Business activity is a major source of global greenhouse gas emissions and urgent action is required across all sectors to achieve net zero. While major improvements have been made in the greening of electricity provision, other parts of the economy such as heavy industry and agriculture have been falling behind. But how can we move the economy to deliver on the net-zero agenda when firms’ financial bottom line is at stake? And how can firms leverage the opportunities of the digital transition in their move to net zero?
In this presentation, Professor Jonatan Pinkse outlines a framework of the options firms have for transitioning to net zero and the policy changes needed to support them in this endeavour. The framework suggests that firms can choose between innovating, offloading, and offsetting. However, it depends on how firms use these options whether we can expect a transition to net zero to result in productivity improvements, too. If firms’ net-zero strategies have the aim to buffer their core business and maintain business-as-usual, the opportunity might be lost to futureproof the economy and long-term productivity against the risks of global heating.
Professor Pinkse will argue for a change in thinking where firms’ net-zero strategies aim for radically transforming their core business. This thinking involves moving away from a win-win mindset towards acknowledging that managing tensions between multiple desirable goals such as net zero, productivity, employment, and social equity is inevitable. The presentation concludes by suggesting how policymakers can support such radical business model innovation. With each new policy policymakers need to ask: are these new policies purely looking at new technologies that fit within existing business models, or are they supporting long-term change in the market and help new business models to emerge?
About the presenter
Jonatan Pinkse is Professor of Strategy, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship at the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research, Alliance Manchester Business School, the University of Manchester and theme lead of Social, Environmental & Technological Transitions of the UKRI-funded the Productivity Institute. His passion is innovation and sustainability. He is a regular speaker on topics related to strategy and innovation for net-zero and sustainability, business model innovation for disruption, managing the green transition, and digital platforms.
In his research, Jonatan analyses how firms make strategic decisions to create a sustainable economy and deal with tensions between issues and actors. He investigates opportunities and barriers for firm adoption of disruptive and sustainable technologies from cognitive, organizational, and institutional perspectives.
Jonatan has authored more than 60 scholarly and practitioner articles in journals. In 2020, he was included in the prestigious Highly Cited Researcher list. Before moving to Manchester, he held positions at the Universiteit van Amsterdam and Grenoble Ecole de Management. He is also deputy editor for the journal Organization & Environment.
A transcript and captions for this video will be available in due course.
Productivity in a Changing World seminar series
At Te Tai Ōhanga – The Treasury, we want to facilitate learning and debate on the important issues facing New Zealand. In 2023 and early 2024 the Treasury Guest Lectures are being organised under the theme: Productivity in a changing world.
This theme recognises that lifting our productivity performance continues to be central to improving New Zealanders’ wellbeing and that we are facing this challenge in the context of significant economic, social and environmental shifts. These shifts will require considerable changes in our economy if we are to sustain and improve our economic and productivity performance.