How to Build Back Greener Infrastructure

Guidehouse helps organizations outwit decarbonization and resiliency complexities

Infrastructure has been a key area of focus globally, as the world grapples with climate change, cost-of-living increases, and other challenges. With sustainability as a top of mind priority, Jan-Willem Bode, partner at Guidehouse, discussed the complexities and opportunities of "building back greener" at the Economist Impact’s Sustainability Week.

 

“Decarbonization, resiliency, and costs go hand in hand. Investing in and upgrading infrastructure—building back—is actually an opportunity, because what we see is where infrastructure has been rebuilt, whether it is transport systems, energy systems, social housing, etc., we actually end up with a more resilient system, with a more resilient and cheaper environment.”

 

Bode emphasized the importance of doing the work smarter, faster, and greener, as the world continues to change at a fast pace. Investment is an important part of the process: according to Guidehouse estimates, between $80 trillion and $120 trillion is needed to reach net zero by 2050. "What it means for private sector capital is that we need to innovate. I say we update the rulebook. The traditional way of investing in infrastructure does not work within the context of decarbonization,” explained Bode.

 

Bode also focused on the key role the public sector plays in getting society to net zero through capital allocation and guarantees as well as the accessibility of the technology necessary for decarbonization: “If you take existing technology and the rate of current innovation, we see we have got the technologies to electrify transport systems, to actually upgrade housing stock, to drastically increase energy efficiency, and to generate clean heat and power, which can also lead to making our supply chains more resilient.”

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