WWF Climate Savers companies cut 100 million tonnes of greenhouse gases
The review, conducted by the international energy consultancy Ecofys, also finds that as Climate Savers companies continue to deliver on their commitments up to 2020, overall emissions savings since 1999 could exceed 350 million tonnes. This is roughly equivalent to the current annual emissions of Spain.
Current Climate Savers members include Alpro, Arjowiggins Graphic, Catalyst, The Coca-Cola Company, Collins Companies, Diversey, Elopak, Eneco, Fairmont, HP, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, KPN, Lafarge, National Geographic, Natura, Nike, Nokia Siemens Networks, Novo Nordisk, Resolute Forest Products, Sofidel, Sprint, Tetra Pak, Sagawa, Sony, Supervalu and Volvo. Commitments by former members Nokia, Polaroid and Spitsbergen were also included in the analysis.
"The leadership shown by Climate Savers confirms that companies in diverse sectors can do good business and take a bite out of climate change,” says Alexander Quarles van Ufford, Senior Partnerships Manager at WWF International. “Resource efficiency and the goal of a low-carbon economy have to become part of the corporate DNA, particularly given high fuel and commodity prices."
WWF is releasing the results to coincide with three days of meetings it is holding in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, where it will encourage existing Climate Savers companies and other corporations to further boost industry efforts against global warming.
The Ecofys analysis points up the potential for achieving far greater emissions cuts. It finds that were other major corporations to follow the Climate Savers’ lead in only the current 16 business sectors where the programme is active, between 500 and 1000 million tonnes of emissions could be avoided annually in 2020, an amount roughly comparable to the current annual emissions of Germany.
Ecofys says these reductions could contribute up to 9% to closing what UNEP calls the 'emissions gap'. The gap is the difference between rising greenhouse gas emissions and what is needed to put the world on a path to limiting global warming to the maximum acceptable level of 2 degrees Celsius.
“Greater voluntary efforts by industry are possible and essential. But the size of the task means it cannot be accomplished solely by voluntary business action. Governments have to strengthen the international policy framework to mandate deeper emission reductions,” says Alexander Quarles van Ufford, of WWF.
Ecofys gathered emissions data from Climate Savers companies and then forecast emissions for the period after 2011 based on each company's commitment. They developed a 'business-as-usual' scenario showing emissions levels if companies had not taken on commitments. Annual savings in emissions were the difference between business-as-usual and real and forecast emissions.
The emission calculations include direct emissions from a company's operations (so-called 'scope 1'), indirect emissions (scope 2) from use of purchased electricity, heat or steam and other indirect emissions (scope 3) from the supply chain but not under the company's control.
Kornelis Blok, Director of Science at Ecofys, who was closely involved in the analysis says: "We have seen many corporations pledge emissions reductions. The Ecofys analysis shows that there are not only good intentions but also that a tangible impact is being achieved."