Jacobs and CMS UK unveil net-zero targets

Engineering firm Jacobs has unveiled a new climate action plan that commits the company to reach net-zero emissions across operations and business travel by the end of the year, while UK law firm CMS has set a net-zero target for 2025, backed by science-based targets.

Jacobs' climate action plan has outlined steps to set science-based targets

Jacobs' climate action plan has outlined steps to set science-based targets

Jacobs’ Climate Action Plan commits the company to achieving and maintaining 100% renewable energy use and reaching net-zero emissions across operations and business travel by the end of the year. From 2021 onwards, Jacobs will target carbon-negative status by 2030 for its operations and business travel.

In 2019, Jacobs set a goal to reduce business travel emissions by 20% by 2022. Scope 3 emissions are still be quantified by the company, but science-based targets for both operations and supply chain will be set.

“Today, we reveal a plan that sets us apart – capturing the shared passion, pride and drive of our people as we work to preserve our planet for future generations,” Jacobs’ chief executive Steve Demetriou said.

“From the way we operate our business, to the work we perform with clients and other organizations, Jacobs’ Climate Action Plan details how we will continue to make a positive environmental, societal and economic difference for businesses, governments and communities around the world.”

The net-zero plan builds on Jacobs’ PlanBeyond strategy, which was launched in early 2019. According to the Climate Action Plan, Jacobs’ carbon footprint for scope 1 and 2 emissions and travel aspects of scope 3 reached 166,365 tonnes in 2019. Business travel accounts for 60% of total quantified emissions for the company, which has a workforce of more than 55,000.

Net-zero law

In related news, law firm CMS UK has this week also unveiled a net-zero strategy, with the target date set for 2025.

The law firm has spent the last year measuring its greenhouse gas emissions across its global jurisdictions and international offices will also be covered by the target.

CMS has set science-based targets to reduce emissions by 30% by 2025 and then 50% by 2030 across operational and supply chain emissions. The firm has confirmed it will offset remaining emissions to reach net-zero but will explore going beyond net-zero and addressing its historical carbon debt.

While offsets will be used, reduction is still the main driver of the ambition. Seven of the firm’s eight UK offices now run on 100% renewable electricity and a mobile app will be launched to help more than 3,200 of its staff assess and act on their own carbon footprints.

CMS’s senior partner Penelope Warne commented: “We are living through difficult times, but as a firm, we recognise that climate change remains a central priority for us, our people and our clients. That is why it is so important that our commitment to reduce emissions to net-zero by 2025 is backed by scientific and independently verifiable measurement.

“It also focuses our attention and efforts on practical behavioural change, operational improvements and supporting suppliers to make a real difference.”

Matt Mace



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