1

Zero Strategy

By 2020 most companies of the world may shift to a 100% renewable energy consumption and reduce their GHG emissions to zero by 2050, say Track 0 experts, who just released a publication on green goals for businesses.

The independent report entitled Track 0 deals with both strategic and immediate effects of the way towards reaching a ‘zero goal’, or bringing GHG emissions to a net zero. The position of businesses is of crucial importance for the implementation of climate policies on all levels, say the experts. Those who are making investments and acting right now are going to be on the forefront of serious global transformations, and will have a solid advantage before those who are moving by inertia.

The experts list ten reasons that are supposed to encourage businesses to pursue a zero emissions goal. Among them are, for instance, a conclusive analysis of the situation given the projected climate change effects – from the scientific point of view, and the emerging international regulatory and emissions control policy. Other reasons include the urgency of the issue and the opportunities for businesses of all levels to participate (from small local ones to transnational corporations), as well as stimuli for innovations and development, the support of world leaders and public approval.

The authors of the Track 0 report analyze the perspectives of the carbon free economy and hope that the report will give businesses an impulse to create zero emissions strategies. The report lists specific examples of economically viable small and large-scale carbon free projects. Among them are examples from little to world famous companies and enterprises, from a major energy company to IT, to cosmetics and candy.

‘Scientific analysis shows us that there is a chance to keep global warming within 2 degrees Celsius with the help of emissions reduction’, say the experts. Climate scientists present businesses with two goals: a significant emissions reduction and a shift towards a 100% renewable energy consumption by 2020. Moreover, they view it as possible to bring the emissions to a net zero level by 2050.

According to the authors of Track 0, businesses have three main drivers on the way towards a low-carbon development. Those are science and policy, economy and finances, and reputation.

If nowadays business is mainly driven by the concern about the way their activities are going to look in the consumer’s eyes, in the future the factors of competition and economic advantage of zero-carbon strategies will become decisive. The experts show examples of the way ‘aiming for green’ may have a reverse effect. On one hand, consumers educate businesses by choosing environmentally friendly products and services, on the other, innovative products and services significantly change the consumers’ behavior towards choosing green.

Local and regional authorities and national governments all over the worlds have begun launching carbon markets, write the experts. Active carbon pricing schemes exist in almost 40 countries and over 20 cities, states and provinces. Leading companies see it as a powerful investment tool.

Deep economic transformation, according to the authors of the report, imply that enterprises should take upon them an initiative to set the goals for their own activities and to make an assessment of the entire life cycle of their products, from procurements and wholesale standards to shaping consumer behavior.

The process of creating carbon markets has been initiated by Russian businesses and is being discussed at the Ministry of Economic Development. Russia is now only trying out carbon market, and in reality is setting zero goals not for the emissions, but for the budget financing of energy efficiency programs instead.

Meanwhile, the ones who set the plank for the real green development in Russia are primarily western companies. E.On Energy Company that is actively working in the Russian market has announced their strategic zero emission goals and plans to rely on renewable energy instead of coal, gas or nuclear power.

Perhaps in the near future Russian energy giants will feel the urgency of the global business trends and become part of the inevitable and irreversible movement towards a zero emissions goal.