Business leaders demonstrate climate Ambition, Action and AdvocacyWe Mean Business coalition
At Climate Week NYC, leading companies are reinforcing their commitment to bold climate action as part of the Race to Zero, demonstrating how a growing number of businesses are helping to create an inclusive, resilient zero-carbon recovery.
Through Business Ambition for 1.5°C, 294 companies spanning 49 countries and with almost 9.5 million employees, have committed to set climate targets aligned with limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and reaching net-zero emissions by no later than 2050.
New commitments to the 1.5ºC campaign announced today at the opening ceremony of Climate Week NYC, where growing numbers of companies, cities and investors are joining the UNFCCC’s Race to Zero, include Ford, LafargeHolcim, CP Group, Paypal and Brambles Group.
The UNFCCC Race to Zero campaign is an international campaign that brings together an unprecedented coalition of real economy actors and 120 governments committed to achieve net zero carbon emission by no later than 2050. These real economy actors include: 992 businesses, 449 cities, 21 regions, 505 universities, 38 of the biggest investors and 2,100 chambers of commerce – creating the largest ever alliance committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by no later than 2050: the “Climate Ambition Alliance.”
Led by the High-Level Climate Champions for Climate Action – Nigel Topping and Gonzalo Muñoz– Race To Zero mobilizes actors outside of national governments to join the Climate Ambition Alliance, which was launched at the UNSG’s Climate Action Summit 2019 by the President of Chile, Sebastián Piñera.
The objective is to build momentum around the shift to a decarbonized economy ahead of COP26, where governments must strengthen their contributions to the Paris Agreement. This will send governments a resounding signal that business, cities, regions and investors are united in meeting the Paris goals and creating a more inclusive and resilient economy.
Below you can watch newly released videos from LafargeHolcim, Ørsted, Biogen and Brambles on who these leading companies are increasing climate Ambition, taking Action and making their voices heard through Advocacy for a more inclusive and sustainable zero-carbon future that leaves no-one behind.
Ørsted on climate Advocacy
Jakob Askou, Senior Vice-President of Corporate Strategy and Stakeholder Relations at Ørsted calls for a transformation of the global energy system.
Ørsted is helping to accelerate the Race to Zero by acting on its bold commitment to reach carbon neutrality by 2025 and in its supply chain by 2040.
“It’s quite clear that governments cannot do this alone and companies cannot do this alone. We need to work together. Governments need to set ambitious targets, carbon reduction and renewable energy deployment and create the visibility needed, for companies to deploy the vast amount of capital and drive the innovation that is needed to further mature and scale renewable energy and to further bring down costs. Only by working together can we achieve our ambitious goals.”
Biogen on climate Action
Michel Vounatsos, CEO of Biogen calls for climate solutions that also promote human health for an ‘inclusive and sustainable future.’
Biogen is helping to accelerate the Race to Zero by investing $250m to end fossil fuel use across its operations by 2040.
“The pandemic has more people thinking about the way human health depends on a healthy climate. A recent study from Harvard University found that a small increase in exposure to air pollution may lead to more deaths from Covid-19. There is also mounting evidence that links air pollution to a number of health conditions such as respiratory and cardiovascular disease. Sadly, the people who are hurt the most, are the most vulnerable among us. Yet, over the past several months, people around the world have marvelled that clear skies are possible in a surprisingly short time. Now, the urgent question is, how we can act on these hard won lessons during society’s great reset. If fossil fuel emissions were eliminated, the average life expectancy may increase by more than one year and could prevent nearly nine million deaths annually.
“For the pharma industry the paradox is that we can’t lead in health without reducing our operational impact on the planet. We must reexamine the way we do business, the way we consume energy and the way we live. For BioGen this means going beyond carbon neutral, to achieve zero fossil fuel emissions by 2040. We are proud to launch, ‘Healthy Climate, healthy lives’, a 20-year action plan with a goal to eliminate fossil fuel emissions by 2040 and advance the science around how fossil fuels impact human health. As we move forward, I believe we need to adopt climate solutions that also promote human health. Now is the time to advance a shared vision of a more inclusive and sustainable future. One where science meets humanity.”
Brambles on climate Ambition
Laura N’ador, President, CHEP North America, Brambles calls for higher business ambition – coming together to face the big challenges.
Brambles, one of the world’s largest logistics companies, this week announced its commitment to reducing emissions in line with 1.5 by joining the Business Ambition for 1.5 campaign.
