Companies Going for a Carbon Neutral Future
There’s no doubt that we’ve reached a pivotal point in our history when it comes to climate change. Scientists suggest that we have as little as 7 years until the damage done to our planet will become irreversible, as highlighted recently by the large clock at Metronome in New York.
While individually we can all make contributions to help turn things around, a lot of the power lies in global organizations to make positive changes for our planet. Here are four major companies that are planning on going carbon neutral in the near future.
In a recent announcement at their annual shareholder meeting, Starbucks said that they’re aiming for carbon-neutral status by 2030. This is following their commitment to becoming “resource positive” by cutting carbon emissions in half, conserving or replenishing at least half of the amount of water consumption used for making coffee, and reducing their waste by half.
They also want to offer more dairy-free options, recognizing that their dairy production accounted for over a fifth of its carbon emissions in 2018. Additionally, they’re part of the Transform to Net Zero collaboration, an initiative set up to accelerate the transition to net-zero emissions for all businesses across the globe.
FedEx announced earlier this month that they’re pledging $2billion to become carbon neutral by 2040. The initial investment will be focused on three main areas to start; sustainable energy, carbon sequestration, and vehicle electrification. They’re hoping that by their deadline date, all their vehicles will be electric, with 50% of their purchases of vehicles being electric by 2025 and all of them being electric by 2030.
With a company like FedEx, you also have to consider the amount of carbon emissions released by freight aircraft. Thankfully they’ve already seen success with their FuelSense program, saving 13.5 million metric tons of CO2 emissions. They’re looking to develop this further.
Microsoft intends to take things a step further and a decade earlier than FedEx. They currently have plans to be carbon negative by 2030, meaning that within the next 10 years, they’ll be subtracting more carbon emissions into the atmosphere than what they’re leaving. They’re also part of the founding members of the Transform to Net Zero collaboration.
Beyond their 2030 goal, Microsoft is also aiming to completely remove their historical emissions by 2050, according to a blog post published in January 2020. This is particularly impressive as many corporations are just setting their carbon-neutral targets for 2050, meaning Microsoft could be 2 decades ahead of the crowd.
Apple has also set a target of being carbon neutral by 2030 for all of its supply chain and products. But what about the rest of the company? Their corporate emissions are already carbon neutral, meaning that the supply chain and product sectors are just the final pieces of the puzzle.
They launched a 10-year climate roadmap to help them break down the steps required to achieve this target, which will have them recycling devices, creating new devices from recycled raw materials, and working with Carnegie Mellon University to develop new engineering solutions.
These changes don’t just have to be adopted by large companies like the ones we discussed today. It’s also possible for small and medium-sized businesses to become carbon neutral. You can even become carbon neutral as an individual by calculating exactly how much you’re contributing to CO2 emissions. The WWF has put together a carbon footprint calculator to assess your environmental impact on the planet and take steps to reduce it. Every bit helps!