The burden of climate change isn’t just for you and me to shoulder. Some of the biggest companies are joining the flight on the corporate level and making headline worthy differences. Here is a look at our top-ten publicly traded companies fighting climate change in 2021 and winning:
Beginning where we all begin any search, without question, Google. https://sustainability.google/commitments/#
Google became the first major company to become carbon neutral. It was the first company to achieve 100% renewable energy. By 2030, it aims to become the first major company to operate carbon free. In 2019, it made the biggest corporate purchase of renewable energy in history at the time, working with partners to help demonstrate and commercialize new technologies. Google has also worked to develop and advocate for policies to clean the electricity grid, continuously applying its own software and machine learning to optimize clean energy across the industry. By 2030, Google aims to become the first major company to operate on carbon-free energy 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
From plate to planet, one company is a cut above the rest, Beyond Meat. https://www.beyondmeat.com/
The University of Michigan assessed the Beyond Burger’s environmental impact compared to a standard quarter pounder burger of meat. The study determined that the Beyond Burger required 99% less land, 93% less land, 46% less energy, and produced 90% fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared to its cow counterpart.
You can call this one copy and please repeat, Hewlett-Packard. https://www.hp.com/us-en/hp-information/sustainable-impact.html
HP’s goal is carbon neutrality and zero waste in HP operations by 2025, with 100% renewable electricity in global operations. By 2030 HP hopes to achieve carbon neutrality with supplies business, reduce HP absolute value chain GHG emissions 50%, reach 75% circularity for products and packaging and maintain zero deforestation for HP paper and paper-based packaging. By 2040, HP plans to counteract deforestation for non-HP paper used in its products and print services and achieve net zero GHG emissions across the HP value chain.
Since 2016, HP has been working to reduce ocean-bound plastics through its pilot program in Haiti. These efforts have already diverted more than 60 million plastic bottles from reaching the waterways and oceans. HP opened a new $2 million plastic washing line in Haiti in 2020 to produce clean, high-quality recycled plastic for use in HP products, including Original HP ink cartridges and the company’s most sustainable PC portfolio.
HP joined Project STOP in 2020 to help create a circular waste management system in East Java and income-generation opportunities, including for those who work in the informal waste sector. In April 2020, HP partnered with UL on the first ever certification for ocean-bound plastics.
In 2020, Arbor Day Foundation, Chenming Paper, Domtar, New Leaf Paper, and International Paper joined the HP Sustainable Forests Collaborative to accelerate efforts on forest restoration. In 2019, HP pledged $11 million to support WWF’s efforts to restore part of Brazil’s threatened Atlantic Forest and improve the management of state owned and private forest plantations in China— to ultimately restore, protect, and transition to responsible management 200,000 acres of forests. In addition, HP joined the World Economic Forum 1t.org project and reported one million trees planted through initiatives with the Arbor Day Foundation— including planting a tree for each HP employee.
From soap to ice cream, the products you buy play a role in protecting the planet thanks to Unilever. https://www.unilever.com/planet-and-society/climate-action/strategy-and-goals/
By 2039 the consumer goods company aims for net zero emissions from all of its products. In September 2020, Unilever’s home care division announced an ambitious new plan called the ‘Clean Future’ program, reimagining the future of cleaning to become lower carbon and lower waste, with the same or even better performance, from its global cleaning and laundry brands including Omo (Persil), Sunlight, Cif and Domestos. Unilever pledges to remove all fossil-fuel derived carbon from its cleaning and laundry brands and move to 100% biodegradable formulations by 2030. Since 2010, its greenhouse impact per consumer use has reduced by 10% against a restated baseline. With a goal of zero emissions by 2030, they are getting there at a steady pace. Since 2008, Unilever has reduced energy use by 31%. In 2020, the company achieved its target of sourcing 100% of the grid electricity used in its manufacturing operations from renewable sources.
Johnson & Johnson
This is no bandaid, this is long term healing for the planet. https://www.jnj.com/health-for-humanity-goals-2025
By 2025, Johnson & Johnson pledges 100% of its electricity needs will come from renewable sources. By 2030, it hopes to achieve carbon neutrality for its operations, to reduce absolute Scope 1 and 2 emissions 60% from 2016 levels. By 2030, it plans to reduce absolute upstream value chain (Scope 3) emissions 20% from 2016 levels. Johnson & Johnson received the Energy Star Partner of the Year Award in 2019, earned a spot on the CPD A List for its action against climate change, and is a committee leader for the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance.
This automobile company is a driving force, putting climate change in high gear. https://www.tesla.com/ns_videos/tesla-impact-report-2019.pdf
Transportation and electricity production are two of the largest sources of GHG emissions, making up more than half of all U.S. emissions. Tesla’s ecosystem (solar, batteries and vehicles) aims to reduce the environmental impacts of transportation, electricity production and energy use by people, homes, businesses, and the grid. Tesla is bringing sustainable and affordable energy solutions to communities around the world. On the island of Ta’u in American Samoa, Tesla created a microgrid consisting of over 5.3K solar panels and 60 powerpack systems, which is capable of powering 100% of the island on clean energy for 3 full days without sun. Today, instead of burning almost 110K gallons of diesel per year, paying for rising fuel and related transportation costs and having to face negative health impacts, nearly 900 residents of Ta’u benefit from clean, affordable, and reliable energy year-round.
