Published 4 years ago.
About a 15 minute read.
Image: Casey Horner/Unsplash
New partnerships for forest and clean-air restoration, science-based emissions-reduction targets by over 50 companies and 6 countries, lead us into a week full of business and government sustainability commitments for Climate Week 2019.
New Delhi, India | Image credit: alvpics/Pixabay
Coinciding with its participation in Climate Week and the UN General Assembly,
3M has partnered with international NGO Clean Air Asia on science-based air quality
solutions for New Delhi, India and Metro Manila, Philippines;
ultimately advancing the organization’s mission to create healthier, more
livable cities in Asia.
To move toward this goal, 3M will spend the next five years assisting Clean Air
Asia in its efforts to assess baseline air quality conditions, design
capacity-building programs for air quality management, implement awareness and
education campaigns, develop Clean Air Action Plans with selected city and
district governments, and measure the resulting impact on air pollution levels.
is a worldwide health issue, but the majority of people living in urban areas in
Asia are exposed to levels of pollution that pose significant health risks. Of
the almost five million premature deaths estimated to be attributable to air
pollution (ambient PM2.5, household, and ozone) across the globe in 2017, about
70 percent occurred in
and only 2 percent of 420 cities surveyed in Asia met the PM2.5 World Health
Organization (WHO) Air Quality Guideline (annual average), based on
Clean Air Asia’s 2018 analysis of ambient air quality in Asia.
In Metro Manila, PM2.5 levels in four of five cities with monitoring data in
2017 exceeded both the National Ambient Air Quality Guideline Value and WHO
Air Quality Guideline. India is also struggling with poor air quality
nationwide. According to the WHO in 2016, 14 of the 20 most-polluted cities in
the world were in India, and 900,000 premature deaths were attributed to poor
air quality. New Delhi’s sources of air pollution include industrial facilities,
vehicles, road dust and domestic
“Solutions are at hand to address this severe health threat in Asia, although
there are challenges due in part to a lack of institutional resources,
technology solutions and financial support,” says Clean Air Asia Executive
Director Bjarne Pedersen. “This new collaboration with 3M will support our
work to bridge these gaps and implement science-based policies and programs to
improve lives in New Delhi and Metro Manila.”
3M has accelerated its long-standing commitment to sustainability over the past
year — in both strategy and action. It announced bold new commitments to
renewable energy, advancing a circular
and embedding sustainability in all new
Today, at the World Economic Forum’s Sustainable Development Impact
Summit — also taking place in New York City this week — HP Inc.
announced its next steps in creating a forest-positive future for printing with
longstanding partner and conservation leader World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
With the help of WWF, HP is committing to the restoration, protection and
conservation of 200,000 acres of forest, an area equal to the size of NYC. As
part of the 5-year agreement, HP will also support WWF’s efforts in developing
science-based targets for forests, estimating carbon and nature co-benefits of
forest restoration and improved forest management. Beginning this November, the
new initiative — led by WWF — will consist of two major forest restoration and
management projects, the first within HP’s Sustainable Forests Cooperative.
HP is investing in the conservation of the world’s forests and committing to
meaningful action towards its vision for sustainable
Its Sustainable Forests Cooperative is designed to drive action now and inspire
others to preserve and improve forest ecosystems for future generations. The
company’s goal is that printing with HP will directly increase responsible,
FSC-certified and recycled fiber sourcing, while contributing to the
restoration, protection and improved management of the world’s forests for
“HP has long envisioned a future bettered by technology and the power it has to
create a more sustainable future,” explains Tuan Tran, HP’s president of
global imaging and printing solutions. “That’s why we’ve teamed up with World
Wildlife Fund, FSC and others to create a forest positive future for printing by
restoring and protecting the world’s forests for our industry, our customers and
Over the 5-year agreement, HP will contribute $11 million for WWF to restore
part of Brazil's threatened Atlantic Forest and increase sustainable
management of state-owned farms and forest plantations in China — ultimately
protecting a combined area of 200,000 acres.
HP will also contribute toward WWF’s development of science-based
forests. The partnership will provide much-needed guidance on the quantity and
quality of forests needed in key regions, to restore and protect forest that
provide for people, plants and animals. HP will support the development of
external tools to help companies estimate the climate, water and biodiversity
benefits associated with various conservation efforts.
“The decline of forests around the world increasingly destabilizes our climate
and threatens the rich biodiversity that sustains billions of lives and
livelihoods,” explains WWF President and CEO Carter Roberts. “To reverse the
global loss and degradation of forests, companies need to look beyond their own
supply chains and implement bold strategies to protect and restore these
critical ecosystems. HP’s new project has the potential to deliver meaningful
and lasting change and spur other industry leaders to action.”
