Study shows challenges for the business sector in reducing greenhouse gas emissions

The Brazilian Business Council for Sustainable Development (CEBDS) launched this Tuesday, June 27, the study “Challenges of the Brazilian Business Sector in the Net Zero Journey”, carried out in partnership with BCG consultancy. The survey had responses from more than 50 companies, from all major sectors, such as agribusiness, transport, sanitation, mining and energy, and aimed to map the main obstacles faced by companies in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The unprecedented survey shows that the main difficulties are linked to regulatory uncertainties, for 64%; supplier engagement, for 49%; and absence of sectoral references, for 38%. 

The challenges pointed out by the companies reflect the need for a safe environment for investing in new technologies, since many of them demand millionaire values. This is the case for those that still depend on the creation of regulatory frameworks, such as green hydrogen. Without the correct definitions, this can bring many additional costs when these rules are defined, creating an environment of high insecurity. Another example defended by CEBDS is the creation of a national regulated carbon market, an important tool that encourages investment in clean technologies and that still does not exist in Brazil, despite initiatives from both the Executive and Legislative branches.  

Public policies also appear when the topic is accelerating progress on the climate agenda and increasing the attractiveness of green investments. In this regard, the interviewees answered the question “how important is each type of public policy for your organization to advance in the decarbonization journey?”. The responses show that economic regulation dominates the ranking of relevance, being cited by 97% of them, followed by programs and sectoral regulatory frameworks, for 92%.

Even with these uncertainties, the business sector has been building and implementing strategies for cleaner operations. For example: 92% of respondents say they are motivated to engage in a low-carbon operation. Of the total number of participants in the study, 79% have a clear strategy for reducing emissions, and 71% are already implementing large-scale decarbonization actions. This incentive is mainly motivated by internal factors (top management decision, for 75%), added to pressure from investors, for 64%.

Another number that stands out refers to the companies' operations: 90% of the interviewees calculate their emissions, but accounting for their suppliers is still a major challenge. The study points out that only 20% of the respondents manage to engage their value chain comprehensively.

These data show the difficulty of raising awareness and supporting medium and small companies. For large companies from different sectors, it is in the value chain that most emissions are concentrated, the so-called scope 3. The main obstacles, in addition to the financial issue, are the need to level climate knowledge among companies and to prioritize other areas of the business, since in smaller companies, financial survival can be a challenge that occupies the entire leadership agenda, leaving little room for climate discussion.

The study carried out in partnership with BCG is part of the Net Zero Platform, a program launched by CEBDS to help companies on this journey and accelerate climate action in all spheres of business: within the companies themselves, in supply chains, in policies national public and international standards. It is a program that can be very useful, above all, to guide small and medium-sized companies, because it brings together the main knowledge bases, in addition to practical applications and calculations, being able to alleviate this engagement challenge.

The full study can be found here: Link.

Access the entire launch event of the study here: Link 

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