According to a study of 25 corporations, many of the world’s largest corporations are failing to fulfil their own climate change targets. The New Climate Institute report has indicated that these companies frequently misrepresent or misreport their success on a regular basis.
Companies Responsible for 5 per cent Emissions
According to the survey, Google, Amazon, Ikea, Apple, and Nestle are among those failing to shift rapidly enough. These companies account for 5% of global greenhouse-gas emissions, implying that, despite their large carbon footprints, they have considerable potential to lead in the fight against climate change.
“The rapid acceleration of corporate climate pledges, combined with the fragmentation of approaches, means that it is more difficult than ever to distinguish between real climate leadership and unsubstantiated,” the study says.
The author of the study has claimed that the original agenda of the study was to discover best practices in the corporate world. However, the results that were not very encouraging, as the integrity of the top companies of the world was proven questionable.
Defence by the Companies
The study titled Corporate Climate Responsibility Monitor, conducted by non-profit organisations New Climate Institute and Carbon Market Watch shed light on climate action by the top companies of the world. In response to this, the companies came to defend themselves by releasing official statements.
Amazon said in its statement: “We set these ambitious targets because we know that climate change is a serious problem, and action is needed now more than ever. As part of our goal to reach net-zero carbon by 2040, Amazon is on a path to powering our operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025.”
And Nestle commented: “We welcome scrutiny of our actions and commitments on climate change. However, the New Climate Institute’s Corporate Climate Responsibility Monitor (CCRM) report lacks understanding of our approach and contains significant inaccuracies.”
Unilever has said: “While we share different perspectives on some elements of this report, we welcome external analysis of our progress and have begun a productive dialogue with the New Climate Institute to see how we can meaningfully evolve our approach.”
Net zero means not contributing to the quantity of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which experts say the world must achieve by 2050 to limit global temperature rises. To achieve it, emissions must be reduced as much as feasible, and any that remain must be balanced off by removing an equal amount.
Companies are free to choose their own goals. Google, for example, has stated that it will be carbon-free by 2030, while Ikea has stated that it will be “climate-positive” by 2030.
Emissions are produced by a variety of factors, including the transportation of goods and the energy consumed in factories and stores. Growing food or cutting down trees has a carbon footprint as well.
Each company was given a “integrity” rating in the survey. It discovered that while some companies were performing relatively well in terms of lowering emissions, all could do better. None were awarded a “high integrity” rating. It looked at things like revealing emissions on a yearly basis, providing a breakdown of emission sources, and providing information in a clear and intelligible manner.
Of the companies that received a “low integrity” rating include Amazon, Google, and Ikea. Unilever and Nestle on the other hand, received “very low integrity” rating under the study. Apple fared relatively better with regards to these companies by getting a “moderate integrity” rating.
Gap Between communication and Execution
According to the survey, the way firms talk about their climate pledges is also a major issue. There is a significant difference between what corporations say and what is the reality. This makes it difficult for consumers to determine the truth.
According to the research, upstream emissions, such as the consumption of electricity by consumers using Apple phones, laptops, and other devices, account for 70% of Apple’s climate footprint. Such emissions are often neglected by businesses in their climate strategy.