New business opportunities

From the environmental, regulation, cost, stakeholder and ethical pressures associated with climate change, new business opportunities can present themselves. Business leaders who recognise the significance of the challenge of climate change are best placed to minimise the associated risks and to maximise opportunities by coming up with innovative business ideas that improve competitive advantage.

Climate change impacts each sector to varying degrees, and response to climate change will vary widely depending on the sector. Business responses can range from implementing changes in production or manufacturing process (such as the adoption of new, more energy efficient machinery) to technological innovation and the creation of new products and services.

In the energy, automobile and chemical sectors there is considerable business opportunity for new product and technological innovation, given the push for energy efficiency, new low carbon processes and renewable energy technologies. Technology advancements aimed at increasing energy efficiency and using alternative fuels are imperative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and, as such, this is a growing market segment.
There are opportunities to capitalise on the growing market segment for low carbon products and services in every sector of the economy. Once emissions-saving measures have been taken by a company, or new green products or services have been created, a business can expand its market share by tapping into the growing segment of environmentally conscious customers. Consumers are becoming more discerning and recognise genuine actions from token ("greenwashing") ones so there is real opportunity for business growth in green consumer goods.

For a business’s long term success and growth, research and development should help with product and process innovation and point to future market and policy trends. The government provides a number of opportunities for businesses to gain support and assistance in their commitment to a low-carbon existence.

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