By viewing decarbonization as an opportunity, rather than a threat, and taking immediate action on climate change, companies can gain a competitive edge.
Sustainability & Climate Action
Companies and organizations urgently need to improve their environmental impact. We help them rise to the challenge and maintain competitiveness.
Climate change is a challenge of unprecedented scale, without doubt the most momentous and pressing concern of the twenty-first century. Of course, society has passed through many periods of change in the past and has overcome a wide array of challenges. But unlike economic transformations, technological breakthroughs or other disruptions, climate change affects all levels of society. Not only that, it comes with a countdown timer: To avoid an ecological catastrophe and its consequences for millions of people, we need to take action within the coming decade to cut emissions and limit global warming to a maximum of 1.5°C.
Action on climate change is required from all members of society. However, the corporate world carries a special responsibility as one of the main contributors to environmental deterioration. By changing their actions and those of their suppliers, companies can have a direct impact on the environment, make an immediate and valuable contribution to sustainability and promote the development of a circular economy.
Climate change impacts the business world on every level. As political momentum to achieve the Paris Agreement goals grows, new laws, regulations and emission trading systems are established. At the same time, customers increasingly expect firms to provide full transparency over their emissions targets and results, and bring their performance into line with their ambitions. These external drivers create considerable new risks for companies, which are faced with making groundbreaking strategic decisions in a highly uncertain and volatile environment.
Taking action to address climate challenges is good for the planet, society and all its individual members. But it is also good for companies. Firms that develop sustainability strategies and implement projects aimed at improving their climate performance, in so doing carve out for themselves a competitive advantage over their less environmentally proactive competitors. This superior position can be due to new revenue opportunities, a better understanding of shifting customer behaviors, less exposure to climate risks, lower climate-related costs in their bottom line or a combination of all of the above. But no matter where the specific cause lies, businesses and organizations that rise to the climate challenge today will develop a competitive advantage in the new, sustainable economy of tomorrow. In this new economy, climate action – or inaction – determines the competitiveness of a company.
Business needs to shift to a new competitiveness paradigm in which climate action is the key determinant of future growth. This involves identifying the major external drivers that determine the company's competitiveness in the new economy, and then managing those drivers appropriately. For example, the level of greenhouse gases a firm emits – its carbon footprint – has a growing influence on the cost structure of a company, on its ability to access markets as well as on the behavior of existing and potential customers. Similarly, the firm's behavior and its compliance with regulatory requirements influences the way it is seen by the markets. Companies need to factor CO2 as a new "climate currency" into their strategic approach.
Roland Berger regularly publishes studies on the topic of sustainability and the associated opportunities for companies. Below you will find a selection of our current publications containing the latest research findings, expert assessments and future scenarios.
Innovate and industrialize: Offshore wind energy
Although Europe today dominates the offshore wind energy market, global competition is increasing. Learn more in Roland Berger’s latest study and see what steps Europe can take to maintain its control.
Clean energy and the reshaping of global value chains
Access to green energy becomes a major factor when selecting production facilities as part of global value chains. Countries need to offer renewable energy infrastructures.
Climate Change Combat Radar
The Roland Berger Climate Change Combat Radar is an interactive tool that helps decision-makers understand where countries stand on climate change.
The rise of alternative proteins
Roland Berger's study 'The Protein Revolution' zooms in on the increasing demand for protein. To meet this demand sustainably, sources of alternative protein are on the rise.
Developing sustainable technologies for future generations
Learn more about how Voith specifically addresses the reduction of CO2 emissions and why Markus Schönberger advocates the "Race for sustainability" scenario.
Green tech industry remains on course for growth
Green tech from Germany is in demand throughout the world: For instance, the German share of global economic performance is 15 percent.
Why business needs a green agenda
Think:Act magazine explores how vital sustainability is for all of us and why businesses need to think and act differently from now on.
It’s time for construction to embrace the circular economy
How circular economy can drive greater sustainability and new business opportunities in construction – an industry responsible for high CO2 emissions in Europe.
Bringing hydrogen into the mix
Hydrogen and fuel cells are indispensable to the transition to a climate-friendly economy. Learn more about how to grow your hydrogen business here.
Sustainability – here to stay
Corporate sustainability is becoming increasingly important in all industries. Roland Berger is convinced that a well thought-out ESG approach leads to higher value creation, but it is important to act efficiently to remain competitive.
Sustainarama – How sustainability will change the world in 2050
Sustainability is changing the world as we know it. What will our lives look like in 2050 – and what can companies do to ensure a livable future?
Packaging sustainability 2030
Packaging waste management is no longer just a trend, but a key strategic pillar for the FMCG industry.
Hydrogen: A future fuel for aviation?
Hydrogen has emerged as a key contender in the battle to secure a sustainable future for aviation.
The purpose principle
What does purpose mean to you and your business? Our Think:Act magazine on purpose addresses changing values in the business world.
Sustainable aviation fuels key for the future of air travel
In 2019, civil aviation made up ~3% of global carbon emissions – but while other industries reduce their emissions, aviation's share is expected to keep growing once the industry recovers from the COVID crisis. Electrical propulsion, hydrogen fuels and sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) will all have a role to play in decarbonising the industry.
Pipistrel CEO Ivo Boscarol: All-electric and hydrogen aircraft are the future
In this interview, Pipistrel CEO Ivo Boscarol gives exclusive insight into the company's innovation, highlighting hydrogen and electric propulsion as the future of aviation.
Aircraft Electrical Propulsion
Aircraft Electrical Propulsion holds numerous opportunities for businesses and consumers. Learn more about electric propulsion in aerospace here.
Can economic growth coexist with sustainability?
Leading economic minds Kate Raworth, Vaclav Smil and Diane Coyle are urging us to slow down. Think:Act Magazine explores their theories for a balanced future.
How a bias in data could widen the gender gap
Think:Act Magazine picks apart the problem of algorithms creating a gender data bias as detailed by Caroline Criado Perez in her book Invisible Women.
Gender on the pay agenda
Figures Show that women still earn less than men. Can artificial intelligence help closing this gap?
Operations: The heart of sustainability | Webinar
Sustainability is a broad field that covers much more than just greenhouse gas emissions. The Roland Berger Operations Team invites you to rethink sustainability in operations and to discuss inspiring company examples.
Steering towards a sustainable corporate strategy
How to prepare for a corporate environmental strategy that contemplates climate change and carbon emissions and sets them at the core of future business planning.
Trend Compendium 2050: Megatrends shaping the coming decades
The Roland Berger Trend Compendium 2050 comprises six megatrends shaping the world in the coming decades. These megatrends encompass economic factors as well as social, environmental, technological, and geopolitical shifts.
European cities bet on hydrogen fuel cells to help meet emission targets
As European cities are faced with the challenge to improve air quality, hydrogen fuel cell technology offers a safe, zero emission alternative. But demand is outstripping supply.
Climate protection in the manufacturing sector: Challenges and solutions
Manufacturing companies need to develop their own CO2 reduction strategy in the near future.
Waste management: looking at a global challenge
From recycling to resource recovery, we take a look at how cities around the world are addressing the environmental challenge posed by waste management and disposal as companies gear up to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals program by 2030.
Environmental reform in China
With China transitioning to a cleaner and greener future, the chemical industry has an instrumental role to play in realizing this ambitious plan. Explore the topic in our extensive study.
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Energy & Utilities
Consulting for the energy and utilities industry: growth and sustainability for companies in the energy sector and public organizations.
Roland Berger works with public, private and non-governmental clients in meeting the major challenges within our society. Contact us now.