Thousands of Dutch companies won't achieve climate goals: report
Tens of thousands of companies in the Netherlands don't expect to be climate neutral by the end of this century, Financieele Dagblad reported based on the 2021 Innovation Monitor by the University of Amsterdam and SEO Economic Research. These companies will not achieve the Netherlands' goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050 or earlier.
SEO questioned around 600 companies about innovation and sustainability, the coronavirus pandemic, digitization, and climate policy, among other things. 55.2 percent expect to be climate neutral by 2030 or earlier, compared to 49.3 percent last year. The proportion of companies who expect to reach this goal by 2050 fell from 32.9 percent to 21.8 percent. And 22.2 percent of companies said they don't expect to be climate neutral by 2099.
The Innovation Monitor does not mention numbers. But based on the Netherlands 1.9 million companies, FD calculated that at least tens of thousands of companies will not achieve the country's climate goals. The researchers did not question the companies about why they're not implementing climate measures. According to FD, expense and customers not asking for climate measures are the likely reasons.
University of Amsterdam researcher Henk Volberda called it an "extremely worrying development" that so many companies are not trying to achieve climate neutrality. Rapid action by governments and companies worldwide is essential to turn the tide of global warming, and that includes the Netherlands, he said to FD. Volberda, therefore, wonders whether these companies will be able to keep existing in their current forms in the longer term, also in light of increasingly strict climate and environmental legislation and increasing social and political pressure.
The Amsterdam professor of strategy and innovation also raised concerns about increasing polarization between companies in the field of climate policy. "The number of frontrunners with ambitious climate pans is increasing, but the number of laggards is also rising sharply," he said to FD. "The distance between the frontrunners and those who lag behind or give up is increasing. That worries us greatly."