We sat down with Saloman Salinas, Executive Vice President, Capgemini for a discussion on the challenges to the transition to a net positive future.
1. What do you regard as the biggest challenges/opportunities related to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions?
The biggest challenge is changing the behaviors of both the sellers and buyers in the economy as we move into the Net Zero Economy. The behaviors and related economics can be motivated ‘softly’ through personal and company values and interest in people, the planet, and society. Behavioral change can also be driven more forcedly through regulation and a backlash from consumers and b2b buyers objecting to products and services that are not a valid path to the net positive.
The biggest macro-opportunities include reinventing the entire economy, including the future of consumption, ownership, and capital markets. From a micro perspective, ‘net zero transformation’ will completely change the nature of companies and industries. Net-zero and net-Positive transformations also encompass technology solutions that already demonstrate its ability to support business transformation, operations and supply-chain optimization and many other sustainability opportunities; these solutions can be integrated from the strategy definition till the monitoring of the positive impacts.
And more importantly, triggered by innovation, the pool of technology and business solutions that are made available to business and other public organizations to transform themselves is continuously evolving.
2. Various “next generation” digital transformation technologies are now officially here (ex: metaverse, distributed high-performance computing, etc.). Can you speak to the implications that these high-bandwidth technologies have on meeting global greenhouse gas reduction targets?
The intersection of Climate Tech 2.0 and Web 3.0 technology will be a driving force and foundation of the Net Zero (Positive) Economy. The metaverse is poised to provide digital twins of every product, service, and process in the world – and entire cities. Digital twins will be a core technology for managing the net positive journey, including simulation and real-time operations.
Web 3.0 technology, including next-generation (low-energy) blockchains and smart contracts, will support supply-chain data management breakthroughs, including Scope 3 carbon tracking and optimization. Sustainability-related data will come from digital twins, connected products, IoT sensors, and geospatial satellites – just to name a few.
The Net Zero (Positive) Economy will be driven by more data sharing than was ever imagined in the Digital Economy – driving the need for privacy, security, transparency, and traceability capabilities of Web 3.0 technology.
3. Can you define Net Positive?
I believe Paul Polman and Andrew Winston have laid out a clear and powerful vision for Net Positive in their book of that same name. “A net positive business serves others. It follows the oldest moral guidepost we have, the Golden Rule, or “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”…a net positive business lives within natural boundaries or thresholds to respect the planet and its inhabitants. It observes moral boundaries for how we treat each other, and it tries to repair, restore, reinvigorate, and regenerate. With that framing in mind… a net positive business improves well-being for everyone it impacts and at all scales—every product, every operation, every region and country, and for every stakeholder, including employees, suppliers, communities, customers, and even future generations and the planet itself. This is a North Star. No company can achieve all these aims at once, but it’s where we should be heading if we want a viable economy and planet…The ultimate question is this: Is the world better off because your business is in it?”
4. What is Capgemini doing to enable its clients to move toward Net Positive?
Capgemini started working with our leading clients in Net Positive conversations when Paul Polman and Andrew Winston joined our Capgemini Group CEO, Aiman Ezzat to begin conversations with 250 leading clients in the Americas. To accelerate awareness, education and activation of Net Positive ideas, we are arming our 350,000 global colleagues with Net Positive and Sustainability knowledge through a dedicated sustainability campus made of various upskilling modules.
We are working with industry leaders, to define a set of Net Positive measures and standards to help the clients we work with to embed clear definitions of NetPositive Success in their roadmaps. Our global Executive team is raising NetPositive and Sustainability topics in every conversation we have where there is a good client fit, which in fact turns out to be every single one. We are conducting workshops with leading clients to engage in this important conversation and welcome every opportunity to help leaders apply these ideas in their organizations. We are also spreading the news at every speaking opportunity that our team gets across geographies, at Climate Week NYC obviously, but also at Paris event “Changenow” earlier this year as well as at World Climate summit, the business side event of COP. I recently included Net Positive in a Ted Talk and at a conference at Standford. Bottom line, at Capgemini we were already aligned to a Net Positive future with and for our clients as indicated in our purpose statement: We exist to unleash human energy through technology for an inclusive and sustainable future, for all. We envision that future to be one where we have built with our clients and partners, a more human, inclusive, sustainable and prosperous world that serves us all, including the planet itself.