Climate Week 2016: Apple, Johnson & Johnson, L’Oréal, GRI, RE100
Climate Week 2016 opened yesterday with business and government leaders convening in New York City for dozens of events that focus on the transition to a low-carbon economy. This year’s Climate Week includes a sharp focus on countries ratifying the Paris climate agreement — and what this means for global corporations — as well as the role of the private sector in attaining the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
It’s also a platform for major companies to share their own sustainability successes and new targets. Here are some of our favorite announcements so far:
Two more Apple suppliers plan to power their production for Apple products with 100 percent clean energy, Fortune reports. During a Climate Week talk, Apple’s vice president of environment Lisa Jackson said Solvay Specialty Polymers, a Belgian company that makes antenna bands for iPhones, and Catcher Technology, a Chinese company that makes aluminum parts for iPhones, will meet the clean energy goal by 2018. Apple currently powers 100 percent of its operations in China and the US, and more than 93 percent of its worldwide operations, with renewable energy. Two other Apple suppliers, Lens Technology and Foxconn, both located in China, made similar environmental pledges earlier this year as part of Apple’s supply chain clean energy program.
Apple is also one of several major corporations to join RE100 with commitments to 100 percent renewable power. Other companies to join the global business collaborative include Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, VF Corporation, cloud computing companies VMWare and Rackspace, Diageo and financial services company DNB. There are now 81 members of RE100.
L’Oréal USA today said it will beat its carbon emission reduction goals — to reduce CO2 emissions by 60 percent from a 2005 baseline — and achieve 100 percent renewable electricity for its US manufacturing operations through two large-scale solar projects. The project in Florence will be the largest commercial solar array in Kentucky and the project in North Little Rock will be the third largest commercial array in Arkansas. The company says these new projects will bring its CO2 reduction up to 80 percent.
Johnson & Johnson expects to reach its 20 percent renewable energy goal by 2020 four years earlier than expected through a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) in partnership with E.On. The PPA, which was signed in January and will become operational later this year, will provide about 60 percent of the company’s US electricity needs, or 25 percent globally while saving about 3,722,860 metric tons of carbon over the life of the agreement. Because it expects to achieve its goal early, J&J has increased its target to source 35 percent of its global electricity needs from renewable sources by the end of 2020.
Spaceship Earth, a report by DNV GL says that several regions of the globe will make good progress on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but action won’t be fast enough to achieve all 17 by 2030 and will come at an unacceptable environmental cost. However, the report says there is still time to reset the course of Spaceship Earth and it showcases 17 global companies driving progress on each of the SDGs. These companies are: Tata, Danone, HiTechnologies, ARM, Symantec, Grundfos, SolarWorld, NYK, Hydro, Safaricom, Siemens, Marks & Spencer, Iberdrola, Cermaq, APP, Calvert Investments and Unilever.
In an effort to encourage corporate reporting on the SDGs, the Global Reporting Initiative and the United Nations Global Compact have launched an initiative called SDG Leadership through Reporting. The two organizations will develop a list of disclosures for tracking business contributions to the SDGs and they will release a publication on SDG-reporting.
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