2023 is shaping up to be a year filled with climate action from businesses, as new regulations come into place and carbon data becomes key to meeting reduction targets. Rachel Delacour, CEO of Sweep, Europe’s leading carbon management and reduction platform, shares her insights to help businesses get ahead of the curve.
- Death of net zero – beyond pledges and greenwashing.
Businesses will move away from “net zero pledges” that hinder actual progress and the acceleration of decarbonisation. Instead, businesses will embrace multi-dimensional carbon reduction methods to protect their financial health, supply chain operations, and avoid greenwashing allegations. Like the digital revolution two decades ago, this is a transformational move for any company seeking to survive and thrive in the climate-impacted future, especially in a context where progress will be increasingly checked by regulators and NGOs.
- Climate leaders will be next on the CEO seat. And they will be women.
Climate is changing the role of CEOs. Transitioning to a low-carbon economy has become so fundamental to business reputation and strategy that new CEOs must have strong sustainable knowledge. Senior sustainability roles in businesses are often held by women, and they will be moving up into CEO and top executive roles. This movement has already started – H&M’s former Chief Sustainability Officer Helena Helmersson is now the first female CEO of the company. Similarly, we will begin to see more male professionals making their move in sustainability because they know it’s a big opportunity to become CEO.
- In 2023, climate regulations are becoming real, and this is good news for UK businesses.
Next year marks the year of regulatory reckoning and auditability of carbon data. Businesses will have no choice but to comply with climate regulations in 2023 (TCFD framework, CSRD, and EU taxonomy). This could become a competitive advantage for UK businesses that will be prepared to face foreign climate regulations and anticipate climate risks and opportunities.
- Carbon data will be the new gold.
Taking accountability for carbon and ecological footprint will be the only route to business longevity and sovereignty. Companies with a solid decarbonisation strategy will be more resilient to carbon taxes at borders and climate disclosure regulations rising globally. They will also build up a credible climate brand reputation, especially when facing growing pressure from employees, investors, customers.
- Investment into climate tech will continue to grow exponentially with European climate tech dominating VC funding rounds.
Climate-focused investors will remain bullish and confident despite the widespread recession. Following the climate tech boom, both in terms of funding and the number of startups, Europe is well on its way to leading climate tech’s VC investments globally. Currently, more than one quarter of all venture capital funding is going to climate technology, with increased focus on technologies that have the most potential to cut emissions. This will continue to grow in 2023 as climate action remains top of mind for businesses in the UK and globally.
The news and opinions published in this commentary reflect the views of the author(s), not of Carbon Pulse.