Quick Key Points
- Finland has world-leading goals when it comes to environmental health and protection standards.
- How does Finland’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2035 shape your business strategy or plans for FDI?
- Kimmo Havu of SAS says leading the carbon transformation can’t be outsourced to the government. It will take business leadership and private-public sector collaboration.
- Companies can follow a four-step implementation for improving their efficiency, sustainability, and appeal to investors and consumers.
- Compounding a company’s sustainability effect on the overall ecosystem is a value proposition that will pay growing dividends as 2035 approaches.
Finland has world-leading goals when it comes to environmental health and protection standards. Global businesses increasingly understand that they must be part of the solution if they want to remain competitive. The shift towards carbon neutrality is also becoming more mainstream, underwritten by consumers who demand environmentally friendly products and services and investors who insist on a sustainable business strategy.
As the leader of an international business, how do you feel about the Finnish government’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2035? More to the point, how does this goal, in practice, shape your business strategy or plans for FDI?
According to Kimmo Havu, Managing Director of the business analytics company SAS in Finland, leading the carbon transformation can’t be outsourced to the government. It will take business leadership and private-public sector collaboration.
SAS is currently helping organizations in multiple industries in improving their operations with advanced analytics. Banks can stress-test their portfolios for climate risk and make financing decisions based on their customers’ long-term carbon impact. Manufacturing companies can reduce emissions by optimizing their production processes and logistics processes. The common denominator is that regardless of industry, organizations need analytical thinking and maturity to change their operations for the future.
We spoke to Havu about what businesses should keep in mind in their ongoing transition to carbon reductions.
“Businesses sometimes say that their data isn’t good enough yet to implement changes,” Havu says. “Don’t wait for the data to be perfect—you’ll never have it totally under control. Transitioning to new processes with the data you already have is advisable.”
Havu compares data to a constantly moving train—not a perfectly arranged house. He urges companies to get started and surprising applications of their data will appear.
Companies can follow a four-step approach for improving their efficiency, sustainability, and appeal to investors and consumers:
- First, Measure performance in your key areas, Havu says. Once current performance is identified, trend analysis and correlation analytics can be applied to identify areas for improvement.
- Second, reduce consumption, costs, emissions, and waste. Model the alternative scenarios that may produce a measurable improvement on performance. Business analytics applied to the practice of energy and emissions management is the best way to determine how your organization will meet those goals. In particular, what-if forecasting is a valuable decision support tool in this phase.
- Third, optimize processes to increase efficiency without impacting environmental or social performance. Business analytics can enable strategic growth in demand for products and services while balancing resource consumption.
- Fourth, extend sustainable practices throughout your supply chain, data centers, and the financial markets. Lessons learned through analysis can be applied to specific areas of the business that may have a more significant impact on sustainable performance.
Havu says that even for companies that are mature in their processes, SAS experience is that analytics can help companies reduce scrap waste by 8% on already optimized operations or, for example, at least 5% on logistics and transport. Compounding a company’s sustainability effect on the overall ecosystem is a value proposition that will pay growing dividends as 2035, and potential carbon neutrality, appear closer on the horizon. Business analytics can help pave the way.
Forward-looking companies like SAS appreciate Finland’s business environment for its commercial opportunities as well as its future orientation for the benefit of greater society.