The challenges of decarbonization

Wed 01 Mar 2023

The decarbonization effort we will make the day after tomorrow will be infinitely more costly than the one we are ready to make today.

The fight against global warming requires a profound economic and social transformation that must happen at all levels: State, companies, and citizens. This is one of the most pressing challenges if we are to meet ourcommitments to carbon neutrality.

One of the responses to climate change is decarbonization. This field of action, also known as decarbonization, refers to the range of measures implemented to reduce the carbon footprint: by shifting from fossil fuels to less GHG-emitting sources, but also through energy efficiency and greater sobriety.

In industry, decarbonation is a necessity for all companies to improve their competitiveness and meet environmental challenges.

Decarbonization objectives, i.e., the reduction of CO2 emissions, are gaining ground among manufacturers and are becoming criteria of choice for customers, namely energy efficiency, greener energy mix...

The issue is the intensity and pace of ecological change. Above all, it is a question of providing ourselves with the means for this change. It is a question of:

  • Improving the efficiency of production and the energy efficiency of equipment and services, thus consuming less energy;
  • Modifying supply chains and relocating some production;
  • Developing tomorrow's technologies necessary for the proper functioning of industry and for the continuity of services offered;
  • ... and investing massively to establish the factories that will guarantee the production of these new products or devices close to consumers and markets.

Decarbonization challenges linked to the company's development

By catalyzing an energy crisis of unprecedented proportions, the war in Ukraine has highlighted the awareness of the strategic nature of energy supply. The last few months have been revealing in many ways.

The challenges of decarbonization for manufacturers are technical, economic, financial, and social. The strategy that results from this must go hand in hand with the company's development, in addition to its digital transition, and be part of the decarbonized trajectory of its territory.

Companies that organize themselves today by opting for investments and production processes that promote energy efficiency and, more broadly, decarbonation, should:

  • Best preserve their competitiveness, and in particular the impact of CO2 emissions on the price of their products.
  • Avoid the environmental obsolescence of their production tools
  • Gain the trust of new customers with concrete evidence of their actions in favor of CO2 emissions reduction.

National sovereignty challenges

Regulatory power does not create sovereignty or capacity. It is an asset if it complements a massive and comprehensive industry support system. Indeed, the more companies are able to maximize resource efficiency, the more independent, competitive and sovereign they will be in a world where resources are becoming scarce and climate ambitions are increasing.

Being economically autonomous is therefore not only about reducing its trade deficit but also about reducing its environmental debt.

The declared ambition of States to transform, support and protect their industries, and to maintain their competitiveness on a global playing field, must not call for responses that are likely to trigger trade or diplomatic wars. It acts above all as a powerful reminder of the imperative need to seize the opportunity of this urgent transformation.

In the commercial or energy battle, as in the fight against climate change, we must surpass ourselves or bear the consequences.

Concrete actions to decarbonize

To meet the targets set, the industry sector must generate 20% energy efficiency gains between 2010 and 2030, per ton produced. Three main levers must be activated simultaneously or progressively to decarbonize the activity:

  • Energy efficiency: optimizing energy sources;
  • The energy mix: integrating renewable and recovered energies;
  • Production efficiency and recycling: using less materials or more recycled ones.

From upstream to downstream, all industrial players are concerned. The more a value chain shares the objective of decarbonization, the better the results. It is the very principle of the circular economy.

The decarbonization effort we will make the day after tomorrow will be infinitely more costly than the one we are ready to make today.



Claire Khoury

Chief Marketing, Communication & CSR Officer

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