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Key moments

COP26

The United Kingdom is hosting the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow (1- 12 November 2021). See the Forum COP26 Live programme, aiming to showcase the crucial role of public-private cooperation in achieving a sustainable future for people, prosperity, and the planet.

Key moments

Telenor is fighting for the green grid

This year, Telenor Group has put forward ambitious climate goals. By 2030, operations in the Nordics will be carbon neutral, while the aim is to reduce emissions by 50% in Asia compared to 2019.

The biggest challenge is in the Asian markets, where the energy used is mainly from fossil fuels. The unreliability of the grid also necessitates diesel generators, and Telenor’s installment of solar panels does not fully compensate. The answer is to have more renewable energy in the grids.

If we are to cut our emissions in Asia, we need more renewable electricity in the grids.

—Sigve Brekke, Telenor Group CEO

Read more here.

#BuildingLife project: How much to get to net zero for the built environment?

The #BuildingLife project, funded by the IKEA Foundation and Laudes Foundation, is developing an EU Whole Life Carbon Roadmap for the buildings sector, as well as 10 national Whole Life Carbon roadmaps.

As part of this project, UKGBC has convened over 70 organizations to co-create a Net Zero Whole Life Carbon Roadmap for the UK built environment. The Roadmap consists of a net zero trajectory, a set of policy recommendations, and stakeholder actions needed for the UK built environment to reach net zero by 2050.

This is the first time anyone has quantified exactly how much carbon emissions must be reduced to achieve net zero buildings and cities by 2050 across the UK.

The Roadmap will set out a clear multi-stakeholder action plan for achieving net zero carbon in the construction, operation and demolition of buildings and infrastructure and will consist of two main elements:

1. A science-based trajectory for reducing built environment emissions in line with limiting global temperature rises to below 1.5 degrees

2. A report setting out the industry actions, government policies and associated mechanisms and processes that will be needed to manage the net zero transition in the built environment, along with declarations of support from key organizations across the sector.

AlUla's Cultural Oasis is a prime example of integrated sustainability

AlUla is committed to integrated sustainability and its 12 principles guide AlUla’s development to create a new path focused on protection and preservation. The AlUla Sustainability Charter sets the ground for an innovative and integrated approach that marks a shift from responsible development to sustainable development.

As a direct response to the challenges of sustainably and responsibly developing a fragile desert environment, the replenishment of the Cultural Oasis - through research and innovative solutions - will work to rehabilitate the land and reverse the course of desertification in the area.

—Amr AlMadani, CEO of Royal Commission of AlUla

Key elements include a zero-carbon policy supported by circular economy principles; increasing the share of renewables for water heating and power generation; cradle-to-cradle solutions to expand on the use, recovery and reuse of safe and healthy products and materials; as well as an inclusivity framework ensuring that AlUla’s people are central to the long-term success of AlUla’s development as primary beneficiaries and partners.

The Cultural Oasis is one of AlUla’s flagship projects and it is a prime example of converting the charter into action. The Cultural Oasis aspires to revive AlUla’s legacy as a prosperous agricultural heartland. As a direct response to the challenges of sustainably and responsibly developing a fragile desert environment, the replenishment of the Cultural Oasis - through research and innovative solutions - will work to rehabilitate the land and reverse the course of desertification in the area.

The Royal Commission of AlUla has already started to deliver programmes as part of the Cultural Oasis project, but perhaps the best example so far of progress on the Cultural Oasis is the restoration and revival of AlUla Old Town at the heart of the oasis as a place to live and work. The restoration will preserve the town’s earthen buildings and offer them new life as places for art, culture, hospitality and commerce, using traditional solutions of adaptation to the local climate and geology. In essence, the Old Town is becoming a design laboratory, a testing ground for the principles of integrated sustainability AlUla is striving to embody.

AlUla’s approach is integrated to ensure their community is on board and actively seeing the benefits of implementing more sustainable agricultural and environmental practices. In this regard, economic sustainability is critical. For many years, AlUla has had a stubbornly high unemployment rate, and as such, advancing sustainable practices can be challenging, particularly if people believe there will be a cost to their livelihoods. This is precisely why their approach works on all fronts to deliver a balanced approach to sustainability.

The first shoots of growth are already visible. According to central-bank data, point of sale transactions in AlUla County have risen from 0.86 million in 2018 to 5.22 million in 2020, and value-added-tax collections during the same span have risen from 21.9 million riyals to 45.3 million riyals. The target is that by 2035 AlUla will have 2 million visitors a year, having made a cumulative contribution of 120 billion riyals ($32 billion) to Saudi GDP, and having created 38,000 jobs. These goals are ambitious, yet achievable. And the ripple effects on environmental and social sustainability will surely follow.

Amr AlMadani, CEO of Royal Commission of AlUla

Airlines commit to new tech to minimize climate impact

20 airline members of the World Economic Forum’s Target True Zero initiative committed to utilizing new technologies, such as electric, hydrogen and hybrid aircraft, to address the challenge of climate change. The development and delivery of novel propulsion technologies – powered by sustainable energy sources – were highlighted as key towards helping the aviation industry minimize its environmental impact.

The signatory airlines – Aero, Air New Zealand, Air Nostrum, Alaska Airlines, Amelia, ASL Aviation Holdings, Braathens Regional Airlines, easyJet, Finistair, Icelandair, Iskwew Air, Loganair, Mokulele, Ravn Alaska, SoundsAir, Southern Airways Express, Surf Air Mobility, Viva Aerobus, Waltzing Matilda Aviation, Xwing - operate over 800 aircraft and carry over 177 million passengers on 1.8 million flights a year and hope to use this influence to create market demand for new types of aircraft.

Read more here.

IBC welcomes International Sustainability Standards Board

The International Business Council of the World Economic Forum welcomes the recent announcement from the IFRS Foundation on the establishment of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB).

The historic step will enable global financial markets to have high quality and comparable disclosures on sustainability-related issues through a set of international standards that will become generally accepted and widely adopted.

Read the full statement from: Bank of America; Deloitte; EY; KPMG; and PwC here.

First Movers Coalition will drive demand for low carbon tech

Roughly half of the emission reductions needed to reach the 2050 climate goals rely on technologies in early development, demonstration or prototype phases. Accelerating innovation in this decade is critical to bring these technologies to market and make them cost-competitive.

The World Economic Forum, in partnership with US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry, launched the First Movers Coalition – a platform for companies to make purchasing commitments that create new market demand for low carbon technologies.

The Coalition will work across eight key sectors: steel, cement, aluminum, chemicals, shipping, aviation, trucking, and direct air capture. It provides opportunities for a wide range of companies take action and build the clean and profitable supply chains of the future.

Read more about the First Movers Coalition here

The Founding Members are:

A.P. Møller –Mærsk

Aker ASA

Agility

Amazon

Apple

Bain & Company

Bank of America

Boston Consulting Group

Boeing

Cemex

Dalmia Cement (Bharat) Limited

Delta Airlines

Deutsche Post DHL Group

Engie Fortescue Metals Group

Holcim

Invenergy

Johnson Controls

Mahindra Group

Nokia

ReNew

Ørsted

Scania

SSAB Swedish Steel

Trafigura Group

Trane Technologies

United Airlines

Vattenfall

Volvo Group

Yara International

Western Digital

ZF Friedrichshafen AG

IRENA and World Economic Forum launch Green Hydrogen Toolbox

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the World Economic Forum have launched a series of “Enabling Measures Roadmaps for Green Hydrogen” at COP26. This new toolbox will empower policymakers to prioritize policies for green hydrogen and accelerate its deployment at the international level in pursuit of a net-zero energy system aligned with a climate-safe 1.5C scenario.

