Governments in the world may have signed the Paris climate agreement and pledged to limit global warming to 1.5°C, but the grades in their climate report cards are distressing to say the least.
However, there’s good news coming in from the private sector. With six in every 10 Americans believing in climate change, and climate movements rising awareness across the globe, doing business as usual is becoming bad for corporate image.
By treating the greatest threat facing humanity as an opportunity in disguise, major companies are now competing to lead the climate battle. While there’s still time to decide how successful their efforts will be, their promising targets and progress are worth sneaking a peek at.
Some of these companies have Science-Based Targets initiated by WWF, the UN Global Compact, World Resources Institute and CDP. They are set in line with the Paris Climate Agreement for a world with 1.5–2°C of warming.
IKEA : “People and Climate Positive”
“Through our size and reach we have the opportunity to inspire and enable more than one billion people to live better lives, within the limits of the planet.”
— Inter IKEA CEO Torbjorn
Targets: A science-based target to limit global warming to 1.5°C by becoming climate positive and regenerating resources by 2030.
Progress Highlights (as of FY18):
- Sourcing 100% of cotton, fish and seafood from certified, more sustainable sources.
- 70% use of renewables and recycled materials in production.
- Heavy investments in renewable energy.
- Introduced new circular design principles and services.
- Made significant steps towards phasing out single-use plastic products from the IKEA range by 2020.
Fortunately, there’s more. You can find them in IKEA Sustainability Report FY18.
Apple : Apple Environment
Apple Environment targets to go beyond direct operations and cover the carbon footprint of their entire supply chain — from sourcing materials to the energy use of the end-consumer.
“At Apple, it’s simple. We apply the same level of innovation that goes into everything we create, design, power and manufacture to making things better for people and the planet.” — Lisa Jackson, Vice President, Environment.
Progress Highlights (as of 2019):
- Every Apple office, store, and data center in 43 countries across the globe is powered 100% from renewable energy.
- 64% reduction in carbon emissions of direct operations compared to 2011.
- 35% reduction in comprehensive carbon footprint since 2015.
- Decrease in average product energy use up to 70% across major product lines during the last decade.
- 48% reduction of plastic use in packaging in 3 years.
- Halved the carbon footprint of MacBook Air and Mac mini 2018 models through 100% recycled Aluminium enclosures.
- Recycled more than 48,000 metric tons of e-waste in 2019.
- Development of a new alloy that utilizes 100% recycled aluminium.
For more details, review the Apple’s Environmental Responsibility Progress Report 2019.
Walmart: “Project Gigaton”
“What if we used our size and resources to make this country and this earth an even better place for all of us: Customers, associates, our children and generations unborn?” — Lee Scott.
- A science-based target to stay below 2°C by reducing one billion metric tons (a gigaton) of emissions from the global value chain by 2030.
- To create zero waste and sell only sustainably sourced products.
- Renewable energy to power 50% of their operations by 2025 and reduced absolute emissions by 18% compared to 2015 levels.
- 28% of the energy in its stores and operations globally are powered by renewables.
- 120 electric car charging stations at its stores.
- 78 percent of waste is recycled.
- Introduced sustainably sourced and fair-trade certified coffee across all outlets in the US.
H&M Hennes & Mauritz AB
“ Big change requires bold actions and the courage to aim high. At the same time, we have to be humble to the challenges our planet is facing. So if we want to make a real change, we have to be brave, push the boundaries and not be afraid to fail.” — Anna Gedda, Head of Sustainability
- A science-based target to stay well below 2°C.
- To use only recycled or sustainably-sourced materials by 2030.
- To go climate positive by 2040.
- 11% reduction in carbon emissions compared to 2017.
- Incorporating 57% of recycled or sustainably sourced materials in production.
- Using 95% of recycled or sustainably-sourced cotton.
- Textiles equivalent to 103 million shirts were for reuse and recycling.
Check out the 2018 H&M Group Sustainability Report for detailed information.
Coca-Cola: A World Without Waste
Break Free From Plastic’s 2019 Brand Audit Report named Coca Cola the world’s biggest plastic polluter for the second consecutive year. After suffering (deservingly) blow after blow, coke is now on an ambitious mission to change that — and more.
“The world has a packaging problem — and, like all companies, we have a responsibility to help solve it.”
— James Quincey, President and CEO of Coca-Cola
- To make packaging 100% recyclable by 2025
- To collect and recycle a bottle or can for every sale made globally by 2030.
- Coca Cola European Partners and Coca Cola HBC AG have set science-based targets to limit global warming well below 2°C.
- Coca Cola European Partners to use electricity sourced 100% by renewables.
- Coca Cola Mexico recycled 57 percent of the PET plastic it produced in 2016.
- Coca Cola Sweden will become the first global market to fully use 100 percent recycled plastic next year (2020).
- Coca-Cola Australia and Coca-Cola Amatil are now producing 100 percent recycled plastic bottles for soft drinks and water below 600ml.
- In 2020, non-alcoholic canned drinks in Europe will replace shrink wraps with a sustainable paperboard topper to combine cans.
Note: Await part (ii)