Businesses Aren't Making a Big Enough Impact in Meeting Greenhouse Gas Emissions Targets

Dec 29, 2015 10:17:00 AM by NuEnergen

emissions.jpgNations throughout the world have been in talks for years about the ways that each can reduce their respective greenhouse gas emissions. Countries throughout the European Union, for instance, have vowed to cut down on emissions by 40 percent lower than levels in 1990 by the year 2030, while the US has committed to reducing its emissions output by 26 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. These are lofty goals, but it has been predicted that they can be achieved -- if major business enterprises do their part. 

Unfortunately, this has not yet been the case. While large scale companies have long been promising to reduce their carbon output, it just isn't working. These enterprises have been given the power to set targets and and timelines as they suit their individual needs, but such freedom has enabled companies to slack off when it comes to actual execution and follow-through. As it stands, the UN global contract only requires that businesses file annual reports on the progress that has been made -- even if the progress is nil.

It's time, Science Based Targets believes, to put more pressure on these industries. This initiative, which was formed by the World Resources Institute, works to counter the arbitrary, unscientific nature of existing corporate climate targets in favor of more ambitious goals. The idea is to push enterprises towards setting concrete, measurable goals that will make a true impact in national greenhouse emission reduction commitments. Businesses including Coca-Cola Enterprises, General Mills, Pfizer, Sony, Kellogg, Dell, and many others have signed on to adopt greenhouse gas reduction plans that meet Science Based Targets' standards.

What exactly does this mean, though? In order for a business to earn the approval of Science Based Targets, it must establish clear cut goals that are inclusive of their supply chain emissions in cases where these emissions account for at least 40 percent of the business' carbon footprint. At the present time, the majority of companies are failing, claiming that they do not have control over the actions of their suppliers. General Mills has proven, however, that this is a doable process. The enterprise's value chain spans "from farm to fork to landfill", taking ownership of every step in their processes. 

Meeting these goals demands a great deal of planning and collaboration across multiple sectors, but the effort that is put into achieving greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals is well worth it. Environmental groups see the potential positive impact that aggressive carbon goals can have on businesses by driving maximum efficiency and reduced costs. At the same time, these types of changes work to drive innovative thinking while preparing companies for significant changes in public policy and regulations. 

The question still remains, though, as to whether or not major corporations will truly take to these types of ambitious goals, and whether or not they will be met soon enough to make a true difference. For more information on what your company can do to decrease its own carbon footprint while saving money by lowering energy usage, contact the professionals at NuEnergen today.