Corporate decisions around carbon reductions aren’t just based on the desire to do good, they have genuine business benefits. Industry leaders are of the view that carbon efficiency will become a differentiator for companies as customers become more aware of the impact of their decisions. However, creating industry-wide transformation in large businesses requires intervention in markets, technology, and people. To do this, there are four primary levers for change:

  1. Markets – Create public awareness and a demand for low-carbon goods
  2. Technology – Measure, map and enable at scale
  3. People – Motivate people in the company as well as suppliers to accept the changes
  4. Collaboration – Cross industry collaborations and benchmarks are needed as supply chains are interlinked

With the use of technology, companies can create brands with purpose which can do a lot more to decarbonise and transform business models. A strong positive business case and shareholder returns can empower big businesses to make big carbon reductions. This also means that empowering people to build carbon efficiency in supply chains will help build cost savings and can minimise or reduce the need for companies to invest in reverse logistics to minimise consumer waste. But the bigger trend in manufacturing is one of localisation. Modular equipment and custom machines like 3D printers are enabling manufacturers to create decentralised manufacturing centres which can hyper-personalise based on local demand and conditions.

Companies in our study shared GHG emission targets for near term, not necessarily net zero year. Mostly these were for Scope 1 and Scope 2. Sometimes the targets are for GHG emission intensity and not for individual scopes. The disclosure here varies significantly across companies.  We have also attempted to look at carbon emissions by sector, manufacturing vs services, public vs private sectors.

Industry wise percent increase/decrease in GHG emission (Scope 1 and 2)

Industry wise percent increase/decrease in GHG emission

Public vs Private

Manufacturing vs Service

Finish lines are only worth the action they drive. Which is why when we look at all these net zero declarations, we need to ensure that the actions match the statements of intent. The biggest potential for the net zero transformation lies in the creation of a green economy.