81 global companies join Obama in climate pledge

Nike, McDonalds, Sony and Dell are among 81 corporations that have signed up to a new White House-sponsored pledge promising individual and collective action on climate change.

The White House announced on Monday that 68 new companies had signed up to the American Business Act on Climate Pledge, joining 13 original signatories.

By signing the agreement, the companies are calling for a’ strong outcome’ from the Paris climate talks, but the firms are also required to make significant pledges of their own to reduce emissions, increase low-carbon investments, deploy more clean energy, and take other actions to build more sustainable businesses.

For example, Apple pledged to bring an estimated 280 megawatts of clean power generation online by the end of 2016, Berkshire Hathaway pledged to double its investment in renewables to $30bn, while Ikea promised to produce as much renewable energy as it uses by 2020.

The pledges are not just limited to energy. Kelloggs, for example, promised to achieve zero net deforestation in high-risk supply chains by 2020, while L’Oreal said it will send zero waste to landfill by 2020.

While some of the pledges are confirmations of existing commitments, a Whitehouse official said the majority were either new or expanded on previous goals.

Global Challenge

Food and drink firm Mars’ commitments included sending zero waste to landfill across all its sites by 2015 and eliminating 100% of GHG emissions from across its global operations by 2040.

Mars’ chief sustainability officer Barry Parkin said: “Tackling climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing our global community. It is simply not an option to stand back and do nothing.

“We are proud to join the many other businesses pledging their support to the American Business Act on Climate today. At Mars, we believe that our growth is not only linked to, but dependent on, the protection of the world that we all call home.”

The 81 companies that have now signed the agreement represent more than $3trn in annual revenue, and have a combined market capitalization of over $5trn.

With the Paris climate conference just over a month away, there has been a flurry of business-led climate action, from companies committing to 100% renewable energy, to fossil fuel firms backing a two degree limit.

Addressing climate change has also become an important part of Barack Obama’s final term in office. The President’s Climate Action Plan, is expected to cut nearly 6 billion tons of carbon pollution through 2030, while the Clean Power Plan aims to reduce emissions from the energy sector by 32% by 2030.

The full list of firms and their pledges is available here.

Brad Allen



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