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We Mean Business, InfluenceMap Release New Lists of Climate Action Leaders

By Jan Lee

We Mean Business, a global coalition of companies that supports climate action, is growing. The network has announced that the number of companies supporting “a low-carbon transition” across the globe is now up to more than 700.

According to the organization, more than 100 companies have approved science-based targets (SBT) for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The list of companies that are working to align strategies with those set out by the Paris Agreement includes General Mills, Procter & Gamble, L’Oreal, Electrolux, Levis and Nike. Mahindra Sanyo Special Steel, which announced its support this year, became the first company from India to join.

“Combating climate change is among today’s most urgent global challenges, and also one of our biggest economic opportunities,” said Uday Gupta, Managing Director, Mahindra Sanyo Special Steel. He said addressing climate action was a way of “future-proofing ... growth and profitability. The company’s SBT commit to reducing Scope 1 and 2 and 3 emissions by 35 percent per ton of steel produced by 2030 (from a 2016 base year).

Anand Mahindra, chairman of the Mahindra Group, has also challenged companies across the globe to reduce their carbon emissions.

“I am inviting all companies, particularly those that emit the most, to commit to set science-based targets,” Mahindra said.

Science-based targets set by members are reviewed and approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative, a partnership between CDP, World Resources Institute, the World Wide Fund for Nature, and the United Nations Global Compact. The nonprofit is also a member of We Mean Business. Members have access to workshops, peer guidance and other resources.

According to We Mean Business, the collective impact represents a reduction of about 2.62 gigatons of Scope 1 and 2 emissions, or the equivilant of India’s total annual emissions.

The 700+ companies, which have a collective market cap of over $16.7 trillion, have made more than 1,170 commitments to ambitious climate action.”

The British nonprofit InflucenceMap, which is also a member of the coalition, recently published a list of the top companies that have been working to influence climate policy in governments across the globe. Twenty businesses, ranging from utility providers to social media companies made this year’s list.

The roster includes long-time sustainability backers like Unilever, GSK and IKEA, but it also showcases some new faces as well, such as Iberdrola, which has invested heavily in renewable energy in recent years and has been an outspoken supporter of climate action. The British utility company National Grid, which also provides power in New York State, was also on the list for its innovative strategies.

According to InfluenceMap, a common characteristic that linked many of the members on this list was strong CEO leadership and support for climate action initiatives.

InfluencerMap also mentioned a few runner-ups that it felt may have a good showing next year, including Walmart, Pepsico and Johnson & Johnson, which were considered “supportive but not as strategically active as their A‐List counterparts.

A full list of the identified companies can be found at InfluenceMap’s website.

Flickr image: Tony Webster

Jan Lee headshot

Jan Lee is a former news editor and award-winning editorial writer whose non-fiction and fiction have been published in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the U.K. and Australia. Her articles and posts can be found on TriplePundit, JustMeans, and her blog, The Multicultural Jew, as well as other publications. She currently splits her residence between the city of Vancouver, British Columbia and the rural farmlands of Idaho.

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