With resource-rich forests such as the
being destroyed at the pace of 27 soccer fields per
HP believes the time for better business models, greater collaboration and swift
action is now. In response, HP is working with the world’s largest paper
manufacturers — including International Paper, whose tonnage of responsibly
sourced fiber is more than 7 million tons a year.
Furthermore, International Paper and WWF have collaborated on ambitious goals
for the sustainable sourcing of fiber, and the two are establishing the
first-ever science-based targets for forest conservation. HP will amplify
the conservation efforts already underway with WWF and International Paper. As a
longtime Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) stakeholder and certificate
holder, International Paper is committed to sustainable forest management,
conservation and restoration efforts both within its supply chain and outside
“We are thrilled that HP has decided to join us in our ambition to advance
conservation and restoration actions in forest ecosystems beyond our existing
fiber supply chains,” said Tom Cleves, International Paper’s VP of global
citizenship. “We applaud HP for holding all its suppliers accountable for
responsible sourcing and ensuring consumers know that the paper they buy comes
from renewable, sustainably managed forests.”
Having achieved its zero-deforestation goals with HP-branded paper, and in
addition to the projects announced today, HP intends to increase awareness about
the importance of responsibly managed forests, generating further demand for
and forest-friendly products.
“As the world’s most trusted forest certification, FSC-certified, responsibly
managed forests are critical for biodiversity, clean water and carbon storage,
as well as for wood and fiber,” states FSC US president Corey Brinkema.
“HP’s new initiative represents the type of business leadership needed to
protect forests for current and future generations, and fight climate change,
even as we use forest products to meet our daily needs.
HP says it will also continue its efforts in reducing carbon emissions and
energy use, while increasing the use of recycled materials and ocean-bound
plastics in its products — such as in its just-released Elite Dragonfly
The company is on track to achieve zero deforestation goals for packaging by
2020 and has committed to increasing the use of post-consumer recycled plastics
to 30 percent across its personal systems and print product portfolio by 2025.
Image credit: Eepeng Cheong/Unsplash
Carbon finance consultancy South Pole is celebrating the opening of its NYC
office by expanding its global movement for more climate action: On Tuesday, the
company will make the city climate neutral for one hour, proving that available
climate solutions can start creating measurable, positive impacts for people and
“While the damages from extreme storm events continue to grow, affecting
communities and companies alike, we are also seeing businesses committing to
action — setting aggressive emission-reduction targets, and encouraging their
employees to take a stand for the climate,” says South Pole CEO and co-founder
Public awareness and the number of demonstrations around the climate crisis —
exemplified by Friday’s massive Global Climate
— have been rising along with the mercury, urging governments and businesses for
more ambitious action. Working together with established partners and networks,
South Pole is empowering corporate champions such as McKinsey & Co, ALDO
Group, and the New York Yankees
to seamlessly realign their decision-making processes with the global climate
agenda, reach corporate sustainability commitments, and successfully build
resilience in their supply chains and investment portfolios.
“Out of our 14 successful years of operation, nearly half have been spent
working with corporate and public leaders in the US. We are incredibly excited
to have finally opened a permanent office in the center of New York, and we will
continue investing in the American market providing local solutions for a global
problem,” said John Davis, Commercial Director at South Pole. “Our team of
American climate experts has been growing to meet the sustainability demands and
concerns from leading companies across the US.”
A leader in environmental markets and carbon and renewable energy project
development for the 9th year running, South Pole’s portfolio currently counts
700 climate-protection projects; for Tuesday’s climate-neutral hour, South Pole
compensated the carbon emissions of New York City by investing in a
community-based forest protection
Image credit: Alex Ip/Unsplash
Meanwhile, on Sunday, President Carlos Alvarado Quesada of Costa Rica
called for the formation of a High Ambition Coalition of nations to push for a
Deal for Nature that will protect 30 percent of the planet by 2030. The goal
will be to finalize the deal at the 15th Conference of the Parties to the
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Kunming, China in 2020.
The governments of the Seychelles, the UAE, Monaco, Gabon
and Mozambique have joined the initiative, which proposes science-based
target to protect 30 percent of planet’s biodiversity by 2030.
This urgent push stems from an accelerating awareness that the climate emergency
and the extinction crisis are interconnected, and that protecting more nature
could be our best chance to both sequester carbon and save threatened species.
Scientists have concluded that at least one third of climate solutions lie in
protecting and restoring our natural world.
"The fires, floods and ice melts are planetary alarm bells for us humans to
act,” Alvarado said. “Costa Rica has heard these wake up calls loud and clear
and wants all nations to join us in launching a High Ambition Coalition at the
UNFCCC Pre Cop In San Jose, committing to protect 30 percent of our planet by 2030. If we urgently unite now, we can restore and conserve nature, feed our
people, and build thriving economies."
