Sustainability & Climate Action

Sustainability & Climate Action

Companies and organizations urgently need to improve their environmental impact. We help them rise to the challenge and maintain competitiveness.

"Tackling climate change is at utmost importance for society and economy alike. At COP26 in Glasgow we talked about concrete measures that are actionable – not tomorrow, but today."
Portrait of Stefan Schaible
Senior Partner, Global Managing Partner
Frankfurt Office, Central Europe

Since the historic breakthrough marked by the Paris Agreement in 2015, countries, companies and consumers worldwide have increasingly been seeking ways to actively combat climate change. Carbon pricing and emissions trading measures are rapidly taking shape in Europe, Asia and the Americas. At the same time, traditional combustion engines will be banned from Iceland to India, from Slovenia to South Korea.

The COP26 conference in Glasgow in 2021 provided further momentum to translate growing global awareness of the issues at hand into practicable policies. That is important, because it is still possible to keep the average rise in global temperatures below the ceiling of 1.5 °C.

As a thought leader and consulting partner in the field of Climate Action and against the backdrop of our own net zero emission target , we are part of the climate action movement and acted as knowledge partner for the 12th Sustainable Innovation Forum (SIF) at COP26 in Glasgow. We are actively engaging in the global discourse on solutions which combat climate change that are not only actionable in the future, but already today.

Our ideas for action

Roland Berger's Climate Change Combat Radar analyzes existing climate policies and actions to inventory where countries stand today and spell out the next steps forward. The radar also measures the significance of the topic within the population, assuming that this will result in political and regulatory action. Hence, the CCCR is a forward-looking analysis that informs decisions makers in certain countries on what is coming at them.

Drilling down from the country level to regional and local policies, the Roland Berger Carbon Footprint Model enables local and regional decision-makers to apply fast and effective measures on what is effectively the front line of the fight against climate change.

There is no question: Any efforts to successfully combat climate change necessarily imply a complete departure from the fossil fuel paradigm that has driven the rise of industrialization since the mid-19th century. In what will be the biggest transformation industrial society in the last 200 years, the core processes of our current way of living and producing must all “go green”.

The radical transformation of our industrial society will lead to a massive increase in demand for electricity. Crucially, this electricity must be generated from climate-neutral sources such as solar and wind energy. The European Union already has plans to develop an extra 300 GW of offshore wind energy (OWE) capacity by 2050 and make this a core component of Europe’s energy system. The Roland Berger publication Innovate and industrialize. How Europe's offshore wind sector can maintain market leadership and meet the continent's energy goals shows what players in the sector must do to expand the scope of offshore wind and diminish its costs.

Thanks to its flexibility as a versatile energy carrier, low carbon hydrogen will necessarily be an important pillar of the energy transition. To find out more on the potential of hydrogen, please visit our specialized website containing all the latest studies and knowledge we have produced. The Roland Berger publication – Hydrogen as a fuel for power generation. The key to decarbonization – makes a compelling case that at a later stage in the energy transition, hydrogen can play a role in power generation. Our study Hydrogen transportation. The key to unlocking the clean hydrogen economy also addresses one widely overlooked but singularly important aspect of the clean hydrogen economy: the coming need for large-scale transportation to get clean hydrogen from production sites to points of use.

Steel production is central to today’s world and therefore ranks as one of the hardest sectors to transform. Tackling this stiff challenge head on, the recently published Roland Berger study Green deal for steel – What will it take and who will pay? quantifies the financial consequences of a complete transformation of the steel industry both for the industry itself and for public policy.

Transportation and logistics is another sector whose decarbonization is of critical importance to the necessary green transformation. Road haulage in general – and heavy-duty trucks in particular – are a major source of greenhouse gases (GHGs), responsible for around five percent of global CO2 emissions and over a quarter of the EU’s CO2 emissions. The Roland Berger Transportation Decarbonizer analyzes the different decarbonization options that are open to this key sector and offers tailor-made and actionable pathways to reduce the emissions generated by transportation and logistics.

Necessary shifts to climate-friendly modes of production must, of course, be mirrored by corresponding changes in consumption patterns if modern industrial society is to experience a genuine “green transformation”. In essence, attempts to decarbonize core production processes in different industries by using renewable forms of energy are only one side of the sustainability coin: Current developments in technology, regulation and consumer attitudes toward a circular economy are the other side – and are equally imperative. Under Sustainability and the emerging circular economy , we illustrate how companies can profit from these changes by revamping their business models in the areas of product design, sourcing, and their understanding of consumer behavior.

A new competitiveness paradigm

All these publications, tools and solutions are rooted in one common idea that we call "The new competitiveness paradigm." Along this new paradigm, sustainability and decarbonization transform perceived threats into real opportunities for companies willing to rise to the challenge of climate change! Our publication A new competitiveness paradigm argues that business leaders must stop thinking about decarbonization primarily as a drain on their bottom line and start seeing it as an investment in their future competitiveness. Companies that change now can get a valuable edge on the competition, viewing CO2 as the new climate currency.


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.

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