All Race to Zero members are committed to the same overarching goal: taking rigorous action to reduce emissions across all scopes swiftly and fairly in line with the Paris Agreement.

Explore the sample of case studies below that offer a glimpse into the economy-wide actions underway to halve emissions by 2030 and deliver a healthier, fairer, zero carbon world in time.

 

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Unilever

Unilever PLC is a British multinational consumer goods company headquartered in London, England. Unilever products include everything from ice cream to air purifiers.

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Unilever

The Exponential Roadmap Initiative spoke to Unilever to find out about the actions they are taking to help halve global emissions by 2030.

At what rate has Unilever reduced its emissions up until now, and how have you done it?

Unilever has set science-based goals to have zero emissions operations by 2030, and to halve the greenhouse gas (GHG) impact of our products across the lifecycle by the same year. We’ve also taken the extra step of setting a goal to reach net zero emissions across our value chain by 2039.

Emissions from our operations are relatively small part of our overall footprint, but they are still sizeable. In 2016, four years early, we achieved our target to reduce CO2 from energy by 75% versus 2008, per tonne of production, across our operations (scope 1 and 2). We’ve implemented energy efficiency programmes and made big strides on renewable electricity. Just over half of our total energy use in manufacturing – including heat – is now generated from renewable sources, and we’ve been phasing out direct coal from our energy mix.

At the same time, we are also working to lower emissions across our brands and our value chain, including in end use by consumers. For example, across our Home Care and Foods & Refreshment divisions we have reduced per consumer GHG emissions by 37% and 30% respectively since 2010. We’ve reformulated our laundry products to lower our use of phosphates, and we’ve concentrated our detergents into smaller bottles.

Despite some success, progress against our target to halve the GHG impact of our products across the lifecycle has been slower than we had expected. In Beauty & Personal Care per consumer use GHG emissions have risen by 10% since 2010. We have come to realise that it’s hard to influence consumer behaviour, such as encouraging shorter showers. We need to accelerate wider system change, such as a faster switch to renewable energy – meaning people’s showers could run off clean electricity, wherever they are in the world.

What are the priorities to 2030?

Our Climate Transition Action Plan outlines our focus areas.

To eliminate our operational emissions by 2030, we will focus on heating and cooling as we transition to 100% renewable energy. We will transition our fossil fuel burning boilers to renewables and replace residual high impact HFC refrigerants in our cooling systems with cleaner alternatives.

To help protect nature along our supply chain this decade, we have launched a €1 billion Climate & Nature Fund so that our brands can invest in projects that positively address climate change and protect nature, for example, through forest protection and regeneration. Our biggest food brand Knorr aims to have 50 regenerative agriculture projects reducing GHG emissions by 30%.

While our brands may use carbon credits from these projects to support their carbon neutrality claims, this would be in addition to making progress towards our emissions reduction targets, not a means of achieving them. Unilever’s focus remains on reducing our emissions and we will only use carbon removals credits of the highest integrity socially and environmentally to address any residual emissions after eliminating as much carbon from our value chain as possible.

Of course, to make direct emissions reductions across our value chain, we must engage our suppliers on our climate goals. Through our Climate Promise, we’re asking suppliers to halve their emissions by 2030 – this is vital if we’re to reach our 2039 net zero goal. Through our Climate Programme, we’ll be working closely with a subset of 300 companies that we’ve identified as having the biggest climate impact, sharing guidance and learnings from our own experience.

What are Unilever’s biggest challenges, and how do you plan to address them through radical collaboration –  e.g. as a member of the Exponential Roadmap Initiative and the UN Race To Zero?

We don’t have all the solutions – so it’s important that we partner with others to re-establish our innate relationship with nature and harness innovation to find better ways of doing things. For example, through our new Forest Data Partnership with Google Cloud and NASA, supported by USAID, we’re deploying technologies that can help radically transform supply chain transparency and help eliminate deforestation. We’re also driving innovation in our homecare products to help consumers to lower their carbon footprints and eliminate the use of fossil fuels. And we’re running a pilot to test a breakthrough innovation in temperature-controlled transport.

At the same time, we’re working in business coalitions to drive climate action across the private sector. We were one of the first companies to join RE100 to accelerate the clean energy transition. We co-chair the Consumer Goods Forum’s Road To Zero Task Force, increasing net zero commitments across the FMCG sector. We’re also part of Transform to Net Zero and Exponential Roadmap’s 1.5°C Supply Chain Leaders group to help other companies learn from our experiences. And we’ve developed the Carbon Transparency Partnership with WBCSD to improve carbon disclosure along value chains.

We’re calling for policy changes too. As part of We Mean Business, we’ve written to G20 leaders asking for ambitious national climate plans and targets. And through the CEO Climate Alliance we’ve called for policies that will help deliver faster climate action by businesses. We also know product innovations and supply chain efficiencies can only go so far, and that we need broader energy system transformations. That’s why we’ve used our voice to advocate for the phasing out of fossil fuels and fossil fuel subsidies.

The recent COP26 summit delivered more than many expected but less than the world needs. The truth is, solving a challenge as big as climate change will take all of us: businesses, governments and civil society. We need both individual and collective action if we’re going to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5°C – and we need to get on with it this decade.

To find out more about joining the Race to Zero through the Exponential Roadmap Initiative, please click here.

 

 

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Scania

Scania AB is a major Swedish manufacturer headquartered in Södertälje, focusing on commercial vehicles—specifically heavy lorries, trucks and buses. It also manufactures diesel engines for heavy vehicles as well as marine and general industrial applications.

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Scania

The Exponential Roadmap Initiative spoke to Scania to find out more about their race to halving emissions by 2030.

At what rate has Scania reduced its emissions up until now, and how has Scania done it?

In Scania’s 2020 Annual and Sustainability Report, the company reported a Scope I and II emissions reduction of 43 percent compared to 2015, and a reduction of Scope III emissions, calculated as CO2 emissions per kilometre, of 4.2 percent during the same period. Emissions from Scania’s products in use by customers are measured as well-to-wheel, meaning that emissions generated in the production of the fuel or electricity are taken into account.

In order to reduce Scope I and II emissions by 50% by 2025, Scania started with one of its core values, Elimination of Waste. This includes phasing out old equipment and appliances for newer, more energy-efficient alternatives, as well as transitioning away from fossil electricity. A couple of concrete examples:

Scania’s cab production facility in Oskarshamn, Sweden, is now completely fossil free as of January 2021. This was achieved by, for example, converting three ovens used in the cab painting process to run on the biofuel RME, which alone reduced Oskarshamn’s climate impact by 60 percent. Additional steps include replacing diesel-powered forklifts with electric forklifts, as well as running internal transport vehicles on HVO biofuel instead of fossil diesel.

The electricity supplied to Scania’s 10 production facilities around the world is 100% fossil free. This was achieved globally in 2020, when, as the last factory to make the transition, Scania’s production facility in Tucumán, Argentina, began using wind energy. The transition to fossil-free electricity in Scania’s global production facilities corresponds to an annual savings of 33,000 tonnes CO2e.

In order to reduce emissions from the use of its products (scope III), which account for more than 90 percent of Scania’s total emissions, the company is taking a multi-pronged approach which includes biofuels, electrification, as well as improvements in product utilization through tools such as driver training and specification optimization.

For the last several years, Scania has been developing the world’s most efficient combustion powertrain, which will be released in late 2021. This powertrain reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 6-10 percent compared to the current powertrain generation. As with previous engine generations, the new engines are also capable of running on HVO biodiesel, which reduces wheel-to-wheel emissions by 50-90%, depending on the source.

Scania launched its first fully electric bus in 2018 and its first battery electric truck, with a range of 250 km, in 2020. As part of the shift to electrified transport, Scania is building an 18,000-square-metre battery assembly plant in Södertälje, Sweden. In addition, Scania increased its investments in Northvolt in 2020, which is building the world’s greenest battery factory in Sundsvall, Sweden, and which will supply battery cells for Scania vehicles.

Both Scania’s current and future product development are informed by The Pathways Study, published by Scania in 2018, which assesses various ways in which the commercial transport system can be fully fossil free by 2050. The study laid out several possible and commercially viable pathways, looking at the impacts of the growth of battery electric vehicles (BEV), fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEV), as well as vehicles running on biofuels. The conclusions of this study have now been integrated into and inform Scania’s near, medium, and long-term planning.

How does Scania plan to cut its value chain emissions in half before 2030? 

Scania has ambitious emissions reduction targets that have been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative and are in line with the Paris Agreement and the 1.5-degree scenario. The company has committed to reducing Scope I and II emissions by 50% and Scope III emissions by 20% by 2025 (compared to 2015 base year).

Scania is planning for a rapid expansion of BEV in the coming years, with a target of 10% electric vehicle sales in Europe by 2025 and at least 50% electric vehicle sales by 2030. Scania has also pledged to launch at least one new electrified solution every year from now on, in addition to already having the broadest range of engines that can run on alternatives to diesel. Along with other European truck manufacturers, Scania has pledged that all new trucks sold by 2040 must be fossil-free in order to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.

Scania is continuously assessing possible solutions to drive the shift to a sustainable transport system and, as a result, is testing and evaluating several emerging technologies, such as electric roads, rapid charging infrastructure, and FCEV.

What are Scania’s biggest challenges, and how does Scania plan to address them through radical collaboration –  e.g. as a member of the Exponential Roadmap Initiative and the UN Race To Zero?

To transition away from fossil fuels at a speed consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement, there must be rapid growth in both battery production capacity and electrical infrastructure, in addition to an expansion in the availability of biofuels. Thus, this is not something that Scania can do alone. It must be done in collaboration with other actors, both public and private, to ensure the availability of fossil-free fuels, electricity, as well as vehicle components such as green batteries and fossil-free steel. At the same time, heavy commercial transport is no longer a hard-to-abate industry. We have the technology, we know what we need to do, and now we need to join forces and get it done.

Scania recently joined The Climate Pledge, committing to net zero by 2040.

To find out more about joining the Race to Zero through the Exponential Roadmap Initiative, please click here.

 

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BT

BT Group plc (trading as BT and formerly British Telecom) is a British multinational telecommunications holding company headquartered in London, England. It has operations in around 180 countries and is the largest provider of fixed-line, broadband and mobile services in the UK, and also provides subscription television and IT services.

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BT

The Exponential Roadmap Initiative spoke to BT to find out more about their race to halving emissions by 2030.

At what rate has BT reduced its emissions up until now, and how has BT done it?

BT has been on a climate action journey for almost 30 years. We were one of the first companies in the world to set a carbon reduction target already back in 1992. In 2008, we set our first science-based target. We achieved that four years early in 2016, reducing the carbon emissions intensity of our business by 80%. We have already halved our operational emissions (Scope 1 and 2), having reduced the carbon emissions intensity of our operations by 57% since 2016/17 and we have reduced the carbon emissions from our supply chain by 19% over the same timeframe.

BT’s operational carbon emissions target reduction has primarily been met through us switching to 100% renewable energy worldwide.

With a customer base of 30 million and over one million small businesses, BT is well placed to get the nation talking about climate change. We want to use our reach and expertise through our new campaign, ‘The BT Big Sofa Summit’, to inspire everyone to make those much needed small sustainable steps and to embrace technologies available to help them become greener at home.

How does BT plan to cut its value chain emissions in half before 2030? 

In 2016, BT was one of the first companies in the world to set a science based target in line with the most ambitious aim of the Paris agreement – to reduce the carbon emissions intensity of our operations by 87% by end of March 2031 against a 2016/17 baseline. We are working with our suppliers to help them reduce their carbon emissions by 42% by the end of March 2031 against a 2016/17 baseline. We work with our suppliers to reduce their carbon emissions through encouraging them to report to CDP, set net-zero targets, purchasing renewable energy and through our sustainability contract clause, requiring them to reduce carbon emissions over the term of their contract with BT. We are also encouraging suppliers to sign up to Race to Zero and the SME climate commitment through the SME climate hub.

In September 2021, we announced plans to curb our carbon emissions sooner than planned by bringing forward our net-zero target from 2045 to 2030 for our own operational emissions and 2040 for our supply chain and customer emissions. Find out more. We have already met our target to use 100% renewable energy worldwide. Our focus is therefore on reducing emissions associated with our fleet (two-thirds of remaining operational emissions) and those of our buildings as well as supply chain emissions. Also, progress on carbon reduction and on digital skills training will make up 10% of the bonus calculation for eligible BT colleagues. As a business with 33,000 vehicles, we have outlined plans to transition the majority of our fleet to electric or zero carbon emissions vehicles by 2030.

What are BT’s biggest challenges, and how does BT plan to address them through radical collaboration –  e.g. as a member of the Exponential Roadmap Initiative and the UN Race To Zero?

Some of BT’s challenges include electrification of our fleet as well as working with our suppliers. We are looking at how we can electrify our fleets quicker through increased use of electric vehicles and we are continuing to encourage suppliers to join the Race to Zero and the SME climate commitment. In June 2020, BT and Openreach joined forces with the Climate Group to set up the UK Electric Fleets Coalition which is advocating for accelerated introduction of electric vehicles in the UK, for example through increased supply and roll-out of national EV infrastructure. More information can be found here: UK Electric Fleets Coalition | Climate Group (theclimategroup.org). The Coalition now has over 30 members, including 5 of the UK’s 6 largest commercial fleet operators.

Moreover, in July 2021, BT and the heads of six major UK companies working together as the Electric Vehicle Fleet Accelerator (EVFA) pledged to work together with the Government to remove obstacles to the electrification of the UK’s transport system.

We also sponsored the Heroes of Net Zero competition for UK small businesses to highlight climate action. We continue to advocate for increased collaboration and lead by example on reaching net zero.

To find out more about joining the Race to Zero through the Exponential Roadmap Initiative, please click here.

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Ørsted

Ørsted A/S is a Danish multinational power company based in Fredericia, Denmark. It is the largest energy company in Denmark. The Ørsted vision is a world that runs entirely on green energy.

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Ørsted

To win the Race to Zero, all companies must put sustainability at the heart of their business model and undergo their own green transformation, argues Jakob Askou Bøss, Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy & Stakeholder Relations at Ørsted.

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges we are facing today – but it is one that we can overcome together through collective action, robust policies, and bold leadership. Companies have a central role to play in combatting climate change by driving action both within their operations and supply chains, demanding ambitious policies from governments, providing solutions that enables the global green transformation, and inspiring peers across industries to act.

At Ørsted, we’ve undergone a green transformation over the last decade and we are often asked to share our learnings. As a result, we produced a lessons learned paper to demonstrate that there is no long-term trade-off between sustainability and financial value creation and to be a catalyst of change – helping other companies and governments embark on their own green transformation.

A brief history of Ørsted’s formation and transformation

In 2006 we were known as DONG Energy, formed by a merger between the Danish state-owned oil and natural gas company and five Danish energy companies. At that time, our energy generation was 85% fossil fuel based – mainly coal – and we were one of Europe’s most fossil fuel intensive companies, accounting for a third of Denmark’s emissions, with an expanding oil and gas production business.

Shortly after, a confluence of events forced us to confront a shifting reality. The science on climate change was becoming increasingly clear, the issue was rising up the political agenda, countries began setting emissions reduction targets, and the economic potential of the renewable energy sector was increasing. At the same time, our fossil-based earnings were under pressure, due to a number of external events, including the financial crisis.

