Commercializing B2B sustainability

Balancing net zero goals and the quest for profitability

Pursuing profitability alongside net zero targets

Insights from B2B sustainability leaders in the Industrials sector

Businesses have historically struggled to integrate sustainability goals with commercial objectives. But now the tide is turning. Sustainability leaders understand that impactful actions and profitability can go hand in hand.

Discover how the Industrials sector is preparing for profitability by embedding net zero goals into business operations. Our 2024 Simon-Kucher B2B Sustainability Barometer features insights from senior executives in Europe and North America. We analyze sustainability indicators at regional and industry levels, emphasizing strategies used by sustainability leaders to enhance their commercial success. 

Curious about how to reconcile net zero goals with your business objectives?

Our latest research addresses key questions, exploring what ‘profitable green growth’ really means, and how successful companies are effectively meeting both sustainability and profitability targets.

  • Profitable green growth
  • Achieving sustainability targets
  • Leader or fast-follower

Are you ready for green growth?

Increased environmental awareness is sharpening customer interest in green(er) products and corporations’ sustainability efforts. Many companies are making more effort to establish impactful SBTi goals and prioritize industry-wide standardization.  

Notably, Europe is leading in green growth preparations, with 74 percent of companies aiming for net-zero targets by 2030, compared to 59 percent in North America.

Our B2B sustainability barometer shows companies in Europe are more likely to want to lead the market. But there are hurdles to achieving sustainability targets, as indicated by a significant number of companies in both regions struggling to meet their SBTi goals. 

What are the challenges in achieving sustainability targets?

Despite public commitments to net zero, many companies are struggling to meet their SBTi goals. A significant roadblock is the difficulty in developing commercially successful sustainable products and services.

There are three approaches companies can consider: Buy it, make it, or form a partnership. However, the B2B sector experiences major obstacles with each of these options:

  • Buy it: High prices for green solutions
  • Make it: High investment needs
  • Partnership: Difficulty in finding the right partners

Find out more about the regional and industry variations in approach to achieving sustainability targets.

What are B2B sustainability leaders doing differently?

Commercializing sustainability is an innovation challenge – one that involves aligning eco-friendly practices with market demands in a way that is economically viable. For sustained growth, companies must take proactive measures and act promptly to attain green premium.

Businesses looking for large-scale and impactful success must act with intentionality. It starts with choosing one of two paths – become a leader and reap “green premiums” or choose the fast-follower route and capitalize on successful strategies.

So, will you lead, or will you follow? Both routes have benefits. Explore which works best for your business.

As first movers, leaders can capture early benefits and set the standards, creating barriers to entry for those who come later. But, building on the experience and failure of these leaders, fast-followers can focus their resources on making better products or out-marketing the first movers. Both routes offer benefits. Companies must decide which route best fits their product portfolio and business model.
Jan Haemer, Partner
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It takes more than good intention to achieve successful green transformation and commercialization. Our proven framework helps B2B companies assess their readiness for net-zero targets and commercialization.

Considering your routes to growth? For decades we have helped businesses of all sizes grow strongly and profitably. Connect with our specialists for tailored guidance to refine your B2B sustainability strategy. Take the first step today.