector but has not been developed for use beyond the manufacturing industry. Focusing on FSSD, the team commenced their research by determining the main challenges for implementation beyond manufacturing.


Researchers have refined the FSSD over several years to provide organisations with a detailed understanding of the sustainability challenges they face and related opportunities.  

To understand the scope of an organisation’s problem, it needs to define its vision of success. However, to achieve the sustainable goals, the decision makers will have to strategically assess the methods and tools to apply efficiently. In summary, the common practice is to follow the ABCD process (where A is Awareness and Visioning; B is for  Baseline Mapping; C is related to Creative Solutions and D is to Decide on Priorities). Once sustainability actions are prioritised and agreed the organisation can move quickly and flexibly towards its sustainability goals, maximising social, ecological, and economic returns. It sounds like this is exactly what we are expecting from organisation around the world.

Source: Kianian, B, Daly, E, Andersson, C, (2018). Towards guidelines for selection of production performance indicators to measure sustainability performance,  Procedia Manufacturing 25 , pp. 570-577.

Key features of the FSSD, include a funnel ‘metaphor’ with boundaries defined by sustainability principles and the application of a technique known as backcasting to plan and redesign for sustainability. Funnellingallows organisations to plan backwards from a desired sustainable state to the current state. The boundaries of the funnel define the constraints, for example, regulatory requirements, that the organisation must operate within whilst achieving its sustainability goals. Backcasting is more appropriate than forecasting when planning for longer-term goals, particularly in complex systems and when novel solutions may be required. Broman and Robert (2017) depict the process as follows (Broman, GI, Robert, KH (2017). A framework for strategic sustainable development, Journal of Cleaner Production 140, pp 17-31).

In addition to the FSSD approach, we find use of  Value Stream Mapping, in conjunction with sustainability principles defined in FSSD and the sustainability lifecycle assessment, to create a sustainability roadmap as a forecasting approach.

We observe that most of the existing models mentioned in academic literature, and used in practice, are difficult to apply beyond the manufacturing sector. Thus, we propose the Green Lean Six Sigma model (LGSS), a blend of all the abovemodels, but based on a backcasting planning approach rather than forecasting.

What is Lean Green Six Sigma (LGSS)?

Lean Six Sigma (LSS) lends itself well to sustainability because of its focus on ‘waste’ but lacks a specific focus on environmental and social aspects. Where LSS and sustainability efforts have been conducted simultaneously,they have typically been separate initiatives. LGSS extends LSS focus on ‘waste’ to include social and environmental aspects, i.e., one integrated methodology.

How will LGSS help organisations to achieve their targets?

LGSS will facilitate the achievement of government sustainability targets by assisting organisations from all sectors in determining optimal sustainability pathways for the products and services they provide.

Along with many other countries, Saudi Arabia (SA) has been highlighted at COP 26 because of delaying their net zero target date. As the world’s tenth largest emitter of carbon dioxide, they pledge to achieve net zero by 2060,( In our ongoing research, we welcome the approach to achieve the net zero explained by SA . Additionally, Vision 2030 is to transform Saudi Arabia’s economy away from its reliance on oil exports by investing in other localised sectors, which  will present tremendous opportunities for the expansion of existing industries and result in the development of new business. LGSS has the potential to maximise the return on investment in the industries in SA, which is a piece of good news for investors from national and international markets. The increased industrial investment will allow each business in SA to expand their research and development activities in sustainable projects, which will support the governmentmission to achieve net zero by 2060.

Together let us fulfil our wish list! Our team members are with you in your mission to Net Zero .

About the Authors :-

  1. Dr . Monomita Nandy, Brunel University London (
  1. Dr. Suman Lodh , Middlesex University London (
  2. Mr.Yazen Alaamri, Brunel University London   (
  3. Ms. Kiran Kachela (
  4. Mr.  Stephen Entwisle (
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