The FINANCIAL — Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Global Optimism announced that Henkel has joined The Climate Pledge, a commitment to be net-zero carbon by 2040—a decade ahead of the Paris Agreement’s goal of 2050. Signify, which already achieved carbon neutrality earlier this year, is also joining The Climate Pledge to collaborate with other signatories and share best practices.
Signatories to The Climate Pledge agree to:
- Measure and report greenhouse gas emissions on a regular basis;
- Implement decarbonization strategies in line with the Paris Agreement through real business changes and innovations, including efficiency improvements, renewable energy, materials reductions, and other carbon emission elimination strategies;
- Neutralize any remaining emissions with additional, quantifiable, real, permanent, and socially-beneficial offsets to achieve net-zero annual carbon emissions by 2040.
“By signing The Climate Pledge, companies around the world are taking collective action to protect our planet from the catastrophic impacts of climate change,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. “We welcome Henkel as they join us in our commitment to be net-zero carbon by 2040, a decade ahead of the Paris Agreement. We are also excited for Signify, which achieved carbon neutrality earlier this year, to join The Climate Pledge with the goal of collaborating with other signatories and sharing best practices. These companies are demonstrating important leadership as they help us accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy and protect the planet for future generations.”
Henkel’s commitment to leadership in sustainability has been embedded in its corporate culture for decades. The company has been working closely with Amazon to promote sustainable innovation—for example, to enhance customer experience through new and sustainable packaging. Henkel’s long-term goal is to become climate-positive by 2040. In the near term, the company plans to reduce the carbon footprint of its production by 65% by 2025 and 75% by 2030. By 2030, 100% of the electricity Henkel uses to power its operations will come from renewable sources. And by 2040, Henkel aims to have converted all remaining fossil fuels used in production to climate-neutral alternatives and supply surplus carbon-neutral energy to third parties. In addition, Henkel wants to leverage its brands and technologies to help customers, consumers, and suppliers save 100 million tons of CO2 in a ten-year period from 2016 to 2025.
“Climate change is a global challenge, which requires our collective action. At Henkel, we want to make a positive contribution to protecting the climate. Based on our achievements to date and in line with our ambitions for the coming years, we are pleased to join and support The Climate Pledge,” said Henkel CEO Carsten Knobel. “Together with Amazon, Global Optimism, and the other signatories, we are committed to drive tangible progress and jointly take action to limit global warming.”
Signify, the world leader in lighting, is another new member of The Climate Pledge. At the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21), in Paris, in December 2015, Signify committed to achieve carbon neutral operations in 2020. Last September, it announced that it had reached this milestone and plans to double its positive impact on the environment and society by 2025. Signify will join The Climate Pledge to share its experience, and to help and encourage other signatories to advance their own carbon reduction programs.
“We are pleased to join The Climate Pledge community as it mobilizes companies to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement 10 years early,” said Harry Verhaar, Signify Head of Global Public and Government Affairs. “We are committed to sharing best practices with other companies from our own journey to carbon neutrality in 2020, and to ramp up our positive impact on the environment and society.”
“The Paris Agreement set out a unifying roadmap for all countries, all companies, and all people to address the climate crisis by taking actions to ensure we do not exceed 1.5C in global warming,” said Christiana Figueres, the UN’s former climate change chief, now founding partner of Global Optimism. “By joining The Climate Pledge, these companies are demonstrating both their ambitions for the future and for recovery now. Their actions and investments are creating sorely needed jobs, spurring innovation, regenerating the natural environment, and helping their consumers to buy more sustainable products. The growing collective of companies joining The Climate Pledge, acting in accordance with science, is cause for optimism.”
Last year, Amazon and Global Optimism co-founded The Climate Pledge, a commitment to reach the Paris Agreement 10 years early and be net-zero carbon by 2040. Amazon was the first signatory and thirteen organizations have now signed The Climate Pledge including: Amazon, Best Buy, Henkel, Infosys, McKinstry, Mercedes-Benz, Oak View Group, Real Betis, Reckitt Benckiser, Schneider Electric, Siemens, Signify, and Verizon—sending an important signal that there will be rapid growth in demand for products and services that help reduce carbon emissions.