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Start arrow Agenda arrow 22@Breakfast arrow Past Events arrow 22@Update Breakfast November 2009
22@Update Breakfast November 2009
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Climate change, the role of business

The evidence today of climate change is irrefutable. Companies need to adapt to the new situation and change their energy practices to get more sustainable and profitable performance

November’s 22@Update Breakfast was held on the second floor of the Diagonal 67 building, where some of the possibilities of climate change as an opportunity for the creation of new business models were put forward. We were accompanied by two experts in the field, Elvira Carles and Miquel Àngel Rubio, who gave an overview of the issue.

First to speak was Elvira Carles, director of the Business and Climate Foundation (FEC), an institution sponsored by the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce and Shipping which meets the needs of covering the latent demand of Spanish companies in the face of the needs, doubts and questions brought about by the new environmental regulations and by climate change.

Ms Carles told us how companies could take advantage of climate change as an opportunity to make their businesses more profitable. The director of the FEC showed these possibilities on the basis of real statistics, both worldwide and local, that demonstrate how climate change can be channelled into new more profitable business models.

Climate change can be channelled into new more profitable business models

On the one hand, the subject of the carbon market was posed, being a business that offers a broad range of possibilities. With the application of the Kyoto protocols, companies have specific permits for emissions of CO2 tons, which can be bought and sold if desired. Due to this, the price of CO2 tons has risen very considerably since 2007, when the protocol was applied. This means that some companies have decided to invest in other more environmentally-friendly types of energy and sell their sought-after CO2 emission permits. Despite the price per CO2 ton coming down this year as a consequence of the world economic crisis, it is predicted that this situation will change soon as year after year there will be a reduction in emissions permits.

The carbon market is one of the business possibilities offered by climate change, but there are others. Another possibility put forward are voluntary agreements, which help open up other market segments. Here we find examples of companies that have made a commitment to being environmentally-friendly and reducing CO2 emissions as an added value to their end product.

Being environmentally-friendly and reducing CO2 emissions can be an added value to products

Elvira Carles raised the awareness of everyone present of the consequences of climate change in our country and how they could be less severe if CO2 emissions are controlled. Spain is a country that bases a large part of its GDP on tourism. If the average temperature rises excessively, tourists will not come and this will have disastrous consequences for the economy. Therefore, the commitment by companies in all sectors is essential in stopping the consequences of climate change.

The 22@ innovator of the month was Miquel A. Rubio, Head of Climate Change Product with the Lavola company and Spanish and Andorran manager of the GEH e)mission. emission offsetting brand. Mr Rubio also spoke to us of the business opportunities offered by climate change, but in this case he wanted to look more deeply at the possibilities beyond the reduction of emissions.

Often, the future panorama of climate change inspires uncertainties and new business challenges. Mr Rubio offered his vision in this area and explained the methodology that needs to be followed to achieve an optimum result. Finally, he gave some examples of these practices in companies that have been able to orient their business with successful results. There are numerous companies in the ICT segment, such as Dell and Google which have reduced their gas emissions very considerably, and others like Nokia, which have not done this but which do devote part of their profits to environmental protection.

Josep M. Vilà brought the session to a close with the presentation of the 22@ Network business directory. This new directory will enable communication to be fostered between companies and will be an instrument for publicising which companies are in the 22@ district. It will also become a communication tool of the area where the district is located, so helping those who work here and those who are visiting to situate themselves. All those attending the 22@Update Breakfast received a copy of the business directory.

Key ideas

“Climate change offers a very broad range of business opportunities. We need to adapt to the new situation and take advantage of it”

“A commitment to the environment can be a very profitable strategy. There are companies that have adopted being environmentally-friendly as an added value of their brands or products”

“The business opportunities of climate change can go beyond the reduction of emissions”

“We need to follow a strict methodology to take advantage of climate change. Each company is different and the strategy to follow must also be different” 

The participants’ spokesperson

“Today’s subject was very interesting. They are questions that you do not ask in your everyday work and finding them here makes you think”

“I have come a couple of times and I like it because a different and highly topical subject is discussed every time”

“We all have to get involved to stop climate change. It is interesting to see what opportunities there are to do so”

Documents linked:
  • Presentation of  Miquel A. Rubio, Head of Climate Change Product with the Lavola company.

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