At the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Anand Mahindra, chairman of the Mahindra Group, challenged 500 businesses to set a science-based target (SBT) aligned with the Paris Agreement ahead of September 2018’s Global Climate Action Summit in California (dubbed the Mahindra Challenge). Today, there are 369 companies committed to the SBT Initiative.
On March 1, 2018, companies raced forward with pledges at the 2018 Climate Leadership Conference (CLC) in Denver. VISA committed to 100% renewable energy by 2019 and L’Oréal intends to reach carbon neutrality across all its US-based facilities after a deal to procure renewable landfill gas. After being bestowed CLC awards, 15 other companies also put points on the scoreboard.
At WEF New York on March 20, McDonald’s put forward its Scale for Good climate commitment as the first restaurant company to adopt a SBT, including:
- Partnering with franchisees to reduce restaurant and office emissions offices 36% by 2030 below a 2015 base year.
- Collaborating with suppliers and producers, McDonald’s committed to a 31% reduction in emissions intensity per metric ton of food and packaging across the supply chain by 2030 below 2015 levels.
McDonald’s expects to prevent 150 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent from being released to the atmosphere by 2030.
On March 27, MIT hosted the XLI Global Change Forum with the title, Science-Based Targets: Rationale and Challenge. The opening panel was led by Navigant and highlighted the practice of setting targets with two pharma titans, Novartis and Biogen, and perspectives from the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Officials and Race Organizers
The SBT Initiative defines and promotes best practices in target setting and offers guidance to reduce barriers, and independently assesses and approves companies’ targets. It also maintains an online site that lists all companies setting SBTs.
We Mean Business (WMB) is a global coalition of the most influential businesses acting on climate change. It catalyzes businesses to drive policy and accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy. WMB maintains an online site that recognizes companies taking action.
We Are Still In is a national coalition of more than 2,700 cities, states, businesses, and universities demonstrating an American commitment to tackling climate change, a clean energy future, and upholding the Paris Agreement. To date, We Are Still In is the largest US coalition in support of climate action.
SBT setting is already a part of the yearly CDP climate questionnaire and scoring process, and the data is used regularly by institutional investors.
Publicize a Pledge
Companies have sights set on four events: the Global Climate Action Summit, Climate Week NYC, UNFCCC COP24, and WEF 2019 Davos. At these events, and at the BSR and Net Impact conferences, new climate pledges will be publicized.
Why Is 2018 a Special Year?
Public awareness focuses on five things as 2018 serves as a pivot point:
- The June 2017 White House announcement threatening the Paris Agreement
- As global stock takes dates, 2020 and 2030 loom closer on the calendar
- Climate impacts are getting more intense
- Investors and other stakeholders are demanding plans (e.g., Black Rock)
- Governor Brown hosting the Global Climate Action Summit in California
Tuning Up Strategies
Like Daytona, engines in the race to tackle climate change need tuning. From diagnostics to data management to testing the efficacy of abatement measures, Navigant improves strategies, gets them approved and recognized, and identifies the best places for amplification on a global stage. Now is the time to join the 2018 race. Start your engines!