From the air we breathe to the food we eat, nature and well-functioning ecosystems bring critical services that are essential for human livelihood and well-being.
Our ability to provide food, energy, and other resources to more people around the world has come at the expense of our future. Climate change, unsustainable land and natural-resource use, pollution, and other factors are all major threats to the critical ecosystem services that we rely on.
Taking action is a business issue. Organizations that embed sustainability and strategies to fight climate change into their business models and governance processes will drive lasting competitive advantage.
Fighting global climate change is one of today’s most urgent challenges. No matter the industry or region, now is the time to prioritize and proactively invest in transformational action that will limit global warming and set organizations on a path to success in a decarbonized world. With innovative approaches to climate change, companies can ensure that the planet’s needs—as well as humanity’s—are met.
Global temperature has increased by about 1°C above preindustrial levels, a change that is correlated with an increase in greenhouse gas emissions. Even if warming is contained to 2°C—as prescribed by the Paris climate agreement—increasingly destructive events, such as fires, droughts, hurricanes, rising seas, and forced migration, will likely materialize. Current policies and pledges are not enough to get the world on track. We need to act now in order to reverse emissions and ensure we are on a clear downward trend in the coming decade.
It’s not going to be easy, but the good news is that we can use existing technology to achieve most of the required transition to a low-carbon economy in energy, industry, transportation, land use, and infrastructure—and we can do so in an economically viable way.
Climate change compounds many other environmental challenges. Our oceans, for example, are threatened by rising temperatures, acidification, and the increasing damage associated with storms and high tides. But there’s also the overexploitation of resources like fish stocks; the erosion of critical habitats, including coral reefs, seagrass beds, and mangroves; and damage from pollution and single-use plastics.
Corporate leaders are becoming increasingly aware of the business and societal value of strategies that reuse and recycle resources and are thus moving toward what’s known as a circular economy. This approach rethinks the traditional take-make-dispose economic model and envisions a new one that is regenerative by design.
We have to view the relationship between business and the environment from a fresh perspective. Those that do so will be in the best position to combat the impact of climate change and ecosystem degradation while also capturing valuable new business opportunities.
BCG’s Center for Climate Action
We partner with clients across the public, private, and social sectors to align their strategy, operations, and stakeholder engagement with a low-carbon world. Our work is supported by BCG’s range of consulting experience across all industries and capabilities, as well as by our expanding reach of brands.
Learn more about our climate action center
Thinking Globally About Local Water Crises
Fresh water is in crisis around the world. Assessing the risks and mitigating the impacts require systematic thinking and collaborative action.
The Best COVID-19 Stimulus Plans Will Fight Climate Change, Too
The climate crisis can’t become last year’s news. Investments in climate infrastructure can be an important part of current economic stimulus efforts.
There’s Too Much Plastic Waste—and Too Few Solutions
Pyrolysis presents a new piece of the solution to plastic waste.
Flipping the Script on Climate Action
Forget what you’ve heard about the economics of fighting climate change. As carbon abatement technologies advance, and the costs of unchecked global warming rise, aggressive climate action is now a winning economic proposition.
A Quantum Advantage in Fighting Climate Change
In the coming decade, quantum computing could improve existing zero-emission technologies and contribute to the creation of new ones.
Ten Steps Toward the Circular Economy
The circular economy rethinks the traditional take-make-dispose economic model and envisions a new approach that is regenerative by design.
The Economic Imperative to Revive Our Oceans
We are running down the ocean’s asset base at an alarming rate. With bold action to halt destructive practices, we can preserve the ocean’s bounty for many generations to come.
Tapping the Business Benefits of Sustainable Water Investments
As critical freshwater shortages grow worldwide, companies and financial investors can generate substantial returns while supporting environmental and social goals by funding sustainable projects.
Why Davos Felt Different This Year
This year at Davos, the conversation examined issues facing the entire global community. The conference explored how the Earth's population can strategically improve climate change and reduce the financial insecurities associated with that change for businesses.
The Economic Case for Combating Climate Change
Countries taking ambitious action against climate change can benefit macroeconomically without suffering an early-mover disadvantage.
BCG’s Partnership with the Worldwide Fund for Nature
Since 2012, BCG has partnered with WWF in support of its mission to stop the degradation of our planet's natural environment.
BCG’s consultants and industry experts focusing on climate and the environment partner with businesses, governments, and social-sector organizations to deliver solutions for environmental sustainability. These are some of our experts on this topic.