The first roadmaps for Europe and Japan have been developed through a series of consultations with leading industry players and international organizations. The initiative leverages IRENA’s global membership, the Forum’s global network, and Accenture’s support to capture the real-time challenges and solutions for building a green hydrogen market

"Green hydrogen needs to be transitioned from its current niche role to a global energy carrier with widespread usage across sectors – this will require an integrated policy approach.

—Francesco La Camera, IRENA Director-General

The roadmaps show the top 10 measures and critical timelines for their implementation in areas such as cost reduction, demand growth, international standards, infrastructure, and technology development.

Read the press release here.

Increasing Climate Ambition: new Forum-PwC report

Pricing carbon could spur greater emissions reduction to help address the global climate crisis, but what would the economic impacts be of introducing an international carbon price floor (ICPF)?

This report, from the World Economic Forum and PwC, analyses a proposal from the International Monetary Fund for an ICPF. It finds that an ICPF could reduce global emissions by 12% without significant economic impact, or the shifting of emissions-intensive economic activities from one part of the planet to another.

An international carbon price floor (ICPF) could significantly reduce emissions.
An international carbon price floor (ICPF) could significantly reduce emissions.
Image: World Economic Forum-PwC

Oando publishes report on Renewable Energy in Nigeria

Oando has expanded their business portfolio to include a clean energy subsidiary Oando Clean Energy, which will support the Nigerian Government in reaching net zero as well as bridging the energy gap in Africa. The company has released a pre-feasibility study assessment of opportunities within Nigeria’s renewable energy space, with specific look at the Solar Value Chain, Electric Vehicles, and Waste to Energy. The report offers preliminary research to analyze, determine and select the most technically and economically viable business scenarios for further studies and adoption.

We believe that if as a nation we are to pivot substantially into renewable, then we must start to create platforms that will enable the growth and diversification of sector players.

Read the report here.

Initiative to transition industrial clusters towards net zero launches

The World Economic Forum, in collaboration with Accenture and EPRI, have launched an initiative to accelerate the transformation of industrial clusters needed for net-zero emissions.

The initiative aims to have more than 100 industrial clusters engaged by 2024.

Four clusters from Australia, the UK and Spain have already joined with a collective CO2 emissions reduction profile of approximately 30 MT – equivalent to that of an entire country such as Denmark.

The coalition will motivate other clusters around the world to follow suit, and will support by sharing innovative financing approaches and enabling policies, proposing an integrated approach to technology deployment, and, most of all, encouraging strong partnerships.

Read more here.

Rio Tinto raises its decarbonization ambition

Rio Tinto is investing in new technologies and green energy solutions to reduce its carbon footprint and support customer goals.

The company announced it is setting new scope 1 and 2 targets, bringing forward its 2030 target of reducing scope 1 and 2 emissions by 5 years. It is also more than tripling its 2030 target to a 50% reduction in scope 1 and 2 emissions.

To achieve these targets, we will need to take genuine actions. We must switch to renewables at scale and at pace, electrify everything we can, work across our entire value chain and accelerate the development of new technology.

—Jakob Stausholm, Rio Tinto Chief Executive
Hydro
Image: Rio Tinto

Read more here.

The Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders urges governments to take transformative action

The Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders, a global CEO-led community committed to climate action, is calling on policymakers at COP26 to supercharge the net-zero and climate momentum with bold commitments, policies and actions. More than 90 executives signed an open letter this week.

#COP26 is the time to accelerate government policies and create a sustainable future for all. The @wef Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders calls for action now to transform climate policies and enable a #NetZero world.

The Alliance aims to reduce 1 gigaton of emissions - equivalent to the size of Japan’s annual emission output. The organizations in the Alliance are ready to work side by side with governments – all Alliance members represent $6 trillion in market capitalization and have combined revenues of $2.4 trillion – bigger than the GDP of Italy ($2 trillion), almost the same size as the GDP of France ($2.7 trillion).

Read the open letter here.

Google launches Culture Meets Climate platform

Google Arts & Culture announced the launch of Culture Meets Climate, a new unified experience bringing together the diverse range of experiences, resources and features available to anyone interested in learning more about the environment, climate change, and sustainability from museums, artists and scientists.

As the climate crisis becomes more urgent, culture, storytelling and technology increasingly have a role to play. This live hub highlights Google’s new initiatives related to the environment and has artists and scientists reimagine climate data, telling stories from around the world as new collaborations and experiences come online.

Read more here.

JD Logistics: Green supply chain project

JD Logistics announced that it will invest RMB 1 billion yuan in “Green Stream Initiative,” its green supply chain project, during the sixth Global Smart Supply Chain summit held on 18 October. The company expects its carbon efficiency to be increased by 35% within five years.

As the first logistics company in China to join the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) in 2019, JD Logistics will halve its carbon emissions by 2030 compared to 2019 emissions.

Read more here.

ABB - Getting to Net Zero: Increasing Clean Electrification

A net-zero future by 2050 is possible but the world's ongoing shift from combustion in centralized power plants to renewable energy resources is creating a problem for existing grid infrastructure that was designed for consistent, predictable power generation.

The World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Clean Electrification, in collaboration with ABB, Energy Systems Catapult, Iberdrola, Enel and Schneider Electric, has launched the Getting to Net Zero: Increasing Clean Electrification by Empowering Demand report.

The report showcases how digitalization can empower everyday citizens to shift from pure demand and consumption to prosumerism – that is, both producing and consuming electricity, and even selling it back to the grid – and what technologies, business models and system governance are necessary.

The evolution of the power grid
Image: Contributed by ABB

DHL and TotalEnergies: A new investment on solar energy

TotalEnergies will solarize eight of DHL’s sites in Dubai to cover the equivalent of over 46,000 m² of photovoltaic panels. The solar system will save up more than 6,000 tons of CO2 the first year.

"We are delighted to support DHL Global Forwarding with their green initiatives in the UAE of which solar will play an important part, and look forward to helping them reducing their carbon footprint in the region and beyond"

—Hamady Sy, Managing Director Middle East and Africa, TotalEnergies

The whole solar system will produce over 14,000 MWh per year, enough energy to power over 16,000 homes in the UAE. In addition to supplying the sites with solar power eight electrical vehicle charging stations will also be installed. Thus, DHL Global Forwarding contributes to the Group's goal of electrifying 60 percent of its fleet by 2030.

"We are going step by step to achieve our ambitious target to reduce all logistics-related emissions to zero by the year 2050"

—Amadou Diallo, CEO, DHL Global Forwarding Middle East and Africa

Read more about this collaboration here

Electric flying taxis: Hyundai Motor Group

Hyundai Motor Group has partnered with Urban-Air Port (UAP) to deploy 65 electric Urban-Air Ports worldwide.

Part of a broader ambition to establish a global network of 200 sites within the next five years, the Urban Air Mobility Division of Hyundai Motor Group will collaborate to develop the blueprint and foundations for UAM infrastructure in key locations across the US, UK, EU and Asia Pacific to help unlock the industry this decade.

Urban Air Mobility will be integral to how we get from A to B this century. Hyundai Motor Group has a bold vision for future mobility and is committed to making the human and technological investments needed to usher in a new era of transport.

