Climate Compass recap: Redefining business models for a low-carbon economy

Last updated
June 17, 2024


In recent years, the pursuit of low-carbon growth has emerged as one of the greatest challenges for businesses. We brought together industry leaders across different sectors to discuss the feasibility of developing a business that’s aligned with low carbon practices. 

The urgency of redefining business models

Caroline Brun Ellefsen emphasized the urgency of redefining business models in the face of planetary boundaries. She referred to the work of Jorgen Randers, the author of ‘Limits to Growth,’ who identified the need to measure well-being generated by companies and reinvent business practices accordingly. 

“We’re having these conversations with our clients at ERM. If you can grow your business and reduce your climate impact, then you’re really on the road to long term success.”

Alexandra Palt stressed that raising awareness about the financial consequences of inaction is crucial – among customers, suppliers and other key stakeholders. 

Engaging investors for radical transformation 

Philippe Zaouati highlighted the critical role of investors in driving radical transformation. While finance and growth have been deeply intertwined, he said that it is crucial to choose companies that align with sustainable objectives. He emphasized the need to allocate capital smartly, redirecting investments into innovative businesses that offer solutions for a low-carbon future.

“Effective capital allocation is crucial for low-carbon growth.”

By engaging with companies and ensuring credible decarbonization efforts, investors can contribute significantly to the transformation of industries.

Key drivers of transformation

Caroline highlighted the pivotal role of investors in driving radical transformation. On the corporate side, companies need to reimagine how products are designed and distributed, recognizing the resilience and competitive advantage that come with embracing sustainability. There is currently a race for transformation among forward-thinking companies.

“We need to focus on how products are designed and distributed. It’s not always easy, but companies see that their resilience is at stake.”

From an investor’s perspective, Philippe emphasized the importance of credible decarbonization efforts. He emphasized the need for investments in both established companies and newcomers, with a common objective of reducing carbon emissions. 

The power of collective action

Alexandra stressed the importance of collective action in achieving sustainability targets. While L'Oréal has made considerable progress in reducing its impact, Alexandra emphasized the need for competitors, society,  customers and suppliers to follow suit. She acknowledged the challenges of changing consumer behavior but underscored the significance of implementing collective plans and mobilizing stakeholders. 

“It is not enough to write the right plans. You need to act on them and collectively implement them.”

Alexandra called for increased regulation in finance and investments, encouraging longer-term perspectives and aligning short-term financial gains with societal and environmental well-being.

In summary

Aligning with business and sustainability objectives, credible decarbonization efforts, adopting longer-term collaborative business models are the three major takeaways from the low-carbon growth debate.

At Sweep, we believe that by embracing these principles, companies can not only drive their own success but also contribute to a more sustainable and resilient global economy. 

Our VP of Climate Finance, Marie-Anne Vincent says: “Forever companies will have to innovate and explore new strategies to address the tension between traditional growth-based models and sustainability goals. It’s time to move beyond incremental change, and build long-term solutions through business model innovation and credible action driven by impactful technology and data management.”

Contact us to find out more about how we can help you get started on the road to decarbonization. 

Sweep can help

Sweep is a carbon and ESG management platform that empowers businesses to meet their sustainability goals.

Using our platform, you can:

  • Conduct a thorough assessment of your carbon footprint.
  • Get a real-time overview of your supply chain and ensure that your suppliers meet your sustainability targets.
  • Reach full compliance with the CSRD and other key ESG legislation in a matter of weeks.
  • Ensure your sustainability information is reliable by having it verified by a third party before going public.

See how we can help you on your sustainability journey