Corporate management must think ahead because otherwise, it has to make decisions under time pressure due to legal requirements. Hasty decisions while being lost in the jungle of information can only help the company to a limited extent and lead to disadvantageous path dependencies. There is no recipe to do this right. Here is some food for thought to get you ready for this journey. So what's important?
Shareholders, employees and customers expect board members to have a clear vision and a strategy for Net-Zero. However, they also have the role of pushing this transformation within the company. Nearly everybody has a rough picture what Net-Zero means since the Paris Agreement. The lack of a company-specific vision or roadmap creates cognitive dissonance and fear of the future.
Nevertheless: As with any change, it is essential to create a sense of urgency and a climate of change within the company. A collective movement is required to initiate corporate transformation, and a clear goal is necessary. Only a unified commitment to the Net-Zero vision by the top management (CEO, CIP, Chief Climate Officer, etc.) can make outdated beliefs obsolete and pave the way for new narratives.
Thousands of companies are already following the approach of the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi). According to SBTi, these companies report the following effects from the implementation:
„The carbon footprint is becoming one of the most relevant business metrics. By looking at multiple future scenarios, we can defy the status quo, make better decisions for the present and set the course for who we want to be.”
If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together. This African saying powerfully illustrates why long-term transformations require a common (future) picture.
A shared understanding of how new collective beliefs and new knowledge should form is required. Shared images can outline what the desired world should look like. A so-called social imaginary is necessary for this. A desirable future can only emerge from this "communal mental image".
The Canadian sociologist Charles Taylor defines it as follows: "social imaginary – the way our contemporaries imagine the societies they inhabit and sustain". Especially the forming of a social imaginary is not to be underestimated, especially today, in a world of filter bubbles.
For a moment, imagine that your controlling department had no overview of the costs and benefits of your business processes. If you asked them about this data, they would venture out and try to give you an answer without a clear set of tools. This scenario may seem abstruse, but this data is actually often missing regarding CO2 management. A good data base is everything! Nothing works without standardised measurement methods and related processes – ideally in real-time and captured in a digital twin of your company.
CO2 management will affect German companies with more than 250 employees (~15k companies) from 2024 onwards as a legal obligation in the form of the sustainability report. A forward-looking carbon management solution is well designed and perfectly implemented. It will be indispensable for economically and ecologically sensible decisions in the future. The fact that carbon management is as heterogeneous as the type of value creation further complicates the process. It is, therefore, worth taking a closer look.
As with any investment, the ROI needs to be considered for Net-Zero invests. Climate-driven innovation deserves to be a staple in your innovation portfolio. Every climate change investment generates revenue and profits: No matter whether you save energy yourself through innovation, trade with certificates, or become active on the market with climate-protecting products and services. You can only loose if you do nothing. In the worst case, the competition wins: In 2021, the OEMs had to pay Tesla for certificates.
Circular economy, cradle to cradle, net-zero, hydrogen economy, CSI, sharing economy, recycling, bio-economy, carbon dioxide removal (CDR) – Only those who research and develop these fields can create products and services for a rapidly expanding market. They secure the chnace for valuable intellectual property.
In the following, we provide a brief insight into how we can support you in the tasks ahead:
Can we assist you with any of these challenges?