—Pamela Cohn, Chief Operating Officer and U.S. General Manager for the Urban Air Mobility Division of Hyundai Motor Group

Read more here.

Standardizing ESG reporting in the private equity industry

Leading private equity firms and investors have announced the creation of the ESG Data Convergence Project to advance an initial standardized set of ESG metrics and mechanism for comparative reporting.

The global investment firm Carlyle and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) lead the collaboration which includes firms and investors representing more than $4 trillion in assets under management.

The group includes: AlpInvest Partners, APG, Blackstone, Bridgepoint Group Plc, CalPERS, CPP, EQT AB, CPP Investments, Carlyle, CVC, Employees’ Retirement System of Rhode Island, Permira, PGGM, PSP Investments, The Pictet Group, TowerBrook and Wellcome Trust.

The group’s objective is to streamline the private equity industry’s historically fragmented approach to collecting and reporting ESG data in order to create a critical mass of material, performance-based, comparable ESG data from portfolio companies.

Read more about this initiative here

LyondellBasell: Goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050

LyondellBasell has announced its ambition of, and approach to, achieving net zero emissions from global operations by 2050.

As an interim step toward 2050, the company also announced a strategy to achieve an absolute reduction of 30% in scope 1 and scope 2 emissions by 2030.

These targets are consistent with efforts to support the Paris Agreement's goal of limiting climate change by achieving net zero for global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by mid-century.

"The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report is the most recent indicator that firm commitments, collective action and a sense of urgency are needed to help address the global challenge of climate change."

—Bob Patel, Chief Executive Officer, LyondellBasell

Read more about this initiative here

BCG: Breakthrough Energy’s Catalyst program

BCG is one of the anchor partners of Breakthrough Energy’s Catalyst program.

Breakthrough Energy (BE) is Bill Gates’ entity devoted to fighting climate change, with an ambitious group of board members and investors.

With over $1 billion in direct commitments already, BE Catalyst will mobilize many billions of dollars of private and public capital to fund large-scale demonstration projects across four technologies critical for deep decarbonization: direct air capture, green hydrogen, long duration energy storage, and sustainable aviation fuel.

This partnership follows supports BCG’s broader commitment to achieve net-zero climate impact by 2030 and, from there, to become climate positive, removing more carbon from the atmosphere than the firm emits each year.

Toyota accelerates electric vehicle battery tech

(REUTERS) Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) said on Tuesday it expected to spend more than $13.5 billion by 2030 to develop batteries and its battery supply system, in a bid to take a lead in the key automotive technology over the next decade.

The world's largest automaker by volume, which pioneered hybrid gasoline-electric vehicles with the popular Prius, is moving rapidly to deliver its first all-electric line-up next year.

Considered a leader in developing batteries for electric vehicles, Toyota said it aimed to slash the cost of its batteries by 30% or more by working on the materials used and the way the cells are structured...

Read more here.

Zurich: New report launched - Closing the Gap on Climate Action

Closing the gap on climate action, explores the actions that both business leaders and policymakers should be taking to help achieve a net-zero economy.

Chapter 1 covers the latest edition of Zurich’s Climate Change Scorecard, which tracks progress towards a 2°C scenario across 12 climate metrics. It highlights where, sometimes surprisingly, positive developments have been made and where challenges remain.

Chapter 2 explores how companies can adopt mitigation measures to help curb carbon emissions and develop net-zero business models. It draws on market insights, Zurich’s own experiences, and highlights where insurers, as well as risk managers and investors, can help companies and societies manage the transition risks associated with decarbonization.

Chapter 3 focuses on resilience and the unavoidable physical risks associated with ongoing climate change. It advises on how businesses could include adaptation measures into their strategies to help tackle these risks and leverage them as opportunities.

Chapter 4 addresses the debate on climate policy. It offers recommendations on where government action in the short term could have the biggest impact in supporting a smooth transition to net-zero.

Net Zero Carbon Cities programme briefing paper

All cities around the world face common challenges, related to the provision of housing, water, energy, transport and waste management.

Achieving net zero at city scale requires a transformation in how energy is produced, distributed and consumed in support of these services.

A new briefing paper shows how the built environment and mobility can serve as the foundations to kickstart urban transformation and decarbonization anywhere in the world.

Low angle view of apartment buildings with vertical gardens and heliostat with motorised mirrors, sky background with copy space, Green wall-BioWall or living wall is a wall covered with living plants on residential tower in sunny day, Sydney Australia, full frame horizontal composition
Urban Transformation: Integrated Energy Solutions
Image: Getty Images

To support the implementation phase, the authors also recommend addressing four critical success factors, namely the push of integrated policies and circularity, data collection and co-benefits tracking, public engagement and district-level initiatives.

This is how any city can start their net zero journey.

Contributors to the report include:

  • ABB
  • Accenture
  • Enel
  • International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)
  • Jacobs
  • Resilient Cities Network
  • Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)
  • Schneider Electric
  • Sustainable Energy for All (SEforAll)
  • UN Environment, Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN)
Urban Transformation: Integrated Energy Solutions

Learn more about the Net Zero Carbon Cities programme here.

Iberdrola: First offshore wind farm in the US

The US is building its first industrial-scale offshore wind farm, 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. It will be home to the world’s most powerful wind turbines, and is expected to help the US transition to a new clean energy economy and reach the Biden administration’s goal of 30GW of wind power by 2030.

IKEA starts selling renewable energy to households in Sweden

(Reuters) IKEA, the world's biggest furniture brand, is branching out into selling renewable energy to households, starting with home market Sweden in September.

Ingka Group, the owner of most IKEA stores worldwide, said households would be able to buy affordable renewable electricity from solar and wind parks, and track their usage through an app.

Ingka's partner Svea Solar, which produces solar panels for IKEA, will buy the electricity on the Nordic power exchange Nord Pool and resell it without surcharge. Households will pay a fixed monthly fee plus a variable rate.

IKEA, which also sells solar panels for households in 11 markets, said those buyers would be able to track their own production in the app and sell back surplus electricity...

Read more here.

Image: Ikea

Nokia Bell Labs: Vertical farming

The flying horticulturist: How Nokia Bell Labs AI and drones are helping AeroFarms revolutionize vertical farming

This remarkable merger of agriculture, AI/ML, computer vision, wireless networking and drone orchestration is the result of a new partnership between AeroFarms and Nokia Bell Labs.

AeroFarms is a pioneer in vertical farming, which transforms urban cityscapes into farmscapes by growing crops in stacked tiers under environmentally controlled conditions.

Image: AeroFarms and Nokia Bell Labs

This approach to agriculture could change how the world is fed. Crops could be grown in the same population centres in which the majority of produce is consumed. Vertical farms not only maximize square footage, but they also require far less water, energy, labor and pesticides than traditional farms.

Huge amounts of spoilage could be eliminated and fossil fuel saved as fruits and vegetables would no longer need to make the long journey from rural farms.

Read more here.

PepsiCo's net water positive vision

PepsiCo will save more than 11 billion litres of water per year and provide safe water to 100 million people worldwide by 2030. Here's how.

PepsiCo is implementing innovative solutions to conserve water as it aims to become Net Water Positive — that is, replenishing more water than the company uses and achieving best-in-class water-use efficiency at its manufacturing facilities in high-risk watersheds (land areas that channel rainfall to larger bodies of water).

Only 3% of the world’s water is freshwater, and PepsiCo’s vision is that, wherever in the world it operates, water resources will be in a better state because of its presence.