In 2008, we set out a vision to transform from black to green energy. Our goal was to flip the ratio of heat and power production from fossil fuel to renewable sources so that by 2040, 85% would be green and 15% would be from fossil fuels. To realize this, we have taken several concrete actions to reinforce our focus on building a global renewable energy business:

  • Closed coal-fired heat and power plants, or converted them to run on sustainable biomass
  • Set a complete coal phase out target by 2023
  • Divested our upstream oil and gas business
  • Increased investments into offshore wind and made it a strategic core of our business
  • Diversified further into onshore wind, solar, green hydrogen, and energy storage

We met our goal of green transformation in 2019, a full 21 years ahead of schedule. By the end of 2020, 90% of our energy generation was renewable and we had reduced CO2 emissions per kWh by 87%. However, our green transformation is not yet fully completed. We are on track to become fully carbon neutral in our energy generation and operations by 2025 and have set a target for our entire value chain to be carbon neutral by 2040 with a 50% reduction by 2032.

Today, we are the global leader in offshore wind, with a 25% market share, and develop and operate offshore wind farms in Europe, Asia and the US. We also have a growing onshore wind and solar PV business as well as a strong and expanding pipeline of renewable hydrogen and green fuel projects.

To read the article in full, please click here.

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Glyndebourne

For over 10 years, the English opera house Glyndebourne has been taking action to minimize their impact on the environment. Their long-term goal is to become carbon neutral in their direct operations — and through integrations like wind-powered energy and sustainable travel, they are well on their way. 

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Glyndebourne

For over 10 years, the English opera house Glyndebourne has been taking action to minimize their impact on the environment. Their long-term goal is to become carbon neutral in their direct operations — and through integrations like wind-powered energy and sustainable travel, they are well on their way.

Glyndebourne joined the SME Climate Hub to reaffirm and strengthen their commitment to climate action, and use the resources and community of the Hub to take the next steps towards net zero. The SME Climate Hub recently spoke with the company’s Managing Director Sarah Hopwood about how they’re prioritizing climate action and the learnings that can be applied to small businesses across every industry.

What propelled you to take climate action? 

Glyndebourne is situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty in Sussex, England, which provides an inspirational backdrop for artists and audiences alike. For company members, the beauty of our work environment instils a sense of responsibility to do whatever we can to minimize our negative impact on the environment.

As an entertainment company, what are your main sources of emissions? How have you begun to reduce those emissions?  

Our main source of direct emissions comes from the gas and electricity consumption required to power our productions and related activity. We’ve been working hard to tackle this and have achieved an 83% reduction in energy-related emissions between 2009 and 2020.

Our electricity use has dropped substantially thanks to measures such as modifying the air conditioning system, replacing the auditorium working lights with low-energy LEDs and installing timers and sensors to ensure that lights are only in use when required. We have recently replaced our 27 year-old gas boilers with a significantly more efficient system that we forecast could deliver up to a 20% reduction in gas usage.

Given our rural location, the emissions that result from audience travel to Glyndebourne is another key factor. It’s been a difficult challenge to crack, but we have introduced an audience coach service to encourage as many people as possible to travel to Glyndebourne by train. We also offer free electric car charging to visitors and staff.

What were the first steps Glyndebourne took to reduce emissions? 

Our first step was to draw up an environmental policy detailing the company’s commitment to making its operations more sustainable, closely followed by an analysis of our carbon emissions to inform what action we would take.

That research revealed that a wind turbine located on an area of land just above the opera house was the single largest financially-viable initiative that could then be undertaken to reduce Glyndebourne’s own-generated carbon emissions. Planning permission for the wind turbine was submitted in 2007 and it was commissioned in 2012. Its implementation immediately halved our direct carbon emissions. Between 2012 and 2020, the turbine has generated the equivalent of 105% of the electricity used by the company in that period, far exceeding the 90% annual target.

How has Glyndebourne stepped up its climate action in the last few years? 

In 2018, Glyndebourne became zero-waste to landfill resulting in more major carbon emissions savings. For the first time, Glyndebourne and its onsite catering provider are operating under a single waste management contract which has enabled our waste management company to develop a full waste and recycling strategy that streamlines processes to achieve greater impact. With their help we have continued to improve our recycling rates and reduce waste and have achieved an 81% reduction in absolute waste tonnage between 2009 and 2020.

The next big step is to find ways to make the productions on our stage more sustainable. More production materials will be recycled from our stores, with plans for the disposal or reuse of every component agreed in advance with production teams. It is a major step towards making theatre in a truly sustainable, environmentally friendly way that will make a big difference as we work towards our long-term goal of becoming carbon neutral in our direct operations.

What business benefits have you seen as a result of taking climate action? 

We have seen significant reductions in costs, both as a result of generating our own electricity through the wind turbine and from reducing our gas and electricity use. The wind turbine required sizable upfront investment, funded from reserves, but those costs were recouped in just five and half years due to the turbine exceeding its production targets.

Are your employees invested in this process? 

The support of staff has been vital to Glyndebourne’s success to date. We aim to ensure that environmentally responsible management and operational procedures are fundamental to all that we do and that we encourage a culture where all staff feel a personal responsibility to help us to minimize the carbon impact of Glyndebourne on the planet.

Our efforts have been driven by a non-hierarchical volunteer group of employees, our Environmental Champions. Drawn from across the company they have been looking at every aspect of our operations to identify opportunities to reduce our consumption of energy, water and consumables. Topics raised and acted on by the group include the development of our electric car charging facilities, the introduction and promotion of a cycle to work scheme for staff, a switch to sustainable cleaning supplies and a ban on unrecyclable takeaway coffee cups.

Do you have advice for small businesses looking to take the first step? 

One of the most important things to do at the start is to get the most accurate picture possible of your environmental footprint to help you see where you can improve and to identify small, easy wins that can start you on your journey towards a more sustainable future.

Bring your employees along with you – their insight is crucial in getting a complete picture of your current operations and where improvements can be made.

Why did Glyndebourne choose to make a commitment with the SME Climate Hub? What are the main benefits you’re seeing so far, and how are you utilizing its tools and resources? 

For more than 10 years, we’ve been taking action to minimize our impact on the environment, with the long-term goal of becoming carbon neutral in our direct operations. We joined the SME Climate Hub to reaffirm that commitment and to unite with and learn from companies, organizations and individuals around the world who share the same mission and drive to protect the planet.

We are currently adopting the recommendations in the 1.5°C Business Playbook to better present our status and communicate our targets and progress.

Small businesses like Glyndebourne provide invaluable insights around the journey towards climate change. Interested in sharing your own climate journey for potential inclusion as a business spotlight? Tell us how you’re working towards reducing emissions in this short form.

To find out more about joining the Race to Zero through the SME Climate Hub, please click here.

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H&M

H&M is a Swedish multinational clothing-retail company known for its fast-fashion clothing for men, women, teenagers, and children. As of November 2019, H&M operates in 74 countries with over 5,000 stores under the various company brands, with 126,000 full-time equivalent positions

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H&M

In a world of chronically limited resources, it might seem paradoxical for a fast fashion company to call itself sustainble. But in the case of Swedish multinational clothing company, H&M, it’s an authentic claim.

Not only will the Race to Zero member be net zero long before 2050, its aim is to become circular and climate positive by 2040. This means its products will never become waste and before long it will remove more greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere than its value chain emits. Race to Zero spoke to H&M Group President and CEO, Helena Helmersson to find out what this entails in practice.

What actions is H&M taking right now to tackle the climate crisis?

Helena Helmersson: The science is clear, business as usual is not an option and the pace we had in the past, cannot be the pace in the years to come. Bold ambitions are of great importance now that we have the opportunity to collectively rethink our industry and the system behind it. However, we must focus more on actions and progress.

We have recently set up a Green Investment team whose main task is to reduce our emissions in the most cost-efficient way and Energy Efficiency teams that will help the suppliers transition to renewable energy.

We have also issued a sustainability-linked bond at the beginning of this year, which is coupled to the company meeting a number of defined sustainability targets, such as: increase the share of recycled materials used to 30%, reduce emissions from the Group’s own operations by 20% and reduce absolute Scope 3 emissions from fabric production, garment manufacturing, raw materials and upstream transport by 10% by 2025.

We invest in new business models in which fashion never goes to waste, such as rentals, subscriptions and re-commerce as well as new garment-to-garment recycling technologies. We see great breakthroughs in textile recycling technologies that we are testing for our further use of recycled materials and have made a number of investments in recycling of post-consumer fabric. We are now developing and scaling up these investments and this is really what we see as one of the solutions going forward. It is going to be a big tipping point for the whole fashion industry.

One example of how we partner up and invest to scale innovations in materials, is our work together with Renewcell to increase the use of its Circulose® (material made from recycled cotton waste) to accelerate the development. Last year, H&M’s Conscious Exclusive collection featured the newly patented material Circulose®, marking the first time the material was used in garments sold at scale.

Another example is when one of our portfolio brands Weekday created a collection (launched in February 2021) using Infinna™, an MMC fibre from regenerated cotton waste, developed by Infinited Fiber Company with support from our Circular Innovation Lab.

We recently implemented internal carbon pricing, which will help to quantify costs for the emissions from the different decisions taken by the group – for instance when designing, producing and selling a product. By directly connecting emissions to a price on carbon, product developers at H&M Group can make more informed decisions.

The purpose is to visualize the impact from materials, production and mode of transport. Those three stand for about 70% of our total emissions so we chose to start with that. It’s built to support our buying organization on their journey to a long-term adjustment. This is not a quick fix, the tool is first of all designed to raise internal awareness, improve measurability and change behavior over time. Our newest packaging initiative is another important step towards becoming circular and climate positive. Swapping single-use plastic for more sustainable paper for online orders means we can get our products to our customers without using plastic that is not always recyclable.

Products can be packed with minimum air, so they take up less space during transport. And once customers receive their product safely, they can easily recycle the packaging. Last year we reduced our packaging by 14% including 24% less plastic packaging.

Read the full interview here

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Colgate-Palmolive

Colgate-Palmolive’s products are sold in more than 200 countries and territories throughout the world. With climate change threatening to disrupt every aspect of our lives, Colgate is reinventing how it operates, which is why it has adopted science-based targets.

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Colgate-Palmolive

With the Colgate brand in more homes than any other, this company has a unique opportunity and responsibility to positively impact the world. Colgate’s team knows that this transition will require bigger, bolder targets as well as innovation.

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) spoke to Vance Merolla, Worldwide Director, Global Sustainability, Colgate-Palmolive.

What science-based targets has Colgate set?

Colgate’s first science-based target, aligned with 2°C, was approved by SBTi in 2017. In 2020, the second iteration of our targets aligned with a 1.5°C scenario and included scope 3 emissions. The company also opted to commit to additional scope 3 emissions reductions with regards to water use from customers when using Colgate products.

Colgate’s current SBTi-approved targets are as follows:

  • Reduce absolute scope 1 and scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions in global operations 30% by 2025 and 50% by 2030 from a 2018 base year.
  • Source 100% renewable electricity for global operations by 2030.
  • Reduce absolute scope 3 GHG emissions from purchased goods and services 30% by 2025 from a 2018 base year.
  • Reduce indirect use phase emissions associated with the consumer use of products 20% by 2025 from a 2016 base year.

What are the key components of Colgate’s transition strategy?

In 2020 we launched Colgate’s 2025 Sustainability & Social Impact Strategy, with three ambitions and 11 actions, including one to “Accelerate Action on Climate Change.” This is embedded in our overall business strategy and spans our entire value chain—across supply, operations and products to reduce, replace and remove emissions over time. Most importantly, we are working to build a mindset which includes decarbonization as a lens to view all business activities and decisions.

What is the biggest challenge Colgate is facing on its path to decarbonization?

There are many opportunities associated with decarbonization, many of which are linked to the interdependencies we have with suppliers, customers and consumers. In the near term, one of the biggest opportunities is to improve the readiness and climate data availability from many of our suppliers.

Please share three short-term actions that are accelerating Colgate’s progress to meet its science-based targets. How is the company engaging its supply chain on climate action, and supporting them to set science-based targets?

By focusing on climate action, we are seeing the emergence of new opportunities and interconnections. The development of climate action pathways for each aspect of our business and the resulting roadmaps will help us to better achieve each component of our science-based targets:

Operations: For 11 consecutive years, the US Environmental Protection Agency ENERGY STAR program has named Colgate energy efficiency ‘Partner of the Year’ for its efforts to reduce the amount of energy used to make its products – over 37% since 2002. The company’s net-zero operations roadmap prioritizes energy reduction, followed by renewable energy, then future potential compensation or neutralization actions as needed.

Supply chain: Colgate is finding new ways to engage and support suppliers to report and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, encouraging them to set science-based targets and report on climate progress. Our engagement includes educational webinars, sharing best practices, data collection, one-on-one partnerships, as well as third party tools to help consolidate and track data and progress. These activities aim to drive down scope 3 emissions.

Products and brands: Prioritizing sustainable product design – which helps consumers build healthy and more sustainable habits for life, is central to Colgate’s transition. Colgate is making new products, creating innovative packaging and raising the visibility of sustainability, including:

The Keep toothbrush, with an aluminum handle, has 80% less plastic than similarly sized Colgate toothbrushes.

The Save Water campaign, which encourages people to turn off the tap while brushing, has helped avoid more than 8.3 million metric tons of CO2 since 2016 – that’s equal to the emissions from more than 1.8 million passenger vehicles over one year.

Relaunching the Palmolive Ultra dish liquid in 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles.

Softsoap Foaming Hand Soap Tablets which use 71% less plastic than traditional hand soap refills.

A first-of-its-kind recyclable toothpaste tube, the design of which has been shared with suppliers, manufacturers and competitors to help reduce global emissions and boost the circular economy.

To find out more about joining the Race to Zero through SBTi, please click here.

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Levi Strauss and Co

Levi Strauss & Co. is one of the world’s largest brand-name apparel companies and a global leader in jeanswear. Its products are sold in more than 110 countries worldwide through a combination of chain retailers, department stores, online sites, and a global footprint of and a global footprint of approximately 3,000 retail stores and shop-in-shops. Levi Strauss & Co.’s reported fiscal 2018 net revenues were $5.6 billion. 

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Levi Strauss and Co

Levi Strauss & Co. is one of the world’s largest brand-name apparel companies and a global leader in jeanswear. Its products are sold in more than 110 countries worldwide through a combination of chain retailers, department stores, online sites, and a global footprint of and a global footprint of approximately 3,000 retail stores and shop-in-shops. Levi Strauss & Co.’s reported fiscal 2018 net revenues were $5.6 billion.

Commitments

  • Levi Strauss & Co.’s science-based targets on climate include reducing scope 1 and 2 emissions by 90% in owned and operated facilities by 2025, and by 40% across its entire global supply chain in the same time frame.
  • In addition, Levi Strauss & Co. aims to be using 100% renewable electricity in owned-and-operated facilities by 2025.

Emissions reduction 

  • Across its operations and energy use (scopes 1 and 2), Levi Strauss & Co. achieved 3% emissions reduction from 2016 to 2017, from 56,047 mt in 2016 to 54,588 mt in 2017.
  • Working with the International Finance Corporation, Levi Strauss & Co. piloted the IFC’s Partnership for Cleaner Textiles (PaCT) program with six manufacturers in Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Vietnam starting in 2017. The manufacturers were able to reduce GHG emissions by an average of 19% and save more than US $1 million in operating costs collectively in participating facilities.
  • Levi Strauss & Co. is now working with the IFC to expand the PaCT approach to more than 50 of its top suppliers globally.

