Deloitte: Sustainability is smart business
Sustainability is smart business according to a new report from Deloitte Australia which sets out an action plan to tackle climate change.
“This year we have been challenged as a global community, reminding us, again, there is no viable business in a declining environment. Taking better care of our people and our planet has moved into the c-suite as top-level priorities. Because sustainability is smart business,” is the message from Deloitte.
The new report, WorldClimate - Climate change is not a choice. It’s billions of them, says; “As business leaders, policy influencers and individual citizens, we recognise the need for comprehensive action. Doing nothing is not an option, and it is not without cost. There will be tangible long-term benefits by acting now.”
For Deloitte this means a commitment to be net zero by 2030. “This includes reducing our travel and using renewable energy, connecting for impact with our clients on their sustainable path forward as we seize the opportunities in our rapidly changing world,” comment Deloitte.
A video reveals how Deloitte is already helping their clients to reframe and rethink the future through decision making and ecosystem development along the value chain as organisations evolve to a circular and low carbon economy.
Deloitte Australia has established a Climate Action Steering Committee led by senior leaders and supported by an employee-led Advisory Council.
“We have a defined a programme with actions across three pillars: our footprint, our voice, and our offerings. We will continue to challenge ourselves on the actions we take. We aim to inspire each of our 10,000 staff to act and help us seek a sustainable future together - because this is about their future.”
In Deloitte’s 2020 Millennial Survey, climate change and protecting the environment rated as the number one societal concern among Millennials and Gen Z, even after the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. “That is one in two (49.53%) of our Deloitte employees today”.
“Taking tangible climate action is an absolute priority for us,” comment Deloitte who are focusing on the following three points:
“We are committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2030. We will achieve this primarily by reducing our travel and building-related emissions by enabling virtual and hybrid ways of working and powering our buildings with 100% renewable energy.”
Deloitte client support
“As a professional services firm, we work with our clients through the process to achieve sustainable operations and responsible climate choices,” say Deloitte who are already:
- working with clients to help them through the transition to a low-emissions economy
- helping company boards, chief executives and executive teams to understand the risks and opportunities of climate change for their business
- assisting clients to define a science-based, actionable strategy to carbon neutrality, helping them understand their abatement challenge and set authentic decarbonisation targets grounded in the latest climate science and robust commercial costings
- accompanying clients on their operational, portfolio and technological transformations required to thrive in a low-emissions economy, including decarbonising, climate-proofing and optimising their operations to build long-term resilience
- supporting clients meet climate-related reporting, disclosures and assurance needs to communicate progress to stakeholders and unlock new opportunities.
“We will participate in the discussions on government policies and actions on climate change that are in the best interests of a sustainable and prosperous future.”
“Whether you’re trying to measure impact, build resilience, operationalise your climate strategy, report on your climate-related risks and opportunities or upskill your workforce, we have the innovative approaches, digital solutions and deep-sector experience,” outlines the report.
The report takes an in-depth look at climate impacts, decarbonisation and climate-transformation to help organisations pave the way for a successful future.
“Deloitte’s purpose is to make an impact that matters for our clients, our community and for all those who work in our firm.”
Asia-Pacific seeing surge in cleantech-focused VC funds
Cleantech became one of the hottest investment sectors among VCs a decade ago with cleantech VC deal volumes doubling between 2005-2007, according to Brookings Cleantech Venture Capital report. And while the global recession in 2007-2008 halted many investments in cleantech, the sector has gained traction over the last few years.
Asia Cleantech Capital is an early-stage investment firm focused on clean tech projects and companies in the APAC region; DreamLabs Innovation is a US$50m fund established to invest in disruptive, scalable, people-focused companies in areas including cleantech and energy; and ENGIE New Ventures runs a US$61.2m fund dedicated to making minority investment in tech startups in sustainable energy including across Asia.
More recently, in 2021, in light of the pandemic and increasing focus on sustainability, there’s been a surge of cleantech-focused VC funds being set up both globally and across Asia-Pacific with the aim of supporting startups that are developing advanced technologies to tackle global problems, whether renewable energy or food waste.
Climate Solutions Partnership unveiled
Just last week, HSBC, World Resources Institute (WRI) and WWF unveiled their Climate Solutions Partnership (CSP), which aims to unlock barriers to finance for innovators developing climate solutions with a focus on startups in Asia developing carbon-cutting technologies, projects that protect and restore biodiversity, and initiatives to help the transition to renewable energy.
Backed by US$100m of philanthropic funding over five years from HSBC, and part of the banking giant’s climate strategy, this partnership will help identify future business opportunities for sustainable innovations, and mobilise finance, including helping startups and next-generation new sustainable approaches.
Spotlight on Japan and China
Set to launch this month is a new cleantech-focused fund targeting investments in Japan, Europe and the US. Sony Group, Suzuki Motor, Mizuho Bank and 15 other Japanese companies have joined forces on a startup investment fund focused on companies that are developing technologies related to digital transformation and decarbonisation.
The fund, set up by California-based VC firm World Innovation Lab (WiL) with a maximum fund size of US$911m and a lifespan of 10 years, will invest in 50-60 startups in the first 3-5 years. Focused on the environmental sector, the fund is set to invest heavily in companies with digital technology, such as software and data analysis tools that can help streamline the operations of large companies, and those developing advanced technologies to tackle global problems, from water shortages to development of plastics-free products.
And the recently launched TDK Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Japanese multinational TDK Corporation, is scouting for more industrial tech investments in Asia and especially China, following the recent close of its US$150m TDK Ventures Fund II. This fund is targeting early-stage, global investments in ‘hard tech’ spanning the advanced materials, industrial, robotics, energy, autonomous vehicles, electric vehicles, clean-tech and health-tech verticals.
“This new fund renews our commitment to supporting hard-tech entrepreneurs creating innovations for the greater good,” says Nicolas Sauvage, managing director, TDK Ventures. The materials science field has always been part of the technology sector’s foundation, and as such, it can help the sector address some of the world’s biggest challenges, including sustainability.”
ADB Ventures brings a more sustainable future to Asia
Back in March, ADB Ventures, the Asian Development Bank’s venture capital arm, announced its first two investments since its founding in 2020. ADB Ventures, which aims to pursue environmental, social and governance (ESG) investments in verticals such as FoodTech, AgriTech, HealthTech, FinTech and CleanTech, revealed two green investments, funding Indian electric vehicle manufacturer Euler Motors and Indian CleanTech startup Smart Joules.
The firm is currently partnered with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, the Climate Investment Fund, Nordic Development Fund, Korea Venture Investment Corp., and Korea’s Ministry of Economy and Finance to help bring a more sustainable future to Asia.
Nordic Development Fund managing director Karin Isaksson says: “ADB Ventures represents a timely complement to traditional development approaches through the involvement of the private sector in addressing critical climate change challenges. We are pleased to be working with the ADB on this important initiative that has particular relevance in the post-COVID recovery.”
And finally, while not exclusively tech-focused, last month Singapore-headquartered global gaming firm Razer announced the launch of its new (and first) sustainable US$50m fund. The Razer Green Fund aims to invest in environmental and sustainability startups with up to US$1m funding for startups in the seed and series A stages.