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Industry watch: Three routes to net zero

Colley Hwang, DIGITIMES, Taipei 0

According to Niven Huang, general manager of KPMG Taiwan, there are three routes to net zero: set a route to carbon reduction, adopt green power and offset carbon emissions. This can be a burden, or even pose a challenge for traditional manufacturers. But each challenge means more business opportunities. The Netherlands' Fairphone is the world's first mobile phone brand released to track a full carbon footprint of the phone's life cycle and records of fair trading. Sales of its phones reportedly will reach hundreds of thousands of units in 2021. New ideas, new products, new services and new markets are emerging.

The world's big companies are addressing the new challenges of "net zero." TSMC acquired 99% share of Taiwan Green Power. Microsoft has declared its "carbon negative" goal to be reached by 2030. BP has changed its company name from British Petro to Beyond Petro. Finland's oil company Neste has switched refining materials to vegetable and animal oils. Norwegian oil company Equinor - a name it adopted in 2018 - stands for Norway and equalityl. If you've ever been to Norway, you should know that Norway has the world's highest penetration rate of green cars - as high as 74.8 % in 2020. I'm not surprised that Norway, which owns a significant part of North Sea Oil Field, is taking the lead in green energy.

In addition to mitigating harm and accelerating benefits, to serve generation justice is even more important. With an excellent corporate image and always at the forefront of environmental justice, Delta Electronics has integrated internal and external environments to set a carbon price of US$300 per ton. Many of the Fortune list of 500 companies have set internal carbon prices that they hope can deter uses, mitigating impact of extra carbon reduction costs on profits.

According to Bloomberg, the carbon price in EU countries in the first quarter of 2021 was EUR50 per ton. It was as high as EUR137 in Sweden. Revenues from the global carbon pricing policy reached EUR53 billion in 2020. It indicates that there has been considerable progress over the past few years in having enteprises realize the threats of climate change.

Now we must understand that the carbon price competition has started. We need to face the issue of internalizing costs from external carbon prices, and take into account that the market price is decided by fuel and power. The manufacturing sector faces several issues: the need to embrace green power, a balanced use of traditional energy, and tackle pressure from external costs. Carbon credits have become a key topic from the perspectives of taxes and costs.

From the perspective of financial consulting firms like KPMG, enterprises must disclose their management measures, innovation practices, related investments, and new products, new technologies and new markets based on their core competitiveness. These are the essence of "non-financial statements." In the face of climate change, the western countries continue to set the direction of discussion, define markets and create new game rules. From a positive point of view, different enterprises can re-establish business guidelines in the process of transformation to obtain the recognition of the capital market based on their core business. Services, manufacturing, agriculture, animal husbandry and raw materials industries also have their own issues. We anticipate this will be woven into a new chapter of human history of business management.

Credit: DIGITIMES

(Editor's note: This is part of a series of analysis of Taiwan's role in the global ICT industry.)

Colley Hwang, president of DIGITIMES Asia, is a tech industry analyst with more than three decades of experience under his belt. He has written several books about the trends and developments of the tech industry, including Asian Edge: On the Frontline of the ICT World published in 2019, and Disconnected ICT Supply Chain: New Power Plays Unfolding published in 2020.
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