Insights | September 30, 2019

Roschier Insights Seminar, key takeaways: Climate change challenges us

New business models, new technology and new partnerships will help us come up with new solutions to face future challenges. Roschier hosted a breakfast seminar for clients on GreenTech and its business models, with speakers from Helsinki University and Roschier, and legal experts from three large Finnish companies participating in a panel discussion.

Atte Korhola, Professor of Environmental change at the University of Helsinki, gave a presentation on the current science of climate change. His presentation and the following panel discussion about the new GreenTech business models in the energy, chemicals and forest industries gave the participants ample food for thought.

In the panel discussion, moderated by Roschier Principal Associate Johanna Flythström, panelists Juhani Pitkänen, Assistant General Counsel, Head of Legal Services, Metsä Group, Jalmari Sasi, Head of Legal, Renewables, Neste Oyj and Helena Wetterstrand, Vice President, Legal, Fortum Consumer Solutions, debated trends visible in their business sector and how the shifts required by climate change will affect them.

Key takeaways

Climate change is a super wicked problem. The issues are complex, global and relate to all sectors of human activity. All available means must be seized to tackle the problem, and development of new technology is one of the central prerequisites.

Companies need to combine profitability and sustainability. For big companies, the challenge in implementing novel GreenTech solutions is scaling these solutions to industrial volume and making them profitable. Investment programs and small-scale testing facilities are ways to speed up discovery of workable alternatives.

Partnerships and value chains create new solutions. New solutions can answer to some of the challenges posed by climate change, but they can rarely be developed and implemented by one company alone. Partnerships in the green tech ecosystem take place both as more traditional joint ventures as well as more flexible cooperation and co-development projects. Coordination of the big picture and one’s own role in the various partnerships and value chains has become an important focus area.

Know-how and trade secrets are valuable and strategic navigation in the IP framework a key success factor. In new GreenTech business models, the importance of registered intellectual property is recognized, but more and more emphasis is also put on know-how and trade secrets. Challenges arise from how to protect, manage, and draw value from superior know-how and data in a complex ecosystem.