Adobe, NIKE, Inc., Merck and Telefónica among latest companies to join the Science Based Targets initiative ahead of Climate Week in New York
NEW YORK (September 18, 2017)–More than 300 global companies have now committed to set emissions reduction targets through the Science Based Targets initiative. This year, more than 90 new companies have joined, demonstrating that the private sector is committed to aligning their efforts to tackle climate change with the Paris Agreement’s goal to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius.
Ahead of Climate Week, a surge of top apparel companies are announcing their commitment to set science-based targets, including Gap Inc., NIKE, Inc., Levi Strauss & Co., GUESS, EILEEN FISHER and VF Corporation. Upwards of 90 percent of apparel brands’ emissions are from the value chain. Since apparel companies share many of the same suppliers, taking steps to reduce supply chain emissions can improve collaboration and create efficiencies across the industry.
Other new companies committed to set science-based targets include Cummins, Seiko Epson Corporation, Mahindra Sanyo, Merck, CVS Health, Olam, Telefónica, Veolia Environnement, Wyndham Worldwide Corporation and more. Companies that have joined the Science Based Targets initiative to date represent an estimated USD $6.5 trillion in market value, roughly equal to the NASDAQ stock exchange, and are responsible for 750 million metric tonnes of CO2 emissions per year, comparable to 158 million cars being driven for one year. The companies span 35 countries and represent a wide range of sectors including manufacturing, power, retail, consumer goods, technology, chemicals, apparel, hospitality and banking.
Lila Karbassi, Chief, Programmes, UN Global Compact, one of the Science Based Targets initiative partners said: “As more and more companies see the advantages of setting science-based targets, the transition towards a low-carbon economy is becoming a reality. Businesses now working towards ambitious targets are seeing benefits like increased innovation, cost savings, improved investor confidence and reduced regulatory uncertainty. This is becoming the new ‘normal’ in the business world, proving that a low-carbon economy is not only vital for consumers and the planet, but also for future-proofing growth.”
So far, 50 U.S. companies have committed to set science-based targets, which is more than any other country. This demonstrates that the American business community is stepping up to drive climate action forward and confront the global challenge of climate change. U.S. companies participating in the Science Based Targets initiative represent USD $2 trillion in market value and are responsible for 166 million metric tons of CO2 emissions per year. Mars, which is headquartered in McLean, Virginia, last week had its target approved by the initiative.
“Mars is very pleased to have our Sustainable in a Generation Plan targets approved by the Science Based Targets initiative, which we believe sets a new standard for responsible business growth,” said Kevin Rabinovitch, Global Sustainability Director, Mars. “We are using science to set long-term absolute greenhouse gas targets covering our entire value chain and look forward to others joining us.”
The Science Based Targets initiative is a partnership between CDP, WRI, WWF and the UN Global Compact. Businesses who commit have two years to develop science-based targets, which are then closely reviewed by the initiative’s team of experts. Only targets that meet strict criteria are approved. Importantly, companies setting science-based targets must seek to not only reduce emissions in their own operations, but also within their value chains, which can move entire industries toward more efficient and greener supply chains. The initiative is also one of the We Mean Business coalition commitments.
As of today, a total of 72 science-based targets have been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative, including 41 this year. Companies that have recently received approval on their science-based targets include Adobe, Colgate-Palmolive, CVS Health, Eneco, Givaudan, HP Inc., Kering, Kirin Holdings, Marks & Spencer, Mars, Nestlé, Tesco and more.
“Addressing issues like climate change and the transition to a sustainable, low-carbon future takes collaboration across our supply chain and with our industry peers,” said Eileen Howard Boone, Senior Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility and Philanthropy, CVS Health. “Our commitment to developing science-based emissions reduction targets demonstrates our ongoing responsible growth strategy and the measurable actions we are taking to reduce our environmental impacts.”
“At Cummins, we are focused on helping the world meet energy and environmental challenges by providing clean, fuel efficient and dependable power for our customers with the least environmental impact possible,” said Brian Mormino, Executive Director of Worldwide Environmental Strategy and Compliance at Cummins. “Using the science–based target approach will help us set our next greenhouse gas reduction goal in line with what is needed to respond to a changing climate.”
“Operating sustainably has been important to Adobe since our inception,” said Vince Digneo, Sustainability Strategist, Adobe. “We support the transition to a low-carbon economy, and we’re proud to join the Science Based Targets initiative to set and act on emissions targets for each of our sites, allowing us to grow our business while using less to do it.”
“Las Vegas Sands Corp. embarked on the next phase of our global Sands ECO360 sustainability strategy by establishing ambitious and meaningful science-based targets for emissions reduction,” said Katarina Tesrova, Vice President, Global Sustainability, Las Vegas Sands Corp. “We now have a clearly defined pathway to contribute to the global effort of combating climate change, and are proud to be the one of the first hospitality companies to do so.”
About Science Based Targets initiative:
The Science Based Targets initiative champions science-based target setting as a powerful way of boosting companies’ competitive advantage in the transition to the low-carbon economy. The initiative defines and promotes best practice in science-based target setting, offers resources and guidance to reduce barriers to adoption, and independently assesses and approves companies’ targets. It is a partnership between CDP, WRI, WWF and the UN Global Compact, and one of the We Mean Business coalition commitments.