“While many have been raising the alarm for years, 2020 has uncovered the fragilities and inequities of our societies and our supply chains. Unchecked, runaway climate change and ecosystem loss could be even more devastating and heartbreaking. It’s never been more clear that new ways of working and working with each other are desperately needed. The time has come to transform business. And in our case it’s how we deliver life’s essentials in a nature-positive way. How we create a nature-positive economy with reuse, resilience and regeneration at its core. That’s why we are setting a higher ambition to pioneer truly regenerative supply chains.
“We are committed to reducing our supply chain carbon emissions in line with the 1.5C future. With net-zero operations that actually draw-down carbon. Powered by afforestation actions that will add millions of new trees by 2025. This transformation will not be easy but we have a long track record of achieving the unlikely when it comes to sustainability. And in 2020 we learned that we can really find what is possible by bringing people together to face the big challenges. Everyone has a stake in the regenerative revolution.”
Lafarge on climate Ambition
Chief Sustainability Officer at LafargeHolcim, Magali Anderson announces commitment to 1.5 and raises the bar for the cement industry and green construction.
LafargeHolcim: the first global building materials company to join Business Ambition for 1.5°C with intermediate targets, approved by the Science Based Targets initiative in alignment with net zero pathway
“I’m very proud to announce today, that LafargeHolcim has just signed the net-zero pledge. We are joining the United Nations Global Compact Business Ambition for 1.5 degree, to build a greener world for all. The making of the pledge was actually a journey in itself. We mobilized a team of over 100 experts around the world to make sure we walk the talk of our ambition and I am very excited that all our rigorous work that we did led us to set ambitious 2030 goals that are validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). Taking our collaboration with SBTi one step further, we are now partnering to define our net-zero roadmap beyond 2030 and this will be the very first roadmap for the cement sector, pushing the boundaries of green construction. Buildings and infrastructure play a key role to win the race to net-zero. This requires collaboration across the entire value chain from architect to policy-makers. At LafargeHolcim we are actively part of it and this is just the beginning.”
Microsoft on climate Ambition
Brad Smith, President of Microsoft on raising ambition for carbon neutrality and bold climate targets.
In January Microsoft announced a commitment to net-zero carbon by 2030. In September the company announced a commitment to 1.5 and carbon neutrality by 2030.
“The year 2020 has been important for all of us at Microsoft, not just in fighting Covid-19 but stepping up our ambition to address climate change. We committed in January that we would be carbon-negative as a company by 2030 and we will remove from the environment by 2050, all of the carbon that Microsoft has emitted since it was founded in 1975. It’s a big set of goals and we’ve been moving quickly to embrace them. We’ve increased our internal carbon tax, so it applies to scope 1,2 and 3 emissions. These are real funds that are generated and we are spending this money to cut our carbon emissions.
“We are moving rapidly towards our goals so that by 2025 all of our data centres, all of our offices worldwide will be running on renewable energy. And we are moving forward to start taking carbon out of the environment. Just last month we issued the largest RFP for carbon removal in history to remove just in the next 12 months, a million metric tonnes of carbon. These are among the steps that we are taking, not just on our own but with our customers and suppliers to reform the carbon practices of our supply chain. To double down working together in partnership. That’s what it will take. This is the decade where we need to move faster. As a company, we are committed to doing our part.”
Novozymes on climate Action
Ester Baiget, President & CEO of Novozymes, on empowering Climate action and sustainable impact
In September 2019, global biotechnology company Novozymes signed the Business Ambition for 1.5 commitment, targeting a net-zero transition by 2050.
“Novozymes empowers climate action through our businesses. Our bio-solutions are based on enzymes and micro-organisms. They create sustainable impact for our customers and consumers across more than thirty industries. From enabling higher yields in agricultural fields, advanced bui-fuels that reduce transport emissions, to energy and water waste savings when doing household laundry.
“But our climate action doesn’t stop here. Last September our path to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees was validated by the Science Based Targets initiative. As a proof point we left behind fossil fuel energy sources at our largest production site and we have started the journey to a net-zero future by 2050.
“Climate action for us in an evolution where we take the very best people, the very best ideas and we do the very best for the one home we all have, our planet. I’m proud to be a part of an amazing group of people here at Novozymes, who really do have sustainability in our DNA but we can’t do this alone, that’s why it’s so important for all leaders including governments, to continue to raise ambition levels, to encourage and support research and investments into environmentally friendly solutions, and to use policy as a driver to enhance ambition. Let’s build a better future.