Smart investment in emissions reductions in Europe’s battery manufacturing, biopharmaceuticals and data centers industries can deliver up to €2 billion in business value and 7 Mt in emissions reductions by 2025.
Next-horizon solutions in emerging industries are critical to helping position the European industry as the leader in the energy transition.
Capturing share in the markets of the future is not always easy for European businesses, especially as they are facing cost pressures from peers in established industries. Pioneering and differentiating through investment in low-carbon/net-zero value chains, however, can—and in some cases do—enable European companies to build a unique competitive edge in these markets.
How European industries can get it right when aiming for net-zero
Europe’s energy transition is highly dynamic. Technologies mature, policies change, and consumer expectations shift. The ability to anticipate change and act is imperative to remaining competitive.
Our analysis identifies four practical investment steps that can help companies achieve the dual goals of accelerated emissions reductions and business growth while positioning them for future opportunities. Measuring carbon footprint, keeping tabs on maturing decarbonization technologies, building cross-industry consortia and clusters, and engaging with customers are all key to achieving climate goals and business growth.
Why going green “smartly” is good business
Europe stands on the precipice of great change as the low-carbon economy undergoes radical shifts. As the EU tightens its emissions goals and ties pandemic-related stimulus to its clean energy transition, businesses must respond by accelerating their emissions reductions.
In the past, while businesses have invested significantly in decarbonization, fears of tradeoffs between costly clean energy technologies and competitiveness have held them back from more decisive action. However, our research shows that making smart moves now can unlock massive business value later.
Net-zero solutions supported by digital technologies can provide cost-effective ways of achieving emission reductions. By pursuing strategic short-term no-regret investments and next-horizon opportunities, European companies can not only position themselves to achieve the ambitious target of 55% emissions reduction by 2030 but also unlock around €28 billion in business value across six sectors—chemicals, cement, and iron & steel, battery, pharma, and data centers—by 2025.
Change is the only certainty in the pursuit of net-zero. The ability to act on emerging opportunities will be the difference between those who position themselves for growth and those who lag behind.
1 European Environment Agency. Air emissions inventories. 2020.
2 World Economic Forum & Accenture (2020): aping the Future of Energy and Materials System Value Framework – Europe Market Analysis.