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Why Companies Must Take Bold Steps to Address the Climate Crisis

Photo: Courtesy of Markus Spiske

Tim Greiner

Co-Founder and Managing Director, Pure Strategies, [email protected]

The climate crisis and its impact on extreme weather, future carbon regulation, and the threat of other worsening factors are driving companies to manage risks and ensure a future for their businesses by setting aggressive goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions — but is it enough?

According to The Independent, “July 2019 is … the hottest month ever recorded on Earth. We are on track for the period from 2015 to 2019 to be the five hottest years on record … the battle against climate change is the “race of our lives.”

This is driving more than 300 organizations to set climate targets in line with the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions scientists say are needed to stay within reasonable atmospheric warming levels, known as science-based targets.

The reductions needed are substantial. Agribusiness giant Cargill is working to reduce GHG emissions from its beef production chain by 30 percent by 2030, which will equate to removing 2 million cars from U.S. highways for a year.

Bold steps

However, leading companies understand that typical efforts to achieve efficiencies throughout the business, even working upstream or downstream, are not enough. Bold steps are needed.

This means changing business models and working beyond the usual spheres of influence. Ben & Jerry’s, as a part of their science-based target efforts, is shifting its product portfolio to include plant-based desserts. The smaller carbon footprint from almond-milk ice cream is a step-change from the incremental improvements possible with dairy-based ice cream.

Seventh Generation developed a set of ambitious, science-based climate targets, including a 100 percent commitment to clean energy, and has focused efforts on changing the U.S. electricity grid through a partnership with the Sierra Club.

“Firms that take a stand on values, sustainability, and climate resiliency are better fit to serve and retain customers,” notes Forbes.

It is more than a business benefit; setting science-based targets and taking bold steps to change is a business imperative. Are you ready to join the leading companies taking the bold steps for our future?

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