Five companies already doing what IPCC report says is neededWe Mean Business coalition
In the wake of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C, the impetus for companies to step up their climate action and ambition has never been greater.
Now climate science has clarified the need to decarbonize at pace, meet five companies that are going further and faster on climate.
BT Group heads for net-zero carbon
UK telecoms giant BT Group has set itself on a path to net-zero carbon emissions by 2045, increasing its climate ambitions, having already achieved its original science-based target in 2016.
“On the same day (15th October, 2018) as the UK government asked the Independent Committee on Climate Change to examine whether a net-zero carbon target can be set for the UK, we’ve pledged to become a net-zero carbon emission business by 2045,” the company said.
In 2016, BT achieved its previous science-based target to reduce carbon emissions intensity by 80% on 1996/97 levels four years ahead of schedule. In 2017/18, the company cut its energy bill by £29 million, and has cumulatively saved £250 million ($328 million) since 2009/10, through driving efficiencies in its networks, data centres and buildings in the process.
Having achieved that, BT then committed to decarbonize by a further 87%, against a 2016/17 baseline, to bring the company inline with a 1.5°C trajectory.
IKEA is delivering climate action
IKEA Group (Ingka Holding B.V.), was one of the first companies to join The Climate Group’s EV100 corporate leadership initiative to accelerate the roll-out of electric transport last year, and is now harnessing the power of electric vehicles (EVs) to step up its action on tackling emissions.
IKEA Group has committed to transition all its ‘last mile’ home deliveries across five major cities – Amsterdam, Los Angeles, New York, Paris and Shanghai – to electric vehicles or zero-emission transport by 2020. And by 2025, IKEA’s largest franchisee, plans to have all its ‘last mile’ home delivery journeys be zero emissions.
“We are in a time right now where we see the impacts of climate change. It’s no longer a threat but it’s a reality that impacts our business, our customers and co-workers everyday. So we’re working hard to step up our actions,” Jesper Brodin, CEO of IKEA Group, said at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco.
In the recent consumer-focused research report – Climate action starts at home – nearly 90% of people asked said they are willing to change their behaviour to help fight climate change, but many don’t know what action they should take. This highlights a significant growth opportunity through offering inspiring and informative communication and innovative products that help customers tackle climate change in their everyday lives.
“We have committed to science-based targets that will guide us. So we know the actions we taking today and tomorrow will guide us towards a zero impact IKEA,” Brodin added.
NRG is powering the transition
US-based energy generator and retailer NRG is pushing ahead with its bold plans to help its customers decarbonize their power needs by delivering simplified renewable options and cutting emissions.
“We’re well ahead of target on our science-based goals, reducing 50% absolute emissions by 2030 against a 2014 baseline, just in the first three years of that goal period. We’re now already 70% of the way to our 2030 goal, and on track to meet that well ahead of plans,” Bruno Sarda of VP of Sustainability at NRG Energy, said.
Because of that ambitious goal, NRG has managed to already reduce absolute emissions by nearly 26 million tons.
“We are committed to being part of what the future of the electric power sector is, especially in the United States. Our customers from residential to commercial and industrial are themselves looking to decarbonize, they’re looking for solutions that are sustainable, that are resilient, that are economically viable, and so really that’s what we’re committed to.”
Taking climate action has helped NRG in bringing innovative solutions to market, meeting customer needs now and anticipating their needs in the future, while making the company stronger and more successful. It also helps attract and retain the best talent in the industry and has delivered shareholder returns in the process, Sarda said.
Levi’s steps up its climate targets
Levi Strauss & Company recognizes the importance of stepping its climate ambitions, both in terms of helping to achieve the aims of the Paris Agreement, but also to protect its supply chain from the impacts of climate change.
The clothing giant beat its original climate target of a 25% reduction in emissions by 2020 by three years. Now Levi Strauss & Company has committed to a science-based target of 90% reduction of Scope 1 and 2 emissions in owned and operated facilities globally, and a 40% reduction in Scope 3 emissions in supply chain all by 2025.
Levi Strauss & Co. want to play a part in reducing the material risk that climate change has on their supply chain – as failing to do so could create uncertain costs and supply disruptions in the future.
“Climate change is a critical issue for us to address as a company. It impacts our core raw material, which is cotton – cotton agriculture is absolutely affected by climate change,” Michael Kobori, Vice President of Social and Environmental Sustainability at Levi Strauss & Co., said.
“Also, many of our suppliers are located in coastal areas in developing countries all around the world that are going to be impacted by climate change and sea-level rise.”
Signify commits to progress on climate
As the world leader in connected LED lighting systems Signify – formally Philips Lighting – is taking an innovative approach to its action on climate.
The company has committed to set a science-based target, as well as committed to transitioning to 100% renewable electricity with RE100, led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, and to accelerating the transition to electric vehicles and charging infrastructure with EV100, also led by The Climate Group. In addition, Signify has committed to net-zero carbon buildings for its more than 300-owned and operated sites.
“Buildings and transport are the two big areas where more action is needed if we want to stay within the boundaries of the Paris Agreement,” Verhaar said.
“We believe climate action or sustainable development is nothing else than an innovation agenda… those innovative solutions like LED lighting, they provide a better quality of service,” he added.
By raising their climate ambitions, businesses like these are making it clear that they see the low-carbon economy as a driver of innovation, competitiveness, risk management and growth.
They are also showing that business is a key implementation partner for governments in achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement and setting the world on track to limiting global warming to 1.5°C.