Innovation

191 million green jobs in a nature-positive food, land and ocean use system and opportunities worth $3565 billion

The global food, land and ocean use system represents up to 40% of employment. Five main areas in this system are in a state of transition. New skills and new opportunities in these areas will contribute to new jobs.

  • Protecting the environment and ecosystem restoration
  • New agriculture enabled by precision tech and bio-based inputs
  • Cleaning up oceans and managing fisheries in new regenerative ways
  • Sustainable management of forests
  • Transparent and sustainable supply chains

Innovation

Power, Transport and Finance need just three key pivots to create the impetus for a 1.5-degree world

Electricity generation and transportation collectively account for 40% of global emissions. Financing the transition in these two key sectors would need

  • Moving capital out of high-carbon activities by through mandatory climate risk disclosure
  • Taking climate considerations into financial decision making
  • Incentivising green finance instruments

The two sectors would need to pivot in the following ways:

Energy pivots need to include

  • Increasing energy efficiency in buildings, homes and cities
  • Using renewable energy sources (solar and wind)
  • Substituting fossil fuel-generated with renewables

Transport pivots need to include

  • Scaling up Electric Vehicles
  • Expanding and scaling battery storage solutions
  • Helping the transport sector generate and use green energy

Innovation

Reskilling the Board on Risk, Reputation and Responsibility

Boards usually have governance expertise on accounting matters. After India’s CSR legislation that required board oversight, some of them had started focusing on CSR as well. However, ESG is not CSR. It is about corporate strategy and management oversight of core business in the context of environmental, social and governance standards. With ESG standards gaining momentum across institutional investors, it is now expected that ESG should be a part of the board agenda. Boards need to be trained on the following:

  • The difference between ESG, CSR, Sustainability and Brand promise
  • What are the company/sector’s core issues and how this will change in the next ten years.
  • Global risks, country risks and corporate risks.
  • Reputational challenges that can emerge from business as usual.
  • The opportunities for change.
  • Global momentum on ESG and expectations.
  • The challenges of measuring environmental and social risk.

Innovation

Learning and Collaboration for a zero-carbon future

Carbon scores of companies are a result of

  • How you make things
  • How you source raw materials
  • How you ship out finished products

Learning and Collaboration for a zero-carbon future

Even if “how you make things” is standardised, “how you source” and “how you ship” have a significant impact on your carbon emissions, which is why knowledge sharing is so important. While companies make radical changes, there could be others who are only doing things differently—making small changes to achieve a significant impact.

A. Peer learning and knowledge sharing play an essential role in raising standards for a Net-zero world. Reducing carbon is therefore not a one-time effort, it’s a journey in which erstwhile competitors can become collaborators.

B. Cross-sector partnerships also emerge where skills and learnings in one are applied to the other.

Innovation

Shipping, aviation, trucking, chemicals, steel, aluminium, and cement—need a breakthrough in cleantech to accelerate their path to net-zero. But more than that, they need a different investment horizon.

These sectors constitute about 30% of emissions but eliminating emissions in these sectors is difficult without using new technology solutions. The path to net-zero is deep-rooted and complex, transformative changes that enable this need science, real-world tools and scale to make the transformative impact we seek.

Innovation

Net-zero announcements signal transformative changes in transportation

Some key impacts are likely to be

  • Green supply chains – the big brands’ choices will impact global automotive supply chains and unleash second and third-order effects in products, materials and parts.
  • Brand purpose – with their products being inherently sustainable, brands will use this to drive trust and distinctiveness in consumer communication
  • Digital innovation – driven by AI, cloud and IoT will make automobiles more intelligent and also move the ability to cater to customer demands
  • Strategic partnerships – will emerge to navigate the new paradigms of sustainability, digital innovation and sustainable markets.

Innovation

Environmental Profit and Loss (EP&L)

The EP&L measures carbon emissions, water consumption, air and water pollution, land use, and waste production along the entire supply chain, thereby making the various environmental impacts of the group’s activities visible, quantifiable, and comparable. These impacts are then converted into monetary values to quantify the use of natural resources. The EP&L to guide its sustainability strategy, improve its processes and supply sources, choose the best-adapted technologies and innovate new solutions.

There are three steps to an EP&L:

  • Quantifying the environmental footprint. The six impact areas group across 62 indicators that cover different emissions and resource use types.
  • Estimating the likely environmental changes that result from these emissions or resource use are estimated based on the local environmental context.
  • Valuing the change in well-being. The consequences of these environmental changes for people’s well-being are then valued in monetary terms.

Innovation

5 Step Climate Emergency Skills Action Plan

The structure of the labour markets and skills demand will undoubtedly be affected by climate action. To meet the stringent climate action targets that India has committed to, we need much more than good intentions; we need skilled people in several areas.

  • Enabling the Energy Transition – People for offshore wind, electricity optimisation, hydrogen and carbon capture and storage.
  • Transforming construction – Creating energy-efficient buildings and modifying existing facilities. Sustainable methods of construction and installation of low energy cooling systems.
  • New Manufacturing – The drive towards net-zero coincides with longer-term structural manufacturing changes. Zero-waste, high efficiency and zero-emissions technology will transform manufacturing. This will need new skills and new processes.
  • Decarbonising transport – With significant opportunity for technical innovation, design of low carbon transport products and an international market for knowledge and expertise, the automotive sector is looking at tumultuous change and a new breed of fast changing, adaptable, and highly skilled workers.
  • Low carbon and regenerative farming – Engineers, food scientists/technologists are needed for low resource, regenerative, precision farming. This change is reflected in demand for higher-level agri and food business and commercial management skills.

Innovation

How do you govern for sustainability?

Net-zero, ESG targets look good and define the roadmap for change, but good governance makes things happen. Because of the far-reaching impact of sustainability decisions, governance structures for sustainability need to pan across several functional areas and not just the sustainability department.

  • Head of Sustainability could report into the CEO and the Board
  • The sustainability department should be supported by a cross-functional team to review strategy performance and define priorities.
  • Sustainability managers and teams in brands, retail markets and suppliers should drive the implementation across the company.
  • Each central function and brand is measured against a set of sustainability KPIs, in the same way, performance against sales figures and customer satisfaction is measured.

Innovation

Netflix shows, video-meetings and online banking services are handled in data centers around the world

According to the International Energy Agency, data centers consume approximately 200 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity, or nearly 1% of global electricity demand, contributing to 0.3% of all global CO2 emissions. This is why data centres must be part of the net-zero discussion

A data center is essentially a dedicated space used to house computer systems for processing, distribution and storage of data. It contains IT equipment like servers, networking equipment, storage systems. In addition, data centers house cooling and ventilation systems because they dissipate large amounts of energy. Data centres therefore need large amounts of energy and water.

With the rise of remote work and e-commerce, demand for computing power is rising exponentially and so is the carbon footprint of data centres. Most data centers’ cooling systems are inefficient and the heat removed by the cooling system can be a valuable resource, but is rarely used. Also, most data centers use non-renewable electricity sources meaning there is a good chance your next video meeting is powered by coal, oil or gas.

Building on-site renewable energy sources and partnering with green vendors are some steps being taken by large tech companies. By the close of 2022, Netflix will achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions. To reach this goal, the company will first reduce internal emissions by 45% by 2030. Amazon recently became the world’s largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy, Google and Microsoft are not far behind. since 2014, SAP owned and run datacenters draw 100% of their power from renewable energy sources, mostly from wind turbines. Emissions are compensated through Renewable Energy Certificates. There is also significant work happening in optimizing energy use at data centres and making them hubs for storing and using energy.