His Excellency Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of Climate
Change and Environment, said: "We must open our eyes to the cruel fact that
climate change is progressing faster than we are, and we need to pick up the
pace to win this fight. We realize the gravity of the task at hand, but are
confident that together we can build the necessary global momentum to save the
natural world we value and on which we depend so much. We are proud to join the
High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People. We share the coalition's vision
to chart an ambitious path toward protecting nature worldwide."
Earlier this year, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on
Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services' (IPBES) Global Assessment found 1 million
species are threatened with extinction and called for 'Transformative changes'
to protect nature. At the same time, top scientists published A Global Deal for
a "companion pact to the Paris Agreement," stating that 30 percent of Earth
needs to be formally protected and an additional 20 percent designated as
climate stabilization areas, by 2030, to stay below 1.5°C.
Costa Rica’s proposal is a science-based target that seeks to protect 30 percent
of the planet in key biodiversity areas. 90 countries have already protected
more than 17 percent of their land, 27 have protected more than 30 percent, and
a few are close to or even past protecting half of their land. The protected
marine surface area has jumped from 0.7 percent of the total ocean in 2000 to
about seven percent today — a near ten-fold increase.
Enric Sala, Explorer in Residence at National Geographic and one of the
authors, said: "We ought to stop the unplugging of our life support system.
Without a healthy natural world, the future of humanity will be grim. The good
news is that we know what to do, and visionary countries are leading the way by
committing to protect 30 percent of our planet by 2030."
Image credit: Rachel Cooper/Unsplash
Also on Sunday, 87 major companies — with a combined market capitalization
of over US$2.3 trillion and annual direct emissions equivalent to 73 coal-fired
power plants — announced action to align their businesses with what scientists
say is needed to limit the worst impacts of climate change.
a call-to-action issued in June by a
group of business, civil society and UN leaders, the companies collectively
represent over 4.2 million employees from 28 sectors and are headquartered in 27
countries. They have committed to set climate targets across their operations
and value chains aligned with limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C above
pre-industrial levels and reaching net-zero emissions by no later than 2050.
Since the first 28 companies committed to 1.5°C were announced in July, the
number has more than tripled. The latest cohort of companies include ADEC
Innovations; América Móvil; ASICS Corporation; Atlassian
Corporation; Bharti Airtel Limited; Burberry; City Developments
Limited; The Co-operative Group; Croda International; Cybercom
Group; Danone; Deutsche
Telekom; Dexus; EDP - Energias de Portugal;
En+ Group; Ericsson Group; Firmenich; Glovo; Grupo Malwee;
Guess; Ingka Group; Inter IKEA Group; International Flavors &
Fragrances; Intuit; Klabin;
L'Oréal; MARUI GROUP;
Nestlé; Nokia; Novo
Nordisk; NRG Energy;
Orange Group; Ørsted;
PensionDanmark; Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited; Saint-Gobain;
Salesforce.com; Scania; Schneider Electric; Seventh Generation;
SkyPower; Sodexo; SUEZ; Swiss Reinsurance; TDC; Viña
Concha y Toro; and Wipro, among others.
“These bold companies are leading the way towards a positive tipping point where
1.5°C-aligned corporate strategies are the new normal for businesses and their
supply chains around the world,” said Lise Kingo, CEO and Executive Director
of the UN Global Compact. “This is the type of transformative change we need to
deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals for both people and planet.”
The news comes as world leaders gather in New York for a milestone Climate
by UN Secretary-General António Guterres. The Summit provides an opportunity
for governments, businesses and other stakeholders to present clear plans of
action aligned with the recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change, which warned of catastrophic
consequences should global warming exceed 1.5°C. The news also comes just before
the opening of Climate Week NYC.
Guterres has challenged governments to come to the Summit prepared to announce
revamped national climate action plans and long-term net-zero targets.
Demonstrating the private sector’s support for these efforts, companies are now
leading the way in creating a positive feedback
loop known as an “ambition loop” — with government
policies and private sector leadership reinforcing each other, and together
taking climate action to the next level.
The companies are committed to setting science-based targets through
the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi),
which independently assesses corporate emissions reduction targets in line with
what climate scientists say is needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Of the 87 companies, the following already have verified 1.5°C-aligned reduction
targets covering greenhouse gas emissions from their operations:
AstraZeneca, BT, Burberry Limited, Deutsche Telekom AG, Dexus, Elopak,
Intuit, Levi Strauss &
SAP, Signify, The Co-operative Group and
Unilever. All campaign
signatories have taken this ambition a step further by extending their
commitments to apply to their entire value chains, which on average account
for 5.5 times higher emissions than
operations, according to CDP.
“Warming beyond 1.5°C is a calamity we simply must not risk,” said Andrew
Steer, SBTi Board Member, and President and CEO of World Resources
Institute. “Science-based targets provide a blueprint for companies to make a
clear contribution to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement, but we need all
hands on deck. There is not a minute to lose.”
Published Sep 23, 2019 8am EDT / 5am PDT / 1pm BST / 2pm CEST