With an increase in greenhouse emissions and a growing socio-political and environmental consciousness, there is a global move to decarbonisation of both power and mobility. There is a significant move to more sustainable and renewable sources of energy production.
There are many industries that can and will be disrupted by this trend and the source of the disruption will come from several angles such as social pressure (consumers, partners, investors etc.) or regulatory changes.
The first and most obvious impact will be on the owners, producers, miners and refiners of carbon-based assets as well as oil companies. As technology innovations such as wind and water turbines, solar and battery improve, and the cost and globalisation of such technologies improve, there will be a significant reduction in the demand for carbon-based energy or mobility solutions.
We have already seen trends in this direction and both winners and losers emerge. The Tesla Model 3, for example, was the leading mid-to-small luxury vehicle sold in the US in 2018, outselling traditional competitors such as Mercedes, Lexus, BMW and Audi.
A second industry that will feel the pressure as there is a global move away from carbon, are financial and investment organisations. Pressure due to regulatory changes, such as the introduction of TCFD (Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure), which in 2020 will make it mandatory for all members of the Principles of Responsible Investment (PRI) Signatories to disclose all investments in carbon assets or exposure to carbon investments. The levels of exposure could have an impact on investors, the share price or the reputation of an organisation. This kind of regulatory disruption will provide the opportunity for organisations to win or lose in the mind of governments, investors, partners and customers based on how responsible the organisation is perceived to be.
We have begun to see shifts in the South African banking sector, where some institutions are being pressured by NGOs to disclose carbon exposure, some banks are actively positioning themselves competitively to be seen as a greener and more responsible corporate citizens and almost none are prepared to invest in carbon exploration, thereby having a knock-on effect into the mining and motor manufacturing industries.
Written by Trevor Jamieson
Contact MAC Consulting to assist you in ensuring you remain relevant in this era of disruption.