Firms lack innovation and skills

18th January 2016

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Related tags

  • Adaptation ,
  • Management ,
  • Corporate governance ,
  • Skills


Alexandra Houldsworth

Innovation is often missing from strategies developed by European companies to respond to climate change, new research has found.

The study by Climate-KIC, the public-private innovation partnership, found that almost two-thirds (63%) of the 115 European business leaders it polled believed responding to climate change would drive growth as demand for environmentally sound products and services increased.

To address the identified risk and opportunity, most (59%) said they had put in place a strategy to respond to help keep the global temperature rise below 2°C.

However, only 29% believed there were ample opportunities to respond to climate change using innovative technologies and ways of working. Even less (14%) believed there was sufficient scope to evolve their business model to reduce resource consumption and carbon emissions.

Climate-KIC also found that many research and development departments lack the skills and resources to meet the challenges of a carbon constrained world, with just 38% believing they had sufficient expertise. The lack of carbon skills was more marked in other functions, with only 10% of accounting and finance teams, which are critical to forming corporate strategy, having climate change expertise. Just 6% of human resources staff, who are responsible for hiring people with skills to respond to climate change, understand the subject.

Bertrand van Ee, chief executive at Climate-KIC, said: “Many European business leaders have been lulled into the false illusion that their operations can transition into the new economy incrementally. The reality is that the huge leaps we require must be powered by both radical innovation and by people with the skills and capabilities to trigger this innovation within business.”


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