It is clear that the United Nations Conference on Climate Change will not lead to major advances that would allow us to hope for a slowdown in global warming in the short term. However, COP27 allowed certain Quebec companies active in the energy transition and the reduction of carbon emissions to present their expertise to be part of the overall decarbonization solution for the economy.
More than 30,000 people participated in the last COP27, including mainly government representatives from more than 110 countries, non-governmental organizations, non-profit organizations, representatives of civil society, all people who are highly concerned about climatic changes.
A significant number of company representatives from all over the world were also on hand to present the solutions they have developed to participate in the decarbonisation of the economy or to expose the efforts they have made to reduce their carbon footprint. .
The world’s major investors were also present, in particular the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, because they all want to align their investment strategy with sustainable and responsible development objectives.
Quebec City’s Optel was also on hand, its president Louis Roy having been invited to the event by the International Chamber of Commerce.
Louis Roy was active during the 10 days of his visit to COP27, where he led a panel on the importance of better controlling the value chain of companies, since Optel has developed a unique platform for traceability of the supply chain. business supply.
He was also notably invited to a panel to discuss the role of traceability on the decarbonization of the supply chain. In another workshop presented by Bain Capital, he addressed the topic of environmental technological innovation to tackle decarbonization. In short, he was very active, as evidenced by the 300 individual meetings he and another Optel executive had during COP27.
A company like Tesla cannot claim to be carbon neutral because it produces electric vehicles from solar energy. It must take into account its entire supply chain to draw up its carbon footprint taking into account all the inputs, otherwise it is greenwashing.
Louis Roy, CEO of Optel
Optel, which has become a global leader in drug traceability from its facilities in Quebec, Brazil, Ireland and India, set out in 2017 to embark on enterprise value chain traceability.
“We have developed a platform that connects data from the various activities of a manufacturer at all stages of production.
“We start measuring the carbon footprint at the mine for a manufacturing company or on the farm for a food sector company, then we do the same thing at the primary processing plant, evaluating the energy consumption at each stage.
“We also measure the carbon footprint of all logistics activity. We reach the end of the useful life of the finished product by evaluating its recycling potential,” sums up Louis Roy.
Which is good since this expertise of Optel is completely in line with one of the major concerns of COP27, those grouped under the scope 3in climate conference jargon.
the scope 1 affects direct greenhouse gas emissions related to the heating of a factory, the combustion of fuels. the scope 2 includes emissions related to the production of electricity such as those produced by a gas-fired power plant. the scope 3 includes all emissions related to a company’s activity, such as purchases of goods and raw materials, employee travel, etc.
“The Climate Change Conference now wants to tackle this third category of carbon footprint and we are able to measure it,” underlines Louis Roy.
There has been much criticism of the holding of an event like COP27, accusing it of being the place where people try to buy a good conscience, that it has become the scene of beautiful and grand speeches that never lead on concrete actions. »
Me, it gives me hope to see people from civil society and organizations that are actively seeking to reduce our carbon footprint working together to find solutions. It makes me want to continue.
Louis Roy, CEO of Optel
When Optel decided in 2017 to embark on the digitization of the supply chain in order precisely to be able to measure its carbon footprint at all stages of product development, the entrepreneur did not have a great echo of the financial.
“No one wanted to go down that road. Since 2017, we have invested 80 million of our own funds to develop our platform, which is starting to interest more and more major industrial players, whether in the food, automotive and even green battery sectors”, observes Louis Roy.
Today, he points out, the big financiers looking to invest in projects or companies that have the lowest possible carbon footprint all want to have the most reliable measure possible to assess the environmental impact of their financial commitment. .
Other Quebec companies from the commercial delegation to COP27, which brought together 17 local companies, including Biothermica, Viridis Terra, BrainBox AI and WSP, also benefited from this huge conference, which should produce results as soon as possible. tangible.