Renewable electricity

  • Levi Strauss & Co. achieved its initial 2020 target to procure 20% of total energy from renewable energy sources by 2017 by setting up green utility contracts in the EU and green-e certified Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) in the US, among other measures.
  • Of Levi Strauss & Co.’s nearly 140,000 MWh total energy consumption in 2017, over 26,000 MWh was from renewable sources.
  • The company is working to achieve its 100% renewable electricity target through the implementation of energy efficiency measures and onsite solar capabilities; purchasing green utility products in Europe; establishing power purchase agreements (PPAs) in the United States; and buying renewable energy certificates (RECs) globally.
  • In 2020, Levi Strauss & Co. plans to install on-site solar generation at its LEED Platinum-certified distribution center in Henderson, Nevada.

Cost savings through decarbonisation   

  • Levi Strauss & Co. has achieved cost reductions through various emissions reduction efforts. These have included switching to LED lighting and upgrading to more energy-efficient processes and building features across in its retail locations, and retrofitting its LEED Platinum-certified distribution center in Henderson, Nevada.

Impact areas

  • More than two-third of Levi’s® products are made with Water<Less™ techniques, which has saved 3 billion liters of water and recycled over 2 billion liters of water in product and fabric manufacturing as of 2018. The company aims to have over 80% of Levi’s® products made with these techniques by 2020.
  • In China, Levi Strauss & Co. is working with the Apparel Impact Institute’s Clean by Design Program, an initiative that is helping LS&Co. to reduce the climate and water impact of fabric mill suppliers in China. Clean by Design was formerly managed by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

Innovations

  • In 2009, Levi Strauss & Co. launched “A Care Tag for Our Planet” — to spread the word that small changes in the way we care for clothes can help reduce our climate change impact.
  • The Levi’s® and Dockers® brands now include relevant messaging on all global product care tags encouraging consumers to “wash less, wash in cold, line dry, and donate when no longer needed.”

Policy advocacy

  • Levi Strauss & Co. has publicly stated that government leadership is essential for widespread action to address climate change and to create the enabling environment for companies to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy, saying: “We can do more, faster and cheaper with federal legislation that incentivizes utilities to work with us to capture efficiencies and invest in renewable energy.”
  • In 2009, Levi Strauss & Co. became one of the founding members of Ceres policy network, Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP), a coalition of businesses engaging federal, state and local policymakers to enact meaningful policies to mitigate climate change.
  • In 2015, Levi Strauss & Co. was among one of the first business voices to express support for the Paris Climate Agreement. During those negotiations. CEO Chip Bergh joined the heads of several leading companies in asking world leaders to enact a strong global climate deal.
  • When the U.S. government announced its intent to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement in 2017, Levi Strauss & Co. stood with thousands of businesses, states, and mayors in joining the We Are Still In movement, reaffirming continued support for climate action to meet the targets under the Paris Agreement.
  • In 2017, Levi Strauss & Co. joined other businesses in the BICEP coalition to protect an existing rule that prohibits wasteful venting, flaring, and leaking of natural gas from oil and gas operations on federal lands (the Bureau of Lands Management Methane Rule).
  • In 2017 Levi Strauss & Co. advocated alongside other businesses opposing a rule proposed by the US Department of Energy that sought to provide cost recovery assurances to electricity generators storing more than 90 days’ worth of fuel on site. The rule would have effectively subsidized uneconomic coal and nuclear plants, while further inhibiting the growth of a clean energy economy, in turn inhibiting the deployment of renewable energy in the US.
  • In 2019, LS&Co. was one of 75 leading companies to go to Capitol Hill to advocate for necessary federal action by the U.S. Congress to mitigate the climate crisis, including placing a federal price on greenhouse gas emissions.

Leadership

  • Levi Strauss & Co. was the first apparel company to report global GHG emissions to The Climate Registry.
  • Levi Strauss & Co. was the first apparel company and among the first companies in any industry to commit to align its science-based target with limiting global warming to 1.5oC , per the guidance of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
  • In 2018, Levi Strauss & Co. was among the initial signatories of the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action, which is convened by the UN and sets a vision and collective action framework for the apparel industry to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
  • In 2017 Levi Strauss & Co. launched a new program, the Collaboratory, through which it provides grants to small innovative companies, referred to as “Fellows”, to address social and environmental impacts of the apparel industry. The second class of Fellows specifically worked to address the issue of climate change.

Sources:
Levi Strauss and Co – Shaping the Future

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Ikea

IKEA is a Swedish-origin Dutch-headquartered multinational conglomerate that designs and sells ready-to-assemble furniture, kitchen appliances and home accessories, among other goods and home services.

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Ikea

Ingka Group (Ingka Holding B.V. and its controlled entities) is one of 11 different groups of companies that own and operate IKEA retail under franchise agreements with Inter IKEA Systems B.V. Ingka Group has three business areas: IKEA Retail, Ingka Investments and Ingka Centres. Ingka Group is a strategic partner in the IKEA franchise system, operating 367 IKEA stores in 30 countries. These IKEA stores had 838 million visits during financial year 2018 and 2.35 billion visits to www.IKEA.com. Ingka Group operates business under the IKEA vision – to create a better everyday life for the many people by offering a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible can afford it.​

Commitments

  • IKEA has ambition to become climate positive across value chain by 2030 – by reducing more greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than IKEA value chain emits, net-negative by working with partners, suppliers and customers around the world.
  • Ingka Group has an approved science-based target to:
    Reduce absolute direct and indirect (scope 1 and 2) GHG emissions from retail and other operations 80% by financial year 2030, from a 2016 base year.
    – For value chain emissions (scope 3), Ingka Group is committed to reducing GHG emissions from customer and co-worker travel and customer deliveries by 50% in relative terms.
    – Inter IKEA Group, which is responsible for developing the IKEA range and supply chain, is committed to reducing emissions relating to home furnishing products and food by at least 15% in absolute terms for the same period. This translates to a 70% reduced climate footprint on average per IKEA product, accounting for estimated growth over the same period.
  • Ingka Group committed to and will achieve its target to generate more renewable energy than the total energy it consumes in its buildings by 2020, as part of RE100.
  • Ingka Group is committed to transitioning all last mile home deliveries to electric vehicles (EVs) or other zero-emission transport by 2025 as part of EV100, with the aim of reaching 25% by 2020.
  • Ingka Group is committed to providing access to charging stations at IKEA stores, offices and distribution centers in 30 markets by 2020.
  • IKEA strives to use 100% renewable energy throughout the entire IKEA value chain by 2030.
  • IKEA is committed to phasing out all coal and oil-based fuels used on-site in production, by 2025.
  • IKEA is committed to phasing out single-use plastic from its entire range by 2020.

Emissions reductions

  • Inkga Group reduced the GHG emissions from Scope 2 by 43.4% by consuming renewable electricity, reduction by 347,351 tonnes CO2e in financial year 2018.
  • Developments in energy efficiency has seen LEDs improve by 19% in lumens per watt since 2016. Since 2015, IKEA only sells LED light bulbs, which use up to 85% less energy than incandescent bulbs.

Renewable electricity

  • In financial year 2018, Ingka Group generated renewable energy equivalent to 81% of the energy used across its operations, with the aim to reach 100% by 2020.
  • In financial year 2018, Ingka Group generated 2,714 GWh of renewable electricity from wind and solar PV (photovoltaic), enough to meet the annual needs of around 529 IKEA stores.
  • Ingka Group now has 920,000 solar modules on its sites and owns and operates 534 wind turbines in 14 countries, in addition to over 700,000 solar panels currently under construction in the US.
  • Ingka Group retrofitted a ground source heat pump that will heat and cool the IKEA Helsinki store using 100% renewable energy. It’s projected to save €95,000 each year on energy bills. These same solutions are already being used in some of the IKEA buildings across northern and central Europe, Canada and China.
  • In 2015 the company launched IKEA Home Solar with the aim of making it easy for people to turn their rooftops into micro power stations. Today, they offer Home Solar to customers in six markets, and by 2025, the company aims to make it available across all 30 Ingka Group markets.
  • The average IKEA Home Solar customer saves around €400 a year by consuming their own electricity generated by their solar panels instead of buying it, selling their excess electricity back to the grid, and through other incentives.

Electric vehicles 

  • Ingka Group has set a target to secure 100% zero-emission home deliveries by 2025, starting with major cities like Amsterdam, Los Angeles, New York, Paris and Shanghai by 2020. Shanghai’s goal was reached already a year early during 2019. It has already deployed electric vehicles in Australia, China, France and India.
  • In 2018, 65% of IKEA stores had electric vehicle charging points (and 75% of the stores operated by Ingka Group).
  • IKEA Retail Germany trialled new trailers that customers can pull by bike or by hand to take products home from 12 stores – 93% of customers that used it were happy.

Impact areas

  • IKEA is responsible for approximately 1% of world commercial-product wood consumption, making it one of the largest users of wood in the retail sector.
  • In 2018, IKEA sourced 85% of its wood from sustainable sources, up from 77% in 2017. The target for 2020 is that all wood used in IKEA products will come from more sustainable sources, defined as Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®) certified or recycled wood.
  • By 2030, IKEA promises that every product sold will be designed from the very beginning to be reused, refurbished, remanufactured and recycled.
  • By 2030, IKEA will use only renewable or recycled materials to make products – and send nothing to landfill.
  • The IKEA Way on Purchasing Products, Materials and Services (IWAY) is the IKEA Group Supplier Code of Conduct. It comprises the IKEA minimum requirements relating to the Environment and Social & Working Conditions (including Child Labour) setting out the minimum environmental and social standards expected from suppliers, including compliance with local laws.
  • In 2018, 24% of the polyester it used came from recycled PET (rPET), compared with 10% in 2017.
  • Since 2016, all the cotton used to make IKEA products has come from more sustainable sources, contributing to improving farmers’ livelihoods, yields and incomes, and reducing negative environmental impacts.
  • IKEA is committed to exploring and improving ways to store carbon through forest and agricultural practices. The company will ensure that carbon remains stored in its products longer through the circular economy.

Unique innovations

  • Flatplack sofas – a new sofa frame, SMÅTORP, launched in China in 2018 has just 13 parts – a tenth of what goes into IKEA’s regular sofas. This means simpler, more efficient production, using less water and energy.
  • Renewable heating – in 2018, an IKEA site in Novgorod, Russia opened an energy plant with a capacity of 87.5MW, supplying all of the plant’s heat needs. The wood-drying process is particularly heat-intensive. The dryer dries up to 60 tonnes of wood per hour, using energy generated from biomass instead of natural gas. Now, 85% of the energy used at the site is from renewable sources – up from 35% – which is estimated to cut GHG emissions by around 45,000 tonnes a year.
  • From air pollution to new materials – their Better Air Now initiative, looks at ways to turn rice straw into new materials that could be used to make IKEA products, thus reducing the pollution associated with the burning of straw.
  • Solar panels and batteries sold in store, in partnership with Solarcentury – a new range of batteries that work with existing solar panel systems.
  • Democratic Design Days – the business announced several initiatives towards becoming people and planet positive, including a prototype plant-based alternative to the meatball and an urban plant-growing collaboration with designer Tom Dixon.
  • IKEA Bootcamp – a startup programme encouraging entrepreneurs to focus on “creating a better everyday life for the many people” and consider the limits of the planet.
  • The MISTELN mist nozzle – launching in financial year 2020, and developed together with start-up Altered, this new product fits onto existing taps to cut water use by more than 90%.
  • Plant-based Bistro range – In financial year 2018, IKEA launched the veggie hot dog at IKEA Bistros. It is made from plant-based ingredients including carrots, ginger, kale and red lentils, with a climate footprint around seven times less than that of the classic meat hot dog. Within two months of the launch, IKEA stores in Europe had already sold one million veggie hot dogs.
  • TOFTLUND rugs – new product made from recycled PET bottles that look and feel like sheepskin.
  • JOFRID curtains – throws and cushion covers made from a mixture of sustainably sourced cotton and linen made from flax (a much less resource-intensive material than cotton), and coloured with dyes made from agricultural waste, such as nut shells and orange peel.

Policy advocacy

  • Communicating the impact of FSC – In 2018, IKEA completed the Value and Impacts Analysis (VIA) project, in partnership with ISEAL, Tetra Pak and Kingfisher, to establish a model to better evaluate and communicate the impact of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) accreditation and other certification standards.
  • In 2018, IKEA joined the European Furniture Industries Confederation, a body that represents more than 70% of the European furniture industry. IKEA is an active participant in the EFIC workgroup that aims to promote the vision of a circular economy in the furniture sector.
  • IKEA Foundation made €700 million of funding commitments between 2015 and 2023 on climate-related programmes.
  • IKEA is a member of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition.
  • In December 2018, IKEA brought carbon-cutting pledges and actions to COP24 climate talks in Katowice, Poland.

Leadership

  • In recognition of the company’s progress in transforming into a circular business, IKEA received the World Economic Forum’s Circular Economy Award in the multinational category, in 2018.
  • IKEA set up the IKEA Climate Action Research report to understand how to inspire and enable IKEA customers to take action on climate change.
  • The IKEA Foundation announced plans in 2018 to spend another €300 million on climate-related programmes between 2020 and 2023 and called on others to follow its lead.
  • IKEA is to build up to 162 new affordable homes in Worthing, in partnership with Worthing Council. Through its development company, BoKlok, which is a joint venture with the construction firm Skanska.

Source:
IKEA Sustainability Report FY18
Ingka Annual Sustainability Report | FY18

IKEA offers well-designed, functional and affordable, high-quality home furnishing, produced with care for people and the environment. There are several companies with different owners, working under the IKEA Brand, all sharing the same vision: to create a better everyday life for the many people. IKEA was founded in Sweden in 1943.

About Ingka Group: Ingka Holding B.V. and its controlled entities is one of 11 different groups of companies that own and operate IKEA retail under franchise agreements with Inter IKEA Systems B.V. Ingka Group has three business areas: IKEA Retail, Ingka Investments and Ingka Centres. Ingka Group is a strategic partner in the IKEA franchise system, operating 367 IKEA stores in 30 countries. These IKEA stores had 838 million visits during financial year 2018 and 2.35 billion visits to www.IKEA.com. Ingka Group operates business under the IKEA vision – to create a better everyday life for the many people by offering a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible can afford it.​

About Inter IKEA Group: Inter IKEA Group includes Inter IKEA Systems B.V., IKEA of Sweden AB, IKEA Supply AG, IKEA Industry AB related businesses. Inter IKEA Holding B.V. is the holding company for the Inter IKEA Group.

About the IKEA franchise system: The IKEA retail business is operated through a franchise system with franchisees that are authorised to market and sell the IKEA product range within specified geographical territories. Inter IKEA Systems B.V. is the owner of the IKEA Concept and worldwide IKEA franchisor, who also assigns different IKEA companies to develop the range, supply products and deliver communication solutions. Today, 12 different groups of companies own and operate IKEA sales channels under franchise agreements with Inter IKEA Systems B.V.

Read more of We Mean Businesses’ Stories of Cimate Action here.

