Zero carbon companies gather momentum

488 companies have set their own emissions reduction targets
Companies representing around one eighth of total global market capitalisation are now using climate science to define their future direction of travel. Over 130 new corporates have made science-based emissions reduction commitments since start of 2018. That is a 39 per cent increase from the previous year, bringing the total to 488 companies taking science-based action on climate change.

A sixth – 17 per cent – of Fortune Global 500 companies have now committed to set science-based emissions reduction targets. 50 new American companies have joined Science Based Targets initiative since President Trump announced withdrawal from Paris Agreement.

» Science Based Targets – 13 September 2018:
Surge in global business embracing climate science to navigate low-carbon transition

Walmart, the richest corporation in the world, is aiming for 50 per cent clean energy by 2025 and leading an effort to cut a gigaton of carbon from the world’s supply chain.


The Ambition Loop: Click to download the paper

How business and government can fast track zero-carbon economic growth

“More and more businesses are seeing opportunity in the zero-carbon economy, and taking action on climate change. Increasing commercial demand. Bold commitments to zero carbon electric power, zero carbon vehicle fleets, and zero deforestation. Increased business investments in climate solutions. Each sends a strong signal from business to government in support of ambitious climate policy.

Governments must use this as a strong vote of confidence and advance ambitious policies that provide companies with the clarity and confidence they need to unlock further investments in climate solutions.

This is the “ambition loop” — a positive feedback loop in which bold government policies and private sector leadership reinforce each other, and together take climate action to the next level.”

» Download the paper:
The Ambition Loop (PDF, 54 pages)

. . .


Sustainability worth investing in

“Sustainability has gone from being optional and local to absolutely about our future – a defining megatrend. It’s the most predictable and consequential trend that will shape the working environment for the rest of our lives.”
~ Steve Howard, co-founder and co-chair of the We Mean Business coalition, speaking at The Bloomberg Sustainable Business Summit on 7 November 2018 in London

“We’ve seen how investing in sustainability helps our business, by saving us money, by cleaning the air our employees and clients breathe, and by helping us retain people that care about the environment and climate change.”
~ Michael Bloomberg, founder, owner, and CEO of the the global news company Bloomberg

CNN Business: “Important to bottom lines”

“Corporations are realizing that shifting to more efficient, environmentally friendly renewable energy can be important to bottom lines.”

“Here’s how businesses can tackle climate change head-on:

• Make it a part of the business
• Support a carbon tax
• Turn to renewable energy…”

» CNN Business – 15 November 2018:
3 things businesses can do to win the climate change fight

. . .

» Innovators Magazine – 20 November 2018:
Corporates make climate action pledge
“The RE-Source renewable energy event in Amsterdam has kicked off with nearly 100 organisations signing a declaration on climate action.”

» Climate Action – 21 September 2018:
IKEA announce zero emissions target for home delivery by 2020
“The IKEA group have announced that they aim to have zero emissions for their home delivery across 5 major cities by 2020.”

» Climate Action – 27 November 2018:
Coca-Cola among firms calling on the UK for net zero emissions by 2050
“Coca-Cola among firms who have sent a letter urging the UK to set net zero emissions targets.”

. . .

» Innovators Magazine – 20 November 2018:
Corporates make climate action pledge
“The RE-Source renewable energy event in Amsterdam has kicked off with nearly 100 organisations signing a declaration on climate action.”

. . .

» FastCompany – 9 September 2018:
Lyft: “We are now a fully carbon-neutral company”

. . .

» State of Green – 7 September 2018:
Green trend: Corporations buy renewable energy
“Large companies around the world are lining up to secure their electricity from renewable sources. The Danish companies Novo Nordisk and Novozymes recently entered into a major agreement with Swedish energy company Vattenfall.”

. . .

» FastCompany – 28 August 2018:
Facebook will power itself with 100% renewable energy by 2020
“The social network is buying wind and solar power from sources all over the world–and helping grids get more clean energy for everyone in the process.”

. . .

» Energy Post – 2 October 2018:
Bill Gates, Shell, the World Bank, BlackRock, IKEA: billions poured into energy gamechangers
“Four groups of mega investors are betting big on alternative energies.”

How businesses drive positive change

“Now is the time for business leaders to lead the charge in building a carbon-neutral world. Here are four steps to get started:

• STEP 1: Acknowledge your company’s environmental impact
• STEP 2: Create a North Star – and a viable roadmap to get there
• STEP 3: Embed the strategy company-wide
• STEP 4: Collaborate with others

Climate change poses an increasingly urgent threat to us all – every individual, company, city, and nation. Bold action is needed to get us there, and becoming a net-zero company is a concrete way to take action.”
~ Suzanne DiBianca, chief philanthropy officer and executive vice president of corporate relations at Salesforce

» Fast Company – 26 October 2018:
4 steps to prepare your business for a carbon-neutral future

Building the new carbon economy

1. Make the story of a new carbon economy accessible and inspiring
2. Enable investors to see climate opportunity as well as climate risk
3. Close the gap between economic and environmental policy
4. Equip companies to monitor and manage progress toward “climate positivity”
5. Evolve disclosure standards and practices
6. Forge closer links between companies and the academic R&D community

~ Richard Roberts, project breakthrough lead at Volans and coauthor of the white paper, ‘Our Carbon Future’.

» Fast Company – 9 October 2018:
A 6-point plan for building a new carbon economy
“We must build a new carbon economy that sequesters more carbon than it emits. And we must do it fast.”

Carbon economy white paper

“Around the world, governments, businesses and citizens face a twin challenge: how to reverse global warming and, simultaneously, deliver economic prosperity for a rapidly expanding global population.

Addressing this twin challenge requires a radical shift in the way we use carbon to create economic value. We must transition from an economy powered by fossil fuels to one powered by clean energy and carbon drawn down from the atmosphere — and do so quickly.

This white paper is principally about how we can do this. It explores the mindset shifts required around carbon, arguing that we must learn to see it not only as a source of existential risk, but also as a source of immense opportunity. It reviews the status of relevant R&D, as well as corporate action across three key value nexuses: cities, materials and food.

Our conclusions: many elements of a new carbon economy are already in place; pathways to scale are emergent; the opportunities for those who move fast — and in the right direction — are huge; and, crucially, the moment for courageous leadership is now.

This paper builds on work published by the Carbon Productivity Consortium in 2017 (for more, see in addition to dozens of conversations with senior business executives, and experts on carbon and climate change.”
~ Lorraine Smith and Richard Roberts, September 2018

» Download the white paper ‘Our Carbon Future’