Tesla is committed to making significant progress towards our goal of operating global Tesla manufacturing, vehicle charging and other operations using 100% renewable energy.
Compute this, climate change is at the tip of your fingers, literally. https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/corporate-responsibility/sustainability?activetab=pivot_1%3aprimaryr3
Microsoft has been carbon neutral across the world since 2012 and commits to being carbon negative by 2030. Its goal is to promote sustainable development and low-carbon business practices globally through sustainable business practices and cloud-enabled technologies.
The computer giant has environmental policies and practices in place aimed to protect, conserve, and sustain natural resources along in partnership with its customers. One way the company does this is through device recycling, offering voluntary recycling for Microsoft-branded products and packaging. The products made are also energy efficient and product lifecycle assessment (LCA) is done to calculate the environmental impacts of all activities associated with the product lifecycle.
The world’s largest technology company is taking a bite out of climate change. https://www.apple.com/environment/pdf/Apple_Environmental_Progress_Report_2021.pdf
Apple has set a goal to become carbon neutral across its entire footprint by 2030. The technology giant will get there by reducing emissions by 75 percent compared to 2015, and then investing in carbon removal solutions for the remaining emissions. Apple is also pledging to make products and packaging using only recycled or renewable materials while stewarding water resources and sending zero waste to landfill. The company will achieve this goal through chemistry, innovation, and rigorous controls with one goal: to be better for the environment. Other notable environmental commitments include:
- 100+ suppliers committed to 100% renewable electricity
- 100% renewable energy sourced for all Apple facilities
- 99% recycled tungsten in iPhone 12 and Apple Watch Series 6
- Carbon neutral for corporate operations since April 2020
- 40% of all material in MacBook Air with Retina display comes from recycled sources
- Restore Fund will invest up to $200M in natural climate solutions
- 15M metric tons of emissions avoided due to carbon reduction initiatives
- Energy use reduced by 13.9M kWh through efficiency efforts
Apple also drew a 10-year climate roadmap to address its carbon footprint through five pillars:
- Low-carbon design
- We will design products and manufacturing processes to be less carbon-intensive through thoughtful material selection, increased material efficiency, and greater product energy efficiency.
- Energy efficiency
- We will increase energy efficiency at our own facilities and in our supply chain by finding opportunities, such as retrofitting, to reduce energy use.
- Renewable electricity
- We will maintain our use of 100 percent renewable electricity for our own facilities and transition our entire supply chain to 100 percent clean, renewable sources of electricity.
- Direct emissions abatement
- We will avoid direct greenhouse gas emissions in our own facilities and in our supply chain through process innovation, emissions abatement, and the use of non-fossil-based low-carbon fuels.
- Carbon removal
- Working in parallel with our emissions reduction efforts, we will scale up investments in carbon removal projects, including nature-based solutions that protect and restore ecosystems around the world.
Moving in the right direction, one step at a time. https://www.nike.com/sustainability
Move To Zero is Nike’s journey toward zero carbon and zero waste to help protect the future of sport. Apparel labeled “sustainable materials” is made with at least 50% recycled content, and shoes with the same label are made with at least 20% recycled content by weight.
By 2025, Nike plans 70% absolute reduction of GHG emissions in owned or operated facilities through 100% renewable electricity and fleet electrification. Greenhouse gas emissions from key suppliers’ manufacturing and transportation operations will be at or below 202 levels despite anticipated business growth, through use of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and alternative fuels. 0.5M tons of GHG emissions reduced through increasing its use of environmentally preferred materials to 50% of all key materials.
To meet its 2030 target, Nike aims to reduce its carbon footprint by 65% in owned or operated spaces and by 30% across its extended supply chain.
When it comes to the planet, Hasbro isn’t playing games. https://csr.hasbro.com/en-us/environmental-sustainability
Product and Packaging Disposal
In 2013, the toys and games maker replaced polyvinyl chloride (PVC) used in its packaging with polyethylene terephthalate (PET) which is a material that is recyclable in many communities. Hasbro began using post-consumer recycled (rPET) in 2016 and, starting in 2019, it began using bioPET plastic made with plant-based material derived from agricultural by-products. This shift in material builds upon efforts to continuously enhance the sustainability of its packaging.
Additionally, in 2018, Hasbro launched an industry-leading, toy and game recycling program with TerraCycle, a global leader in product recycling. Through Hasbro’s toy and game recycling program, consumers can collect and send their well-loved Hasbro toys and games to TerraCycle, who will recycle them into materials that can be used in the construction of play spaces, flower pots, park benches, and other innovative uses.
Since 2016, Hasbro has utilized the How2Recycle® Label Program to educate consumers in the U.S. and Canada on packaging recyclability by providing recycling instructions on packaging.
If you think you can’t make a difference in climate change, think again. In virtually every aspect of your life, the companies you support are investing in ways to better the world for tomorrow through innovation, planning and commitment.