Climate Compass: The Green Market Revolution

Category
Climate Compass
Last updated
July 01, 2024

The green market revolution represents a significant shift in the way businesses and economies operate, emphasizing sustainability, environmental responsibility, and the integration of green technologies. And this transformation is driven not just by the urgent need to address climate change, but also the importance of driving sustainable growth. For businesses and financial organizations of all kinds, understanding and adapting to this revolution is not just a regulatory requirement but a strategic imperative.

At this year’s Climate Compass, Sweep’s flagship event, we delved into how businesses across sectors can make the most of the transition to a green economy. with a panel of sustainability leaders from diverse business backgrounds.

Our CEO, Rachel Delacour spoke to: 

  • Elodie Broad, Head of Impact & ESG at Balderton Capital
  • Darren Sharpe, Head of Energy Projects at Industrial Chemicals
  • Nancy Powell, Sustainability Lead at HP UK and Ireland

The role of tech in sustainability

HP’s Nancy Powell highlighted the importance of data and AI in driving sustainability efforts at HP. She believes it’s crucial to use emerging technologies to support both corporate sustainability reporting and impactful reduction. But it’s also about building a lasting technological infrastructure: 

“We need to look holistically at technological and cultural change – and ensure that sustainability wraps itself around all the areas in which we work today.”

She noted that AI can enhance efficiency by automating sustainable decisions and promoting device recovery and material reuse. The concept of digital passports, which track the climate story of hardware, is gaining traction, reflecting the growing demand for transparency.

Aligning investments with sustainability goals

Elodie stressed how important it is for VC firms and asset managers to consider their position within the investment value chain and accept that their portfolio sustainability targets need to align with the targets of their own investors. It’s also crucial for them to realise that they need to play the role of advisors in the green transition, guiding portfolio companies on their sustainability journeys. 

“I don’t believe there’s such a thing as an ESG expert. We’re all learning. Climate action is within reach of any company. As fund managers, we need to be climate ‘myth busters’, dispelling misconceptions such as: ‘We’re a SaaS company, air travel is therefore our biggest source of  carbon footprint.”

Venture capitalists are uniquely positioned at the very start of companies’ growth journey, able to talk about green growth rather than decarbonization. They are also future proofing their investments by actively contributing to the green market revolution by backing  some of  the biggest climate solutions of tomorrow.

Overcoming challenges in energy-intensive industries

Industrial Chemicals’ Darren Sharpe discussed the decarbonization challenges faced by energy-intensive businesses such as his, which specialises in organic chemical manufacturing. The primary obstacle is the heavy reliance on gas, which presents significant decarbonization challenges.

“We need energy to make products. If we don’t make products, we don’t make money, and our business doesn’t exist. Gas is the biggest challenge.”

To address this, companies must explore alternative energy sources and innovative technologies. For example, Industrial Chemicals is investigating hydrogen power for its own needs – as well as exploring the possibility of diversifying its own product offering into on-demand hydrogen for other businesses facing the same challenges. 

By focusing on data and emissions per plant and product, Industrial Chemicals aims to pinpoint hotspots in its carbon fuel use and meet the increasing demand for environmental data from key stakeholders. 

Embracing granular data for effective reduction

Sweep’s Rachel Delacour stressed the increasing demand for granular data in emissions management. Companies Sweep is working with, such as L’Oreal are pushing for emissions tracking at the SKU (individual product) level, underscoring that sustainability is fundamentally a data project. Transparency is essential, and organizations must be willing to confront their data, even if it means starting small and making mistakes along the way.

“You need to make sure that you are all willing to open your books and to compute your data. It’s OK to start small. What’s not OK is to not open the books at all. Be transparent and humble. Start correcting your carbon trajectories one by one.” 

Looking at new technologies coming into the picture, Rachel highlights that while AI can expedite data collection and analysis, it is not a silver bullet; its true value lies in enhancing the speed and accuracy of sustainability efforts. Embracing the new ROI of sustainability provides a competitive advantage, transforming businesses into “Forever Companies” that are resilient and future-proof.

Key takeaways for future-proofing your business and investments

  • Align investments with sustainability: Investors and businesses must align their strategies with sustainability goals to drive green growth and meet regulatory requirements. Balderton Capital’s approach to integrating carbon footprint campaigns across their portfolio is a prime example.
  • Innovate in energy-intensive industries: Exploring alternative energy sources and leveraging data can help overcome decarbonization challenges and create new business opportunities. Industrial Chemicals’ focus on hydrogen and ammonia showcases the potential for growth through innovation.
  • Leverage data and AI: Using data analytics and AI can enhance efficiency, support sustainability reporting, and promote transparency in environmental impact. HP has highlighted the importance of technology in the green market revolution.
  • Open your books: Effective emissions management requires granular data tracking and transparent governance, starting with small steps and building towards comprehensive solutions.
  • Embrace the New ROI of Sustainability: Sustainability offers a competitive advantage, transforming businesses into resilient, future-proof “Forever Companies.” Companies that integrate sustainability into their core operations will thrive in the green market revolution.

To summarize

The Green Market Revolution is reshaping the business landscape, and companies that integrate sustainability into their core operations will not only survive but thrive in this new era. By adopting innovative technologies, transparent practices, and a commitment to continuous improvement, businesses can future-proof their operations and investments, ensuring long-term success in a sustainable world.

The time to act is now, and the rewards are significant for those who lead the charge in sustainability. 

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

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