Building Back Better Practices with Industrial Decarbonization Strategies

rotterzswam

Green building, Rotterdam

The notion ‘Building Back Better’ originated in the context of reconstruction and recovery from physical disasters while emphasizing on preventative investments which improve resilience and reduce the cost associated with future disasters. 

However, the challenge and task of re-igniting the world economy after the COVID crisis will certainly be different. The economic crisis has been so severe, the risk of returning to the previous pattern so high, and the opportunity of embracing a sustainable recovery so clear that the term ‘Building Back Better’ is highly relevant in this context. Therefore, climate change risk management should be an integral part of building back the economy after COVID crisis. 

Among many solutions available, effective and practical industrial decarbonization strategies can play a crucial role here as industries prove to be major contributors to global carbon emissions. The industries that understand the climate change risks at their bottom line and are able to identify opportunities of sustainable business models can proactively participate in achieving global decarbonization targets and take the lead. 

Here are a few effective industrial decarbonization strategies that businesses can adopt:

Decarbonizing Supply Chains 

Decarbonization of the supply chain has become one of the most prevalent industrial decarbonization strategies as it can significantly reduce global carbon emissions. Supply chain decarbonization can prove to be a game-changing opportunity for businesses fighting climate change.

Some actions industries can take under this are:

  • Build a view of emissions with supplier-specific data and set ambitious targets for reducing emissions. 
  • Redesign products and consider geographical sourcing strategies for optimizing CO2. 
  • Engage in industry ecosystems for sharing best practices and creating a demand for green products.

Making Buildings Green and Energy Efficient

Green buildings refer to a structure that is resource-efficient and environmentally responsible throughout a building’s life-cycle, right from planning to designing, construction, operation, maintenance and so on. Green building practices can help overcome the classical building concerns of durability, comfort, utility and comfort, paving the way to enhanced energy efficiency, reduced emissions and operational efficiency. 

Electrification

One of the most important approaches to achieving industrial decarbonization is existing processes’ electrification for heat treatment. Renewable energy sources can play a crucial role here as they can completely decarbonize the power sector. The migration towards a complete electric renewable-based system can nearly double the energy system efficiency through a combination of electrification of alternative energies’ major uses and the power sector relying on renewable energies. 

Digitize to Decarbonize

With technological advancements, the scope of incorporating digitalization technologies for achieving industrial decarbonization has gained importance. The applications of digitalization technologies include optimizing the energy sector, smarter use of resources or overall dematerialization. A vast amount of data is being collected in several areas; however, better and efficient management of this data will prove to be an efficient tool of decarbonization. It has the capability to make smart electricity grids more accurate and improve LCA  (life-cycle assessments) of products and their value chains. 

Besides optimizing production processes, machine learning and AI can further support the energy sector’s decarbonization by predicting the output of solar and wind farms. 

Partnerships and Collaborations

While a few industries have already progressed towards achieving their decarbonization goals, some still need to start and are unable to devise effective decarbonization strategies. Collaborations and partnerships can play an important role here. 

To accelerate global decarbonization, it is important to make collaborative and coordinated efforts. It allows businesses to share the technology, expertise, and resources for working out robust decarbonization solutions. A few companies are taking the lead in the process and are actively coming up with resilient decarbonization technologies and solutions.

Prima facie, ‘Building Back Better’ and achieving net-zero emission targets might seem challenging; however, it is achievable with robust decarbonization technologies, coordinated efforts, electrification, and other solutions. So, let us collaboratively work towards achieving a sustainable and greener world.

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