Katherine Canoy is a seasoned professional with more than 17 years of experience in the energy, sustainability, and climate industries. With expertise in renewable energy procurement, energy efficiency, supply chain climate initiatives, and greenhouse gas measurement and reporting, Katherine brings a client-focused perspective to her work. She has led projects at Walmart, reducing supply chain emissions by 20 million metric tons and advancing their renewable energy goals.
Katherine resides in Durham, North Carolina with her husband and two kids. She holds an MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a MEM in energy and policy from Duke University, and a BS from the University of Mary Washington.
Take us through a typical workday. What are a few of your ongoing responsibilities?
I lead the climate strategy consulting practice at 3Degrees, and my days are wonderfully varied. I color code different types of tasks on my Google calendar, and every day looks like a rainbow!
I manage a team of 20 bright and talented climate consultants, so I usually have a team meeting or a one-on-one with one of my staff as well as some people management tasks.
Our team works on 10-12 client engagements at any given time, so I get to jump in and talk to the team about projects ranging from Scope 3 inventories to climate target setting to supply chain decarbonization to the role of carbon credits in a company’s climate strategy. On most days, I get to talk to my clients about the challenges they are facing and how 3Degrees can help.
I do a fair amount of business development, so I am frequently talking to potential clients about the types of consulting support they may need in order to set and meet their global climate targets.
We are always thinking about new and better ways to help our clients on their climate journey, beyond the Scope 1-3 solutions that we already provide. Whether it’s creating a new TCFD educational workshop or developing an entirely new service category, I enjoy thinking about innovative ways to support companies as they decarbonize.
What are some of the biggest challenges your company/organization will be tackling in 2023 and beyond?
3Degrees’ mission is to help organizations take urgent action on climate change. And as the climate emergency intensifies and more and more companies are setting aggressive decarbonization goals and climate targets (net zero, SBTi, etc), their need for support has grown at a rapid pace. So part of our challenge is just scaling fast enough to be able to provide this support efficiently and effectively. We are constantly trying to hire fast enough globally to keep pace with our customers’ needs.
The fascinating thing about our industry is that it is constantly evolving, from new technologies to new country-specific regulations and policies, to so much more in between. So it’s on us to continually update and innovate on our services and deepen our expertise, as well as stay on top of the global policy landscape, in order to ensure we are providing the best support possible to our clients. Some recent cases in point: we announced the launch of our new climate tech advisory services during COP27 in November since technology is playing an increasingly critical role in organizations’ decarbonization efforts, and also recently published a blog on SBTi’s new FLAG guidance to help our clients decipher what it might mean for them.
How can a company develop its ESG Strategy to optimize organizational resilience?
I find that most large companies (and many medium-sized companies) operate in silos. Sustainability work requires cross-departmental collaboration that often leads to business efficiencies and knowledge sharing. We always stress how critical this is at the beginning of any of our consulting engagements with clients. Ensuring upfront alignment across all stakeholders at the beginning of the work, and then continual strong communication and updates throughout the project, can be instrumental to a successful sustainability initiative.
What was a successful project or implementation you worked on at your company that you can share? Do you have any tips that would help colleagues at other companies who are contemplating similar projects?
In support of its climate commitment, a large technology company was looking to support its product suppliers in the Asia-Pacific region in transitioning to 100% renewable energy (RE) by 2030. The client approached 3Degrees to directly engage one of its major suppliers, a large manufacturing company with operations in two countries in the region, to help achieve this goal.
How We Helped
3Degrees worked with the client to develop a template renewable energy implementation plan for its manufacturing suppliers and then individually coached a single supplier on how to populate the plan. We validated energy use and other company-specific information provided by the supplier and educated them on renewable energy options available in the two designated countries. Deliverables included:
- Comments on the client’s draft RE implementation plan template for all suppliers
- Detailed data requests tailored to the supplier
- Renewable energy options “playbook” presentation for supplier
- Educational session to present renewable energy options in the designated two countries
- Detailed leave-behind RE options “playbook’’ that included recommended options and immediate next steps for the supplier
- Direct supplier support in the form of calls and emails
As a result of 3Degrees’ support, the client and its supplier have clear, actionable recommendations for both immediate renewable energy solutions as well as pilots and advocacy actions that will set the supplier up for long-term success in renewable energy procurement.
What trends do you expect to see in the market in the next few years? What challenges will the industry face and what technologies or organizational changes will overcome them?
Many organizations that have made good progress on their Scope 2 emissions/renewable energy initiatives are now expanding their focus to Scope 3 emissions, which includes supply chain and can be much more challenging to address. We already do quite a bit of work with our clients to help them measure these emissions and come up with an efficient and effective decarbonization plan, but we expect this trend to accelerate since Scope 3 emissions often represent such a significant portion of a company’s overall footprint. It is nearly impossible for companies to achieve their climate targets without getting this piece of the puzzle figured out. There’s also a strong intersection between supply chain and technology, which brings me to the second point.
The climate tech space has absolutely exploded in recent years. One of the primary drivers of this trend is the opportunity presented by Scope 3 emissions measurement, which I just mentioned. While the number of companies entering the climate tech space has continued to multiply, I don’t think that will continue forever, and predict that we’ll begin to see some consolidation in this sector. Also, it’s important to note that while climate tech is an incredibly useful tool to speed up data collection and increase data integrity, the most important benefit is that this data can then unlock insights that drive real action both in a company’s own operations and upstream and downstream in its value chain.
Connect with Katherine and the rest of her team at 3Degrees
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