Despite the Paris Agreement goal of achieving net-zero by 2050, many organizations are setting even more ambitious targets for themselves. In an article for The Wall Street Journal, Guidehouse discusses the urgency of decarbonization projects, as scientists warn that net-zero goals need to be accelerated to prevent catastrophic climate change.
“We had a meeting last week with a company that said, ‘2040 is the new 2050,’” says Shannon Graham, partner at Guidehouse. “Companies regularly tell us they are moving their net-zero target from 2050 to 2040, and now to 2035. The accelerated timeline is creating urgency, especially with people from capital markets who take a longer view or people holding long-term assets.”
The article explains that a third of companies run out of steam after completing smaller projects like upgrading an HVAC system or installing solar panels because they don’t have a realistic view of all the measures necessary to reach their decarbonization targets. To be successful, organizations need to consider decarbonization projects a core part of the business from an investment perspective.
“We have reached a tipping point. For the first time we see that decarbonization, cost savings and organizational resilience go hand in hand,” says Jan-Willem Bode, partner at Guidehouse. “A strong focus on sustainability will help organizations weather economic downturns, while positioning them to capture upside potential.”
The article also discusses some of the pressures the public sector faces, outlining how decarbonization approaches can be tailored to address the unique public sector issues. “By overlaying private sector ideas, sophisticated modeling and implementation experience with their own considerations, the public sector can create actionable capital plans,” said Britt Harter, partner at Guidehouse.
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