January 25, 2022
As we move toward a more sustainable future and economy, the public and private sectors must work together to address climate change. There are many potential solutions to current climate concerns, but the best ones are resilient, economically sound and work holistically across the entire value chain.
During Day 2 of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s “Building Momentum to UN COP27” conference, corporate leaders, government officials, and experts in the energy sector discussed how to implement effective climate solutions.
The Energy Sector and Its Corporate Partners Are Prioritizing Resiliency
Achieving resiliency is a top priority for most companies and partners across the energy sector.
“We want to focus on decarbonizing the energy sector … but while we're doing that, at the same time, we want to grow resiliency of the energy sector,” said Roger Martella, chief sustainability officer of General Electric.
He added these are mutually achievable goals, but we must prioritize resiliency just as much as these other decarbonization goals.
“We're passionate about making sure that as we're decarbonizing, we're making electricity reliable, sustainable and affordable at the same time,” he continued. “We want to lift up the quality of life for all people … while we're achieving these goals.”
Similarly, Jim Andrew, EVP and chief sustainability officer of PepsiCo, said his company is proud to be part of the collective journey toward a net-zero future.
“With our resources and with our expertise, we as a company have a unique opportunity to drive meaningful change … at scale,” he continued. “For us to be a successful company … we need to create more resilience in our business.”
He added that his company needs to change what they do and how they do it. To initiate these shifts, the company launched PepsiCo Positive, “a strategic end-to-end transformation [that] puts sustainability squarely at the center of how we create growth and how we create value.”
New Energy Technologies Should Be Both Efficient and Economic
Khaled Hashem, president of Honeywell International in North Africa, said his company is focused on things like blue hydrogen and carbon capture, as well as identifying and implementing projects with the government. He also stressed the importance of renewable fuels, which are based on Honeywell’s proprietary technology.
“United Airlines flew the first flight … last year using a 100% sustainable aviation fuel based on Honeywell renewable fuel technology,” he said. “We're trying to implement something similar now in Egypt.”
There are other initiatives the company implements, too. For example, Honeywell is working with the government on plastic circularity, or plastic recycling, which is “the ability to more efficiently use plastic (or any resource) by keeping material in use for as long as possible, getting the most we can from them during use, and then recovering them to make new products.” One of the company’s key technologies in this area is storage batteries.
“Where we're really focused is how to make all this economic,” Hashem said. “We hold ourselves accountable at Honeywell that we present these technologies and also make them economic so they can make sense and are actually implemented on the ground.”
Companies Must Find Ways To Reduce Emissions Across Their Entire Value Chains
Louise Koch, global social impact director at Dell Technologies, said her company has a few key goals to contribute to a more sustainable future.
“We believe that we have an important role to play, both in reducing our own impact on the planet in line with science-based targets and also to continuously develop solutions that can drive progress to what's a low carbon and a resource-efficient future,” she said. “[We want] to help to adapt to a world with the climate changes that we have already started to see.”
Koch said Dell plans to do this by working with its suppliers to set science-based targets to reduce its emissions by 60%, focusing on bringing down the carbon footprint of its products across the supply chain, and driving energy efficiency of its products and solutions.
“Overall, our goal is … to reduce the actual emissions from our operations across our entire value chain,” she said.