A total of 87 international companies have committed to limiting climate change to 1.5°C and reaching net-zero emissions by no later than 2050.
Firms including ASICS, Burberry, The Co-operative Group, Danone, Nestlé and Nokia are taking action to align their business models with what scientists say is needed to help protect the planet by setting science-based targets through the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).
The scheme independently assesses corporate emissions reduction targets in line with meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement – the firms which have a combined market capitalisation of more than $2.3 trillion (£1.84tn) and annual direct emissions equivalent to 73 coal-fired power plants, will align both their operations and value chains in this direction.
The signatories’ commitments applying to their entire value chains means the move will have a much more powerful impact than if they related to direct emissions alone – the carbon footprint from value chains on average accounts for 5.5-times more emissions than are created by the operational side of businesses.
The firms represent more than 4.2 million employees from across 28 sectors, with headquarters located in 27 countries.
Andrew Steer, SBTi Board Member and President and CEO of World Resources Institute, said: “Warming beyond 1.5°C is a calamity we simply must not risk.
“Science-based targets provide a blueprint for companies to make a clear contribution to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement but we need all hands on deck. There is not a minute to lose.”