More than 150 companies have now signed up to the Science Based Target initiative, committing to set emissions reduction targets.
The Science Based Targets initiative announced this week, on the eve of the Climate Action Summit in Washington, DC, that a total of 155 companies have now committed to set emissions reduction targets in line with attempting to keep global warming well below 2°C. The Science Based Targets initiative is a partnership between CDP, UN Global Compact, WRI, and WWF, providing technical resources to help companies set science-based emissions targets.
The 155 companies now signed on to Science Based Targets are headquartered in 27 different countries, including 77 in Europe, 34 in the Asia Pacific region, 25 in the United States and 9 in Canada, and represent a wide variety of industries
Science Based Targets announced at the COP21 negotiations in Paris last year that 114 companies had committed to the initiative, including big names such as Coca-Cola, Dell, Kellogg, NRG Energy, Procter & Gamble, and Sony. Impressively, 41 companies have since signed on to the initiative, including Ben & Jerry’s, SunPower Corporation, Owens Corning, Toyota Motor Corporation, and large European retailer Metro AG.
“The enthusiasm companies have shown to setting ambitious climate targets is very encouraging,” said Cynthia Cummis from WRI. “Our technical reviewers cannot keep up with the number of targets being submitted. This is a great problem to have and a clear indication that the Paris Agreement was a turning point for climate action.”
Of the total 155 companies, 13 have already had their emissions reduction targets reviewed and approved by Science Based Targets experts. Together, these 13 companies will reduce their emissions from their own operations by 874 million tonnes of CO2 over the lifetime of their targets — the equivalent of closing over 250 coal-fired plants for a year.
45 more companies have targets currently under review, and the remaining companies are in the process of developing targets.
“In the past, companies would set targets without the necessary information or a solid point of reference,” said Galya Tsonkova, Environment Manager for Coca-Cola HBC. “They would just pick a round figure and aim for cuts of 20, 30, 40 percent, with no further justification, other than generic aspirations. Now, we have a target that is approved by external, credible experts, verified through relevant scientific methodology. That makes a big difference, both for external stakeholders, as well as to our management.”