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Familia Torres

Built on 150 years of history and tradition, Familia Torres continues to be one of the most renowned wine producers in Spain. Having been in the region for five generations, the Torres family has seen first hand the effects of climate change on the land, and are committed to protecting it for future generations.

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Familia Torres

The UN Climate Champions spoke to Familia Torres to find out more about their race to halving emissions by 2030.

Is your organization already reducing emissions across all scopes?

Familia Torres has already reduced its CO2 emissions per bottle by 34% across its entire scope, compared to 2008. By 2030, our goal is reaching, at least, a 60% reduction in emissions thanks, above all, to renewable energy, sustainable mobility, energy efficiency measures and the regeneration of an area of 5,615 hectares in the Chilean Patagonia.

What three actions are underway in your organisation to reduce emissions now?

Familia Torres, year after year, continues to dedicate resources and make every effort to tackle climate change. Nowadays, we are focusing on three main areas:

Renewable energies: to continue betting on renewable energy for self-consumption. All Familia Torres wineries’ have solar panels for self-consumption and some of them biomass boilers or biomass boiler with absorption chiller associated. Currently, at Familia Torres main winery in Pacs del Penedes, more than 30% of the energy consumption comes from 100% self-generated renewable sources: solar photovoltaic, geothermal and biomass.

Carbon capture & reuse (CCR): in 2021 harvest, we´re already capturing the CO2 from fermentation to (re)use it for tank inerting, thus generating a circular economy solution based on CCR. We want to expand our capacity of capturing and reusing CO from fermentation.

Forest management: we contribute to absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere to compensate our emissions, using our own resources: in 2016, we started a reforestation project in the Chilean Patagonia, where we acquired about 6.000 hectares, with the goal of regenerating an area of 2,000 hectares by 2030.

What are your plans for 2022 to further reduce your emissions?

Our goals for near future are:

Regenerative viticulture:  we are adopting regenerative grape growing, in its holistic approach to the land, as one of the solutions for fighting against climate change. Regenerative techniques restore the balance of soils and increase their ability to fix atmospheric CO2. Our agricultural plan includes the conversion, over five years, of more than 500 hectares of organic vineyards owned by the family in Catalonia

Sustainable mobility: nearly 80% of our vehicles are electric or hybrid with the goal of reaching 100% in the next three years. In addition, during 2020 we acquired a second solar/electric train for visits to the Pacs del Penedes winery, making the transportation used during the visit 100% sustainable. Moreover, in 2021, we´ve added the first electric tractor to harvest our estates in Penedès, with the intention of gradually replacing the entire fleet.

Lighter bottles: we keep on working to reduce, even more, the weight of most of our bottles with the aim of reducing the CO2 emissions associated with their manufacture and transport. Currently, 3 out of 4 bottles produced have a reduced weight comparted to 2008. Along these lines, in 2020 we have managed to reduce the weight per brandy capsule by 1 g compared to 2019, which has represented a total saving of 38 tCO2eq.

How is your organisation benefiting from this leadership in climate action?

First, the personal satisfaction of acting correctly and that our successes will never be at the expense of the community or the environment, but in favor of both. For us, the important thing is to know that we contribute to a better future.

Second, the recognition and engagement with external stakeholders, proof of this are all awards received by the Torres & Earth program:

Last but not least, the more we care for the earth, the better our wine. We desire to continue making great wines, while taking care of the environment and conserving nature.

What is the biggest challenge (if  any) you currently face in reducing emissions at the required pace?

Almost 90% of our carbon footprint are emissions passed on by suppliers: raw material, packaging material, distribution and waste management (which are scope 3). Unless the entire value chain collaborates in the objective of reducing emissions and commits itself in this regard, we won´t reach the goal of this Race to Zero.

To find out more about joining the Race to Zero through the International Wineries for Climate Action, please click here.

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Clif Family Winery & Farm

Based in Napa Valley, California, wine and food company Clif Family Winery & Farm is one of the millions of small businesses around the world facing the real impacts of climate change. With the yearly threat of wildfires, they’ve seen the need to take immediate action firsthand.

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Clif Family Winery & Farm

It’s unarguable: the effects of climate change are very present around us. From wildfires to floods, businesses and individuals alike are reckoning with risks that were previously unseen. To stave off these disasters, it’s imperative that we limit global warming, and do so fast.

Based in Napa Valley, California, wine and food company Clif Family Winery & Farm is one of the millions of small businesses around the world facing the real impacts of climate change. With the yearly threat of wildfires, they’ve seen the need to take immediate action firsthand. We spoke with their team to discuss how they’re baking sustainability into their company to build a better future — both for the planet, and for their business — and how they’ll rely on the SME Climate Hub to help them with their work.

Tell us about your company (size, industry, background, values etc.).

Clif Family Winery & Farm is a family-owned, small production wine and specialty food business located in the Napa Valley, California.  Owners Gary Erickson and Kit Crawford also founded and co-own Clif Bar & Company.  We farm over 90 acres of organic vineyards, olive orchard, fruit orchards and vegetables.  We have a small Tasting Room and Farm-to-Truck Food Truck in St. Helena, California.

We work to craft unique, regional wine and foods using practices that care for the earth and support sustainable and organic farming.  In this way, we can contribute to a more vibrant and healthy community.

We encourage our employees to “Think Like a Tree” in all aspects of our business. Trees run on renewable energy, recycle all waste and sustain and improve the places they grow.  We focus on Organic Food and Farming, Sustainable Production, Zero Waste Practices and Conserving and Restoring our Natural Resources.

What inspired your company to take climate action? Why do you think it’s important?

Over the past five years, our business has been greatly impacted by severe wildfires driven by climate change. These wildfires have disrupted our business in numerous ways.  They have displaced our employees and caused damage to the land we farm and our products.  They impact our community both physically and mentally.  We have seen firsthand that we must take action as a business now to protect our community and our people for the future.

What role should small businesses play in the race to net zero?

Collectively, small businesses can have a significant impact by achieving net zero emissions.  Many small businesses work with larger businesses in their supply chains.  We can influence greater impact by pushing for change up and down our supply chains.  Small businesses need to collectively use their voice and influence for greater change.

What are your plans for 2022 to further reduce your emissions?  

A big part of our plans in 2022 will be to begin the work with our co-packers and supply chain partners to get a baseline of our emissions and to determine what work we can do with these partners to reduce our emissions.

When will your company meet net zero goals? How far along is the company now?

While we already do a lot as a business to reduce our emissions, we have a long way to go.  We are just now setting the foundation for the future.

What business benefits have you seen so far as a result of taking climate action?

We are able to inspire our community and our people with the actions we take.  A small example was our transition a number of years ago to MCE’s Deep Green clean energy program (https://www.mcecleanenergy.org/).  We did this for our business and then provided tools and education to our employees to make this choice on a personal level.

What support do you need to take robust climate action? What do you need from policy / government, multinational corporations, or even your customers?

Our farming community needs support regarding the effects of wildfires, both those we have experienced and those that are to come.

Why did your company join the SME Climate Hub? How has the initiative benefitted you in your climate action journey so far? How are you utilizing its tools and resources?

We have participated in Climate Collaborative for a number of years and when we learned about SME Climate Hub, it felt like a great resource and partner to help us achieve our sustainability goals, particularly around net zero emissions.  We will be making this a critical part of our sustainability programs in 2022.

What advice do you have for other small businesses within your industry aiming to start their climate journey?

Just get started!  It may feel daunting, but we all have to begin this important work now.  There is no time to waste.  Use the resources available to you, share with others, find mentors to help you and know that it will be a journey.

Small businesses like Clif Family Winery & Farm provide invaluable insights on the journey towards net zero. Interested in sharing your own climate journey for potential inclusion as a business spotlight? Tell us how you’re working towards reducing emissions today via this short form, and we’ll be in touch.

To find out more about joining the Race to Zero through the SME Climate Hub, please click here.

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ekko

Through their debit card offering, ekko makes it easy for everyone to have a positive impact on the world. Purchasing with ekko turns transactions into planted trees and plastic bottles collected and recycled before hitting our oceans — a climate activist’s take on the points system. Users can track their bank balance, carbon footprint and their own personal forest and bottle count through the ekko app.

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ekko

The recently launched financial services company simplifies consumer climate action and leans on community and resources of the SME Climate Hub.

Since its launch in September 2020, over 1,600 small and medium sized businesses around the world have joined the SME Climate Hub, taking a pointed stance on climate action and the priority that curbing emissions holds for their companies. Some of these businesses are taking climate action for the first time; some have been working towards these goals for years; and some have built entire business models around net zero priorities. Amongst the SME Climate Hub community, there are also companies that move beyond the net zero goals baked within their business models to create a ripple effect amongst society.

ekko, a recently launched app, debit card and commerce platform, falls into that last category of companies, teeing up an impact far greater than within their own walls.

Through their debit card offering, ekko makes it easy for everyone to have a positive impact on the world. Purchasing with ekko turns transactions into planted trees and plastic bottles collected and recycled before hitting our oceans — a climate activist’s take on the points system. Users can track their bank balance, carbon footprint and their own personal forest and bottle count through the ekko app. In the future, ekko will introduce customers to sustainable products and services through the ekko marketplace and build an entire ecosystem of environmentally focused businesses.

The SME Climate Hub recently spoke with Oli Cook, the CEO & Co-Founder at Ekko, to learn more about the newly launched company – and how they’re paving the way for climate centric purchasing and leaning on the SME Climate Hub as a community of like-minded businesses.

Why was ekko founded?

ekko was founded around a painful but honest realisation. Though I care about climate change, I wasn’t doing my part and found it hard to know how to make even a personal impact in the hectic life I live with work, family and friends.

With ekko, we’re not only building a business that works to help me as a consumer do a bit better, but we are able to amplify our impact by helping others who are in the same predicament.

I was not alone in this feeling; in fact all 4 co-founders had the same painful realisation (in a pub, where all good businesses are founded!) and that’s where ekko was born.

What is the long-term vision for ekko? 

We want to continue to find ways to make it effortless for people to understand their carbon footprint and make a positive impact on the world. Our goal over the next five years is for our customers to plant over 50 million trees and prevent over 500 million bottles from entering our oceans.

We’re starting with a consumer debit card but there is a lot of exciting stuff we’re working on for consumers and businesses that we’ll be piloting very soon.

How is ekko working with Mastercard? Can you tell us about their goals of the partnership? 

Mastercard is one of our strategic partners, and we are the first UK fintech company to join the global Mastercard Priceless Planet Coalition. We work together on many things but most notably, our customers’ trees are planted through this coalition. That means that we’re planting the right trees, at the right time and in the right places to have the biggest impact possible. These trees are maintained and nurtured for 5 years to make sure they survive the early years and go on to have an impact in reducing CO2.

I’ve found that there are a number of tree planting partners out there, but they are not all equal. Through the Coalition we are confident in having the biggest impact possible.

To find out more about joining the Race to Zero through the SME Climate Hub, please click here.

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PepsiCo

Leading food and beverage company, PepsiCo generated more than $70bn net revenue in 2020 while ramping up sustainability efforts – proving that financial gain and sustainability go hand-in-hand.

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PepsiCo

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) spoke to PepsiCo’s Senior Director of Sustainability, Noora Singh.

What is PepsiCo’s science-based target and why did you set it?

At PepsiCo, we believe science-based targets provide an opportunity to align business performance with planetary boundaries, proving it is possible to be both sustainable and an industry leader. We have committed to reducing absolute scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 75% and scope 3 GHG emissions by 40% by 2030, using a 2015 base year.

We were one of the first companies to engage in science-based targets in 2016. Then, following IPCC’s 2018 report and the launch of the Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign in 2019, we decided to adopt a more aggressive approach to help limit warming to 1.5°C. We began a process to re-evaluate our targets, including peer benchmarking, modelling and forecasting. The result was a comprehensive abatement strategy that spans our entire business.

Our 1.5°C SBTi target was approved in 2020, and was officially announced in 2021.

To take further concrete actions towards our vision of net-zero emissions by 2040, we recently participated in SBTi’s Net-Zero Road Test.

What are the key components of your decarbonization strategy?

Our climate transition strategy focuses on two main actions: mitigation and resilience. It is imperative that we not only work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions throughout our supply chain. We must also lessen our exposure to threats by including climate risk in our business continuity plans.

Our mitigation strategy spans our global business, addressing the areas that provide the biggest opportunities to reduce our emissions and decarbonize our value chain.

With more than 90% of our current emissions attributed to scope 3 – our indirect value chain, we are also working hard to engage our suppliers to reduce emissions in their own operations.

What three short-term climate actions are you progressing?

Comprehensive decarbonization requires a roadmap that prioritizes short-term actions across the whole value chain, especially in our most emissions-intensive areas: agriculture, packaging, and transport and distribution.

In agriculture, we are supporting the spread of regenerative practices across 7 million acres by 2030. There are certain commodities, such as potatoes, that we buy directly from farmers. We actively encourage these farmers to implement practices that lead to emission reductions.

Secondly, we are working to address our packaging emissions through innovation, including implementing circular economy-based solutions, alternative materials and innovative business models.

Transport and logistics are a major source of our emissions. To better measure and reduce these emissions, we are conducting an internal carbon price pilot.

Finally, we are working towards 100% renewable energy supply across our operations. This objective involves wind and solar installations at our facilities and procurement of renewable electricity through power purchase agreements.

What is your biggest challenge to decarbonization and how are you addressing it?

Measuring and addressing our scope 1 and 2 emissions is relatively straightforward. However, our scope 3 emissions are more difficult because they occur upstream, giving us less control. The vast majority of our emissions fall into this category, so understanding how to address them more effectively is a priority. We are utilizing all of the resources available to us, including accounting standards and other comparable guidance.

Can you provide more detail on how you engage your supply chain on climate action, and support them to set science-based targets?

We work closely with suppliers and hold them to the same environmental standards as ourselves. Everyone who does business with us or on our behalf must follow our Supplier Code of Conduct and adhere to all other relevant PepsiCo policies. These include those relating to environmental, health and safety; sustainable agriculture; and sustainable packaging. We also lead sustainability-focused programs.

In addition, we have partnered with Mars, McCormick and Guidehouse to form the Supplier Leadership on Climate Transition collaborative. The goal is to equip suppliers with the knowledge, resources and support they need to decarbonize. So far, we have well over 200 suppliers participating.

Companies have the power to make a huge impact in the fight against climate breakdown. By setting science-based targets, climate ambition and corporate ambition can work side-by-side to help maintain a habitable planet for humankind.

PepsiCo is one of more than 850 companies that have made a commitment to align with 1.5°C and net-zero through the SBTi’s Business Ambition for 1.5C campaign. We urge all ambitious companies to become climate leaders by joining this campaign.

To find out more about joining the Race to Zero through SBTi, please click here.

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Make

Make Architects is an international architecture practice headquartered in London that also has offices in offices in Hong Kong and Sydney. Founded in 2004 by former Foster + Partners architect Ken Shuttleworth

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Make

The SME Climate Hub spoke with Make’s Architect and Sustainability Lead, Oliver Hall, to hear more about their approach to climate action and how they’re leaning on the SME Climate Hub to advance their goals.

The SME Climate Hub recently passed a significant milestone: over 1,000 small businesses from around the world have signed the SME Climate Commitment, setting a goal to halve carbon emissions by 2030, and reach net zero emissions before 2050. These businesses are driving climate action across industries and geographies. They are part of the global movement of small businesses stepping up to play their part to avoid the worst effects of climate change and build business resilience along the way.

