Climate change is one of the biggest challenges of our time. While existing technologies, public education, and policy changes will play a role in achieving net-zero emissions, they alone are insufficient. At MIT, we believe that cutting-edge advances will be essential. Our vision is to develop game-changing solutions that could achieve major global progress in decades or less. The MIT Climate & Sustainability Consortium (MCSC) has identified actionable links between member companies and, through a series of workshops, established key initial themes that resonated and applied across member companies’ climate and sustainability goals. They focus on decarbonizing freight transportation, improving the resilience of value chains, derisking carbon capture, enhancing natural carbon sinks, and improving materials circularity, with two cross-cutting themes: data for and social dimensions of climate and sustainability solutions.

By creating an action alliance of sustainability leaders from a broad range of industries, the MIT Climate and Sustainability Consortium aims to vastly accelerate large-scale, real-world implementation of solutions to the looming threat of climate change. The MCSC unites similarly motivated, highly creative and influential companies to work with MIT to build a comprehensive process, market, and ambitious implementation strategy for environmental innovation.

The catastrophic consequences of climate change already touch every corner of the global economy. Some industries are seeking solutions, setting goals and already making progress; in other sectors, work must still begin. By accelerating progress within industries and by cross-pollinating best practices across sectors, the MCSC aims to drive changes swift and broad enough to match the scale of the climate challenge. The MCSC also recognizes the need to generate enduring environmental solutions that include social equity issues at their core such that all have access to improved quality-of-life and social welfare. The strategy will emphasize rapid prototyping, training leaders who can engage across disciplines, and generating ripples of deeply inclusive change within and across industries.

To prevent the most destructive and irreversible effects of global climate change, we have less than 30 years to increase the share of zero-carbon energy more than 300% over its level in 2010.

In that context, to change global systems fast enough to matter will require the immense levers of established industries. At MIT, a core belief is that working with industry offers a path to seeing, and solving, some of humanity’s most important problems. MIT also brings to the climate effort a distinctive breadth and depth of strengths, from climate modeling to low-carbon materials, alternative energy to artificial intelligence to architecture and design, energy storage to urban development and planning, systems engineering to resilient supply chains to green finance.

Combining these strengths with the Institute’s countless cross-sector connections, MIT is uniquely positioned to convene leaders in dozens of industries, help them overcome obstacles on the path to net-zero and offer the technical insight, system design, and organizational support to reach their ambitious goals.

The MIT Climate and Sustainability Consortium has and will continue to engage companies from a broad range of industries – from aviation to agriculture, software to electronics, and chemical production to textiles – who are ready and eager for climate action. Many have committed to carbon neutrality by 2030 or just a few years after, making them accountable for pledges typically so ambitious that no firm can reach them with today’s technologies alone.

With deep supply chains and often with global reach, MCSC member companies are in a powerful position to help lead and accelerate climate progress. These industry leaders can both help inspire transformative change within their own sectors and demonstrate the value of working together, across sectors, at scale.

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