Unilever's Marc Engel on net-zero targets, Scope 3 emissions and nature-based finance

EXCLUSIVE: Unilever's chief supply chain officer Marc Engel told edie that businesses need to figure out "how big their nets" are when setting net-zero targets that can too often rely on offsetting, while also welcoming some promising frameworks unveiled at COP26.

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Speaking to edie's content editor Matt Mace in the Action Zone at COP6 to mark Youth and Empowerment Day, Engel claimed that there had been some notable announcements from world leaders that would help businesses on their own net-zero journeys.

On COP26, Engel claimed that negotiations had gotten off to a “good start” and that businesses had been given a greater platform to get involved in the wider talks at the conference.

“The role of business at this COP is fundamentally different than what we’ve seen in the past,” Engel told edie. “I think this is a positive change given that we all need to work together and governments have given businesses a more prominent role.”

Engel was speaking to edie following the launch of a new 1.5C supplier engagement guide, published by the Exponential Roadmap Initiative – a scheme set up to help companies, cities and nations to back up long-term climate targets with plans to at least halve emissions by 2030 – of which Unilever is involved with.

Engel outlined four key considerations for businesses looking to work with suppliers to reach net-zero, including asking an all important question: “how big is your net?”

edie at COP26

Want more exclusive content from inside COP26? Hosted in association with our headline COP26 content partner O2, edie is running a daily podcast show, featuring exclusive interviews with some of sustainability’s sharpest minds. Check out the COP26 Covered podcast here.

We're also providing regular live updates of all the major announcements. From rousing speeches to official climate plans, our COP26 Live Blog gives you everything you need to know about each day at the Summit.

View all of edie's COP26 content here.


Marc Engel at edie’s Sustainability Leaders Forum

Unilever’s Marc Engel will be speaking at edie’s Sustainability Leaders Forum (1-2 February) 2021.

Engel will be discussing how businesses can “win the race to zero” by embedding the right cultures across organisations and helping smaller businesses decarbonise across the value chain. He will be joined by the likes of IKEA’s head of climate Andreas Ahrens, Greggs’ head of sustainability Paul Rhodes, the Kraft Heinz Company’s chief growth officer Cristine Kenz and London’s deputy mayor for environment and energy Shirley Rodrigues.

For more information about the award-winning Sustainability Leaders Forum and to book tickets, click here. 

edie staff



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