To commemorate the milestone, we spoke with the 1,000th SME to join the SME Climate Hub. Make, an international architectural practice founded in 2004, continues to be motivated by a single purpose: to design the best places, spaces, and buildings in the world. For Make, that doesn’t just mean aesthetic appeal — their design process has prioritized carbon impact since the company’s outset. One hundred projects, and 17 years later, Make shares its motivations of designing sustainably, how climate action extends across its projects, and its reliance on the SME Climate Hub as a community and resource for its efforts.

How has Make prioritized climate action previously? How do you think your commitment to the SME Climate Hub might impact your ability to take climate action or increase your impact?  

As architects we’ve been focused on reducing the environmental impact of the buildings we create, focusing on passive design, waste reduction, and energy performance. One such example is the ‘death of the glass box’. We’re moving beyond the idea that offices need floor-to-ceiling glass, which contributes to overheating in the summer and significant heat loss in the winter.

Our commitment to the Race to Zero through the SME Climate Hub offers an opportunity to think beyond our day job of designing buildings and to reflect on our own spaces, how we inhabit them, and the resources we use whilst we design places for others. This exercise will undoubtedly further our understanding of all the measures that can be taken to reduce a building’s – and a business’s – carbon footprint, which we can put into practice on our projects and advocate to our clients.

Why are you acting on climate now?  

Sustainability has always been important, but the level of urgency has never been quite as clear as it is now. We’re facing an existential crisis, and as architects, it’s our duty to design in ways that alleviate this threat – we must design for the health of people and our planet. That’s why our approach to sustainable development now considers the environmental, social and economic aspects of each scheme, resulting in a single, interconnected solution.

We are embracing the opportunity to influence and advocate for change on our projects, talking to our clients about what we need to do, and how we can do it, to mitigate the effects of climate change and biodiversity breakdown.

In recent years, with the climate crisis coming to the fore and the construction industry embracing the need to act on embodied carbon, our goals have evolved to commit to designing net zero carbon (embodied and operational) buildings by 2030 and to assess all projects against Make’s ‘six pillars of sustainability’ – carbon, environment, community, wellbeing, connectivity and green economy – which are linked to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In addition, we advocate that clients target industry leading operational and embodied carbon metrics such as LETIs 2030 targets and engage in transparent reporting under ratings systems such as NABERS; Design for Performance.

Why did you make a climate commitment with the SME Climate Hub? 

Far too often, organizations restrict themselves to advocacy within their own industry. The SME Climate Hub is an opportunity for cross-sector agreement which demonstrates that everyone can work together to mitigate the effects of climate change.

As the UK is set to host COP26, it’s essential we put our hands up to support positive change and collaborate with similar-sized business, showing that every organization of every size has a role to play.

What are the most common reasons holding SMEs in your industry back from committing to climate action?

  Commitment can often be seen as a risk, while sticking with the status quo is viewed as a safer option that’s better for business – the thinking being that if you do commit and don’t achieve what you’ve committed to, that could damage your reputation. Of course, none of this is as big a risk as climate breakdown.

Architects are in a difficult position because our services are designing buildings for clients. Clients ultimately make the decisions, so our ability to commit needs to come from a place of advocacy and proactively educating others, whilst showing high quality architecture can be achieved in a sustainable way. Ultimately climate action is a design challenge.

We cannot make people do the right thing, so it’s important that we do all we can to sway the argument. It’s worth saying that, over the past few years, many of our clients have woken up to the climate emergency and are now proactively committing to change, with net zero carbon by 2030 becoming commonplace in project briefs.

How will your company halve emissions by 2030? 

Our London studio – a space we designed for ourselves – is already net zero carbon for Scope 1 and 2 emissions. We have 100% renewable electrical supply, with passive and low-carbon space conditioning. The studio is a retrofit of an old car park, so our embodied carbon of the space is also low.

Our biggest challenge is our Hong Kong and Sydney studios; as tenants within a wider development, we cannot control the energy supply of the space. For this we will continue to advocate for change, but we need to look at certified offsetting projects, such as reforestation projects around the world or through our own tree planting in the UK. We’ve calculated that if we planted 200 trees per year, we’d be carbon neutral for that year. That would include offsetting most of our Scope 3 emissions: our international flights, landfill waste, and office sundries, in addition to the energy and heating for Hong Kong and Sydney.

What are the largest obstacles in halving emissions by 2030 for your organization and/or your industry?

As individual consumers we could all change our habits to reduce our carbon footprint overnight, but the construction industry does not have that luxury, even if everyone wanted to.

Most construction projects take many years from commission to completion. Climate action needs to happen right now, as 2030 is only one or two project cycles away for the biggest, most impactful buildings. To mitigate climate change, we need to be targeting energy efficiency far beyond current legislation and reducing embodied carbon, which isn’t even legislated for in the UK. In 8.5 years, we need to fundamentally change the way we design new buildings, upgrade a supply chain, and retrain a whole industry.

How do you think your company will benefit from taking climate action? Why do you think it’s important for other companies in your industry to do the same?    

Climate action is a topic that has consequences for us all. Therefore, everyone should be educated and have a voice in how the company addresses the issue. That’s Make’s approach. Our internal working group, Make Neutral, includes representatives from across the company and projects, who act as a hub for knowledge-sharing and policy change. We think if all companies looked at it from the individual employee’s perspective, it would improve engagement and facilitate change faster.

How do you work with your clients to meet both of your climate goals?   

As a practice, we’ve developed a sustainable design toolkit which explains to each architect what we should be asking our clients at each stage of the design process, from brief through to completion and beyond. The toolkit lists metrics, examples and best practices to assist in the conversation and to demonstrate how a lower-impact building can be achieved. It’s very much a collaborative effort.

Can you tell us a bit about a recent project you worked on that prioritized sustainability?  

We’re currently working on the Salford Crescent Masterplan, a 102-hectare (252 acre) site, which means we are not only responding to the climate emergency, but setting the brief for future projects in collaboration with Salford City Council.

Sustainability will be at the heart of future development proposals. With the existing green assets across the area, combined with the scale of potential development, mix of uses and opportunities for delivering significant public realm improvements and a range of sustainable transport solutions, the development provides a unique opportunity to lead the way in the journey to carbon neutrality.

The objectives are very ambitious and will drive real change in the way buildings and infrastructure are designed and constructed. Net zero carbon is a key objective for Salford Crescent, and the targets set around embodied carbon and operational energy are ambitious and will require a new way of designing and constructing. However, wider sustainability objectives such as climate resilience and biodiversity are equally important.

What advice do you have for small businesses both within and outside of your industry?  

The first step is the hardest. Addressing climate change and transitioning your business to net zero can look like an impossible task, but we have found that if you have the drive and empower your employees, change can happen quicker than you might expect.

Small and medium sized businesses around the world can join companies like Make and take the first step on climate action by committing to the SME Climate Hub today. For SMEs committed to the Hub that are interested in telling their own stories of pursuing climate action, please get in touch!

To find out more about joining the Race to Zero through the SME Climate Hub, please click here.

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volvo

Volvo Cars is a Swedish automotive manufacturer of luxury vehicles headquartered in Torslanda in Gothenburg, Sweden.

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volvo

The We Mean Business Coalition spoke to Swedish luxury vehicle manufacturer Volvo Cars to find out how they are taking climate action.

As an automotive company, Volvo Cars recognizes we are part of the problem of global warming, and need to be part of the solution. We have a responsibility to take climate action.  

Volvo Cars plans to be a fully electric car company by 2030. The transition to zero tailpipe emission mobility is key to the world reaching net-zero emissions by 2050. We are proud to be leading this transition within our industry, and setting the pace.    

However, electrification alone is not enough. It is not the silver bullet to addressing the automotive industry’s impact on climate change. We need to reduce emissions across our value chain, and act now.  So, we’re aiming to reduce the lifecycle carbon footprint per vehicle by 40% by 2025, compared to 2018, on the road to becoming a climate neutral company by 2040. To date we have achieved a 6% reduction since 2018.   

Going fully climate neutral across our complete value chain is a considerable challenge which requires reductions across everything we do. We acknowledge the fact that we will need some level of carbon removal to compensate for our unavoidable emissions. However, this will be done only as a last resort – our full focus lies on reducing our actual emissions.  

Collaboration with like-minded companies, suppliers and organizations is vital in not only helping us reach our climate goals, but also in driving change across our industry and the automotive supply chain.  This year we announced partnerships with SSAB to be the first car manufacturer to use fossil-free steel in our cars, as well as with Northvolt to produce batteries using 100% renewable energy.   

To meet our 2030 all-electric goal, we need clear direction from governments in terms of end dates for the sale of ICE vehicles, as well as investment in rapid, public charging infrastructure. A global shift to renewable energy is also essential if we are to deliver on our science-based climate plan. 

Read more of We Mean Businesses’ Stories of Cimate Action here.

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Providence Health Care

Providence Health & Services is a non-profit, Catholic health care system operating multiple hospitals across seven states, with headquarters in Renton, Washington

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Providence Health Care

The US healthcare system is the greatest polluter of any industrialized healthcare system in the world, responsible for 8.5% of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Between 2010 and 2018, the US sector’s emissions rose 6% – a correlation associated with increasing demand and investment.

If it does not rapidly transform itself, aligning growth and development with an ambitious decarbonization pathway, it could triple its climate footprint between now and 2050.

It must do this in spite of the stresses that COVID has put upon it, in the knowledge that the climate crisis is a health emergency in itself that will dwarf the impacts of the pandemic.

For one of the largest health systems in the US, Providence, inaction is not an option. Rooted in its commitment to “strive to care wisely for our people, our resources and our earth,” the Catholic health system says it “bears significant responsibility to mitigate the impact of its operations.”

“Our commitment to health and justice requires our action toward building a climate-resilient, decarbonized health system,” says the organization, which is responsible for 52 hospitals, more than 1000 clinics, and 120,000 employees across seven states.

Whilst in the throes of the global pandemic it announced, on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, that it was to become carbon negative by 2030. The decision, they said, was propelled by evidence that pollution and climate change harm health and disproportionately affect those in under-resourced communities. “We knew the need for swift climate action was certain,” the organization said.

Providence’s Chief Advocacy Officer, Ali Santore is currently leading Providence’s ambitious climate negative goal. “Environmental sustainability can’t be a side hustle that one person works for in one part of the organization,” she explains.

“It needs to be embedded in everything that we do. We own or operate almost 40 million square feet of real estate. Our physical footprint and our responsibility to climate is immense.”

As part of this transformation, Providence created the WE ACT framework, a mnemonic that’s designed to eliminate 80% of their estimated carbon emissions from Waste; Energy and water; Agriculture and Food; Chemicals; and Transportation.

Read the full interview here.

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Propellernet

Propellernet is digital marketing agency for brands with big ambitions. It is Certified B Corp and is currently working to drive down their carbon outputs to the lowest degree possible.

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Propellernet

As a digital marketing agency, Brighton-based Propellernet naturally has lower emissions than a company of its size in a different sector, such as construction or manufacturing. Their emissions mostly stem from office outputs, technology infrastructure and scope 3 emissions, including things like the goods they purchase or employee travel. When it came time to evaluate and reduce their emissions, they didn’t limit themselves to bringing their own operations to net zero.

Instead, they’re working to drive down their carbon outputs to the lowest degree possible, use offsets to restore any historical impact they’ve had on climate, and ultimately become carbon negative to account for companies that cannot meet these goals themselves.

The SME Climate Hub chatted with Sam Zindel, the company’s Managing Director, to discuss their model for climate ambition. As a firm believer that businesses have a substantial role to play in collective climate action, Sam shares the changes they’ve implemented in hopes their plan can help small businesses around the world set ambitious targets of their own.

How did climate action become a business priority of Propellernet?

Propellernet has always been a conscious business. We seek out challenges that are bigger than our ‘day to day’ jobs and choose to act. When I became co-Managing Director in 2019, I made it my first job to focus on reducing our impact on the environment.

As a digital marketing agency, what are your main sources of emissions?

We are a service business in the digital sector, so our carbon footprint is lower than many businesses of our size (we have about 40 employees). Our carbon emissions for the 12 months between April 2020 to March 2021 was 75 tCO2e. 90% of our emissions are from our purchased goods and services, which fall into the scope 3 category. The biggest contributors are our office air conditioning and IT infrastructure. In fact our office environment as a whole is the single biggest carbon emitter.

What were the first steps Propellernet took to reduce emissions?

The quick wins for us included switching to a renewable energy supplier, selling our office car and reducing the size of our office space by getting rid of one of three floors we occupy. A number of enforced changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic have also helped reduce emissions over the last 18 months. That included things like a big drop in the use of our office and limiting travel to client premises.

The makeup of Propellernet’s Carbon Footprint, typical of a service-sector company.

Our number one priority is to radically reduce our emissions. Our target is to eliminate 50% of our carbon footprint by 2025. We’ve done so by:

  • Switching to 100% renewable energy
  • Monitoring the business and home working environment to reduce energy through tasks like heat monitoring, unplugging chargers, and even reducing the number of emails sent
  • Installing water reduction devices, to lower waste from toilets and taps
  • Choosing energy efficient transportation options or remote conferences
  • Localizing our supply, including data centers and IT tools, and relying on providers with better green credentials

Our employees are also able to pay a percentage of their salary into our climate action fund, which is used to purchase carbon credits. Propellernet matches that value to double the impact. We call this a “pension for the planet” as the employee/employer matched funding works in a similar way to a pension. In our first 10 months, we have offset 600 tCO2e – equivalent to 8 years of carbon emissions. A major goal is to clean up 17 years of our history since the company was formed, which we are on track to do by July 2022.

Probably the most ambitious goal we have is to plant 1 million trees by the end of 2023. We are doing this in partnership with Eden Reforestation Projects (Gold Standard verified), and so far we have planted just over 200,000.

Visualisation of voluntary carbon offsets purchased in 10 months (excluding tree planting)
What business benefits have you seen so far as a result of taking climate action?

Our climate action gives our business a renewed purpose and energy. Our leadership team is motivated by our climate goals and this runs through the whole business and even into our clients’ world. When we win a new client, we plant 1,000 trees for them and every time a new person starts at Propellernet we give them 500 trees. It’s a great way to engage people in our climate action.

We know that every business will have to act on climate, either by their own choice or via more interventionist measures like carbon taxes or penalties. And so, by leading the field with radical action now, we will be in a great position to capitalize on the opportunities of running the business sustainably. Already, we are attracting a different breed of inbound leads and prospects. This has been amplified by our recent B Corp certification.

Propellernet’s principal tree planting investment is mangrove restoration in Marotaola in partnership with ecologi and Eden Reforestation (Gold Standard verified).
When will Propellernet meet net zero goals? How far along is the company now?

On paper we have gone way below net zero when you take into account our carbon credit investments and tree planting, but this is a false position, as we have a ways to go to hit our emission reduction targets. As a low carbon business, I don’t see net zero as a relevant target. We have separated our targets into two discrete elements:

  • Reduce our carbon emissions by as much as possible
  • Invest as much as we can in natural-based climate solutions to restore the Earth’s ecosystems and biodiversity to create a more resilient climate

This is different to companies with larger carbon footprints who have to reduce as much as they can and offset to reach net zero.

