As part of the ambitious 2030 climate targets set by the Danish Government, BCG supported Dansk Industri, the main office for four of the 13 Climate Partnerships, in defining clear-cut climate action plans. We asked Nicolò Nielsen and Steffen Bagger, two BCG'ers who worked on this project, to deliver their reflections and give us more insights into the work.
In Denmark, we have one of the world’s most ambitious climate laws – with the goal of reducing CO2 emission by 70% before 2030. One of the levers to achieve this reduction is through the Danish Government’s 13 Climate Partnerships, which were launched in November 2019. Each of the Climate Partnerships represents an industry, including transportation and logistics, waste, construction, and agriculture, with the key objective to find solutions for reducing emissions tremendously.
At BCG, we strive to support this mission and have worked closely with Dansk Industri (DI) on four of the 13 Climate Partnerships. Our main role has been to contribute as a knowledge partner in defining clear-cut climate action plans.
To get a deeper and diverse understanding of our pro-bono work on the Climate Partnerships, we have talked to Nicolò Nielsen and Steffen Bagger who worked on the project.
Nicolò Nielsen is an experienced Project Leader at BCG working primarily with Industrial Goods. Steffen Bagger is a new Associate whose very first project at BCG was one of the Climate Partnerships.
Kicking off the case with Nicolò
Nicolò Nielsen: “When we started in January, I was very pleased to see DI and the involved companies already well advanced in terms of plans to drive their climate impact efforts and they had specifically been working as part of the climate partnerships since November already. That meant that we had quite a catch-up to do in the first 1-2 weeks to get at the same level, but that made it just more interesting to then work together with them on even deeper climate impact discussions and specific initiatives to reduce CO2 emissions.
We divided the team so that there was one BCG Consultant responsible for each climate partnership we were supporting. This helped in two ways, one ensuring that we got the right industry understanding and depth to identify and detail the initiatives with the most impact for each industry, second it helped managing the many stakeholders involved by having one person building the relations and being the main point of contact for each Climate Partnership.
What strengthened our role in the Partnerships was our strong analytical work and previous BCG experience with driving the climate impact agenda. This has helped a lot to quickly gain recognition and trust of seniors (CEOs) at each of the companies we worked with. It truly facilitated this case to get a good start and being able to quickly quantify the value of the CO2 emission reduction initiatives.”
Steffen’s first case at BCG
Steffen Bagger: “Before joining BCG, I knew about the social impact work and it was one of the key elements shaping my positive impression on how BCG strives to make the world a better place. I could not have imagined a better first BCG case. It was a real privilege to firsthand experience the enthusiasm and drive in the team to make a significant difference for something as relevant as Denmark’s aim of 70 percent reduction in emissions by 2030. To me, working with social impact at BCG entails cases with a purpose so clear that you cannot avoid feeling how it positively fuels the energy and output of the team. It is quite an extraordinary feeling.
I was involved in three different climate partnerships. First in a supporting role to the ‘Production’ and ‘Energy heavy industry’ partnerships and then taking responsibility for a key module within the ‘Waste, Water and Circular Economy’ partnership.
To begin with, I supported on various analytical tasks including the delivery of two survey reports covering key insights from +500 companies sharing their key barriers and ideas for initiatives in order to succeed with the ambitious emissions reduction target. Later, I had responsibility for an analysis of the key levers and impact of circular economy in Denmark, which included client presentations at CEO level. As a new joiner, I felt very trusted and supported to succeeded while developing my consulting toolbox.”
Watch the video below and learn how BCG, Aalborg Portland A/S, and Grundfos work to reach the emission reduction target (in Danish):
How social impact cases differ from traditional business cases
The Social Impact practice is an exciting opportunity for us at BCG to contribute not only to the interests of a single company but to leverage our talented teams and expertise to drive sustainable change and deliver valuable impact to the broader society.
Everyone at BCG is excited about working on Social Impact projects. There is a great drive and motivation, also with strong support from partners to ensure we can help the Social Impact client and society.
Working on a pro-bono case differs to some extent compared to ‘normal’ client cases. Much of the project structure is similar to ‘normal’ casework with SteerCo presentations, workshops, and meetings.
However, the main difference in the Climate Partnerships case particularly has been that the project has had many more stakeholders involved and “clients” to take into consideration, from the Danish Confederation of Industry to Grundfos, Aalborg Portland, and all the companies and organizations involved in the Climate Partnerships.