Financial institutions holding some $29.3 trillion in assets are calling on more than 1,600 companies across the world to set science-based emissions reduction targets.
They are asking for the companies to set the emissions reduction goals through the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) to help aid in an industry standard to meet climate targets. There were 220 financial institutions that signed the request as sustainability goals are increasingly important to investors.
Environmental non-profit CDP says the 2021 SBTi campaign is the world’s largest investor engagement program specifically requesting businesses to set science-based emissions targets. Last year 154 companies joined the initiative.
The businesses targeted by the recent request have a market of $41 trillion and account for 11.9 million metric tons of emissions, CDP says. That is more than the United States and European Union combined, according to the group.
CDP says companies with science-based targets generally cut emissions by 6.4% a year, compared to the 4.2% reduction rate needed to meet the Paris Agreement.
SBTi was established in 2015 and is one of the biggest programs for establishing corporate climate initiatives. SBTi is a partnership with the CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute and the World Wide Fund for Nature.
There are 433 North American companies on the current list of requested SBTi commitments, including Boeing, Alaska Airlines, FedEx, Caterpillar and Catalyst Paper Corporation.
Boeing and Alaska Airlines have previously partnered on sustainable air travel and Boeing has plans to have its plans fly on 100% sustainable fuels by 2030. FedEx has plans to carbon neutral by 2040 and has dedicated $2 billion to vehicle electrification, sustainable energy and carbon sequestration.
In the past 56% of the companies asked to join the SBTi program said the campaign had a direct impact on their emissions objectives and 96% said they had investor pressure that led them to setting sustainability goals.
Currently there are 1,175 companies worldwide that are part of the initiative. CDP says companies that make up 20% of global market are already part of the SBTi. Some of the companies that previously signed on to SBTi include Amazon, Apple, Clorox, Walmart and Visa.
The financial institutions that signed the new request include Manulife Investment Management, Neuberger Berman, Lazard Asset Management, Wespath Benefits and Investments and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.
CDP says it will continue to ask companies to join the initiative before September 2022 and then will evaluate the impact of the program.