The Swiss Federal Council has set the 2050 climate strategy for Switzerland as part of the Paris Agreement. To achieve the common goal of limiting global warming to well below 2°C, economy, technology, and science experts must work together. However, such multi-stakeholder collaboration also requires data transparency for the green transition of whole value chains on the way to a net-zero economy in Switzerland. Leap by digitalswitzerland aims to lay the foundation for co-creating sustainable innovation projects on how digital technologies can contribute to decarbonisation.
Why does decarbonisation matter?
Decarbonisation defines the conversion to an economic system that sustainably reduces and compensates for the emissions of CO2. The long-term goal is to create a CO2-free global economy. Since 2008, Switzerland has made fossil fuels more expensive by demanding a CO2 levy on them. By increasing the price for those fuels, Switzerland provides incentives to use them more sparingly and also encourages the choice of carbon-neutral or low-carbon energy sources over fossil fuels. With the CO2 tax, the Federal Council has long since created a key instrument for achieving the goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2050. Having set the ground rules for fossil fuel usage is a good starting point. But carbon emissions are still rising and the size of each company’s carbon footprint appears to remain based on estimates.
The importance of transparency
Why do we even need full transparency? Simply said, the problem we are faced with is global warming, and to solve it, we need to accelerate decarbonisation. To manage decarbonisation and to make the transition to a net-zero economy happen, we need access to corporate carbon data. Consequently, businesses must in principle disclose their carbon emissions (incl. Scope 3 emissions) arising in their value chains and also communicate openly about their climate strategy. So far, 51 Swiss companies have disclosed their carbon emissions by reporting it to the CDP, a nonprofit organisation that runs the global disclosure system for investors, companies, cities, states and regions to manage their environmental impacts, according to the Handelszeitung (17 February 2021). Transparency can be enabled when organisations, governments, science institutions and technology companies collaborate. As a result, full transparency can bring clarity and give the chance to steadily improve the decarbonisation progress. In addition, organisations benefit from being open about their commitment to reducing carbon emissions, as it allows external stakeholders to see it as well.
Digital as an enabler of decarbonisation
Generally, organisations lack the technical tools to measure, store, manage and aggregate data to then track progress in reducing their carbon emissions. Digital technologies can provide such tools by enabling the sharing of primary carbon emissions data. According to OFCOM’s “Digital Switzerland” Strategy from September 2020, “digitalisation can make a crucial contribution to Switzerland achieving its climate and environmental goals.” With digital innovations, it is possible to achieve a standardised methodology and approach for carbon data disclosure that includes secure inter-organisational data exchange as well.
Only together we can work towards a more sustainable future by co-creating sustainable digital innovation. And who better to do that than you?
Sign up for our next virtual workshop, taking place on Wednesday, March 24th from 8:30 to 10:30 am, about Accelerating Swiss Decarbonisation Through Digital Solutions with topic experts Lukasz Biernacki & Daniela Albuquerque of The Institute for Climate Leadership if you are
- a digitalswitzerland member currently facing the challenge of your decarbonisation journey and are monitoring this progress,
- a Swiss organisation setting up or further improving your climate strategy, with the clear goal of making your emission data accessible,
- a digital technology expert who wants to leverage the potential of digital to accelerate decarbonisation by enabling transparency of carbon emissions.
Become part of the movement and develop implementation-oriented multi-stakeholder projects with like-minded peers by joining the workshop now.
Author: Melanie Holenweger