The evolution of corporate climate targetsPedro Faria
Those fond of fortune cookie wisdom may know the saying: study the past if you would define the future. It may sound obvious, but for business executives tasked with setting their company’s climate strategy, looking at the past and current landscape of corporate climate efforts is valuable in thinking about the future.
Corporate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction targets are evolving. The historic Paris Agreement strives to keep the world within well below 2°C temperature increase above pre-industrial levels and companies are looking do their part in meeting this goal.
And now there are tools and resources available for companies to raise the level of ambition of their previous targets, and set their emission reductions in line with climate science.
Back in 2010 few companies reported to have absolute or intensity-based emissions reduction targets. While the message that climate change is a growing risk to the economy had begun to permeate business thinking, few companies translated this into action targets or goals that would seek to reduce their emissions.
Fast forward to five years later, and corporate management of climate change is now arguably at a tipping point, as evidenced in CDP’s 2015 climate change report. Forty four per cent of companies analyzed now set goals to reduce their total GHG emissions, up from just 27% in 2010.
Entering a new era
December’s announcement from the Science Based Targets initiative marked a turning point for corporate target-setting. Leading companies are recognizing that setting ambitious target setting is in their own best interest and a key part of good corporate strategy.
To date 119 companies have committed to setting science-based targets and 12 companies in particular have helped us cross the threshold into this new era by already setting climate-science backed targets.
With an ambitious global climate agreement in place, corporations now have the opportunity to follow suit and raise the bar by setting science-based targets.
Join us at the Climate Leadership Conference March 8 in Seattle, Washington to learn how your company can set a science-based greenhouse gas reduction target. The Climate Leadership Conference convenes around U.S. EPA’s prestigious Climate Leadership Awards, addressing climate change through policy, innovation, and business solutions. Save 15% on registration using CDP’s discount code: CLC-CDP-15%.
This post first appeared on CDP.