Do you have advice for small businesses looking to take the first step?

Don’t overthink it. Act now. A lot of companies feel they don’t have the time or money to tackle climate change in their organisation. But acting sooner will be far less costly than putting it off until legislation and competition force you into taking action. It’s really about priorities and educating yourself on risks and opportunities, then changing how you do things.

Take responsibility and educate yourself. There are a lot of useful guides and articles online such as the SME Climate Hub which business leaders can access and learn from.

Were there any key learnings you faced that might be applicable to SMEs around the world?

For smaller businesses, I wouldn’t necessarily advise a linear process of taking climate action (measure, reduce, offset). We planted over 100,000 trees before we knew what our carbon footprint was. Taking the first steps and building a vision and goal are the most important things. At the end of the day, we will all need to reduce our emissions and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere, so get started in both directions and work out the details later.

You can learn a lot from other businesses like yours. Share ideas, copy things and collaborate. This is one challenge that we all face together. We need to have an open-source approach, so shout about what you are doing and be happy when others follow your lead.

Company gathering in the local park. The team visualizes their global tree planting on a local map so each person can get an idea of the scale of their projects.
Why would you recommend small businesses within and outside of your industry take climate action?

If you need more justification than an existential crisis to be handed on to the next generation (!) then consider how your business fits into the macro economy over the next 10 to 20 years. We are moving towards a net zero economy. Either your business will be a part of that – and possibly be a leader – or you will become stranded in a world from which investors and consumers have moved on.

Why did Propellernet choose to make a commitment with the SME Climate Hub? What are the main benefits you’re seeing so far?

I found the SME Climate Hub via the UN Race to Zero. It was one of the first pledges we made. It is good to feel part of a movement of like-minded companies. We are now focussed on sharing knowledge with similar companies in our sector – digital/tech/service – and have formed other networks that complement the work of the SME Climate Hub. I’m hoping for an opportunity to work with other pledgers in our sector.

Small businesses like Propellernet provide invaluable insights on the journey towards net zero.

To find out more about joining the Race to Zero through the SME Climate Hub, please click here.

 

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Hospital San Rafael de Pasto

Hospital San Rafael de Pasto is a mental health facility in the city of San Juan de Pasto, Colombia. The hospital comprises of eight large buildings and tends to over 23,000 patients every year. As an active member of the Global Green and Healthy Hospitals network, the hospital has committed to reducing its environmental impact by implementing programs on issues like water, waste and sustainable procurement.

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Hospital San Rafael de Pasto

The San Rafael de Pasto hospital has been running an ambitious climate program for almost a decade, and has reported its greenhouse gas emissions since 2015. Its focus has been on replacing high-emitting technologies with cleaner ones, and retrofitting infrastructure for overall emissions reductions.

“We have understood the close relationship between what we do and the damage it creates on the environment, since we demand a significant amount of resources such as water, energy, food, technological equipment and various other inputs.”

Dr Jorge Dario Duque Erazo, environmental manager of Hospital San Rafael de Pasto

Climate and Health Solutions

Some of its main interventions the hospital has implemented include:

Efficient lighting and equipment: LED lighting installation began in 2015; by 2019, over 90% of lightbulbs had been replaced. Through their sustainable procurement program, the hospital has been buying all new electric equipment with certified level A energy efficiency labelling.

Switch to renewable energy sources: the hospital has begun replacing lighting on the hospital grounds and parking spaces with solar powered devices. Additionally, all of its medical units now use solar panels for water heating (currently totalling 14 water storage units with 6 solar panels each). The drying station has also been switched over to solar energy, after washing and drying clothes and linens was identified as one of the most energy consuming activities in the facility. The hospital invested in the construction of a drying station that uses passive solar architecture and air fusion by displacement technology, which has allowed for the substitution of industrial equipment and the reduction of electricity, fuel and water use.

Fuel switch and boiler modernization: stationary combustion, mostly from diesel-fuelled boilers, was also found to be a major source of emissions (43% in 2017). In 2018, the hospital purchased a gas boiler which, together with the solar drying station, is saving the administration approximately 17,000 USD annually. Emissions from stationary combustion dropped by 45% in 2018 with respect to the previous year, while electricity consumption dropped by 6.4% over the same period.

Nature-based solutions: the hospital takes part in the “One million trees for Pasto” initiative of the local government, and has purchased 1 hectare of land where, over the past six years, almost 6,000 native species of trees have been planted.

As a health institution, we were aware that the demand for resources, their use and final disposal, contributes directly and indirectly to climate change. We had implemented mitigation and control strategies, but it wasn’t until we estimated our institutional carbon footprint that we were able to determine and measure our impact in terms of carbon emissions. That was when we understood the need to reformulate our environmental strategy and make it much more meaningful and participatory, which we did through a project that included the contributions from our operative and technical staff. This project has significantly contributed to our institution’s environmental and financial sustainability.

Dr Jorge Dario Duque Erazo, environmental manager of Hospital San Rafael de Pasto

Progress Achieved

Since these measures were put in place, the hospital’s annual energy intensity has been reduced by 42% compared to 2015 levels, while it lead to emissions reduction of 32% per hospital bed and 64% total (scopes 1 and 2) between 2014 and 2018.

Some of the key actions taken by the hospital to achieve these results were the appointment of an Environmental Manager, the establishment of a Procurement Committee to leverage its purchasing power to drive transformational change in the supply chain, and engagement with the local government of Pasto on sustainability projects.

The hospital is using its purchasing power to drive the transformation of its supply chain; by 2019, it had invested more than 5,000 USD in sustainable procurement purchases. Most recently, Hospital San Rafael de Pasto joined the first cohort of health systems and facilities around the world to take part in the UNFCCC Race to Zero campaign, pledging to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, and reporting annually on its progress.

Lessons Learned

Some of the key lessons learned from San Rafael de Pasto’s experience include:

  • Information is key to make strategic decisions and maximize impact: using Health Care Without Harm’s carbon footprint tool, the hospital was able to understand its carbon footprint, identify its main sources of emissions, and select key projects and interventions that would produce the largest emissions reductions.
  • Climate mitigation is crucial for public health, but it is also a sound investment: the hospital has been able to recover its investments quickly, and its new infrastructure and technology substitutions are rendering significant savings.
  • No health facility is too small to drive big changes: the hospital’s impressive achievements have served as an inspiration to many other health facilities in the region. Since 2016, it has consistently been recognized for its leadership and trajectory by Health Care Without Harm’s awards program, “Smaller Footprint, Greater Health”, and in 2018 was awarded the “Impulso Atures” prize for best climate initiative, and became the first mental hospital in Latin America to be certified with the ISO 14001:2015 standard.

“Our patients are our allies in our mission to educate, raise awareness and mitigate environmental impacts. We are aware of the significant environmental burden of health care, and we have made it our obligation and commitment to drive changes that allow for better patient care while ensuring balance with the needs of our planet.”

Dr Jorge Dario Duque Erazo, environmental manager of Hospital San Rafael de Pasto

More information

You can read more about the efforts by the San Rafael de Pasto hospital in Healthcare Without Harm’s report the Hospitals that Cure the Planet.

 

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Vianova

French start-up Vianova uses data to help cities and mobility companies better collaborate and communicate, enabling more efficient and sustainable transportation organization.

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Vianova

As the world moves towards greener mobility solutions, the number of transportation options at our disposal has never been higher. From e-scooters and shared urban biking to public transportation, car sharing and even intercity flight, passengers can travel in any way they choose. Now, cities are grappling with how to coordinate these systems, making the best use of various services to propel forward climate neutral cities.

French start-up Vianova helps cities bridge the gap. A platform to manage shared mobility, Vianova uses data to help cities and mobility companies better collaborate and communicate, enabling more efficient and sustainable transportation organization.

They recently joined the SME Climate Hub to become part of a community of like-minded companies advocating for a net zero future. We spoke with Vianova about their climate action goals – and how they’re fostering more livable and breathable cities while building the future of green urban mobility. Read their story below.

What inspired your company to take climate action? Why do you think it’s important?

Nowadays, cities are characterized by an increased congestion, and are overwhelmed with the rise of new transportation solutions (e-scooters, delivery vans, etc.). It profoundly affects the way public space is used and distributed, potentially causing a degrading environment, unsafe, unequal and unsustainable for its citizens. These major issues must be dealt with, through the adaptation of cities to new traffic regulations, mobility management and urban planning. We have big convictions on decarbonising our cities, and we believe the place that we gave to cars in our life is just not sustainable. Having lived in Chicago, London, Paris and Berlin, we have experienced the degrading quality of life due to congestion and pollution: we think cities now need to be more in control of their mobility ground and prioritise greener modes.

What role should small businesses play in the race to net zero?

Small businesses and startups have a major role to play in the race to net zero. They may have less financial power than big corporations but, in some cases, they have faster growing and ecology conscious communities of digital natives to rely on and animate. Connected and vocal, these communities and small businesses can make a difference in how fast our society adopts the right changes of behaviour toward achieving climate neutrality.

How is your organization reducing emissions now? How are these actions enabling your company to be on track towards halving emissions by 2030? Please provide details such as percentage reductions, baseline year, and progress year on year if applicable.  

Our work supports low-carbon mobility solutions like micro and shared mobility to help remove little by little cars out of the equation in cities. To put it in a more global context, Western Europe emits 1,000 million tons of CO2 equivalent per year from transportation only. We believe our solution can reduce by 10% the energy consumption of transportation over 5 years in the cities we are working with. Vianova aims to decrease modal share for cars in European cities from 40% to 30% over a selected range of cities. We will do so by empowering them in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by helping them manage their policies and urban planning.

What are your plans for 2022 to further reduce your emissions?  

As a SaaS company, we believe that we produce very little emissions as of today. However, this is still something we would like to monitor more closely. Other than that, our whole team is either working remotely or cycling to the office, and from 2022 we will provide all our employees with a Sustainable Mobility Pass (Pass Mobilité Durable in France).

What support do you need to take robust climate action? What do you need from policy / government, multinational corporations, or even your customers?

A more ambitious political agenda would be appreciated. We are running out of time and most of the solutions are out there, ready to be tested and/or implemented at scale. Multinational corporations that are not complying with the urgency we are facing, should be heavily fined to finance promising solutions that are under the radar, counter lobbied or under-financed.

What advice do you have for other small businesses within your industry aiming to start their climate journey?

Climate action might be one of the most powerful assets and value propositions for a new business trying to take off in today’s world and economy. New business can have an edge on bigger players — their youth and agility naturally empower them as climate neutral natives if they include this parameter in their DNA early on.

Small businesses like Vianova provide invaluable insights on the journey towards net zero. Interested in sharing your own climate journey for potential inclusion as a business spotlight? Tell us how you’re working towards reducing emissions today via this short form, and we’ll be in touch.

To find out more about joining the Race to Zero through the SME Climate Hub, please click here.

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Signify

Signify is the new company name of Philips Lighting. It is a world leader in lighting, providing customers with high-quality, energy-efficient lighting products, systems and services.

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Signify

The We Mean Business Coalition spoke to Dutch lighting company Signify, to find out how they are taking climate action.

As the world leader in lighting, it is our role not just to operate sustainably, but to light the way and multiply our impact.

From 2010 to 2020, we cut our carbon footprint by more than 70% across manufacturing, offices, logistics and business travel and implemented more than 200 emission reduction initiatives worldwide. In September 2020, we became carbon neutral in our operations and we achieved our commitment to  source 100% of our electricity from renewable sources. Recently, we formed the first Pan-European consortium for future wind farms and in August 2021 we launched the most energy-efficient commercial light bulb the world has ever seen.   

But we know our job is not yet done. As part of our commitment to climate action and affordable and clean energy, we intend to go beyond carbon neutrality and double the pace of the Paris Agreement 1.5°C scenario. We plan to reach our target set by the Paris Agreement by 2025, six years earlier than planned, by reducing emissions in our supply chain, in our operations and in the use phase. And we will contribute to zero-carbon solutions in our supply chain, supporting carbon-neutral sea shipping through our logistics partner Maersk.   

Now we need to see governments ensure that crucial economic recovery plans do not deviate from climate ambitions, but strengthen them. Through platforms like the Climate Pledge, we share our expertise and actively support other companies to take action, by sharing best practice. After all, our futures depend on achieving the same critical outcomes. 

To find out more about joining the Race to Zero through Business Ambition for 1.5°C, please click here.

Read more stories of climate action here >

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Spottswoode

Spottswoode is a monopole vineyard that sits on the western edge of St. Helena, behind the small town at what is basically the foothills of the Mayacamas Mountains. The family has been growing winegrapes on its historic Spottswoode Estate since 1972, and making its own wines since 1982.

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Spottswoode

Is your organization already reducing emissions across all scopes?

Our story is told along two timelines. In measureable terms, our GHG emission tracking began relatively recently: An independent third party inventory was first conducted in 2018, and again in 2019, the year in which we first achieved ISO 14064 certification, which now serves as our baseline. 2020 is complete, (not fully verified yet) however, recognizing the pandemic impact on the decrease in employee commute, business travel, and embedded product transport emissions, we are aware that an 18% drop from 2019 levels needs an asterisk. Nevertheless, as noted in Question #3, we are aggressively committed to cut emissions by half in 2030 and become climate positive by 2050. However there is more to say…

We would like to highlight the fact that environmental stewardship has been a way of life for our winery almost since its founding. We were the first organically farmed vineyard in Napa Valley in 1985 and transitioned to solar power in 2007, with the marginal electricity we need (~2% of our GHG footprint) being sourced from Marin Energy’s Deep Green renewable energy program. Today, Winery President, Beth Novak Milliken, part of the Founding Board of International Wineries for Climate Action,

“As a multigenerational family business that is firmly grounded in stewardship and based on agriculture, Spottswoode is committed to doing everything we possibly can to be a part of bringing about change in caring for our natural environment and our community.” https://spottswoode.com/one-earth/   From that link you can review the entire list of the organizations we belong to and support, the specific efforts we make on our property, and the contributions we make to our community. Many of the organizations (like B-Corp, CarbonFree Fund, Napa Green, 1% for the Planet) serve to reinforce environmental stewardship that certainly impacts our GHG footprint performance. Link to the full summary is also here.

What three actions are underway in your organisation to reduce emissions now?

Action #1: We are among the first wineries in Napa Valley to apply for full Gold certification with the newly redeveloped sustainable winegrowing certification www.NapaGreen.org, the first viticulture program in the country to focus on core tenets like climate action & regenerative farming. The process includes creation of a Carbon Farming Plan in coordination with Napa Green’s soil scientist, to ensure that we continue to improve farming practices that increase carbon sequestration in our estate vineyards while improve soiling health. Participation in Napa Green also provides a pathway for growers to become carbon neutral to negative within six to nine years (Scope 1).

Action #2: We achieved ISO 14064 certification in August, 2021 for our 2019 Scope 1-3 GHG Inventory as an official baseline from which to set our agenda to decrease emissions by 35.5% in 2030, 67.7% in 2040, and achieve Net Zero by 2050. In addition, we will continue to certify at ISO standards at least every other year per the membership rules of International Wineries for Climate Action.

Action #3 – By undergoing a full waste management awareness and reduction challenge campaign that corresponds to our path towards TRUE Zero Waste Gold certification, we have taking several concrete steps that directly impact our GHG footprint.

