On June 7, Leaders 2050 launched in Denmark. To mark the occasion, we held our first event, inviting 50+ young professionals from across a range of different organisations to our KPMG office in Copenhagen. The focus of the event was on Danish energy transition and the important role young professionals can play in supporting and achieving this agenda in Denmark.
What is Leaders 2050?
Leaders 2050 is a cross-firm professional network led by KPMG for young professionals in all sectors who have an interest in net zero, clean growth and sustainability. Leaders 2050 aims to connect like-minded individuals in Denmark, whilst forming part of a wider, global network within 14 other countries (and counting!).
In this blog post, I will share insights from our launch event where we were joined by a range of inspirational leaders from the Danish energy sector, who shared their perspectives on the green transition and the crucial role that young people can play in supporting the agenda.
(Note. The following points have been generalised for the purpose of this blog and are not directly attributable to any of our speakers.)
1. Denmark plays a big role internationally in showing that green alternatives do exist and can compete with traditional energy sources
Denmark has played a large role historically in pioneering renewable energy solutions. Simultaneously, key Danish organisations and the State have prioritised sharing and distributing the knowledge gained to international audiences. Creating a collaborative approach between government bodies, state-owned companies and private enterprises was emphasised at the event as a key success factor for securing Denmark’s path to net zero.
2. The energy sector can help unlock decarbonisation opportunities of other sectors, whilst a holistic approach is needed to drive the right outcomes
The energy sector holds the potential to be a catalyst for broader systemic change. Once the majority of electricity comes from clean sources, it provides a powerful tool which can support in helping decarbonise other sectors of the economy, such as transport, heat and industry. Although large emitters within the oil and gas sector have historically contributed significantly to climate change, they will play a critical role for achieving net zero. Faced with a burning platform, they will need to adapt to continue to stay relevant in the market and there is therefore a very large expectation that they will drive and obtain change from within.
3. While investments in technology can play a pivotal role in driving change, a successful transition also requires behavioral changes and a collective effort
Undoubtedly, investment in new technology is key for reaching net zero, but it's crucial to remember that it's not the sole driver. Innovations in technology are most impactful when paired with changes on a human level. By focusing on education and embedding behavioral changes, regardless of age, individuals can, for example, learn how to make more sustainable choices, which is vital to ensure the shift towards a new status quo.
4. We need to empower board members with the tools needed to navigate new sustainability requirements
The role of senior leadership and the board is highly significant when steering businesses towards more sustainable practices. A focus on education and training is essential to help empower boards to embed ESG and sustainability practices into their corporate strategies. Studies have shown that many boards in the Nordic region significantly lack the level of readiness needed to effectively tackle upcoming regulatory and reporting requirements.
5. We must increase collaboration between young professionals and senior leadership and be confident to challenge leadership on the key issues that matter
Collaboration between young professionals and senior leadership is critical in driving change. Innovation and action can be fueled by embracing diverse thinking and fresh viewpoints from the younger generations, alongside the expertise from senior leaders. All organisations should strive to develop a culture and channels where senior leaders and young professionals can inspire and learn from each other.
6. As a young professional, building a solid network is key
Driving change is all about people. Building connections, sharing knowledge and experiences is important. We need to create spaces to engage with each other to solve problems, and champion each other’s creativity to create a new and greener future.
Leaders 2050 is a network where you can connect with other young people who share your passion for a sustainable future. If you want to attend our next event, then make sure to sign up for the network now.