Introducing BCG Green Ventures
Accelerating progress towards a net-zero economy through corporate innovation and business building
By Stefan Gross-Selbeck, BCG Digital Ventures and Rich Hutchinson, BCG
We are now at the tipping point of a major wave of climate and sustainability innovation. Reaching net-zero emissions by 2050, avoiding the worst effects of climate change, and building a truly sustainable ecosystem will require nothing less than the transformation of every sector of the economy, with breakthrough innovation over the next two decades a prerequisite for success. A joint report by BCG and GFMA estimated that between $100-$150 trillion in investment will be required by 2050 to address the climate challenge.
As our recent HBR article on Sustainability Scarcity highlights, we will face shortages in many spaces required for climate and sustainability, creating massive opportunity for new businesses.
Despite the fact that 40–60% of decarbonization can be achieved at relatively limited cost, the world is facing a 20–30% innovation gap in new green technologies needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with the 1.5°C ambition, halving emissions by the end of this decade and achieving net zero by 2050.
With this in mind, BCG and BCG Digital Ventures (BCGDV) are launching BCG Green Ventures, a new offering with a dedicated team focused on partnering with corporates to invest in, co-build, and scale sustainable businesses, thereby accelerating climate action through innovation that creates value for both shareholders and society. BCG Green Ventures will power the development of the new technologies and businesses necessary to close the innovation gap, reduce CO2 emissions, and create growth opportunities, enabling corporates to deliver on their ESG strategy in a profitable and scalable manner. A further focus will be on enabling companies to foster collaboration, boost resilience, and support adaptation in an era that requires bold new commitments to climate and ESG goals.
Leveraging BCG’s proven track record in climate and sustainability innovation, BCG Green Ventures will support corporations in the transition to a net-zero economy, bringing together deep sector-specific knowledge, strategic expertise, business building capabilities, and commercial know-how. At launch, BCG Green Ventures will prioritize high-impact decarbonization ventures to drive climate action at scale, using a unique, thesis-led approach to target the largest cross-sector sources of GHG emissions. The businesses we build will tackle both the operational decarbonization side of the equation, addressing both Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions, and the opportunity angle, supporting corporates through the inception and growth of new, green revenue streams.
BCG has a wealth of broad, cross-sector climate and sustainability innovation expertise and experience, including more than 750 sustainability projects, supported by a strong ecosystem of connections across the climate innovation community.
Some of these projects involve working to limit emissions. BCG CO2 AI is a BCG GAMMA-built solution that tracks GHG emissions along the value chain in a granular, accurate, and dynamic way for optimizing emissions and reducing costs. Utopus Insights, built by BCG, BCGDV, and IBM, is a data-driven energy analytics SaaS company that develops global digital solutions to accelerate the integration of renewable energy into the modern grid.
Other work focuses on advancing new technologies with the potential to have a game-changing impact. One example of this is BCGDV’s work with Unifrax on SiFAB, a proprietary silicon fiber anode battery technology that enables greater energy density, faster charges, and longer battery life. This technology will have wide-ranging implications for the future of electric vehicles, power tools, portable electronics, and grid storage. OpenSC, built by BCGDV in partnership with WWF, is a blockchain-enabled supply chain tracking solution that increases transparency for consumers.
BCG Green Ventures is a significant addition to BCG’s prior climate commitments. BCG announced last September that it aims to reach net-zero climate impact by 2030 by reducing our carbon footprint and removing all remaining emissions through nature-based and engineered solutions, while also committing to invest $400 million over the next decade in climate and environmental work across governments, industries, NGOs, and coalitions. Additionally, BCG Green Ventures aims to invest in each venture as a way of aligning more closely with our corporate partners and helping to ensure scalable impact.
BCG’s experience in building coalitions and bringing together intellectual property to achieve climate goals will be of further benefit to the work of BCG Green Ventures, enabling the construction of the ecosystems necessary to build comprehensive solutions that address climate change beyond isolated silos.
Many corporates have already committed to ambitious ESG goals. Achieving these will take a strong embrace of innovation. BCG Green Ventures will play a key role in supporting companies in this work and building a sustainable future, helping to limit emissions, and working to develop the solutions required to rise to the climate challenge.