How Businesses are Responding to the Climate Challenge

Agreement to limit global warming to well below 2oC and pursue efforts to keep to 1.5oC, reached at the UN climate meeting in Paris, is driving businesses at home and abroad to take action. Businesses are adopting targets in their push to becoming more sustainable - here are some of the best, most recent examples of these commitments in action:

 

International companies commit to Paris ceiling

According to the global research organisation the World Resources Institute, 87 companies based in 27 countries are now committed to working towards the 1.5oC target across their operations and value chains1. The We Mean Business Coalition employs over four million staff and includes many well-known names such as Astra Zeneca, Hewlett Packard, Unilever and Vodafone. Adopting science-based targets, the companies plan to reach Net Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050 at the latest, saving direct emissions that are equal to the output from 73 coal-fired stations1.

 

UK companies step up to the plate

But achieving Net Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050 is going to need more than converting to renewable energy sources and boosting energy efficiency, according to a new report from the Ellen Macarthur Foundation3. The report believes that energy measures will achieve 55% of the emissions reduction necessary. Achieving the balance will need to be tackled separately, focusing on the continuing need for food production and manufactured goods.

 

The Circular Economy

This is where the Circular Economy comes in, working on the three principles of designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use and regenerating natural systems. Based on work in various industries, including plastics, food, cement and steel, the Foundation calculates that adopting a Circular Economy Framework would eradicate a further 20% of global emissions, leaving a balance of 25% to be achieved through emerging technologies, such as carbon capture and storage, and changes in diet and lifestyle3.

 

Plastic Bottles 

 

Plastics are a priority

The need to keep plastics in the economy and out of the ocean lies at the heart of the Global Plastics Commitment, which now contains over 400 signatories including 200 businesses representing over 20% of all plastic packaging used4.  They have a combined annual revenue in excess of $2 trillion and include well-known names such as Coca Cola, Nestle and Mars.

 

Their objectives for 2025 include increasing the use of recycled plastic five-fold and eliminating problematic plastic packaging, equivalent to leaving 25 million barrels of oil in the ground. The vision remains to achieve a Circular Economy for Plastics in which plastic never becomes waste, by re-using, re-cycling or composting.

 

The Bryt future

Our parent company, Statkraft, has recently joined with two other major electricity companies in Scandinavia, Vattenfall and Fortumto issue the Nordic Coalition Declaration5. It requests that the European Union raises its climate ambitions to match the Paris Agreement and set Net Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050 into European Climate Law.

 

These examples of how businesses are responding to the Paris Agreement, and Climate Change in general, show just how fast industries and economies are changing.

 

Your business can play its part too with a simple switch to a zero carbon, 100% renewable electricity supply. To find out more about how Bryt Energy can support your sustainability journey, get in touch with our friendly team at solutions@brytenergy.co.uk or on 0121 726 7575.

 

Sources 

 

  1. 1. World Resources Institute
  2. 2. YouGov
  3. 3. Ellen Macarthur Foundation
  4. 4. New Plastics Economy
  5. 5. Nordic Coalition Declaration

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