Two examples:

Example A: The winery transitioned from takeout lunches to family-style onsite cooked lunches. After crunching numbers for the past year, we found that we are diverting an average amount of 261 lbs of unrecyclable waxed cardboard waste from landfill. This means we reduced our CO2 emissions by almost 600 lbs just with that switch.  (220lbs from actual waste, and 373 lbs by avoiding cars driving to pick up lunch). Here is an image of part of the process to arrive at these GHG figures (weighing our waste!)

Example B – We conducted a fully-staff-attended Waste Reduction & Recycling class led by a TRUE Zero Waste advisor

Learning objectives:

  • Review the handouts and visual aids for landfill, recycling, and Compost Rollout Brochures
  • Go beyond just following directions to “throw things in the right bins” Instead, we modify consumption and disposal habits, becoming examples to each other each day.
  • Address any questions that otherwise might go unanswered because of assumptions or procrastination. For instance, “Are metal clothes hangers recyclable?”
  • Review Spottswoode’s official Sustainability Handbook, which details the commitment to environmental stewardship that permeates the winery on multiple levels.
  • Most importantly, raise staff awareness of the relationship between GHG emissions and our waste cycles. Example: each pound of plastic produces ~2-3lbs GHG emissions, each pound of excess food produces 3.8lbs GHG etc.

Bottom line: this class and corresponding TRUE Zero Waste certification was not just about waste, it is about reducing GHG emissions in areas we may not often think about.

What are your plans for 2022 to further reduce your emissions?

In 2022, we are working on four areas:

Packaging: (~17% of our emissions) Our intent is to lightweight our glass for 2020 red wines. While the final molds aren’t decided as of this survey, we know that a 15% reduction in glass weight will reduce total emissions by 2%.

Product Transport: (~30% of our emissions) Wine shipments are affected by packaged weight to a large degree. The same 15% glass weight decrease would be responsible for another similar 2% reduction on sheer transport CO2 emissions alone. However, we are not stopping there! Spottswoode partners with VineVault, a unique third-party shipper that consolidates shipments in a manner that, when leveraged correctly, increases efficiencies and can significantly reduce overall travel emissions. This is an exciting area for us, as transport is by far our largest GHG contributor!

Employee Commute: (~11% of our emissions.) After harvest and within COVID risk tolerances (everyone is vaccinated) we will plan carpool groups amongst staff who live close to each other. This can reduce anywhere from 1-3% GHG emissions.

Business Travel: (14% of our emissions) While business travel was significantly reduced by the pandemic in the past 18 months, we will work on a plan to avoid reaching the same amount of travel pre-pandemic. The action plan is not finalized yet, (we are in the middle of harvest), but we are considering “travel caps” based on the maximum GHGs we would permit in this arena.

How is your organization benefiting from this leadership in climate action? (optional)

While not the goal of our efforts, we’ve gained a certain degree of additional visibility, not only for fine wine, but also as a leader in this discourse within the wine industry community. Some highlights on the path towards sustainability and related GHG emission reductions:

  • California Green Medal Environment Award, received in 2017 from the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance, California Association of Winegrape Growers, Wine Institute, Lodi Winegrape Commission, Napa Valley Vintners, Sonoma County Winegrowers, and the Vineyard Team
  • Beth Novak Milliken named one of Wine Industry Advisor’s “Wine’s Most Inspiring People 2020”
  • Sustainability Hero Series 2020 on JancisRobinson.com (winning profile submission)
  1. What is the biggest challenge (if any) you currently face in reducing emissions at the required pace? (optional)

Our biggest challenge to reach Net Zero is systemic: the wine distribution system in the US (and a major Scope 3 GHG source for all of us) is mostly out of our control… at least for now. In order to increase efficiencies and reduce emissions at significant scale, a holistic, US-savvy network of winery, distributor, and retailer agents will be required. In addition, we need to build education that sticks, that shifts mindsets, that imprints itself onto the consumer’s heuristic buying patterns, leading them to ask more than “How good is this wine?” but rather “How did this wine get here, what is the impact of this bottle on the Earth?”

Frankly, this means tapping into the power of critical mass. Only from critical mass will demand for the ingenuity, the technology, and the commercial chutzpah unfold in meaningful ways to help us all reach Net Zero by 2050.

This is why Spottswoode isn’t simply content with decarbonizing our winery & business; we remain resolute in our efforts to lead in our industry’s discourse whilst offering transparency and accountability across all our actions. We want to help pave the way for others to spark their momentum and learn from our discoveries… as well as our mistakes. This is why we humbly submit this completed survey as a Race to Zero member.

 

 

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Ricoh

The Ricoh Company, Ltd. is a Japanese multinational imaging and electronics company.

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Ricoh

The We Mean Business Coalition spoke to Japanese electronics company Ricoh, to find out how they are taking climate action.

Since advocating “Environmental Sustainability Management” in 1998, Ricoh has been working for more than 20 years to achieve environmental conservation and profit generation simultaneously. 

Since 2019, our flagship products are assembled by using 100% renewable electricity. Our global headquarters in Tokyo is now powered by 100% renewable electricity.  

Based on the experience as the COP21 official sponsor, we set a long-term goal of “Aim for zero GHG emissions across the entire value chain” in 2017. At the same time, we became the first Japanese company to join RE100. In 2020, we revised our 2030 environmental goals and committed to reducing all direct GHG emissions from our manufacturing sites, offices, and vehicles by 63% for Scope 1 and 2 and 40% for Scope 3 (both compared to 2015).   

31 Ricoh companies in 24 countries switched to 100% renewable electricity by the end of March 2021. We have also raised our renewable electricity target to 50% and aim to use 100% renewable electricity across all our major international sites by 2030. In Japan, we have introduced a comprehensive evaluation system to procure renewable electricity with additionality.  

To achieve our 2030 goals, we will continue to work with our customers, suppliers, and local communities to encourage the use of renewable energy and strive towards the realization of a zero-carbon society. 

Read more of We Mean Businesses Coalition’s Stories of Cimate Action here.

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Telia

Telia Company AB is a Swedish multinational telecommunications company and mobile network operator present in Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

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Telia

The We Mean Business Coalition spoke to Swedish multinational telecommunications company and mobile network operator, Telia, to find out how they are taking climate action.

Ongoing climate change and unsustainable use of natural resources is putting both ecosystems and humanity at great risk. Digitalization can accelerate the transformation needed to change this course, but the digital sector also needs to at least halve its own emissions by 2030. Over the last three years, we have reduced greenhouse gas emissions from our own operations (Scope 1 and 2) by 79%, mainly through the shift to 100% renewable electricity to power our networks, data centers and other buildings. This is because electricity represents 93% of our total energy use.  

Telia Company has set science-based targets to halve emissions from our own operations by 2025, reduce emissions related to use of sold and leased products by 29% by 2025, from a base year of 2018. We will also work with our suppliers to set their own science-based targets, aiming to have 72% of our suppliers by emissions having set their own targets by 2025, covering purchased goods, services and capital goods.  

Together these actions will ensure we are on a pathway that is consistent with keeping global warming to a maximum of 1.5ºC, as part of our longer-term journey towards a climate-neutral value chain and zero-waste business by 2030 and a commitment to reinvent what better societies look like.   

We call on world governments to create detailed pathways to 2030 and 2050 and complement climate plans with concrete national circularity plans that incentivize the shift to a circular economy. Such plans should create a joint vision, identify areas for innovation and investments, and support the development of new competences and recycling capabilities.   

Halving emissions in our own operations by 2025 and achieving a climate neutral value chain by 2030 requires Telia Company to work closely with suppliers, customers and other partners. Collaboration is the only way to achieve radical and rapid transformation towards fossil-free and circular societies.  

Read more of We Mean Businesses’ Stories of Cimate Action here.

Read about the mobile sector’s race to circularity, according to Allison Kirkby, President and CEO, Telia Company.

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Coca-Cola Europacific Partners

Coca-Cola Europacific Partners plc, formerly Coca-Cola European Partners is a British multinational bottling company involved in the marketing, production, and distribution of Coca-Cola products and other drinks such as Capri-Sun, Monster and Relentless.

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Coca-Cola Europacific Partners

The We Mean Business Coalition spoke to British multinational bottling company, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners to find out how they are taking climate action.

Greenhouse gas emissions occur across our entire value chain, from the ingredients we source, packaging we use, to the drinks we sell. Over the last decade at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, we have reduced our value chain emissions (including scopes 1, 2 and 3) by 30%. By 2030, our ambition is to reduce by a further 30% (versus 2019) and reach net zero by 2040. 

To reach our ambition, we have a roadmap aligned with climate science. We are following a ‘reduce first’ strategy, meaning that we are focused on reducing emissions as far as we can and will only invest in carbon removals or offsetting when we can’t go any further. 

Our commitments include a transition to using 100% renewable electricity, using 100% recycled PET (polyethylene terephthalate) in all our plastic bottles by 2030, reducing emissions in the distribution of our products and switching to more efficient drink cooling equipment. By 2023, we are aiming for at least six of our manufacturing sites to become carbon neutral certified. 

We are also supporting our strategic suppliers to set their own science-based carbon reduction targets and use 100% renewable electricity by 2023. We are working together with companies through The Climate Pledge to help reach the goals of the Paris Agreement 10 years early. 

We will continue to adapt and solve key challenges to help set new milestones to achieve our longer-term reduction vision. The time is now, and we are all in for 2030. 

Read more of We Mean Businesses’ Stories of Cimate Action here.

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Iberdrola

Iberdrola is a Spanish multinational electric utility company based in Bilbao, Spain. Iberdrola has a workforce of around 34,000 employees serving around 31.67 million customers.

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Iberdrola

The We Mean Business Coalition spoke to leading renewable energy company Iberdrola to find out how they are taking climate action.

The world as we know it requires energy to function. Energy is a vital resource for sustaining and improving human life. However, we must reverse the impact on the environment and innovate urgently for a sustainable future.

As one of the world’s top three largest electricity companies, Iberdrola is innovating to create the energy system of the future. We are cutting emissions from power generation in line with the 1.5ºC pathway, with an ambitious investment roadmap based on renewables, networks, storage, and future solutions – such as green hydrogen. In the last five years alone, we have reduced direct emissions by 25%. Now, we are investing a further €150 billion throughout this decisive decade, focusing primarily on renewable energy and smarter grids, building on €120 billion investment over the last two decades. In the process of this transformation, we have become a global leader in wind power. In 2030, Iberdrola will have three times more renewable energy capacity than it did in 2019.

Iberdrola has closed all its coal and fuel oil plants since 2001 over the world and by 2020 the group’s total installed coal power was reduced to zero. We are committed to always working with local authorities to guarantee jobs and minimize impact on supply chains and the local economy. Over 400,000 jobs are supported globally by our investment activities, which has seen us develop a renewable energy capacity of more than 35,000 MW installed globally. At the halfway stage of 2021, 8,500 MW of renewable generation assets were under construction worldwide. Across the full-year 2021 4,000 MW of new capacity will be commissioned.

In 2020, CO2 emissions per MWh generated were among the lowest at the national and international level, with 75% of our overall production emission-free. Our global CO2 emissions will be reduced to an average of 50g/kWh by the end of the decade. By comparison, the average emissions of European electricity companies are 249 kgCO2/MWh [1].

Now we urge the world’s governments to go all in by incentivizing the global economy to shift rapidly from polluting activities. Governments can scale-up climate solutions by developing robust Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), align finance and COVID-19 recovery plans with a 1.5ºC trajectory, enable supportive environments for renewable investments, and ensure efficient and streamlined administrative and permitting processes. This is essential for getting all parties across our value chain on board, which is critical for us to achieve our targets and, on a broader scale, for mitigating every fraction of a degree of temperature increases that will define whether or not we can look forward to a thriving, secure and resilient future. We are all in for 2030.

[1] Source: European carbon factor Benchmarking of CO2 emissions by Europe’s largest electricity utilities (December 2020, PwC). 

Read more of We Mean Businesses Coalition’s Stories of Cimate Action here.

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Brambles

Brambles Limited is an Australian company that specialises in the pooling of unit-load equipment, pallets, crates and containers.

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Brambles

The We Mean Business Coalition spoke to Australian freight company Brambles to find out how they are taking climate action.

Brambles helps producers and manufacturers worldwide deliver life’s daily essentials in a more sustainable and efficient way. Through the CHEP brand we are delivering the world’s largest pool of reusable pallets and containers.  

In an increasingly resource and climate-conscious world, low-carbon, circular business models are enabling the world to trade more responsibly. We are working towards a 1.5ºC aligned science-based emission reduction target for our supply chain, which operates in more than 60 countries. 

Since 2010, we have reduced our scope 1&2 emissions by 47%. This progress is primarily down to switching to renewable electricity and energy efficiency projects. 

Our ambition is to pioneer regenerative supply chains. That means giving back to the planet and society more than we use, in order to help reduce the pressure on natural capital, including forests, and reducing the waste typical of conventional single-use, linear business models.  

In 2020, Brambles achieved its goal to purchase 100% of its wood from certified sources in all the markets where we operate. Certified source come from forests that are managed under the globally recognised standards of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC™).  

Brambles’ vision for 2025 is to amplify our impact in sustainable forestry supply chains while expanding forest habitats to both increase carbon sequestration and support biodiversity. This means for every tree Brambles needs, two trees will be grown sustainably. This is our two-for-one commitment towards creating a positive impact. This objective places Brambles on a pathway towards regeneration and ultimately will help create more natural capital beyond the business’s requirement for raw materials. In addition, Brambles also aims to use 100% renewable electricity by 2025.  

Moreover, we commit to send zero product materials to landfills for all Brambles and subcontracted locations and aspire to use 30% recycled or upcycled plastic waste by 2025, and 100% by 2030.  

To help accelerate climate progress, Brambles is calling for policies to accelerate the decarbonization of the commercial vehicle sector. This would include incentives to increase R&D in the deployment of zero-emissions commercial vehicles, including the use of hydrogen and electrification. This also includes policies to schedule a phase out of fossil-fueled commercial vehicles, and public investment in the required network supporting the scaling up of these technologies, such as charging or refueling stations. 

We also support the development of internationally recognized certification schemes for green or zero-emissions energy for hydrogen and other alternative energies.  

Read more of We Mean Businesses’ Stories of Cimate Action here.

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Mckinsey

McKinsey & Company is a management consulting firm, founded in 1926 by University of Chicago professor James O. McKinsey, that advises on strategic management to corporations, governments, and other organizations.

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Mckinsey

The We Mean Business Coalition spoke to global consulting firm McKinsey & Company to find out how they are taking climate action.

At McKinsey & Company, we have turned our environmental insights into action, charting a path to a net-zero climate impact by 2030, while also expanding our capabilities to support clients on their sustainability journeys. By helping organizations effectively manage the speed, the scale, and the business case of change, our aim is to be a leading catalyst for global decarbonization and help create positive, enduring change in the world. 

As a firm, we will reach net-zero climate impact by 2030. We have validated science-based targets to reduce our greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions in line with a 1.5ºC pathway. We’ll meet these targets by 2025 by using 100% renewable electricity, transitioning our fleet of company cars to electric vehicles, targeting the highest environmental standards (LEED Gold or Platinum, or equivalents) for our office space, and reducing GHG emissions from business travel which accounts for the vast majority of our footprint. We will also scale our investment in nature-based solutions that help address both the climate and nature crises, while generating significant additional environmental, social, and economic benefits. We will do so by continuing to compensate for (offset) all our emissions during our transition to net-zero, and by removing carbon from the atmosphere for our remaining footprint by 2030 –when we reach net-zero climate impact.

