Winning the Race to Net-Zero: Insights from the ManagEnergy Talk

For this edition, ManagEnergy has invited Jens Burchardt, Boston Consulting Group’s Managing Director and global expert on climate impact. Based on his long experience, he shared why it makes sense for private companies to accelerate their own energy transition.

Winning the Race to Net-Zero: Insights from the ManagEnergy Talk

The ManagEnergy Talks explore innovative, ambitious and transformative actions led by local/regional actors. It seeks to inspire others to spear head the drive for investment and action on sustainable energy. They are meant to serve as a forum for the discussion of new political initiatives, legislative processes or financial innovations from the different perspectives of all relevant stakeholders.

On 21 June 2023 during the European Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW), the ManagEnergy Talk has been delivered by Jens Burchardt, Boston Consulting Group’s Managing Director and global expert on climate impact.

Empowering Local and Regional Energy Agencies

Christiane Egger, Deputy Manager of OÖ Energiesparverband and our Vice-President for Climate Neutrality, in her introduction, emphasised the significance of local and regional energy agencies in achieving climate neutrality and the energy transition. She highlighted that ManagEnergy recognises the key roles these agencies play in facilitating projects, providing reliable information, and supporting the transition to sustainable energy at the local level.

There are 315 local and regional agencies in the EU and together they employ more than 3,500 people, so, this makes us one of the largest working force on substantiable energy in the public sector.

Christiane Egger

Aneta Willems, Head of the Department for natural resources, climate, sustainable blue economy, and clean energy at the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA), shed light on the crucial role played by local and regional actors in facilitating successful clean energy transitions thanks to their partnerships with local authorities, companies, and citizens.

Whatever we do at the European or national policy level to facilitate this transition, it’s local and regional actors who will ultimately make it happen.

Aneta Willems

Keynote Speech: Winning the Race to Net-Zero

Jens Burchardt delivered a thought-provoking keynote speech on why private companies should accelerate their climate transition. He highlighted the changing context, where climate actions are rapidly accelerating and policies are becoming more ambitious. Despite the progress, there is still a need to align national commitments with the goals of the Paris Agreement. Burchardt stressed the importance of not underestimating technological advancements and policy progress, as well as the impact on capital markets.

He emphasised that companies stand to gain significant benefits by embracing the transition to net-zero emissions. The race toward net-zero presents an opportunity for companies to win new markets long before technology costs become competitive. Consumer companies, in particular, have the potential to reduce emissions throughout their supply chains and even achieve net-zero products without substantial price increases.

For many end-consumer companies, moving to a fully net-zero product would only increase the store price by around 2% if everything in their supply chain moved to net-zero.

Jens Burchardt

By adopting sustainable practices, companies can tap into the growing demand for environmentally friendly products and gain a competitive advantage. To successfully transition to a sustainable future, companies require support and collaboration by providing them guidance, resources, and collaboration opportunities.

These companies will need all the help they can get in navigating this: the leaders but also the followers.

Jens Burchardt