BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 14 Dec '17

Corporate climate action gathers pace, two years on from the Paris Agreement

Two years after the Paris climate agreement was signed, hundreds of companies continue to step up the fight against climate change.

Some 1,200 companies are setting science-based emission reduction targets with the aim of aligning their business plans with the Paris Agreement goals by 2019.

Walmart and Nike

327 major corporations have already set or committed to set science-based targets through the Science Based Targets initiative, and 864 additional companies declared their ambition to follow suit in the next two years in their 2017 disclosures to CDP, the global environmental impact charity.

Since December 2015, when the Paris Agreement was adopted, on average two companies per week have made a commitment to the Science Based Targets initiative.

They come from 36 countries and include Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, major electric utilities including EDP and Enel and 15 major clothing brands like Nike, Levis and Asics.

Committing to renewables and EVs

DSM is one of the companies that’s committed to scaling and accelerating business action to realise the goals of the Paris Agreement. CEO, Feike Sijbesma, said, ‘DSM is on track to source 50% of its electricity from renewables by 2025.’

Schneider Electric has committed to sourcing 100% renewable electricity by 2030 through RE100, and doubling its energy productivity by 2030 (2005 baseline) through EP100.

French utility EDF Group has committed to transitioning to electric vehicles by 2030 through EV100, a recently launched initiative aiming to make electric transport ‘the new normal’.

All three initiatives are led by international non-profit organisation The Climate Group, which launched RE100 (a pledge to use 100% renewable electricity), EP100 (a commitment to double the economic output from every unit of energy consumed) and EV100 (a commitment to help accelerate the transition to electric vehicles) as part of the We Mean Business coalition.

The business campaigns help companies to reduce emissions, enhance resilience and boost the bottom line.

‘Prosperity and energy are intertwined’

By committing to RE100, Schneider Electric joins 117 other major global companies that have pledged to use 100% renewable power. Together they are stimulating 155 TWh demand for renewable electricity, annually – enough to power the whole of Ukraine.

Some members are also calling on their suppliers to commit to sourcing 100% renewable electricity.

‘When it comes to the climate, I’m neither an optimist nor a pessimist, I’m an activist. Prosperity and energy are intertwined. For Schneider Electric, contributing to the process of achieving carbon neutrality is an ambitious and productive challenge. Joining The Climate Group’s EP100 and RE100 initiatives is a demonstration of how consumers and business can be empowered to ensure the affordability, resilience, sustainability and security of the energy that they consume.’

JEAN-PASCAL TRICOIRE
Chairman and CEO, Schneider Electric

Science-based targets

Since the Paris Agreement was signed, there has been a 10-fold rise in the number of companies making commitments like science-based targets, RE100, EP100 and EV100 through the We Mean Business coalition’s Take Action campaign.

Today, over 640 companies have made almost 1,100 commitments to take action on climate change in partnership with the coalition. They include 26 of the world’s top 100 emitters of greenhouse gas and 60 of the Fortune 500.

Combined, the companies are responsible for 2.31​ ​gigatons​ ​of​ greenhouse gas​ ​emissions,​ ​equivalent​ ​to​ ​the​ ​total​ ​annual​ ​emissions​ ​of​ ​Russia. They represent $15.5 trillion in market capital.