Firms to collaborate on 2050 net zero target

23 July 2020

Nine firms have joined forces on a new initiative to share best practice and collaborate to achieve net zero emissions across their value chains by 2050.

The Transform to Net Zero initiative will focus on developing research, guidance, and implementable roadmaps to enable the business transformation needed to achieve net-zero emissions.

It will be led by global firms AP Moller - Maersk, Danone, Mercedes-Benz, Microsoft, Natura & Co, Nike, Starbucks, Unilever and Wipro. It is also supported by NGOs Environmental Defense Fund and Business for Social Responsibility. 

The initiative aims to drive broader change with a focus on “policy, innovation, and finance” and the outputs of the initiative are expected to be completed by 2025.

As part of the initiative, the firms their individual carbon-neutral commitments and translating into action, in areas such as "corporate strategy, procurement, risk management, governance and accountability, finance and operations, innovation and R&D, marketing, and public affairs".

The firms aim to focus on increasing capacity for greenhouse gas removals in the near term in order to get to net zero by 2050, recognising that net zero requires emissions reductions across the value chain including “impact of products and services and supply chain”.

Actions included investment and acceleration in innovation to achieve net zero and increased public reporting and disclosure on progress and good practice.

The initiative will also see open collaboration with existing net zero initiatives to advance business transformation.

The initiative builds on individual net zero targets set out by the firms. In 2018, Maersk set out its aim of having net zero CO2 emissions from its operations by 2050. Nike aims to use 100% renewable energy in owned or operated facilities globally by 2025 and is encouraging broader adoption in its supply chain. 

Ola Källenius, chairman of the board of management of Mercedes-Benz, said: “If there is one lesson we can learn from dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, it is how much we can achieve if we act together. This is the only way we can also win the fight against climate change. We need to set common goals and implement measures to achieve them.”

Alan Jope, Unilever CEO, added: “The climate crisis is not only a threat to our environment, but also to lives and livelihoods, and it is critical that we all play a part in addressing it. The business world of the future cannot look like it does now; in addition to decarbonisation, a full system transformation is needed. 

“That’s why we’re pleased to join other leading businesses as a founding member of Transform to Net Zero so we can work together and accelerate the strategic shift that is needed to achieve net zero emissions; in Unilever’s case, by 2039.”

Earlier this week, Apple outlined plans to make its supply chain and product life cycle completely carbon neutral by 2030.

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