Hundreds of businesses are making commitments to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 (or earlier) in line with the goal of the Paris Climate Agreement. These commitments are being driven by investor pressure, the risk of stranded assets, evolving national policy frameworks and ratcheting societal expectations.
Establishing a credible path to net-zero presents major challenges, uncertain risks and transformative opportunities for firms to shift or completely alter key aspects of their business model, value chain and competitive positioning. Firms can capitalize on strategic opportunities, such as the possibilities of new products, services and markets, and novel ways of interacting with or serving customers.
However, much of the discourse ‘lumps together’ these strategic considerations with the technical complexities of pathways, technologies, solutions and measurement, which impede clear strategic thinking on the net-zero transition. As we enter a decade of unprecedented transformation and disruption, the leaders will be the firms that take a strategic approach to net-zero – aligning ambitious emissions reductions with long-term business strategy, innovation and value creation.
Ivey’s research new initiative – Canadian Corporate Strategies for Net-Zero: Planning for the Long Term – is engaging and convening a unique cross-sector group of leading Canadian businesses taking bold climate action. Through exchange, dialogue and research, the initiative is identifying the opportunities and decision points to build ambitious and actionable net-zero strategies that position firms to thrive in a net-zero future.
For more information, please contact Matthew Lynch.
Scaling the Climate-Smart Circular Economy
The circular economy - conserving materials and avoiding waste through closing material flows - can be a key approach for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and will be an important strategy for Canada to meet its 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan. This especially applies in the agri-food sector, responsible for almost 100 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions per year in Canada, in which 60 per cent of production is currently wasted with an economic loss of $50 billion annually.
The big question for businesses and policy-makers: what are the best solutions and policies that optimize the use of resources to aggressively reduce carbon emissions?
A landmark study, Scaling the Climate-Smart Circular Economy, conducted by researchers at the Ivey Business School’s Centre for Building Sustainable Value (BSV), tackled this question through examining two Canadian “hot spots” for circular innovation in the agri-food sector - the Guelph-Wellington (Ontario) and Montreal (Quebec) regions. The multi-year study analyzed over 110 “waste exchanges,” in which one firm took the food waste from another firm for an intended beneficial use.
The Ivey Net-Zero Event Series
Created in collaboration with the Ivey Academy, the Ivey Net-Zero Event Series will focus on the strategic implications and opportunities for business in pursuing a net-zero strategy for climate emissions.
En-ROADS Climate Simulator (April 2022)
On April 21st 2022, Ivey hosted a unique interactive learning event that challenged over 100 executive alumni to work collectively to chart a path to a net-zero future, using the En-ROADS Climate Solutions Simulator.
En-ROADS is a global climate simulator built by Climate Interactive and the MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative. En-ROADS allows users to explore the impact of roughly 30 policies – such as electrifying transport, pricing carbon, and improving agricultural practices – on hundreds of factors like temperature, air quality, and the evolution of energy mix. The system dynamics model weaves together the best available science and research, to show how our world and the climate reacts to interventions in our energy and land-use choices.
Your organization's net-zero future is closer than you think (November 2021)
As the world gathered for the COP26 climate change summit in Glasgow in November, some of Canada’s leading voices on corporate climate action unpacked the enormous strategic implications of the net-zero agenda for business.
- Sarah Chapman– Global Chief Sustainability Officer, Manulife
- Laura Zizzo– Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Manifest Climate
- Robert Klassen – Director, Centre for Building Sustainable Value, Ivey Business School at Western University
Moderated byMazi Raz, Director of Learning Design & Strategy, at the Ivey Academy.
Listen to the PODCAST.
Charting Canada's Path to Net-Zero (April 2021)
Net-Zero: What are Canadian companies committing to?
This article provides a desktop review of climate commitments made by 64 large Canadian companies, including net-zero targets and/or targets under the Science Based Targets Initiative.
Seeking Net Zero? You Should Know Not All Carbon Offsets Are The Same
Amid calls to reduce their companies’ carbon footprints, business leaders are looking to buy carbon offsets. However, not all offsets are the same, writes Professor Tima Bansal in Forbes.
Retailers’ Dirty Secret: Emissions In Shipping Freight
Retailers are touting their ambitious emissions targets. Yet just getting their products across the ocean creates more greenhouse-gas emissions than all 2 billion of America’s cars and truck combined, writes Tima Bansal in Forbes.