This week’s article serves as a continuation of last week’s topic, namely SDG 13 – Climate Action. However, this article will delve into how SDG 13 influences the companies, but also how companies can contribute to the achievement of SDG 13.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) symbolize an unprecedented global consensus, arising from the collaboration of 193 countries. This consensus reflects a comprehensive and ambitious development agenda for both people and the planet, aiming to be achieved by 2030. The SDGs outline the most significant challenges and requirements of our era, along with the corresponding goals for addressing them. Attaining these objectives necessitates collaborative efforts spanning governments, civil society, the private sector, and committed individuals and communities. Success in this endeavor hinges on matching the goals with the essential resources, innovation capacity, and partnerships required for effective implementation.
For businesses, the SDGs present a significant opportunity to shape, guide, communicate, and report their strategies and activities, enabling them to leverage a variety of benefits. There are compelling reasons for businesses to pursue social impact and align with the SDGs. Beyond responding to society’s call for increased transparency and accountability, integrating purpose with profit can create a distinctive competitive advantage, meeting the expectations of discerning consumers, investors, and employees. The private sector has a clear business case to invest in SDG implementation. As per the Business and Sustainable Development Commission, achieving the SDGs unlocks approximately USD 12 trillion in market opportunities within the four economic systems studied by the Commission: food and agriculture, cities, energy and materials, and health and well-being. These sectors constitute around 60 percent of the real economy and play a crucial role in realizing the SDGs. The overall economic cost (and business potential) of SDG implementation could be 2-3 times greater if the benefits extend across the entire economy, accompanied by significantly higher labor and resource productivity.
In the current era marked by constraints on natural resources and growing socio-environmental pressures, corporate dedication to enhanced climate change practices has become a focal point in corporate decision-making. Drawing on the resource-based view (RBV) and utilizing a sample of companies listed on the London Stock Exchange (FTSE-All-Share) from 2014 to 2020, comprising a total of 2000 firm-year observations, studies demonstrated a positive correlation between corporate eco-innovation and commitment to climate change. Companies with a higher eco-innovation score exhibit greater dedication to addressing climate change. Those who employ innovative strategies to efficiently manage pollution, control resource usage, and minimize environmental impact demonstrate a stronger commitment to climate change. Companies combining climate governance with eco-innovation can effectively leverage existing resources and expertise to make authentic commitments to climate change, gaining a competitive advantage over their counterparts.
To conclude, among the best examples of companies that took an opportunity out of SDG 13 and are committed to contributing to climate action, the following companies from The Netherlands and Germany are remarkable:
- Enmacc has introduced an autonomous over-the-counter (OTC) energy trading platform, revolutionizing the entire energy procurement process by digitizing it end-to-end. This innovation eliminates the necessity for intermediaries and regulatory involvement. The platform increases liquidity in European energy, gas, and renewable certificate markets, ensuring efficiency, security, and crucial data for optimal trading activities. – Germany
- Grid Singularity, a blockchain technology company, envisions democratizing energy by prioritizing individuals and the environment in the energy market. The company is developing the D3A energy exchange engine, facilitating the coordination of numerous small energy producers and flexible loads within a trustless, open, decentralized network. Grid Singularity is also a founding member of the Energy Web Foundation (EWF), an open-source, enterprise blockchain platform tailored for the energy sector. – Germany
- GeoPard Agriculture has crafted a precision farming platform for both enterprises and individuals. Utilizing open-data sources like satellites, the platform generates a spectrum of information about farmlands. Users can visualize and analyze various aspects such as crop yield, vegetation health, leaf chlorophyll production, soil content, water distribution, and more. Additionally, the platform provides prescription maps to enhance the effectiveness of spraying, seeding, and fertilization practices. – Germany
- ING, a Dutch multinational bank operating in over 40 countries, has long been at the forefront of adopting climate-positive measures. Since 2007, the company has set ambitious targets, including the use of renewable electricity in its buildings, a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions, a 20% reduction in residual waste and water use, and achieving carbon neutrality by offsetting remaining carbon emissions, all by 2020. The company is also progressing towards aligning its lending portfolio with the well-below two-degree goal of the Paris Agreement, a strategy known as the Terra approach. Furthermore, ING has committed to the UN-backed Collective Commitment to Climate Action, signed by over 30 banks in September 2019. – The Netherlands
Albitar, K., Al-Shaer, H., & Liu, Y. (2023). Corporate commitment to climate change: The effect of eco-innovation and climate governance. Research Policy Vol. 52 (2),104697, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.respol.2022.104697.
SDG Accelerator. (2023). BUSINESS AND THE SDGS. Preluat de pe SDG Accelerator: https://www.undp.org/sdg-accelerator/business-and-sdgs
Valuer. (2022, December). Innovative Companies and SDG 13: Climate Action. Preluat de pe Valuer: https://www.valuer.ai/blog/identifying-new-business-models-and-technologies-within-sdg-13