“We were born to help businesses and governments address the challenge of climate change in a multidisciplinary manner and based on rigorous tools. This objective, as such, has not changed,” says Kepa Solaun, CEO of Global Factor, to the newspaper Expansión.

Nearly twenty years have seen a considerable evolution in the perception of sustainability and environmental issues. Companies and governments now have a much deeper understanding of the problem and are seeking to implement advanced solutions in response. Global Factor has adapted its services to accompany this new phase. “Previously, there was a very limited perception of sustainability and its issues, and the market for our services was smaller. The work focused more on convincing and explaining. Nowadays, companies and governments have a better understanding of the problem, so we focus more on supporting the implementation of advanced solutions and overcoming practical barriers to action. However, everything depends heavily on the geographical context and the needs of each client,” says Solaun.

Comprehensive Service Structure

As demands in the business field have intensified, Global Factor has expanded its portfolio of services and products. Currently, it has a group of over 120 highly trained professionals and offers consulting services, environmental markets, technology, engineering, and participates in various initiatives and spin-offs, such as Metroeconomica and Offcarbon, focused on economic analysis and financing of sustainable projects, respectively.

One of the most significant challenges facing companies today is the proliferation of regulations related to sustainability and climate change, which, according to the CEO of Global Factor, “is having a significant impact on companies and has become one of the main drivers of change, along with pressures from investors and stakeholders. Compliance with these initiatives can be a challenge for companies as it involves allocating time, resources, and specialized experts to understand and meet regulatory requirements.”

One of the most representative examples is the European regulatory package Fitfor55, which has a direct impact on companies already affected by emissions trading, as well as those that will be included in the coming years, such as the maritime sector or energy recovery facilities. “In the case of the maritime sector, for example, we have created a specific department with a team experienced in this field to assist its companies,” adds Kepa Solaun.

Furthermore, regulations for disclosing information on environmental, social, and governance aspects are pushing companies to act on multiple fronts. Specifically, the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive sets very demanding requirements in this area, such as a double materiality analysis or the use of fairly ambitious common European standards, with specific questionnaires on topics such as biodiversity, circular economy, water, impact on communities, or direct and value chain workers.

Sustainable Finance

Sustainable finance plays a crucial role in the paradigm shift towards sustainability that is taking place. “At Global Factor, we firmly believe in the tractor effect that the sector has to redirect capital flows towards sustainable activities and sectors, thereby contributing to the paradigm shift towards sustainability. That’s why we have been pioneers in opening a dedicated business line for sustainable finance,” explains Solaun. This initiative has allowed the company to support major players in the financial sector on their path to sustainability, such as multilateral organizations, commercial banks, or insurance and reinsurance companies. All of this has been made possible thanks to the company’s highly trained professionals in areas such as measuring the carbon footprint of investment portfolios, identifying and measuring climate risks and opportunities, or defining green financial products in accordance with established taxonomy.

Although the importance of biodiversity has been on the business radar for some time, the recent Conference of the Parties on Biodiversity has further driven this issue. In response to this challenge, Global Factor has created a dedicated area in the business context called Natural Capital. The objective of this area is to assist organizations in identifying the impacts and dependencies they have on biodiversity, as well as the associated risks and opportunities. Through this initiative, Global Factor aims to collaborate with companies in designing strategies to avoid and reduce potential negative impacts, while also contributing to the restoration and conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems.

Challenges for companies

One of the key challenges for companies on their path to net-zero emissions is to ensure that their objectives are supported by concrete strategies based on scientific evidence. “We recently published the report ‘A Multicriteria Methodology to Evaluate Climate Neutrality Claims,’ where we highlighted that, despite increasing commitments, there are still many gaps in companies’ climate action,” explains the CEO of Global Factor, who adds that it is “necessary to review and update decarbonization plans and implement more ambitious and realistic measures.”

In this context, the company identifies other challenges that companies must face on their journey towards sustainability, such as supply chain management to reduce emissions at all stages of production and distribution, and the strategic understanding of how climate change relates to business activity. “Digitalization can play a crucial role in managing these challenges. Digital technologies can help monitor and reduce emissions, optimize energy efficiency, improve supply chain management, and facilitate data collection and analysis for decision-making,” states Kepa Solaun.

Outlook

Regarding the future objectives of Global Factor, the company aims to continue being a strategic partner for businesses and administrations on their path to sustainability. “We seek to expand our client portfolio and increase our presence both in the domestic and international markets. Sustainable growth and profitability will enable us to invest in resources, research, and development, thereby maintaining our ability to provide high-quality services,” concludes the company’s management.

Source: Expansión