PepsiCo aims to raise efficiency standards at nearly 100 company-owned food and beverage facilities in high-risk watersheds and to work with franchise bottlers and third party manufacturers to do the same. Doing so could save more than 11 billion liters of water per year in PepsiCo-owned operations alone.

Time is running out for the world to act on water. We believe a global effort to be net water positive is essential.

—Jim Andrew, PepsiCo's Chief Sustainability Officer

Read more here.

DHL plans first electric delivery network

(Reuters) DHL Express has ordered 12 electric cargo aircraft from start-up Eviation for delivery in 2024 and plans to build the world's first electric air cargo network, the unit of German logistics group Deutsche Post (DPWGn.DE) said on Tuesday.

DHL Express said in a statement that it was the first company in the world to order "Alice" aircraft from Eviation, adding it planned to establish the first electric air freight network in a step towards sustainable aviation...

Read more here.

Johnson Matthey: Accelerating towards net-zero

Johnson Matthey's initiatives to fast-track the road to net-zero are paying off.

The company has announced a strategic partnership for sustainable battery materials production and to secure critical raw materials supply.

With a commitment to net zero by 2040, it is developing the commercialization of eLNO, its portfolio of leading nickel rich advanced cathode materials, with the latest milestone the opening of a new state-of-the-art Battery Technology Centre in Oxford.

Hailing a significant step forward for fuel cell technology, JM, as part of leading European consortium GAIA, has helped deliver a fuel cell power density of 1.8 W/cm2 @ 0.6V. This represents a 20% increase versus state-of-the-art technology. Working alongside BMW, Freudenberg, 3M and others, JM has been instrumental in delivering this step-change, supplying critical components within the fuel cell stack - the membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs).

JM has also announced its acquisition of the assets and intellectual property of Oxis Energy Limited, based near Oxford, UK. Oxis Energy was a lithium-sulfur battery developer with assets which can be adapted for the manufacture of components for green hydrogen production.

Hanwha's HQ: Fit for the future

According to the United Nations, buildings are the largest contributors of greenhouse gas emissions globally and account for a third of all the energy consumed worldwide. Emissions from buildings hit a record high in 2019, prompting the UN to call on the building industry to halve its CO₂ emissions by 2030 in order to meet net-zero carbon building stock by 2050.

At this year’s CTBUH Awards, Hanwha won the Renovation Award for its overhaul of its Seoul headquarters building. This upgrade included the development of a striking façade that features embedded solar panels and an inviting interior.

A leader in green energy, it came as no surprise that Hanwha’s 45-month renovation of its headquarters saw the incorporation of the company’s leading solar technology in addition to a number of socially and economically sustainable features.

As mentioned, Hanwha Building's renovation was to reflect Hanwha's Identity, a company's sustainable philosophy.

With solar panel incorporated, the building produces clean energy and offsetting the building's dependence on traditionally-derived electricity,

With a 35% reduction in the building's annual carbon dioxide emissions, the solar panel also produces 300kW of clean energy per day.

In the spirit of inclusivity, the renovation is also socially sustainable because it offers social spaces to the city as an amenity for the wider community.

Read more here.

AB InBev: Turning on the tap

Since 2019, AB InBev's flagship Stella Artois has donated 2.158.200 million liters of purified water leftover from brewing and other processes to the city of Leuven and Green Service.

The water is used to irrigate parks and flower beds, and is accessed via a modified discharge point at the brewery. Users can easily fill up their water trucks, much like filling a car with fuel.

This ‘tap’ at the Stella Artois brewery in Leuven, Belgium discharges millions of liters of purified (gezuiverd) water to community partners and local farmers.

Pascaline Van de Perre, corporate social responsibility manager for AB InBev Belgium said, "Every day our teams are taking steps to address pressing water challenges and make measurable improvements in water quality, consumption and availability. We’re proud to have our local fire brigades and hospitals soon joining us in this innovative program that’s giving water a second life in our community."

Iberdrola considers separating its offshore wind business

Spanish utility Iberdrola is examining whether to spin off its offshore wind business, the latest in a string of European companies seeking to capitalize on the long-term valuation of their renewable energy assets.

Iberdrola is not alone in rethinking the future of its low carbon business.

Italy’s Eni said in April that it planned to list or sell a minority stake in its low carbon business in 2022. Spain’s Repsol is also exploring listing a stake in its renewables unit.

IBM: Cloud computing and carbon capture

IBM is investigating how industry and academia can use hybrid cloud and high performance computing to help develop carbon capture and storage initiatives.

Scientists have made great progress to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) and store it safely—there is no question about that. But CO2 levels continue to rise.

How cloud computing could help store carbon dioxide in tiny rock pores
Image: IBM

To help find a way for global industries to achieve carbon capture and storage (CCS) goals, the IBM Research team has decided to combine high-performance computing (HPC) and hybrid cloud.

Read more here.

ArcelorMittal partners with Spanish Government to cut carbon emissions

ArcelorMittal has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Spanish Government that will see a €1 billion investment in decarbonisation technologies.

The company has committed to reduce CO2 emissions at all their Spanish operations by up to 4.8 million tonnes, which represents approximately 50% of emissions, within the next five years.

ArcelorMittal has a target to reduce CO2 emissions in Europe by 30% by 2030, and an ambition to be net-zero by 2050.

As a large emitter, the steel industry can make a vital contribution to achieving net zero by 2050. This project demonstrates what is achievable.

—Aditya Mittal, CEO ArcelorMittal

The MoU states the commitment of ArcelorMittal and the Government of Spain to transition towards a decarbonised steel industry.

Spain will promote reforms and investments to support the development and growth of a strong, more competitive and sustainable industrial sector, as well as endeavouring to provide maximum financial support for the project, in line with Spanish legislation and European Union regulations.

The Government of Spain will strongly support a new framework of institutional relations between the Government and the ArcelorMittal Group, because the Government of Spain recognises the importance of the steel industry for the development of the Spanish economy

—María Reyes Maroto, Minister of Industry, Spain

New natural climate solutions for companies

Voluntary carbon market and Natural Climate Solutions (NCS) need urgent action if we are to meet the Paris Agreement goals. Nature offers up to one-third of the solution to the climate crisis in the form of NCS, yet this potential remains untapped due to lack of funding.

The use of NCS carbon credits as part of a climate strategy can help corporates steer a pathway towards net zero while also channeling much needed investment into nature.

Developed by the NCS Alliance, the Natural Climate Solutions for Corporates provides practical guidance on:

  • Demand-side eligibility – How companies can incorporate and use NCS credits as part of a corporate climate strategy.
  • NCS Supply – Defining high-quality NCS credits and the programs that issue them, allowing purchasers to assess and support the best suppliers.
  • Markets & Policy – Policy positions on the needed principles for robust international markets
  • Communications – Communicating climate strategies that include NCS.

"The global community must catalyze business and policy action to halve emissions by 2030 and accelerate an inclusive transition to a global net-zero economy by 2050," said María Mendiluce, CEO We Mean Business. "To get there we must now go all in for 2030. And if we are all in for 2030, we need to be all in on Natural Climate Solution where we can unlock 30% of the climate solution in the next 10 years."

“Natural Climate Solutions are a proven and effective tool for tackling the climate crisis, reversing biodiversity loss, and delivering myriad benefits for community wellbeing," said Dharsono Hartono, CEO of PT. Rimba Makmur Utama / Katingan Mentaya Project. "Providing we demonstrate credibility, transparency and high environmental integrity from project developers to crediting programs through to committed corporations, Natural Climate Solutions can and should play a vital role in our global mitigation efforts.”

