Beyond Paris: 500 companies target net-zero by 2030

More than 500 businesses certified as B-Corps have committed to becoming net-zero by 2030 - 20 years ahead of the IPCC's deadline for limiting the global temperature increase to 1.5C.

Pictured: Representatives from B Corp members at COP25. Image: Dr Ann Smith

Pictured: Representatives from B Corp members at COP25. Image: Dr Ann Smith

Companies covered by the commitment, which is being orchestrated by B Lab and the Sistema B Global Network, include the likes of The Body Shop, innocent Drinks, Patagonia, Guardian Media Group, Allbirds and Forster Communications

The commitment covers Scope 1 (direct), Scope 2 (power-related) and Scope 3 (indirect) emissions for all signatories. While it does not require signatories to avoid the use of offsetting to reach net-zero, it implores partaking companies to use them as the last aspect of their long-term net-zero plans.

Additionally, the commitment binds signatory companies to using their impact outside of their direct operations to drive further climate action. It encourages backers to declare a climate emergency and to advocate for stronger green policy from 2020 onwards.

“It is clear to us that these [climate and social] crises are being driven, and responses constrained, by an economic system that rewards the single-minded pursuit of profits while untenable externalising environmental and social costs,” the commitment states.

“We will have more to say in the near future about this underlying system failure, but in the context of COP25, we believe the science shows that a 1.5C increase in average global temperature is the limit to reduce the worst impacts for our planet and its inhabitants, especially communities on the frontlines who will be impacted first and most significantly. At the current trajectory, it is estimated we will reach this limit as early as 2030.”

The Body Shop’s international sustainability director Chris Davis added: “The call for action in response to the climate emergency is getting louder and louder yet we are still seeing global emissions continuing to rise.

“If we are to stand a chance of tackling this crisis, we need to work together, and we are proud to be joining fellow B-Corps across the world in taking action.”

In related news, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has said it will increase calls for members to join its 2030 Climate Challenge – which commits members to delivering net-zero buildings within the next decade – next year. The challenge notably requires participants to take into account the whole life-cycle emissions of their buildings, rather than simply operational emissions,

RIBA’s executive director Adrian Dobson said that the 2030 deadline should be “touch but achievable” for most UK architects.

“Changing the way the construction industry operates is not going to happen overnight but architects have the knowledge, skills and experience to lead in making these changes,” Dobson said.

“Architects will need all their powers of persuasion to make the case to clients for exceeding regulatory minimums and ensure they’re on board with tackling the climate emergency.”

Sarah George



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