Addressing climate change has become an urgent imperative on the agenda of global companies, not only to reduce carbon emissions and thus protect societies, but also to drive innovation that will benefit them as well.
In this respect, companies play an important role to invest in solutions to protect the planet and the economy, and even ambitious climate action can spur innovation that helps businesses and customers.
Here are 3 steps companies can take to be more climate-ambitious, according to a report published by the World Economic Forum, written by Kara Hurst, Amazon’s vice president of global sustainability.
Setting Declared Climate Goals
Businesses must publicly reach ambitious climate goals so that they are accountable to drive change and encourage them to achieve the desired goals, according to the report.
In 2019, Amazon worked with the Executive Secretary of the Paris Agreement, Christiana Figueres, to co-found the Climate Pledge, which calls for organizations to take urgent action and commit to achieving carbon neutrality by 2040, 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement target.
So far, more than 200 companies – including Microsoft, EMB and Verizon – have signed the Climate Pledge, which represents more than $1.8 trillion in global annual sales, and operates in 21 countries, indicative of the collective impact the pledge can have to tackle Climate change.
According to the report, these companies must invest in the products and services needed to achieve the pledge to reach carbon neutrality by 2040.
Start With The Most Influential Sector
In order to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040, it is necessary to start with the most carbon emitting sector in order to have a visible impact.
In this sense, transportation is one of the main sectors that lead to an increase in carbon emissions globally.
Transport is responsible for a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions associated with the global energy sector, and this could rise to a third by 2050, without concrete action being taken, according to the World Bank.
Alternative transportation solutions, along with efficiency and optimization, are essential in achieving a low-carbon economy in the future.
For example, Amazon has made significant changes and investments in all of its business sectors, including transportation and logistics.
As a result, Amazon reduced its carbon intensity by 16 percent last year, year-on-year, and the company placed an order for 100,000 electric delivery vehicles from Rivian in 2019, the largest ever order for an electric delivery vehicle.
The US company aims to achieve carbon neutrality for about 50 percent of total shipments by 2030.
Enhancing The Technologies Of The Future
In addition to working to reduce current emissions, companies must work to ensure that no more emissions are emitted later, by thinking ahead and designing sustainable and carbon-neutral technologies for future use, according to the report.
And in 2020, the Climate Pledge Fund was launched to support the development of sustainable technologies and services and decarbonize, an initial $2 billion program that invests in visionary companies whose products and solutions will facilitate the transition to a low-carbon economy, according to the World Economic Forum.
For example, this fund has so far invested in BETA Technologies – a company that makes electric planes used in freight and logistics – and others.