Planning for a net-zero world

meeting in a field


Marc Grynberg

Chief Executive Officer, Umicore

GICS Industry: Chemicals

The public sector – through smart regulation – can provide an essential framework for the low carbon economy while the private sector is best placed to provide the innovation and technologies to bring the low carbon revolution to life. Umicore provides materials and recycling solutions that enable low carbon technologies. Our cathode materials are key ingredients in determining the performance and cost of the batteries in electric cars and buses. We also contribute to overall lower carbon footprints for the production of precious and scarce metals thanks to our unique recycling processes.


Peder Holk Nielsen
Photo credit: Thorbjørn Hansen

Peder Holk Nielsen

Chief Executive Officer, Novozymes

GICS Industry: Chemicals

We are witnessing a fascinating global shift in the role of businesses. A realization that some of the world’s most pressing challenges – climate change, dwindling natural resources, rising population – both represent risk and some of our biggest future business opportunities.

It is clear that the private sector plays a key role and bears a big responsibility to drive the global sustainability agenda. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) point towards the many opportunities for companies that spring from this agenda. They point companies in the right direction to deliver solutions that contribute to sustainable growth. Seen in this way, they are a trillion-dollar business opportunity for the companies that get it right.

The SDGs have guided Novozymes’ own long-term targets for fulfilling the company’s stated purpose of finding biological answers for better lives in a growing world. Among those targets is an ambition to reach six billion people with our biological solutions, deliver 10 transformative innovations, catalyze five global partnerships for change, educate 1 million people about the potential of biology, and save 100 million tons of CO2 through the use of our products – all by 2020. This is our interpretation of where we can make a difference in the world.


Michel_Letellier_cropped_smallMichel Letellier

President & Chief Executive Officer, Innergex Renewable Energy

GICS Industry: Independent Power & Renewable Electricity

Innergex Renewable Energy Inc. has been an active leader in the renewable energy sector since 1990. We are proud of our success in fostering economic development opportunities working in partnership with First Nations and rural communities. We believe that the transition to a low carbon economy is essential to the future growth of not only a healthy society and environment, but a robust and growing economy and that’s’ why we have been and will continue to be committed to produce renewable energy exclusively.

Independent power producers need to keep engaging governments to adopt policies that will make it easier for clean energy to replace traditional sources of energy. We have the ability to leverage our creativity and capital to get clean energy to the market and at the same time help government achieve climate change goals.

We firmly believe that private investment will continue to drive the shift toward a low-carbon future.


Henrik_PoulsenHenrik Poulsen

Chief Executive Officer, DONG Energy

GICS Industry: Electric Utilities

Climate change is already impacting millions of lives through extreme weather events and poor air quality. Political agreements to fight climate change are crucial, but corporations also need to take action and do their part. On the demand-side, many leading corporations are setting the example by investing in green power purchase agreements or renewable energy assets. And on the supply-side, energy companies like ourselves must push forward on the shift from fossil fuels to renewables. DONG Energy has come a long way in making offshore wind competitive to fossil fuels, and we recently announced our ambition to completely phase out coal by 2023.


FVBF190614-382Eric Rondolat

Chief Executive Officer, Philips Lighting

GICS Industry: Electrical Equipment

Philips Lighting contributes to a low-carbon future in two ways. First, we deliver sustainable offerings to our customers. For example, our connected lighting systems can improve energy efficiency up to 80 per cent. No other industry can do that. It therefore was logical to take the second step, making our operations more sustainable. In 2016, we reduced our carbon footprint by 39 per cent to 406 kilotonnes, bringing us much closer to our goal of becoming carbon neutral in 2020.

Together these are cornerstones of our purpose to unlock the extraordinary potential of light through our `Brighter Lives, Better World’ program, which sets ambitious targets on sustainable revenues and operations leading up to 2020. We are proving on a daily basis that the private sector can shape and lead the market for a low-carbon future,” said Eric Rondolat, CEO of Philips Lighting.


Anders_runevad_MG_7799Anders Runevad

Chief Executive Officer, Vestas Wind Systems

GICS Industry: Electrical Equipment

To Vestas, the private sector’s role is to ensure that sustainable energy at all times is the obvious choice to satisfy energy demand. The technological progress within the area has been remarkable and onshore wind energy is today often the cheapest energy source available. As products, services and solutions continue to drive energy cost down, the private sector needs to work with policy makers and regulators to ensure energy systems are fit for high penetration of renewables, meaning meeting demand even where the wind is not blowing or the sun is not shining.

The technology of today can with a little help from the technology of tomorrow create a low carbon future – let’s make sure that the power markets are ready.


Official picture 2016 Jean-Pascal TricoireJean-Pascal Tricoire

Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Schneider Electric

GICS Industry: Electrical Equipment

Regarding climate, I am neither optimistic nor pessimistic, I am activist. Climate needs business solutions. By 2040, cities will host 70% of the world population. In the past 20 years, the Internet has connected 3.5 billion people together while, by 2020, it will connect 30 billion devices. Solar and storage systems will account for 70 per cent of new capacity addition by 2040 for rural areas, and 57 per cent of consumers are considering becoming energy self-sufficient, which will lead to the need for more microgrids. At Schneider Electric, we co-create the future for a new energy world. One that is more electric, digital, decarbonized, and decentralized, and we strive to meet the energy challenge — keeping global average temperatures below 2°C increase. We are a pure player in energy transition technologies and our mission is to make sure that Life is On for everyone, everywhere and at every moment.


Frans van Houten - CEO Royal PhilipsFrans van Houten

Chief Executive Officer, Royal Philips

GICS Industry: Industrial Conglomerates

We can see the effects of climate change across the world, and we owe it to our children to do something about it. I am therefore proud that last year, Philips launched its new multi-year sustainability program ‘Healthy people, sustainable planet’ which includes Philips’ commitment to achieve carbon neutrality for its global operations by 2020. The five-year program builds on our ambitious mission to improve the lives of three billion people a year in 2025 by making the world healthier and more sustainable through innovation.


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