The decisions and the actions we take today, and in this decade, will determine the future of the planet and the future of human society. We are all in for 2030.

Read more of We Mean Businesses’ Stories of Cimate Action here.

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Aeon

Aeon is a digital magazine of ideas, philosophy and culture. Publishing new articles every weekday, Aeon describes itself as a publication which “asks the biggest questions and finds the freshest, most original answers, provided by world-leading authorities on science, philosophy and society.”

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Aeon

The We Mean Business Coalition spoke to Japanese food and staples retailer Aeon to find out how they are taking climate action.

We believe that as a retailer, Aeon can help to protect the global environment by acting together with our customers.    

Already, we have installed solar panels at our shopping centers, supermarkets, and convenience stores. The total number of stores with installed units is now more than 1,000. In addition, we are installing solar panels at our commercial facilities to create power purchase agreements (PPAs) and provide renewable electricity. Under this model, our stores provide space on our roofs for PPA companies to erect solar panels, and the stores agree to purchase the generated electricity for our own use.  

Our company headquarter buildings and other nine shopping centers are already using 100% renewable electricity. By 2030, all of our 600 major shopping centers in Japan will complete installing renewables, which will help the company achieve halving its emissions this decade.   

We are taking several steps to help the retail industry reduce emissions, such as developing and selling products that help cut CO2 and promoting the use of natural refrigerant equipment. In addition, we are taking action to reduce CO2 through visualization in the logistics chain. 

Working to build environmentally friendly stores, Aeon has defined Eco Stores as outlets that achieve at least 20% lower CO2 emissions in comparison with conventional stores. Since the opening of our first Eco Store in 2005, 12 such stores had been opened by 2013. In 2012, we started working on further developments for our next generation (Smart Aeon) Eco Stores.  

We are expecting a reliable supply of renewable energies, including the government policies to ensure this, and further technical innovations in every aspect of reducing emissions.    

Today, the expansion and complicated nature of various global challenges are at an unprecedented level. Given these circumstances, we feel that there is an urgent demand to contribute as much as possible to environmental issues as well as local communities and to grow as sustainably as possible. 

Read more of We Mean Businesses’ Stories of Cimate Action here.

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Asahi

Asahi Group Holdings, Ltd. is a Japanese global beer, spirits, soft drinks and food business group headquartered in Sumida, Tokyo. In 2019, the group had a revenue JPY 2.1 trillion.

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Asahi

The We Mean Business Coalition spoke to Japan headquartered global beverage company Asahi to find out how they are taking climate action.

The gifts of nature are essential to brew great tasting beer, so we are committed to running our business in harmony with nature, not only for us but for the generations to come. That’s why we’re committed to reducing our scope 1 and 2 emissions towards carbon neutrality of all our breweries by 2030, from a 2019 baseline, in line with what science says is necessary to keep global warming to a maximum of 1.5ºC.

So far we are proud to say that 1 in 2 of our beers in Europe is now brewed with renewable energy, we use 40% less water than we used 10 years ago and 100% of the barley we use in Czechia, Slovakia and Italy is sourced locally, most of it directly from farmers.

By the year 2030, our ambition is that we also have 100% reusable or recyclable packaging and 100% sustainably sourced ingredients. For scope 3 emissions, we aim to have achieved a 30% reduction by 2030, on the road to reaching 100% by 2050, from a 2019 base year.

We will initiate partnerships and actively cooperate with our suppliers and customers to accelerate reduction of emissions, especially in the area of packaging, transport and cooling of beer on sale. We’ve come a long way, but we know we must go further. If there ever was the time to act, it is now. That’s why we’re all in for 2030.

Read more of We Mean Businesses’ Stories of Cimate Action here.

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Siemens

Siemens AG is a German multinational conglomerate and a focused technology corporation headquartered in Munich and the largest industrial manufacturing company in Europe with branch offices abroad.

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Siemens

The We Mean Business Coalition spoke to German technology company Siemens to find out how they are taking climate action.

Siemens is driven by the aspiration to address the world’s most profound challenges by leveraging the convergence of digitalization and sustainability. We help to form the backbone of society, providing technology with purpose to make manufacturing cleaner, infrastructure more energy efficient and clean energy more accessible.

In 2015, we were one of the first industrial companies to commit to becoming carbon neutral across all operations by 2030, and we have already more than halved our CO2 emissions since then. In 2020, we helped our customers cut 150 million metric tons of CO2 by deploying our technologies and solutions.

Through the Climate Pledge, we are working alongside corporate peers to help reach the goals of the Paris Agreement 10 years early. Our 50,000-strong global vehicle fleet will be 100% electrified by 2030. Our overall end goal is to achieve net-zero by 2030. Since establishing our own sustainability goals in 2015, we have seen a steady increase in customers – both private and public – setting their own targets and drawing on our expertise to reduce costs and emissions.

We continue to work hard at Siemens while supporting customers to achieve their goals, sharing what we’ve learned along the way. Right now we see no obstacles to move our sustainability targets forward. We know, the time is now. That’s why we’re all in for 2030.

Read more of We Mean Businesses’ Stories of Cimate Action here.

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Salesforce

Siemens AG is a German multinational conglomerate and a focused technology corporation headquartered in Munich and the largest industrial manufacturing company in Europe with branch offices abroad.

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Salesforce

The We Mean Business Coalition spoke to American cloud-based software company Salesforce to find out how they are taking climate action.

At Salesforce, we consider the environment to be a key stakeholder and we are committed to harnessing our culture of innovation to improve the state of the world. Today, Salesforce has an approved 1.5°C aligned science-based target, we are net-zero emissions for our operations globally, we deliver customers carbon-neutral cloud computing and are mobilizing the global effort to see an additional trillion trees on Earth.

But we know that’s not enough – we need to look beyond our four walls to drive change at the speed and scale the planet needs. That’s why, earlier this year, we added climate as an official part of the company’s public policy platform. This reaffirms our commitment to advocate for clear and consistent science-based climate policies that facilitate a just and equitable global transition to a 1.5°C future.

We need every business, individual and community to use their voice to influence climate policy, helping create a more fair, equal, and better future for all. That’s why we’re all in for 2030.

Read more of We Mean Businesses’ Stories of Cimate Action here.

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Acciona

Acciona, S.A. is a Spanish multinational conglomerate dedicated to the development and management of infrastructure and renewable energy.

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Acciona

The We Mean Business Coalition spoke to ACCIONA – a Spanish multinational conglomerate dedicated to the development and management of infrastructure and renewable energy – to find out how they are taking climate action.

At ACCIONA the fight against climate change and its consequences are at the top of our priority list. We are determined to continue to lead the transition to a carbon-neutral economy from the private sector – establishing a different way of doing business.

An approach that prioritizes the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to contribute to the progress of society and the protection of the planet, delivering progress across energy, water and infrastructure. An approach that aims to reimagine infrastructures by boosting their regenerative capacities, creating a positive impact for people and the planet.

We’ve already reached 62.2% use of electricity from renewable sources and reduced total energy consumption from fossil fuel sources by 86% compared to 2017. We have reduced our Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 38% (80,000 tonnes CO2) and Scope 3 by 33% (612,586 tonnes CO2) since 2017.

We are proud of what we achieved but we know that we must go further. Before 2030 we aim to reduce emissions by 60% and decrease value chain emissions by 47%. We’re also working alongside corporate peers to scale climate solutions through the Climate Pledge. We know that every year the demand for decarbonized products and services is increasing and we will not fall behind. That’s why we’re all in for 2030.

Read more of We Mean Businesses’ Stories of Cimate Action here.

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National Grid

UK-headquartered National Grid is one of the world’s largest investor-owned energy companies, delivering electricity and gas across the UK and Northeastern United States. The company has a market cap of $35 billion and achieved a revenue of $5.4 billion in 2018. 

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National Grid

UK-headquartered National Grid is one of the world’s largest investor-owned energy companies, delivering electricity and gas across the UK and Northeastern United States. The company has a market cap of $35 billion and achieved a revenue of $5.4 billion in 2018.

Commitments

  • National Grid is committed to a 45% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2020, a 70% reduction in GHG emissions by 2030 and an 80% reduction in GHG emissions by 2050, compared to 1990 levels.
  • By 2020 National Grid is committed to:
    • Increase the energy efficiency of its UK property portfolio by 10%
    • Reduce the capital carbon of its major UK construction projects by 50%
    • Increase the energy efficiency of selected U.S. property sites by 20%
    • Reusing or recycling all recovered assets and sending zero office waste to landfill at selected sites
  • National Grid is committed to setting a science-based target with the Science Based Targets initiative.
  • National Grid is committed to setting an internal carbon price on major capital construction projects and to reporting climate change information, as part of the We Mean Business coalition Take Action campaign.

Emission reduction

  • National Grid has already exceeded its GHG emissions reduction target of 45% by 2020, with a 68% reduction in GHG emissions against 1990 baseline.
  • In the 2017/18 financial year, National Grid’s projected carbon intensity for construction projects was £145 tCO2/ £m which represented 75% their total Scope 3 Intensity Target, to reduce the tCO2/ £m spent in capital delivery construction projects by 10% year on year.

Renewable electricity 

  • National Grid’s consumption of purchased or acquired electricity in 2017/18, was 199,025 MWh from renewable sources, or 31% of total electricity used.
  • In 2017/18, National Grid’s UK generation from zero carbon sources (onshore and offshore wind, hydro-electric, biomass and embedded PV and wind) displaced. around 73.46 TWh of fossil fuel generation, a reduction of 28 million tonnes CO2e.
  • National Grid entered in to a $100m investment with Sunrun in 2017, the largest independent rooftop solar company in the US. The joint venture will sell solar power systems to homes and businesses.

Electric vehicles (EV)

  • National Grid has installed 170 EV charging ports at the company’s US office locations for employee use.
  • Through their new employee incentive program over 350 employees have purchased or leased a plug-in electric vehicle since April of 2018.
  • National Grid has filed the largest EV charging infrastructure rate-case request in Northeast history: National Grid is requesting up to $166.5 million to implement Phase II of its Electric Vehicle Market Development Program in Massachusetts. In September of 2018, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities approved Phase I of National Grid’s EV Program—which provides over $20 million for, among other things, customer rebates for the purchase of EV charging station equipment, construction and upgrades for charging station installation, marketing, and R&D. Phase II would significantly expand the scope of Phase I, and would seek to install up to 17,400 Level 2 and 300 DCFC (direct current fast charge) charging ports at over 10,000 sites in National Grid’s service territory.

Cost savings through decarbonization

  • National Grid’s Project GRAID is a remotely controlled robot able to reach and supply information from within high-pressure gas pipelines to analyse the condition of critical assets. It will save around 1,109 tCO2e per year once delivered, from avoiding replacing assets and 1,036 tCO2e per year from avoided excavations, while generating cost savings of circa £58m over 20 years.
  • National Grid has introduced a carbon weighting in tender assessments. The weighting has already provided savings such as 23% carbon and £3 million cost, for a new substation in Wimbledon, London, compared to the original design, across the asset’s lifespan.
  • Through analysis of tenders, National Grid have identified that the relationship between cost and carbon is 1:2, meaning a 10% reduction in carbon equates to a 5% cost reduction.

Impact areas 

  • National Grid have set a target of engaging 80% of their suppliers to respond to CDP’s supply chain programme by 2020.  In 2019 National Grid have achieved a global response rate of 92% surpassing its 2020 target.
  • In 2017-18 National Grid achieved 60% landfill diversion from its offices: “We collected almost 3,400 pieces of used IT equipment, with 10% reused and 90% broken down and recycled. None of this equipment was sent to landfill.”
  • National Grid are building sub-sea electricity interconnectors to join the UK to renewable energy on the continent – such as Norway’s hydropower.
  • National Grid are developing infrastructure such as solar generation schemes and offshore wind connections, to enable affordable decarbonisation of energy across the Northeastern US
  • National Grid are creating new ways to balance the electricity system in the UK during a time of rapid change in the sources of generation – from coal to wind and solar.

Unique innovations 

  • In 2017, National Grid won the BiTC Environmental Leadership award for their work integrating carbon as a weighted section within their competitive tender process.
  • National Grid use an internal price of carbon – £45 per tonne of carbon in 2017/18 –  in some decision-making processes across UK regulated business operations
  • National Grid has developed a low-carbon alternative to conventionally reinforced concrete impact protection (polyethylene) slabs; which are used in shallow ditch-crossing situations, which delivers a 44% carbon saving.
  • National Grid helped to make possible the first offshore wind farm to be built in the US, by constructing the undersea cable that connects the project to the grid.
  • Natural Capital: Through active management and investment in the natural environment, National Grid have an opportunity to enable a more resilient network of energy assets that also deliver wider and shared benefits from ecosystem service provision. This innovative method of land management called ‘The Natural Grid’ also provides opportunities for the business to share their approach and foster collaboration that can bring wider benefits at greater scale. Eg. planting 0.5 hectares of trees and creating new meadow areas at their Elstree Substation.

Policy advocacy 

  • In the US National Grid have been proactively engaging policymakers and stakeholders and advocating for a strong utility role in transportation electrification at the local and national level.
  • National Grid’s CEO John Pettigrew co-chairs the Edison Electric Institute’s CEO Taskforce, and the U.S. Executive Director Dean Seavers co-chairs the Alliance to Save Energy’s “50 by 50” commission. National Grid also hold a board seat on the Alliance for Transportation Electrification.
  • National Grid disagrees with the EPA’s April 2018 decision that its GHG emissions standards for 2022-25 cars and trucks are not appropriate, and must be revised to be less stringent.
  • In April 2016 National Grid endorsed C2ES’s statement calling for the US ratification of the Paris Agreement.
  • On March 27th 2017 National Grid’s U.S. President Dean Seavers, met with Dave Banks, Special Assistant to the President for International Energy and Environment, as part of a larger delegation of industry stakeholders, who urged Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to ensure that the U.S. remains in the Paris Agreement.

Leadership

  • In 2018 National Grid backed the UK Government’s 2018 bid to reignite the carbon capture industry with a call to fast-track funding for new projects
  • In 2019 National Grid:
    • Stated there was ‘immediate action’ required to ready the UK’s energy system for a net zero target
    • Predicted a fleet of 35m electric vehicles could help the UK reach its net-zero carbon target by forming large battery hubs to store renewable energy
    • In downstate New York territories, National Grid filed one of the most progressive rate cases in the United States under ‘Future of Heat’ to pilot new programs and technologies to stimulate new clean energy alternatives that will decarbonize the gas network. Some of those innovations include a ‘green gas tariff,’ power-to-gas demonstration project, hydrogen blending study and a program to facilitate interconnection of renewable natural gas projects.

National Grid Partners (NGP) is the venture investment and innovation arm of National Grid plc. NGP makes and manages strategically and financially attractive investments and leads company-wide disruptive innovation efforts. The organization focuses on innovation, incubation, corporate venture capital, and business development, providing a multi-functional approach to change the status quo. NGP is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices in Los Gatos and San Francisco, and is also located in Boston, London, and New York. 

Read more of We Mean Businesses’ Better Future Faster series.