More than half of executives (52%) expect at least 50% of their products and services to be low carbon by 2028,according to a new YouGov survey of global corporations in the Science Based Targets initiative.
Of these, nearly 1 in 5 (19%) predict close to 100% will be low carbon in ten years’ time.
The companies surveyed have already set, or committed to set, science-based targets to cut their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in line with the rates required to keep global warming below 2°C.
“By anchoring targets in science, companies are able to move beyond incremental improvements and focus on what’s necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the scale that is needed,” said Kevin Rabinovitch, global vice president sustainability at Mars, one of 114 companies to have their targets independently approved by the Science Based Targets initiative. The initiative mobilizes companies to set science-based targets and boost their competitive advantage in the transition to the low-carbon economy. It is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and one of the We Mean Business Coalition commitments.
“If every company, community and government set science-based targets the cumulative result would enable us to live within the planet’s boundaries,” Rabinovitch added.
The survey asked respondents to select up to three factors from a list, 65% of respondents chose environmental factors as one of the biggest trends affecting business growth in the next five years, second only to technological change (88%) and ahead of economic policy (59%).
In total, 79% of the companies surveyed said brand reputation is one of the biggest benefits of setting science-based targets, while 63% said the commitment helps to drive innovation. Nearly a third (29%) claimed that science-based targets deliver bottom-line savings to their business.
“Companies are increasingly aware of the risks of dangerous climate change and the business opportunities in taking action,” said Dexter Galvin, global director of Corporations & Supply Chains at CDP, one of the Science Based Targets initiative partners.
“It’s clear that many corporates are taking a lead by adopting science-based targets to create low carbon products and services and reduce their emissions. The fact that one in five executives with science-based targets expect 100% of their products and services to be low carbon within a decade is remarkable - and suggests a tipping point is in reach.”