Sustainability & Climate Action

Sustainability & Climate Action

Our solutions are based on best practices and our broad experience in the field of sustainability and climate action.

To help companies and organizations improve their environmental impact, Roland Berger provides sustainability consulting services using cross-disciplinary teams and the support of our global network. Below, we present some insights into key topics in sustainability and climate action and how we can help you in these areas.


Hydrogen is a vital component of the green energy transition. However, significant hurdles, uncertainties and risks remain in the implementation of hydrogen business models, mainly due to the high and long-term capital requirements.

Companies in the hydrogen field are grappling with a range of complex issues. Large H2 projects face uncertainty regarding their commercial feasibility as they require massive investments. Securing these investments depends on users' willingness to pay for H2 solutions. Moreover, long-term contracts in the industry are scarce. Technological hurdles such as hydrogen transportation pose further challenges.

At Roland Berger, we work with all types of clients in the hydrogen sector: We help public sector clients shape policy, large infrastructure players and developers carry out strategic planning, and energy businesses produce and supply renewables, H2 and derivates. We also assist users with decarbonizing their industry, industrials with placing clean technologies on the market, and investors with investing in clean tech. Our clients are spread across the globe, from the Americas and Europe to the Middle East and Asia.

Best practices

1. We supported a green hydrogen and ammonia developer with its global strategy by identifying investment locations, to optimize its portfolio and minimize costs.

2. We helped a leading German energy company that had recently been nationalized develop its H2 and derivatives strategy, to sharpen its profile for potential future investors.

3. We developed a hydrogen and e-fuels roadmap as a policy document for the national government of a European country, highlighting the role that hydrogen and e-fuels could play in reaching the country's decarbonization goals.

4. We supported a future sustainable city on many H2-related topics, such as its innovation strategy (from defining an H2 value proposition to developing the implementation plan and carrying out technology scouting) and H2 off-grid strategy (from demand forecasting to defining the business and operating model). We also supported it with an H2 mobility infrastructure study.

Carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS)

To limit global warming, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions must be approximately 34 GT CO2e lower by 2040 than we can achieve through current policies. Measures such as fuel switching, electrification, hydrogen and renewables will not be enough to achieve this goal. CCUS needs to scale to several gigatons per annum in order to limit global warming, but faces hurdles in terms of carbon utilization, infrastructure, required energy and supportive regulation.

Europe and North America are making progress on implementing CCUS solutions thanks to increased regulatory pressure. Globally, however, the main obstacle lies in establishing the economic viability of CCUS, as system costs remain high and carbon pricing low.

Roland Berger offers cutting-edge expertise in developing strategies for the successful implementation of CCUS – a technology that we believe has a market potential in the hundreds of billions of dollars. In the past, we have supported governments, large emitters, technology and infrastructure providers, and investors in the sector.

Best practices

1. We supported an international seaport and logistics service provider in assessing the potential for a liquid CO2 handling and transshipment hub that would collect captured CO2 from industrial emitters in Germany, store it and then load it onto vessels for transportation to a permanent offshore storage site.

2. We conducted a market sizing analysis for carbon capture technologies for a global oil and gas company.


The circular economy provides pathways towards more sustainable production and consumption patterns. One of the ways it drives economic and ecological savings is through waste management, a matter of critical global concern. Several challenges exist here, including reducing waste generation rates, recovering valuable materials and converting waste into valuable products, including biofuels.

With a dedicated global practice focused on waste management, Roland Berger offers a wide range of consulting services in areas from incubation, strategy and operations to implementation. We help companies identify which new technologies best fit their needs in the area of waste collection, distribution, treatment, recycling and upcycling. We also help them identify key investment opportunities in the sector, and much more besides.

Our track record includes many successful projects for companies in different industries and dealing with different types of waste, including biological, food and general waste. We were also involved in initiatives such as the Voluntary Recycling Credits (VRC) system, working alongside BEEAH Group and the International Solid Waste Association. This global, market-based incentive scheme, based on blockchain technology, will bring together waste producers and waste management providers, the former receiving recycling credits to help them meet their sustainability targets.

Best practices

1. We supported the development of national waste management strategies for several Middle Eastern countries.

2. We helped the Egyptian Ministry of the Environment develop an initiative to recycle 50 percent of Africa's waste by 2050 – the 50by2050 initiative.

3. We analyzed the potential impact of expanding extended producer responsibility mechanism to industrial packaging in France.

Sustainable materials

In the quest for a more environmentally conscious future, developing and using sustainable materials is paramount. However, this is far from simple. Challenges include reducing CO2 emissions from manufacturing processes through greener material combinations, optimizing designs and materials use for efficiency, producing more renewable and recycled materials, extending the lifespans of buildings and products by creating and maintaining them properly, managing end-of-life materials efficiently, and influencing consumer attitudes in favor of greener materials and circular business models.

Roland Berger leverages its broad expertise in the sector across the entire product lifecycle. We help clients develop and implement strategies, define decarbonization pathways, evaluate technologies and carry out financial planning.

Our track record includes working with many players from different industries, but especially the materials industry, including basic sourcing materials such as steel and cement.

Best practices

1. We performed a feasibility study on decarbonization pathways for a major European steel player, assessing the technical, economic and regulatory implications and boundary conditions for two different climate-neutral pathways.

2. We developed a global sustainability framework for a building materials producer, including selecting focus Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), establishing a governance system for framework development, developing a maturity and materiality framework and tool, and creating a sustainability booklet for new product developments.

Sustainable operations and supply chains

Building and maintaining sustainable operations and supply chains presents a host of challenges for companies. Hurdles include embedding climate goals in daily operations, developing a cost-efficient decarbonization strategy, correctly estimating emissions along the value chain and moving towards a circular economy.

Roland Berger offers a clear approach to circularity, decarbonization and sustainable value chains. We can analyze which steps in the value chain impact the environment, quantify their impact, develop specific reduction measures and define clear methods for measuring the success of initiatives. Our expertise covers all aspects of sustainability and ESG (environment, social, governance).

Best practices

1. We supported a global tier-1 auto parts manufacturer that was under pressure from major investors to determine its SBTi (Science Based Targets initiative) emissions reduction targets.

2. We helped a global automotive OEM carry out a circular economy and secondary material introduction program, helping it become a frontrunner in sustainable vehicle substance.

3. We formulated a holistic supply chain strategy for a leading aircraft manufacturer, operationalizing its sustainability targets.

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