Businesses are constantly faced with new challenges. Whether it’s reacting to new technologies or foreseeing new trends, their capacity to change is put to a test every day. Companies in all sectors need to invest now to keep pace with rapid technology development and to make their business models more resilient, factoring in their impact on the environment and societies. Our sector series delve into the role of new technologies in the transition to sustainable business models in sectors such as food and agriculture, energy, and transportation and logistics.
Are we close to the hydrogen tipping point?
Hydrogen has a crucial role to play in decarbonization. The race to net zero is on, and taking part is no longer optional. That means we have no choice but to explore new technologies and integrate them into our energy systems and our economies.
The future of energy
It’s hard to predict the future, but you can be sure that the energy sector will look significantly different 20 years from now than it does today. While companies will still produce fossil fuels in 2040, renewables could account for almost 70% of the world’s energy mix, while nearly 80% less carbon will be emitted into the air, according to a report from ING.
Can the circular economy help packaging make a comeback?
Plastic waste is a growing predicament. In a recent ING International Survey, 34% of Europeans said that plastic waste was the biggest environmental problem – ahead of climate change (1). As consumer pressure mounts, government, the packaging industry and consumer brands are working to solve the plastic packaging problem.
Northvolt: The battery maker accelerating Europe’s sustainability drive
Northvolt, a four-year-old start-up headquartered in Stockholm, is building a giant production plant for lithium-ion battery cells in Skellefteå, northern Sweden. The ‘gigafactory’ is set to start producing in 2021 and is widely expected to usher in a new era for Europe’s automotive industry.
Smart shipping in uncertain times
Consider the race to get Covid-19 vaccines to the public: one of the biggest obstacles could be transportation. If the transport and logistics sector scales up the internet of things (IoT), sensors, and blockchain, it could dramatically reduce time-loss in the transport of critical items – during the pandemic and beyond.
Appetite for change: How meat and dairy alternatives are moving from niche to normal
The global meat and dairy industry contributes 60% of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions and in 2018 we consumed 385 million tonnes of meat worldwide, accounting for at least 1.7 gigatons of CO2 emissions, 380 million hectares of land and consumption of 87 billion square meters of water. That is a huge environmental impact – from just meat and dairy.
Electric blues: How can we jump-start electric vehicles?
A global shift to clean energy needs more of us to drive electric vehicles (EVs). But that is not likely to happen until we know we can rely on the seamless functioning of different parts of a complex ecosystem.
ZES: a zero-emission service cleans up inland shipping
An unlikely collaboration is addressing the problem of how to reduce emissions in the supply chain: battery-powered barges. In June 2020, Zero Emission Services began to offer an alternative to diesel-fuelled shipping on Dutch inland waterways by deploying electric barges running on modular batteries.
More than just a generation game: Why renewables need better distribution and transmission
With renewable energy and electrification alone, we can make 75% of the energy-related CO2 emissions reductions needed to meet climate goals, according to the UN’s International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). So what is stopping us from integrating the growing share of renewable energy generation and scaling up electrification?
On the front lines: How agriculture is fighting back against climate change
Consumer preferences are obviously an important part of agriculture’s sustainability business case, but they are not the only reason why it makes sense. Here, we look at the lengths to which some food producers are going to satisfy – and exceed – customer expectations, and find out about the other benefits of pursuing a sustainable approach.
A new playbook: evolving transport and logistics through digitalisation and sustainability
Shifts in supply-chain management and increased use of automation and data are interlinked trends shaping the transport and logistics sector. They are being driven by advances in technology and an increasing awareness of the importance of sustainability – not just as a social responsibility, but as an essential part of business management that also brings long-term economic benefits.
Bracing for change: why food & agriculture need sustainability and resilience in a post-pandemic world
Even before the United Nations (UN) published its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, the food and agriculture sector had recognised the urgent need for greater sustainability. Five years on, the Covid-19 pandemic is accelerating the transformation to fully sustainable food and agriculture production.
Will Europe’s recovery boost the energy transition?
As the world faces up to its deepest recession for nearly a century, can Europe maintain its commitment to a greener future? Or will it waver, deterred by the upfront costs and political will needed to drive the energy transition in a time of crisis?
The evolution of the car picks up pace
Automotive innovation might be expected to stall as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, but that would be a mistake. Carmakers have everything to gain from persevering with their transformation – they might even find that the crisis has some unexpected consequences for the future of the car.
Products-as-a-service reaches the tipping point
Half measures and marginal adjustments will not be enough to meet the ambitious goals of initiatives such as the Paris Agreement – we need more radical solutions. Is it time to rethink the concept of ownership?
Feeding the world with precision
How data-driven analytics is powering agribusiness for the big task ahead: reducing food insecurity while the population spikes.