Written by Kunal Sawhney, CEO – Kalkine Group)
The ambitious target of cutting down carbon emissions to near zero by 2050 can only be achieved by taking a comprehensive approach. As part of the broader purpose, the UK government has set several deadlines for relatively smaller targets that can eventually help in accomplishing the prime objective.
Terminating the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2035 is one such near-term objective.
Blue-chips join hands
30 companies that are part of the prestigious FTSE 100 index joined hands to help the government achieve the target of net zero emissions by 2050. The corporations have committed to eliminating their respective contribution to carbon emissions, thereby supporting the United Nation’s climate change program.
With 30 major blue-chip companies on board, the UK government has urged more entities to come forward to reinforce the long-term target of net zero emissions by 2050, even as the nation recoups from the pandemic-laden stress and never-seen-before disruption in business operations.
Nearly one-third of the FTSE 100 companies signing to eliminate the carbon emissions is quite eventful ahead of the UN climate conference COP26 in Glasgow.
Companies on board
The exhaustive list of companies that have committed to the cause includes heavyweights like AstraZeneca, BT Group, Diageo, GlaxoSmithKline, London Stock Exchange Group, Rolls-Royce Holdings, J Sainsbury, Reckitt Benckiser, Vodafone Group, and Unilever.
Other major enterprises are Aviva, Barratt Developments, Berkeley Group Holdings, British Land, Burberry Group, Croda International, Entain, International Consolidated Airlines Group, Intertek, JD Sports, Land Securities, Legal & General Group, Phoenix Group, Rightmove, Schroders, Severn Trent, SSE, Tesco, United Utilities and WPP.
AstraZeneca Plc, the Cambridge-headquartered pharmaceuticals major, has committed to attaining zero carbon emissions from its global operations by the year 2025. That’s only four years from now. Moreover, the company has pledged to turn carbon-negative across its entire value chain by 2030.
In order to realize the predefined target of going net zero, the most-valued vaccine maker will be utilizing renewable sources of energy for power and heat. In the upcoming years, AstraZeneca will be meeting its total energy requirement by using renewable sources, doubling the energy productivity.
Surprisingly, the London-based automobile conglomerate Rolls-Royce Plc has pledged to become a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions company by 2030. As part of the plan, the blue-chip aircraft engine maker will be reducing its greenhouse gas emissions from all its facilities and operations.
On the other hand, the Berkshire-headquartered telecommunications giant Vodafone Plc has committed to foreshorten its carbon emissions to zero by 2030. In the following decade, the telecom major will be eliminating the carbon emissions from its full value chain, effectively becoming net-zero by 2040.
J Sainsbury Plc, the London-based supermarket operator, has pledged to invest £1 billion over the course of the next 20 years for achieving the net-zero target within the organization. Under the broader objective, the second-largest supermarket chain of the UK will be reducing plastic packaging, usage of water, and wastage of food.
The pledges from the corporate sector have doubled in the last five months, effectively creating the largest-ever global alliance committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
At the global front, more than 2,000 corporations of various scales and sizes have joined the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) ‘Race to Zero’ program with a collective intention to minimize carbon emissions.
Vital actions, from incorporating sustainable commercial practices in the supply chains to modifying the operational metrics, can help in bringing down the overall carbon emissions, and substantially bolster the broader program. Not only this, the government has been working to institutionalize various other initiatives that can support the existing projects, including battery-powered aircraft, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), and battery electric vehicles (BEVs).