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Gina-Marie Cheeseman headshot

Companies and Investors Make Their 1,000th Commitment to Climate Change Action


Companies and investors have made 1,000 commitments to take action on climate change as part of the Take Action campaign by We Mean Business. There are 614 companies and investors participating in the campaign.

The company that made the 1,000th climate change commitment is Tech Mahindra, an India-based IT services company. The company, which has over 107,000 employees in 90 countries and annual revenues of $4 billion, recently committed to setting science-based climate targets. The commitment builds on the company’s past work. Since 2009, it has set internal carbon reduction targets. Its emissions tracking systems was recently awarded a 100 score out of 100 in the latest CDP Leadership Index.

The climate change initiatives We Mean Business encourages

There are a number of climate change initiatives that We Mean Business encourages companies to take action on, ranging from adopting science-based emissions targets to sourcing only renewable energy.

Adopting a science-based emissions target

Companies like Tech Mahindra that make the commitment to adopt a science-based emissions target have two years to set their targets. Their commitments must be for five years from the date they announce their target. The target must cover company wide scope 1 and scope 2 emissions, as the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol Corporate Standard requires. An “ambitious” scope 3 target is also required if scope 3 emissions are a “significant’ part of the company’s overall emissions. Companies are required to annually disclose their emissions inventory.

We Mean Business provides a number of methodologies for companies to meet their emissions targets. One of those is the 3% Solution, which identifies how U.S. based companies can set emissions reduction targets leading to cost savings of $780 billion from 2010 to 2020. Developed by CDP, World Wildlife Fund, McKinsey & Company and Point380, the cost savings associated with the 3% Solution are achieved through increasing energy efficiency measures and transitioning to low carbon energy sources. Companies can use the Carbon Target Profit Calculator to calculate their targets.

Procure 100 percent electricity from renewable sources

Companies that make the commitment to only source renewable energy join RE100, a collaborative, global initiative of businesses committed to 100 percent renewable power. Since the private sector accounts for about half of the world’s electricity consumption, it makes perfect sense for companies to set goals to only source and use renewable energy. Switching to renewable energy benefits companies and the environment. Renewable energy helps companies manage fluctuating energy costs  and helps them achieve carbon emission reduction goals.

IKEA is one of the companies that have committed to procuring 100 percent of its electricity from renewable sources. The global home furnishing company has 336 stores in 28 countries. It has committed to produce as much renewable energy as the total energy it uses in its buildings by 2020. So far, IKEA it has deployed about $169.86 billion into renewable energy projects, including owning and operating 327 wind turbines and installing nearly 700,000 solar panels on its stores and distribution center.

Putting a price on carbon

When companies make a commitment to put a price on their carbon emissions, they agree to align with the UN Global Compact’s Business Leadership Criteria on Carbon Pricing. They must set an internal carbon price high enough to materially affect investment decisions. They also must communicate on their progress over time in public corporate reports.

Responsible corporate engagement in climate policy

Companies who agree to engage in climate policy agree to do the following:

  • Set up processes to internally audit all activities that their company takes part in to influence climate policy.

  • Work to ensure that all of this activity is consistent.

  • Communicate on actions and outcomes.
Report climate information in mainstream reports as a fiduciary duty

Companies who commit to reporting climate information in their mainstream corporate reports agree to do so using a framework like the Climate Disclosure Standards Board's (CDSB) Climate Change Reporting Framework. The CDSB is an international consortium of business and environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The Framework helps a company filter out what is required to understand how climate change affects its financial performance. The information provided by using the Framework helps investors make informed decisions.

Remove commodity-driven deforestation from all supply chains by 2020

Deforestation is a big driver in climate change, accounting for about 15 percent of the world’s GHG emissions. Certain sectors really contribute to deforestation such as soy, palm oil, beef, leather, timber and pulp. Companies that commit to removing commodity-driven deforestation from their supply chains by 2020 can use CDP’s Deforestation Roadmap as their guide to setting and implementing targets and tracking progress.

Reduce short-lived climate pollutant emissions

Short-lived climate change pollutant (SLCP) emissions include methane, black carbon, tropospheric ozone or hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Reducing them has the potential to significantly contribute to climate change mitigation by 2050. Companies making the commitment to reduce them agree to:

  • Include measurement and reporting of SLCP emissions into their GHG accounting.

  • Reduce emissions of SLCPs.

  • Engage stakeholders in their supply chain to reduce SLCP emissions.

  • Promote best practices and showcase their successful efforts.
Commit to improve energy productivity

Companies can pledge to double their energy productivity through the EP100 platform with time-bound, quantified targets. EP100 is chaired by The Climate Group and operates as a companion to the RE100 program.

Photo: Flickr/Steven Jackson

Gina-Marie Cheeseman headshot

Gina-Marie is a freelance writer and journalist armed with a degree in journalism, and a passion for social justice, including the environment and sustainability. She writes for various websites, and has made the 75+ Environmentalists to Follow list by Mashable.com.

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