The Sustainability Imperative

As organizations struggle to define a strategy that balances purpose and profit, opportunities are increasingly emerging to take the lead in sustainability initiatives. Front-line advances in areas such as net-zero emissions, AI-powered solutions for the underserved, precision agriculture, digital healthcare, and more are delivering business benefits, while simultaneously contributing to the realization of the UN’s 17 SDGs. We provide the expert thinking, debate, and guidance to help your organization reposition and transform in the era of sustainability.

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In this Advisor, LEAG CEO Thorsten Kramer introduces GigawattFactory, a unique project that will deliver high-quality green energy on an industrial scale in Germany.
The industrial sector represents a significant source of energy-related GHG emissions. For instance, in the US, it accounted for 33% of overall primary energy use in 2020 and was responsible for 30% of the nation’s total energy-related GHG emissions. Reducing a sizeable portion of these emissions will play a key role in achieving the Paris Agreement’s goals.
Businesses in a range of industries can achieve their sustainability ambitions by revising their business models to include sustainability principles. This Advisor offers advice for companies embarking on the transformation toward a sustainable business model.
CCUS is widely accepted as a viable technology approach for decarbonization and an essential part of the transition to net zero. As we explore in this Advisor, it also creates a range of transformative opportunities for businesses across the value chain.
Organizations are developing new AI and data visualization tools that can potentially transform the way we address the challenges of sea level rise. The goal is to make more accurate predictions about future climate conditions that can affect sea levels, project how sea level change will impact the environment and society, and present the findings in ways that can be easily interpreted and shared among stakeholders. This Advisor takes a look at some of these tools.
LEAG CEO Thorsten Kramer offers a first-person account of his company’s plan to transform from a coal-based electricity producer in eastern Germany to one of Europe’s largest providers of green energy. Kramer is honest about the Herculean effort this plan will require, particularly in light of recent fears about his country’s electricity supply. But the German government decreed that energy producers must phase out coal by the end of 2038 at the latest, and Kramer believes that: (1) green energy is the only direction worth taking and (2) if you’re going to go green you must go big. He describes the ambitious project in detail, gives us a glimpse into the changes his company is already experiencing, and previews his strategy for coping with the changes still to come.
In this issue of Amplify, we measure how far we’ve come on our decarbonization journey, look at several obstacles to progress, and present ideas for how they can be overcome. The articles demonstrate the complexity of topics involved in the journey to decarbonization. They also highlight multiple approaches that can be adopted, providing business leaders with inspiration to accelerate their efforts and successfully deliver on their commitments.
Senthil Sundaramoorthy, Dipti Kamath, Sachin Nimbalkar, Christopher Price, Thomas Wenning, and Joseph Cresko from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) examine strategies for industrial decarbonization, particularly for the six most energy-intensive industries. Almost three-quarters of all industrial GHG emissions in the US come from manufacturers, and the bulk of those come from iron and steel, chemical, food and beverage, petroleum refining, pulp and paper, and cement. Sundaramoorthy et al. assert that “Energy-efficiency improvement is a feasible, low-cost approach that, in most cases, does not require any major change to industrial processes and can bring immediate emissions reductions.” Along with statistics from the US Department of Energy (DOE) about potential emissions reductions, the authors describe how strategic energy management, system efficiency, material and lifecycle efficiency, smart manufacturing, and combined heat and power can bring both short- and long-term reductions in carbon emissions.