A Ten Year Opportunity - David Porter on what the Green Revolution means for businesses

The 2020s are going to be an exciting decade. A make-or-break decade in which businesses and people will embrace profound changes. I am not talking about the inexorable rise of digital media or the end of COVID-19, but about the green revolution that is sweeping across the world.

For the past 15 years I have been working with so-called clean technology companies; ones that are developing solutions with a low impact on our environment. It has not been an easy job as many companies had new products for new markets, some required high levels of capital and had business models that could easily be undermined by a change in government policy.

However, things are changing. In the recent past renewable energy was not cost effective and the carbon benefits were unimportant; now that same industry is out-competing fossil fuel energy. Today, there is barely a large corporate that hasn’t stated its ambitions to heavily cut carbon emissions. The US and China both have net zero carbon goals for the mid-century. India has a massive solar PV rollout programme, and the cement industry (responsible for 7% of global emissions) not only has a target to be net zero, but is already testing the technologies that will deliver it.

By 2030, there will not be a sector of society or the economy that will not have been impacted by green technologies. For software, new businesses will emerge that manage to cut bills and even produce income streams for consumers. Food production will be transformed to use less carbon-intensive fertilisers. Cement, glass, chemicals, air and sea transport will all operate differently with different business models, new supply chains, use alternative resources and, of course, produce new products. The hospitality and entertainment sectors will source much more in environmentally sustainable ways and will be letting you know that they are doing so at every opportunity.

With such great change will come great opportunities to those that are willing to embrace it. Whatever line of business you are in or whatever your new ideas may entail, keeping the low carbon future at the forefront of your strategy will increase your chance of success.

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