Decarbonization Solutions

The Industrial Decarbonization Journey

Asset-intensive industries, an important source of global resources, economic growth and employment, play a pivotal role in our daily lives. However, according to a McKinsey study, industrial activity accounts for 28% of the world’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  As we strive to meet the ambitious emissions reduction targets set by the Paris Agreement, decarbonizing industrial processes becomes imperative. There are many decarbonization strategies to employ for industrial companies, with digitalization and software for sustainability playing a critical role.

To meet the Paris Agreement goals, the world needs to reduce greenhouse gases by unprecedented volumes and at unparalleled speed, which is achievable only through a large-scale, rapid and systemic industrial digital transformation. To hold global warming to 1.5°C, emissions must fall by 45% from those forecast under current policies by 2030; even to reach the 2°C target, a 30% cut is needed.


Decarbonization Strategies

Decarbonization is an ambitious task that requires several different approaches, including improvements in energy efficiency, transition to clean energy sources and carbon capture and storage (CCS). Enhancing energy efficiency across industrial processes reduces energy consumption and associated emissions. Implementing advanced control systems, asset optimization and adopting additional sustainable best practices is crucial.

Industry also needs to begin transitioning from fossil fuels to clean energy sources. Shifting to renewable energy for powering industrial operations is one of the key components of the hydrogen economy—producing hydrogen using renewable electricity for use as feedstock or fuel. At COP28 in Dubai, nearly 200 nations agreed to begin reducing fossil fuel consumption with the goal of avoiding the worst impacts of climate change. The COP28 pledge to triple renewable energy worldwide represents a significant step forward in efforts to reduce CO2 emissions from fossil fuels in coming decades, but it also comes with significant challenges and opportunities.

Carbon capture involves capturing CO₂ emissions from industrial processes and storing them underground. Overall, the process of capturing carbon is referred to as carbon capture utilization and storage, or CCUS, also referred to as carbon capture utilization and sequestration. The process captures the carbon dioxide emissions dispersed from fossil fuels and coal-fired power plants, then either stores it or reuses it. Either way, the process prevents carbon emissions from entering the atmosphere and contributes to decarbonization.


The Role of Digitalization

Digitalization and energy transition software plays a crucial role in driving sustainability efforts within industries. Advanced sensors and data analytics provide real-time insights, enabling efficient monitoring and optimization. Predictive maintenance software minimizes equipment downtime and energy waste, while digital tools enhance supply chain efficiency, ultimately reducing emissions. Digital technologies seamlessly integrate with decarbonization strategies. Digital twin software simulates industrial processes, allowing for targeted emission reduction strategies. Smart grids and demand-side management optimize energy use, while software assesses environmental impact throughout a product’s lifecycle.

Decarbonization solutions for industrial companies are not only feasible, but also essential for a sustainable future. By embracing energy efficiency, clean energy, CCS and digitalization, industries can significantly reduce their carbon footprint. As we navigate this critical path, collaboration among governments, businesses and technology partners can drive us toward a low-carbon economy.



What are some key strategies for decarbonization in industrial processes?

Decarbonization involves several critical approaches including energy efficiency improvements, transition from fossil fuels to clean energy sources, digitalization and the use of software for sustainability, and carbon capture and storage (CCS).

How does digitalization contribute to sustainability efforts in industries?

By leveraging advanced sensors and data analytics, real-time insights enable efficient monitoring and optimization. Predictive maintenance software reduces equipment downtime and energy waste, while digital tools enhance supply chain efficiency, leading to overall emissions reduction. Additionally, digital technologies seamlessly integrate with decarbonization strategies, allowing for targeted emission reduction through processes like digital twins and smart grids.