UN praises private sector first-movers

Companies with a combined market capitalisation of over US$2.3tr have committed to aligning their businesses with limiting the impacts of climate change.

The 87 companies collectively represent over 4.2 million employees from 28 sectors and include newly committed organisations Danone, Electrolux, Ericsson Group, Inter IKEA Group, L'Oréal, Nestlé; Nokia, Orange Group, PensionDanmark, Salesforce.com and Swiss Reinsurance.

The commitment comes as world leaders gather in New York for the Climate Action Summit led by UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

“It is encouraging to see many first-movers in the private sector align with civil society and ambitious governments by stepping up in support of a 1.5°C future,” said Guterres. “Now we need many more companies to join the movement, sending a clear signal that markets are shifting.”

The companies are now 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, several have already reached 1.5C-aligned reduction targets covering greenhouse gas emissions including AstraZeneca, BT, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Schneider Electric, Sodexo, 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.

The latest signatories in the 87 join an earlier group of 28 companies announced in July, including AstraZeneca, BT, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, SAP, Unilever, Vodafone Group and Zurich Insurance.

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