The importance of business to the low carbon economy

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According to an analysis released by the PwC consultancy in March this year, the private sector could become the necessary bridge to achieve neutrality of greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, the audit institution’s assessment is clear: business leaders from different countries need to act immediately to meet the demands of science, governments, investors and society at large.

Currently, around 50% of global GDP has already committed to eliminating emissions by the year 2050. At the same time, large public companies are starting to face pressure to adopt green measures, and the trend is that soon , smaller public companies and private enterprises will also be required to act sustainably. But the latter are moving more slowly towards the green economy.

For now, according to PwC, only 8% of the 500 largest companies in the world have made commitments to zero their carbon emissions. However, among them, many have not yet specified what kind of actions they will take to combat climate change. Thus, for businesses that choose to immediately adopt sustainable measures, there is a fertile scenario for innovation, leadership and competitive advantages.

But the transition will not be easy. In order to implement the path to sustainability, companies will need to realign their growth strategies to reach the zero emissions target, adapt their operating models and supply chains, invest in innovation, finance projects linked to the green economy and prioritize transparency and engagement, according to PwC analysis.

Other options would be the electrical supply of commercial buildings from renewable energies, the implementation of vehicles based on clean fuels among the companies’ fleets and the investment in the correct disposal of waste and in the use of water. According to the World Economic Forum, 55% of the solutions to the climate crisis will come from better energy systems, and the other 45% will come from the application of circular economy mechanisms.

In this context, technology emerges as a useful means of establishing and accelerating sustainable changes. And the market is recognizing this movement: between 2013 and 2018, venture capital investment in technologies linked to climate change grew 4200%.

Still, there is a lot to be done. The longer businesses take to act on global warming, the more intense its effects will be, bringing significant economic, political and social losses. The journey will be long, but if we are successful, the rewards will be great.