“A 1.5 degree pathway requires a near term stop to deforestation and the preservation of our natural carbon sinks," said Jesper Nielsen, Managing Director and Senior Partner, Boston Consulting Group. "High quality carbon credits can help finance some of the significant investment required for nature conservation and restoration. We also need companies to decarbonise their value chains in line with the Paris Agreement. It is not a trade-off, we need both decarbonisation and investment in nature.”

We are in a race against time to limit global average temperature rise to 1.5 degrees, halt tropical forest loss and reverse biodiversity crisis," said Thomas Lingard, Global Director, Climate and Environment, Unilever. "That’s why business interest in natural climate solutions that contribute to all these objectives is rightly gaining momentum. However, the complexity surrounding emissions reduction pathways, net-zero targets, carbon credits and company claims is a barrier to many companies taking action. Appropriate guidance to help businesses structure their climate strategies is needed.

Read more here

Hanwha proposes solutions for achieving the SDGs

How can we make energy production more sustainable?

That was one of the topics of 2021 P4G Seoul Summit, which also explored solutions for transformative change in areas including food, water, energy, cities and the circular economy.

Hanwha Solutions Dong Kwan Kim delivered a keynote address at the 2021 P4G Seoul Summit
Hanwha Solutions Dong Kwan Kim delivered a keynote address at the 2021 P4G Seoul Summit
Image: Hanwha

Here's how Hanwha is working to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:

"Through its various business, technological and corporate activities, Hanwha strives to develop practical solutions to global issues that advance sustainability from an environmental, social, and economic perspective. The company’s advancements in areas like solar energy and green hydrogen are producing the clean energy solutions needed to tackle urgent environmental issues like air pollution and climate change. It also prioritizes making a difference in people’s lives with its corporate activities, and its commitment to sustainable economic and industrial development is laying the foundation for a new era of technological innovation."

Read more here.

Retail industry aligns on race to net-zero emissions

We are determined to be a part of the solution, but to achieve systemic change, industry-wide collaboration will be key.

—Helena Helmersson, CEO, H&M Group

The founders of this new initiative have pledged their support to accelerate a movement in the retail industry to drive climate action and encourage other retailers to set out their plans to achieve 1.5-degree aligned carbon reduction targets in the run up to COP26 and beyond.

This movement seeks to engage the retail sector and by working together and acting with speed, focusing on what makes real impact, we can truly make a difference. For people and the planet.

—Jesper Brodin, CEO, Ingka Group

Retailers can join the Race to Zero effort by setting science-based targets, working to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and committing to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest.

Given the far-reaching impact of the retail sector, we must step up with action and leadership and build a more sustainable future and reach net zero by 2050. The Race to Zero initiative needs everyone in.

—Doug McMillon, President and CEO, Walmart

Read more about this initiative here.

Lego bricks are getting greener

Lego expects to begin selling toy building bricks made from recycled plastic bottles in 18 to 24 months, having found a suitable green alternative to oil-based plastic, the Danish toymaker said on Wednesday.

Lego's search for an alternative material has been a challenge, with almost 150 engineers and scientists testing many different plant-based and recycled materials over the past six years.

We want our products to have a positive impact on the planet, not just with the play they inspire, but also with the materials we use.

—Tim Brooks, Lego's vice president of environmental responsibility.
Image: Reuters

AstraZeneca: What's the role of the health sector on the road to COP26?

AstraZeneca CEO met with G7 leaders last week to discuss climate change. One of a group of CEOs invited to explore how to build a sustainable future, he represented the health sector and surfaced some interesting reflections and actions for the industry to heed as the world's leaders eye COP26.

The climate emergency is a public health emergency, for which there is no vaccine and no one is immune.

—Pascal Soriot, CEO, AstraZeneca

"The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us the power of collaboration between public and private partners; the great sense of urgency in tackling the crisis; and what science and technology can achieve.

"We have seen how governments, business, academics and the public can come together in solidarity. Public-private partnerships have delivered innovation at pace and scale across the world with diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines, and digital technologies have demonstrated huge benefits to society. Meanwhile, we’ve been confronted by the impact of the fragility of our healthcare systems.

"The next impending shock to our global systems, the climate crisis, has the potential to be greater still, damaging our planet irreversibly. The climate emergency is a public health emergency, for which there is no vaccine and no one is immune. It will only be by working together that we can drive sustainability and resilience."

Read more here.

OPINION: The climate emergency is a public health emergency, for which there is no vaccine
Image: Reuters

Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders - supercharging net-zero targets

79 CEOs say they stand ready to work with public sector leaders around the world to reduce emissions. Members of the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders have signed an Open Letter championing public-private cooperation ahead of the G7 summit in order to supercharge net-zero commitments, policies and actions.

“As we move towards COP26, public-private collaboration will be key to unlock investment, set more ambitious targets for reducing emissions, and turn this ambition into action.”

—Dominic Waughray, Managing Director, World Economic Forum

The signatories are looking for governments to accelerate the transition to net-zero before COP26, to accelerate even more action from the private sector. The letter emphasizes public-private collaboration as vital and welcomed transformative policy change.

The Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders is the only CEO-led community open to all companies from all regions who want to make clear commitments and work to transition to net-zero. Members believe the private sector has a responsibility to actively engage in global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and to help lead the global transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy. It is hosted by the World Economic Forum.

Swiss Re: No climate action is not an option

Swiss Re Institute has released a new report, which simulates the many uncertainties around the impacts of climate change. It shows that those economies most vulnerable to the potential physical risks of climate change stand to benefit most from keeping temperature rises in check. This includes some of the world's most dynamic emerging economies, the engines of global growth in the years to come. The message from the analysis is clear: no action on climate change is not an option.

Report: The economics of climate change: no action not an option
Image: Swiss Re Institute

"The world stands to lose close to 10% of total economic value by mid-century if climate change stays on the currently-anticipated trajectory, and the Paris Agreement and 2050 net-zero emissions targets are not met. Many emerging markets have most to gain if the world is able to rein in temperature gains. For example, action today to get back to the Paris temperature rise scenario would mean economies in southeast Asia could prevent around a quarter of the gross domestic product (GDP) loss by mid-century that they may otherwise suffer."

Royal DSM: Tackling the triple threat of food security, economic, and climate crises

Royal DSM hosted leaders from across the food value chain in the SDG Tent moderated by the Forum's Managing Director Dominic Waughray, to discuss how we need climate adaptation and resilient food systems to tackle the triple threat of food security, economic and health crises across emerging markets across Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America.

Amongst the climate leaders were Hanneke Faber (Unilever), Feike Sijbesma (Global Center of Adaptation), Veronica Scotti (Swiss Re) & Mariana Vasconcelos (Agrosmart), who spoke to a crowd of 250 participants from over 40 countries.

The event concluded with a strong call to action for:

  • Greater integration of the agri-food supply chain to reduce volatilities for farmer through data & technology (i.e. Agrosmart technology, Swiss Re solutions)
  • Increased Public-Private sector collaboration to create strong networks for systems transformation (i.e. Africa Improved Foods, DSM, Kissan Ketchup, Unilever)
  • Larger private sector commitments to invest in scalable solutions for large-scale impact
  • Transition from thought leadership to actionable leadership

To end hunger we need a system change and we need to enforce this together. We need the support of governments and private enterprises to work together to reduce volatility for farmers on the ground.

