LEDS in Practice: Gain the competitive edge

3pm, June 27th, 2016

This publication, Gain the competitive edge to realize the benefits of low emission development, was produced in partnership with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and is part of our LEDS in Practice series, which gives an overview of selected benefits and development goals linked to low emission development strategies (LEDS) and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

How can low emission development benefit competitiveness?

Industries are increasingly modifying their production models to more sustainable ones. By making more efficient use of materials and optimizing inputs, in particular energy and water, companies can reduce costs and improve their competitiveness. Now, with the digital and technological revolutions, investing in the future starts to pay off, in terms not only of public image, but also of economic competitiveness. Recent studies suggest that performing circular economy business models and optimizing resource productivity could generate potential savings of around US$3–4 trillion until 2030.

Key messages

  • Low emission industrial development and resource efficiency offer excellent opportunities for increasing competitiveness of economies and companies.
  • There is often a clear business case for switching to lower emission technologies, with payback periods ranging largely from 0.5–5 years, leveraging financial investment.
  • Resource productivity has a huge potential in moving towards circular economies and zero carbon societies.
  • Many green industry policies, tools, and means of implementation exist that can drive low carbon competitiveness as part of NDCs or wider development strategies.

Download the paper here: Gain the competitive edge to realize the benefits of low emission development

Also in the LEDS GP series on realizing the benefits of low emission development:

Image credit: UNIDO

Institutions Involved

  • United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)


Florian Iwinjak and Agnese Ratzenberger
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