Data for Net Zero
The growing urgency around climate change has placed it at the forefront of global issues. To avoid its worst impacts, global greenhouse gas emissions must be halved by 2030 and lowered to net zero by 2050. Against this backdrop, we wanted to explore the role of data in this process in our newest Capgemini Research Institute report, Data for Net Zero: Why data is key to bridging the gap between net zero ambition and action.
To explore the role of data in enabling the transition to net zero, we surveyed senior executives from 900 organizations globally that have set net zero targets, covering multiple sectors including automotive, energy and utilities, industrial and process manufacturing, consumer products, retail, telecom, life sciences, and financial services. We also interviewed 20 industry executives and experts.
We found that the net zero ambitions that organizations have set for themselves suffer from various inadequacies. Most, for instance, fail to cover all emissions scopes. Worryingly, the coverage of scope 3 emissions, accounting for a significant 65‒95% of a company’s carbon footprint, is especially low. Additionally, only 43% of organizations have set short-term targets to support their net zero ambitions – a critical omission given that short-term targets are key to maintaining momentum and accountability. And crucially, despite its fundamental role, our research shows that organizations are not adopting a data-driven approach to support their net zero ambitions.
Data is a significant lever in accelerating the journey to net zero, increasing visibility of baseline emissions levels and identifying emissions hotspots, improving existing business processes by streamlining carbon-intensive activities, and predicting and prescribing business outcomes to identify further emissions reduction opportunities. Ultimately, organizations that embed emissions data in decision-making benefit from increased transparency and emissions reduction.
While a great majority – 85% – of organizations recognize the business value that emissions measurement and analytics provides, they are poorly equipped to capture and use emissions data. As such, it is imperative that they develop the data management capabilities needed to accelerate their transitions towards net zero. In this report, we cap off our research-driven insights on the topic with five recommendations that organizations can utilize for this purpose.