—Feike Sijbesma, Co-Chair of the Global Center of Adaptation.

Airbus: Why stop at zero emission mobility?

New technologies and systems are now bringing opportunities and challenges into the mobility space.

These changes are requiring shifts for example in energy supply and infrastructure. At the same time, they also offer new opportunities to drive mobility-enabled prosperity by reducing environmental impact. But why stop at zero emission mobility?

This question inspired Airbus to launch its ‘Why Stop at Zero?’ sustainable mobility challenge this year.

‘Why Stop at Zero?’ is a global challenge inviting business ideas around future mobility solutions: "If your technology advances new mobility, increases efficiency and reduces emissions then this is a chance to put your solutions on a global stage."

For this challenge, Airbus and the World Economic Forum are looking for game changing, innovative, tangible ideas alongside the following criteria:

1. A real issue of global relevance solved that many people worldwide can connect with something scalable and positively impactful.

2. Highly original, ideas not seen before.

3. An idea with market viability and the potential to improve the state of the world.

Those who are selected to participate in the challenge will have the opportunity to meet decision-makers in the mobility industry on the jury panel during the final event. Winners will also have the opportunity to showcase their result at IAA Mobility 2021.

More information on zero emissions mobility and how to apply to the challenge is available here.

Takeaways from Forum business partners at #OceanDialogues

The second edition of the Virtual Ocean Dialogues, 25-26 May 2021, has fostered inclusive, constructive and practical dialogue on the global ocean action agenda. Here's a quick recap of some of the key soundbites from the Forum's business partners.

We all need to collaborate in order to see the vision we have for the ocean come to fruition, said Katherine Garrett-Cox, CEO of Gulf International Bank.

Making natural capital key in decisions that investors make is vital, said Ebba Lepage, Executive Vice President and Head of Corporate Sustainability, Bank Lombard Odier & Co. Ltd. These decisions must be science-based, she added.

The mainstream investor today is not really focused on natural capital, though. But the last couple of years have seen a change, with an increased focus on sustainable investment.

We need a transition from fossil fuels to sustainable investment.

Sanjeev Krishnan, Chief Investment Officer, S2G Ventures LLC, said a consumer revolution is changing the food system and will change the ocean system.

Millennials and Gen Z are eating differently and it’s having an impact.

"Venture Capital has increasingly focused on this sector, but we need ecosystem resiliency, resources and consumer-centric approaches, he said. There's a focus on data and tech and new inputs to make it sustainable.

"We need to bring the consumer on this journey, as well as supply chain solutions to make products traceable."

Hyundai Motor and UNDP: ‘for Tomorrow’

Hyundai Motor and UNDP Accelerator Labs jointly released a video featuring sustainable solutions submitted to the ‘for Tomorrow’ project, narrated by project ambassador Jessica Alba.

The video celebrates the global project’s six-month progress, showing innovators from around the world who are creating solutions for a sustainable future.

‘for Tomorrow’ aims to encourage and connect homegrown grassroots innovators and help them advance their innovations through crowdsourcing and connecting.

Carlsberg becomes world's most water-efficient brewery

Carlsberg has inaugurated a new, revolutionary water recycling plant that recycles 90% of the process water at the Carlsberg brewery in Fredericia, Denmark.

This makes the Fredericia brewery the most water efficient in the world. Lessons from the brewery will enable the group to reach its target to virtually eliminate water waste globally by 2030.

"We have a goal of zero water waste globally in 2030. As a global company, we have a responsibility to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and as a brewery, we have a special responsibility to reduce water waste in our global production. The new water recycling plant in Fredericia will generate important learnings that can be implemented across our breweries in the rest of the world,” says Carlsberg Group CEO, Cees ’t Hart.

McKinsey and the Forum: Zero Emission Area Handbook

McKinsey has teamed with the World Economic Forum to launch the Zero Emission Area Handbook.

Introducing zero emission areas (ZEAs) in cities can mitigate more than 70% of mobile CO2 emissions, remove 50% of city air pollution, and promote EV sales, making the transition to electrification more effective and equitable.

ZEAs are streets, zones or districts where only zero-emissions vehicles, such as battery electric vehicles or fuel cell powered buses, are allowed.

Based on over 170 case studies, including real-world mobility patterns in the city of Sacramento, the Zero Emission Area Handbook, shows how cities can follow this path to become sustainable mobility ecosystems.

Over 100 members of the Global New Mobility Coalition, from the private, public and third sectors, engaged in the development of the Zero Emission Area Handbook. This is a testimony of the faith many have in urban mobility ecosystem redesign, and the role multistakeholder platform plays in shaping it.

—Christoph Wolff, Global Head of Mobility and Member of the Executive Committee at the World Economic Forum.

Sustainable fast fashion is real

H&M is pushing the frontiers of sustainable fast fashion.

The brand recently launched Innovation Stories, a series of capsule collections dedicated to promoting the use of sustainable materials and production processes across the garment industry.

Innovation Stories is a platform that pushes our experimentation to the next level. The initiative encourages our work with scientists and developers and puts a spotlight on our progressive ideas. Science Story is a homage to the years of research and experiments behind these incredible materials.

—Ella Soccorsi, Concept Designer at H&M

The first collection to launch under the collective is Science Story, which pays tribute to the brilliant minds behind fabrications of the future. With it, we introduce new materials such as EVO by Fulgar®, a bio-based yarn derived from castor oil, and Desserto, which is a plant-based alternative to leather, produced from cactus plants.

The Science Story collection
The Science Story collection
Image: H&M

Unilever: Industrial carbon emissions have never smelt so good

Unilever has partnered with LanzaTech and India Glycols to produce a surfactant made from industrial carbon emissions instead of from fossil-fuels. The innovative shift in production utilizes biotechnologies and a newly configured supply chain between the three partners, who are working together for the first time.

Typically derived from fossil fuels, surfactants are a critical ingredient for creating the foam and cleaning action of many household cleaning and laundry products, from dish soaps to fabric detergents. The new process now allows surfactants to be made using recycled carbon.

Read more here.

Ant Group releases its carbon neutral roadmap

In the report, Ant Group details a series of intermediate goals, including reducing absolute emissions by 30% by 2025.

The report states, "Ant Group will give full play to our advantages as an innovative technology company. We will not only strive to reduce carbon emissions within the group, but also join hands with the upstream and downstream companies of the supply chain to achieve carbon neutrality in a wider sense as soon as possible."

'Clean air is a basic human right', Siemens

Jane Burston, Executive Director and Founder of the Clean Air Fund, joined Barbara with Martin Powell, Head of Sustainability, Americas, for Siemens Financial Services Inc on the Siemens Optimistic Outlook podcast.

They discussed what’s being done to not only raise the quality of the air we breathe, but to make clean air a basic human right grounding the work to build a sustainable future.

HPE, Microsoft, Salesforce: Low-Carbon Patent Pledge

Amid warnings from the global scientific community that breakthrough technologies will be vital to cutting emissions fast enough to avert climate disaster, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) together with Microsoft and Facebook has launched the Low-Carbon Patent Pledge.

As a commitment to tackling climate change, the three companies will make key patents available to accelerate the adoption of low-carbon technologies. Hundreds of patents that could support technologists developing low-carbon solutions for generating, storing and distributing low-carbon energy will be available royalty-free.

Antonio Neri, President and CEO of HPE said, “Innovation plays a critical role in our ability to cut emissions fast enough to avert climate disaster. Together, we are opening up patents that we hope will accelerate the development of the technologies required to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.”

