Big business is ready for the Climate Decade

Reading time: 2 minutes
10 January 2020

We are now officially in 2020 – the beginning of the Climate Decade, when we must halve global emissions by 2030 to be in with a fighting chance of limiting global heating to 1.5°C.

With over 200 multinationals now committed to our ambitious initiatives on renewables (RE100), electric vehicles (EV100) and smart efficient energy (EP100), our members and partners are taking bold steps to make the Paris Agreement a reality.

Here are ten of them, spanning a variety of sectors – from technology to cement – as they tell us what they are doing to address the climate challenge in the next critical decade.

Alan Jope, CEO of Unilever

“This decade – and our collective response to the climate crisis - is make or break. Businesses have a huge responsibility to take the right action. And if that action isn’t daunting, then it isn’t ambitious enough. It won’t be easy, but it’s the right thing to do.

"We’ve set bold commitments and made good progress within Unilever: 100% of our grid electricity comes from renewable sources, we’ve set a science-based target aligned to 1.5 degrees, and we will be carbon neutral by 2030. But governments need to join forces with businesses to increase climate ambition, particularly in the run-up to COP26 in Glasgow and limit warming to below 1.5 degrees. This is now beyond urgent.”

David Lear, Vice President of Corporate Sustainability, Dell Technologies

“At Dell Technologies, we are critically aware of the global need to move from awareness to action to help limit the effects of climate change - and we believe that technology will play a defining role in both mitigating and adapting over the next decade. It’s why, as part of our #ProgressMadeReal 2030 goals, we have committed to delivering a comprehensive science-based climate program, setting emissions goals across facilities, supply chain, and operations and extending to customer’s use of our products.

"We also proudly participate in initiatives like RE100 to gain insights and drive collaboration outside of our company. At Dell Technologies, we believe we have a responsibility to protect and enrich our planet, and climate change is, and will continue to be, a key part of that responsibility.”

Sumant Sinha, Chair of The India Advisory Group and Chairman & Managing Director, ReNew Power

“The climate emergency is real and upon us – the world over we are already 'feeling the heat.'

“As India’s largest clean energy company, currently generating over 5 GW of power from renewables, ReNew Power is doing its bit to catalyze India’s transition to green energy. We are targeting a capacity of 20 GW by 2024 to reduce dependence on polluting fossil fuels and make a healthy contribution to the Government’s target of 450 GW from renewables by 2030.

"We will focus on adopting best practices in energy efficiency, greening our supply chain and supporting the development of cutting edge storage and e-mobility solutions to add more teeth to the fight against climate change. We also look forward to working closely with the Government and civil society to advocate necessary policy reforms for decarbonizing the economy."

Gilles Andrier, CEO of Givaudan

"Givaudan has long recognized the urgency of the climate challenge. In 2019, we took our ambition to the highest level by aligning our science-based targets with the 1.5° Celsius ambition and signing the UN pledge.

"Climate action is also at the heart of Givaudan’s purpose. We have committed to being climate-positive before 2050, with an interim measure that our operations will be climate-positive before 2040.

"We will continue to work in partnership with the international community, our partners and suppliers to reach our ambitions. As a member of RE100, we have undertaken to convert our entire electricity supply to fully renewable sources by 2025, and are well on track to achieve this."

Michael Lamach, Chairman and CEO of Ingersoll Rand

“Changing one company can change an industry – and changing an industry can change the world. Rethinking heating and cooling is one of the top solutions to reducing emissions and reversing global warming, and that’s exactly what we’re doing. We’re pushing the boundaries of what’s possible and dramatically changing how we heat and cool buildings, homes, and transportation.

"Through our Gigaton Challenge, part of our 2030 sustainability commitments, we will reduce our customers’ carbon emissions by one Gigaton. That’s 2 percent of the world’s annual emissions, from one company alone! Imagine what we can do if others join us in this challenge. In the Climate Decade, we must deliver on our bold commitments and work together with policymakers, The Climate Group and other partners to tackle the climate crisis together. Challenging the status quo to change our industry can create a better, more sustainable world.”

Gabrielle Giner, Head of Environmental Sustainability, BT

“Climate change presents a truly global challenge over the next decade and BT recognizes the huge role it has to play, setting bold targets internally as well as supporting suppliers and customers to go green as well.

"We were among the first companies in the world to set a science-based 1.5-degree target on global warming and achieved our 2020 goal on carbon emissions reduction four years ahead of schedule. We now aim to reach net zero by 2045 – and to get almost 90% of the way there by 2030. BT is harnessing technology to deliver real change and leading the way for others to scale up their own ambitions.”

Caroline Hill, Group Corporate Affairs & Sustainability Director, Landsec

"There’s a real urgency to combat the most severe effects of climate change within the next decade. Businesses across all sectors – including the property industry – must work together for a better and more sustainable future. That’s why we’re working to become a net zero business.

"Our updated science-based target will see a reduction in our absolute carbon emissions by 70% from a 2014 baseline by 2030, to align with a 1.5 degree pathway of global warming. To achieve this, we will continue to challenge our ways of working and incorporate sustainability into every commercial and investment decision we make. And, in addition to our commitments to RE100, EV100 and EP100, all of our future developments will be net zero schemes. For Landsec, the climate decade serves as a time for industry collaboration, business innovation and sustainability leadership."

Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group

“The directions have been set for the organization: Science Based Targets for 2030 and Carbon Neutral by 2040. It is the decade to deliver. The path is being detailed, actions are already being taken. It is an arduous though exciting journey. The Paris Agreement implementation will commence. Nations will do a stocktake in 2023. We hope there will be good news. It's all for one and one for all. Let it be a decade of outperformance on climate action.”

KK Maheshwari, Managing Director, UltraTech Cement

“The world has taken a target of Net Zero by 2050. The next 10 years will be crucial in humanity’s effort to achieve this challenging target. This requires concerted action by all the stakeholders, with each one of them contributing the very best that they can.

"Businesses will have to constantly improve their environmental profile. Technological breakthroughs are imperative to address the increasing needs of the growing population, especially in the lesser developed economies, while minimizing environmental impact.

"UltraTech is accelerating investments in low carbon products and technologies to develop customized solutions for the Built Environment. We are joining forces with like-minded actors like The Climate Group in coalitions such as EP100 to make a meaningful contribution at a global level. We are also exploring all options of technological breakthrough to make a quantum jump in reducing emissions.”

Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMWare

“The Climate Decade is upon us. Cutting global emissions in half by 2030 depends on bold actions and a global capacity for innovation. We’re focused on both. At VMware, throughout our 20-year history, we’ve pioneered solutions that help enable greater compute infrastructure efficiency and recently became a carbon-neutral business.

"Because our products help our customers use less hardware more intelligently, they’ve avoided putting 664 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere since 2003—the equivalent of the annual power consumption of Spain, Germany, and France. Bold actions require collaboration. That’s why we’re proud members of REBA, RE100 and EV100—powering 100 percent of our operations with renewable energy and have committed to support the uptake of EVs by our employees. We’re also working on exponential innovation such as our solar-powered community microgrid and a carbon avoidance meter for our customers.

"The science is clear; now is the time to act. By driving technology forward through innovation and partnerships, we will leave our world in better shape for the generations that follow.”


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