Countries representing more than 61% of global CO2 emissions and around 70% of the global economy have committed to net-zero emissions in line with the Paris Agreement. To deliver on these ambitious commitments, “demand ecosystems”, such as industrial clusters, will play a key role. Industrial clusters comprise co-located companies from either a single industry such as chemical parks, or multiple industries such as steel and cement.
Companies have been co-locating in industrial clusters for over 100 years, acting as economic growth engines while optimizing opportunities for increased efficiencies, enhanced logistics and resource sharing. The driver for co-location is now net-zero emissions requiring new types of collaboration, a new interplay of technologies and the involvement of new partners.
While there are many approaches to reducing industrial emissions, most focus on specific technologies or specific sectors. These efforts are critical and should be encouraged. However, there is also a need to focus on the potential synergies of co-located plants and the opportunities available from a multistakeholder and integrated approach. This has been laid out in an initial report on Industrial Clusters – Working Together to Achieve Net Zero, developed by Accenture, in collaboration with the World Economic Forum.
The Net-Zero Industrial Clusters initiative seeks to create a global movement to accelerate the transition of industrial clusters to net-zero emissions through aligning their goals with national and regional net-zero commitments and with the goals set by companies in the clusters. Following this alignment, companies will need to develop and implement commoncluster, net-zero emission roadmaps.