Credit Suisse: Consumers in emerging markets ready for sustainable change

Environmental concerns have been rising steadily and consumers in developing countries appear more at risk than those in developed regions because of the impact of extreme heat, flooding and droughts on their daily lives.

Credit Suisse launched its Emerging Consumer Survey 2021 analysing how environmental concerns are influencing consumer behaviour in emerging markets.

The report clearly shows that consumers have started to eat healthier food and that younger consumers on the whole have increased their spending on fitness and wellbeing since the start of the pandemic.

This combination does suggest that people in emerging markets, particularly China, Indonesia and Turkey, have adopted a greater focus on a more sustainable and healthy lifestyle.

Image: Credit Suisse Emerging consumer survey 2021

'LEAF' Coalition to protect tropical forests: what do Forum business partners say?

The World Economic Forum and a number of its partners have joined the LEAF Coalition to protect tropical forests.

Launched at the Leaders Summit on Climate a group of governments and companies announced the LEAF Coalition, an ambitious new public-private initiative designed to accelerate climate action by providing results-based finance to countries committed to protecting their tropical forests.

The initiative aims to mobilize at least $1 billion in financing, kicking off what is expected to become one of the largest ever public-private efforts to help protect tropical forests, to the benefit of billions of people depending on them, and to support sustainable development.

What do Forum business partners involved in the coalition say?

“Climate change is the greatest threat to our planet, and the LEAF Coalition offers us an opportunity to bring together governments and companies to fight it,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. “In uniting behind a common cause, the countries and companies of the coalition have a chance to end deforestation by 2030. As founders of The Climate Pledge – a commitment to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement 10 years early – we’re excited to support this important initiative and encourage others to do the same.”

Werner Baumann, CEO of Bayer said: “The climate emergency calls for bold action and new collaboration. As a global leader in health and nutrition, Bayer is living up to its responsibility to fulfill the Paris Agreement. This includes continuous innovation at the intersection of biology and technology, for example new business models for farmers to capture CO2 emissions. It is in this same spirit that we proudly join the LEAF Coalition. We look forward to working with the countries and corporate participants involved in protecting and restoring tropical forests. There will be no climate solution without forest protection.”

Rich Lesser, Global CEO, Boston Consulting Group said: “As part of our bold ambition to achieve net-zero climate impact by 2030, BCG is proud to join the LEAF Coalition and contribute to accelerating the pace and scale of global forest protection. The world’s forests—which today cover 30% of the earth’s land surface—are an incredibly valuable resource, storing carbon, purifying water and air and safeguarding biodiversity. Achieving net-zero globally hinges on our ability to protect this vital resource.“

Emma Walmsley, CEO GSK said: “As a global healthcare company we want to play our part in protecting and restoring the planet’s health, to protect and improve people’s health. We are committed to be carbon net zero and nature net positive by 2030. This will require meaningful reductions of our own impact and will help make our business more resilient - ultimately protecting our products that people rely on. We believe the LEAF Coalition offers an effective and credible mechanism to have real and systemic impact on climate, nature and health.”

“McKinsey is excited to participate in the LEAF Coalition and to work together with leaders from across the public and private sectors to accelerate investments in forest conservation and restoration, while supporting local communities and livelihoods.” said Kevin Sneader, Global Managing Partner, McKinsey & Company.

Mark Schneider, CEO, Nestlé said: “Tackling deforestation and restoring forests are must-win battles for addressing global climate change. Nestlé is proud to join the LEAF Coalition, working with national governments and other companies to accelerate climate action. This complements our drive towards reaching net zero emissions, achieving deforestation-free supply chains and planting the equivalent of 200 million trees by 2030.”

"We're facing a climate emergency, and we need to act now," said Marc Benioff, Chair and CEO, Salesforce. “Our forests are the lungs of our planet, and we must conserve, restore, and grow them to avert the worst effects of climate change. No single organization or country alone can save our forests from further harm. That's why Salesforce is proud to be an initial participant in the LEAF Coalition, which provides an innovative way to invest in protecting our tropical forests, sequestering carbon at scale, and restoring the planet that sustains us."

Alan Jope, CEO, Unilever said: “For nearly two decades, Unilever has been involved in industry efforts to eliminate deforestation from commodity supply chains. We have learned that individual actions alone – however bold – will never drive system change. Collective action is needed for real impact. The launch of the LEAF Coalition today provides fresh hope that we can end deforestation at scale and get the world on track for the 1.5 degree goal of the Paris Agreement.”

EY: carbon negative in 2021 and net zero by 2025

Climate change is one of the defining issues of our time. We face significant and irreversible human-made changes to the climate and action is urgently needed to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5°c above pre-industrial levels, in line with the Paris Agreement.

EY will significantly reduce absolute carbon emissions by 40% in 2025. This objective is aligned with a 1.5°c science-based target approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), enabling EY to reach net zero in 2025.

EY is working with the World Economic Forum, S30, OP26, the UN Global Compact, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the Race to Zero campaign and many more, to develop low-carbon business and sustainability models.

We believe that becoming carbon negative in 2021 and net zero in 2025, reducing our emissions in line with a science-based target, is the right ambition to have.

—Steve Varley, Global Vice Chair - Sustainability, EY

Read more about EY's sustainability initiative here.

Yara's sustainable food production push

Yara is working to improve the sustainability of food production. Actions range from increasing carbon stored in soils to decarbonizing fertilizer and food chain integration. Here are three of the initiatives.

Carbon marketplace

Targeting carbon- and sustainability-focused business lines, Yara has launched a pilot project to create a sustainability income for farmers by paying them to store carbon in their soil and avoid emissions in their fields. Through the Agoro Carbon Alliance, we will incentivize farmers to adopt carbon-smart practices. In addition to paying farmers for implementing sustainable practices and storing carbon, this credit scheme will offer companies looking to offset some of their harder-to-reduce or -avoid emissions, an avenue to reach their climate commitments while supporting farmers and sustainable food production. Although it’s early days, the potential is massive. Analyses show up to one gigatonne of CO2 storage potential and a possible USD 10 billion market potential. Starting with the US pilot, Yara is now positioning itself to take a leading role in this fast-growing market and expects to generate the first millions of carbon credits over the next 2-3 years.

Green ammonia

Hydrogen is strongly positioned as a key solution for decarbonizing the energy systems of the future. But hydrogen is challenging to store and transport. This is where ammonia comes in as the easiest way of transporting and storing hydrogen. Yara has established a new global unit – Yara Clean Ammonia – to capture growth opportunities within carbon-free food solutions, shipping fuel and other clean ammonia applications. Yara Clean Ammonia took its first major step forward by partnering with Statkraft and Aker Horizons to establish Europe’s first large-scale green ammonia project in Norway. The partners plan to electrify and decarbonize Yara’s ammonia plant in Porsgrunn. 2020 also heralded the announcement of a green ammonia pilot collaboration with Ørsted, located in Yara’s Sluiskil, Netherland site. This brings Yara’s green ammonia portfolio to three pilot projects and one full-scale project.

Food chain partnerships

Agriculture is becoming increasingly integrated into the food value chain. Input providers are joining forces, farms are growing in scale and professionalism, the food industry is moving upstream, and conscious consumers are putting pressure on the food and agriculture industry to achieve new levels of sustainability. A case in point is Yara’s pilot project in Colombia with global food company Nestlé. By collaborating from soil to supermarket, sustainability in dairy production is improved, farmer profitability increased, and consumer demands for sustainable dairy products met. After 9 months of improved crop nutrition and farm management practices, the trial farms reduced the CO2 emissions per liter milk by 21%, while milk production increased.

PepsiCo's Positive Agriculture ups its game

PepsiCo has announced a new, impact-driven Positive Agriculture ambition, anchored by a goal to spread regenerative farming practices across 7 million acres, approximately equal to its entire agricultural footprint.

The company estimates the effort will eliminate at least 3 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by the end of the decade.

Additional 2030 goals within the agenda include improving the livelihoods of more than 250,000 people in its agricultural supply chain and sustainably sourcing 100% of its key ingredients.

Decarbonizing supply chains: World Economic Forum with BCG

Commitment to tackling climate change is accelerating in all sectors of society, with net-zero pledges from companies, cities, states and regions doubling in the past year.

The Net-Zero Challenge: The Supply Chain Opportunity report published by the World Economic Forum and BCG shows how decarbonizing supply chains can provide a major opportunity for companies to put these commitments into practice.

The report analyses the top eight global supply chains that account for over 50% global greenhouse gas emissions and finds that end-to-end decarbonization of these supply chains would add as little as 1-4% to end-consumer costs in the medium term.

Read more about The Net-Zero Challenge initiative here.

Facebook reaches target to use 100% renewable energy

Facebook says it has reached its target to power its global operations entirely on renewable energy. The company is now focusing its efforts on the broader goal of reaching net-zero emissions across its entire "value chain" by 2030, including suppliers and business activities like travel and employee commuting.

We know the next 10 years will be the defining time for reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and that we have a role to play in this effort — both as a platform that connects people to information and as a global company that supports climate action.

—Urvi Parekh, Director, Renewable Energy

Lenzing is drastically reducing its carbon footprint

The Lenzing Group, member of the CEO Climate Leaders Group of the World Economic Forum and a signatory to the United Nations Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action, recently announced that it will drastically cut its CO2 footprint by 50% by 2030 and it is targeting net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050.

The Science Based Targets initiative, one of most recognized organizations in the field of climate-relevant target setting, has scientifically validated Lenzing’s climate target.

Lenzing is the first wood-based fiber producer, which has officially set a science-based target.

As an industry leader this is our responsibility towards future generations. It is part of our strategy to drive systemic change and to lead the industry with credibility

—Stefan Doboczky, Chief Executive Officer, Lenzing Group
Beech and pine forest in springtime, Sonian Forest, Brussels, Belgium
Image: Getty Images

Novo Nordisk: Partnering to net zero

We want all of our 60,000 suppliers to be using renewable power. Novo Nordisk’s ultimate ambition is to have no negative impact on the environment

—Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen, CEO Novo Nordisk

Yellow Group goes green - Deutsche Post DHL accelerates its roadmap to decarbonization

Deutsche Post DHL Group has today released its accelerated roadmap to decarbonization, deciding on science-based targets for CO2 reduction that will allow the company to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris Climate Agreement, with a plan to invest €7 billion in climate-neutral logistics to 2030.

"We are turning our yellow Group into a green company and making an important contribution to our planet and society”

—Deutsche Post DHL, CEO Frank Appel

With an ambition to lead other logistics companies to be part of creating a sustainable future, Deutsche Post DHL Group will invest in alternative aviation fuels, the expansion of the zero-emission e-vehicle fleet and climate-neutral buildings. By 2030, the aim is for 80,000 e-vehicles to be deployed for last-mile deliveries, resulting in 60% electrification of their fleet.

The company hopes that by focusing even more on their ESG goals, they will lay the foundations for long-term economic success.

Nature climate solutions: unleashing potential

Nature climate solutions (NCS) work on the premise that nature is key to achieving net zero because:

  • NCS yields substantial co benefits like safeguarding biodiversity, securing water supplies and providing jobs for local communities
  • NCS are typically low-cost sources of carbon abatement
  • Corporate strategies that aim to use NCS to help deliver a net-zero pathway are on the verge of becoming mainstream
  • Beyond co-benefits, NCS projects can generate private capital flows to countries that offer the highest potential for NCS projects, typically forest-rich countries in the Global South

Natural climate solutions – investment in conservation and land management programmes that increase carbon storage and reduce carbon emissions – offer an important way of addressing both climate change and the accelerated destruction of nature.

—Bill Winters, Group Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Bank


The Nature and Net Zero team is conducting a public consultation to collect feedback from experts across business, government, and civil society. The purpose of this consultation is to refine, validate and adjust the recommended actions to ensure that they comprehensively and accurately frame the challenges to NCS.

Six ways to unleash the potential of natural climate solutions

The Nature and Net Zero consultation report, produced in collaboration with the Forum's Strategic Partner, McKinsey & Company, outlines the challenges, and highlights the conceptual and technical hurdles to overcome in order to unleash the potential of natural climate solutions.

Sempra Energy and Total on renewables and natural gas

CEOs of Sempra Energy and Total see new momentum to build a clean-energy economy

CEOs, Patrick Pouyanné (Total) and Jeffrey W. Martin (Sempra Energy) say the lack of access to affordable, clean and reliable energy "magnifies the human catastrophe and significantly slows global economic and environmental solutions".

They argue that to accelerate the energy transition, a coordinated strategy with public and private sectors in every country, including those without energy access, will spur critical investment that expands renewable and liquefied natural gas (LNG) infrastructure on a global scale.

They say, "It is critical that we approach this transitional challenge with commitment, collaboration and a long-term view. Between now and 2040, areas where energy poverty is prevalent will generate nearly 90% of incremental global electricity demand. This calls for a new sustainable ecosystem that extends access to a 21st century energy system to every country."

Read the full article here.

How industrial clusters can reduce emissions

Accenture, in collaboration with the Forum and with contributions from Schneider Electric, has produced a report exploring the transition of industrial clusters to net-zero emissions.

Almost 70% of the global economy has committed to net zero. To meet these commitments, industrial clusters will have a key role to play.

Industrial clusters are characterized as geographic areas that comprise co-located companies representing either a single or multiple industries. The presence of multiple industrial energy consumers in close proximity creates opportunities to scale up low-carbon technologies by aggregating demand and forming a captive market. With the ability to share risk and resources among multiple partners, industrial clusters also allow for the creation of a digital integrated system that is cleaner and more reliable.

Volvo to go all electric by 2030

Volvo’s entire car line-up will be fully electric by 2030, joining a growing number of carmakers planning to phase out fossil-fuel engines by the end of this decade.

“I am totally convinced there will no customers who really want to stay with a petrol engine. We are convinced that an electric car is more attractive for customers.”

— Volvo Chief Executive Håkan Samuelsson

The Swedish carmaker said 50% of its global sales should be fully-electric cars by 2025 and the other half hybrid models.

Image: Photo by Adam Cai on Unsplash

ABB: High-efficiency motors will reduce emissions

ABB launches a new white paper, finding significant emissions reductions with the use of high-efficiency motors.

"To meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, the world needs to reduce energy use and emissions. We encourage you to study this white paper to find out how much difference improving electric motor efficiency can make."

Download the white paper here

Up to 70% of electricity consumed by industry is used by electric motor systems. The technological advancement and adoption of high-efficiency motors and variable speed drives on the market, are key factors in achieving significant energy efficiency improvements in industry and infrastructure.

Discover how different stakeholders can lead and accelerate the industry change towards reaching the carbon reduction targets set by the Paris Agreement.

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