Largest US Companies Pledge $140bn to Cut Carbon Footprint

by | Jul 28, 2015

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microsoft corp bldgApple, Coca-Cola, Walmart and PepsiCo are among the 13 of the largest companies in the US that have signed the American Business Act on Climate Pledge.

The companies have announced a combined total of $140 billion in new low-carbon investments, in addition to ambitious, company-specific goals to cut emissions as much as 50 percent, reduce water intensity as much as 15 percent, purchase 100 percent renewable energy and pursue zero net deforestation in supply chains.

Among other commitments, the companies have made the following pledges:

  • Alcoa has pledged to reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions emissions by 50 percent in the US by 2025, against a 2005 baseline.
  • Apple will bring an estimated 280 megawatts of clean power generation online by the end of 2016 through investments in Arizona, California, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon and Sichuan Province, China.
  • Bank of America has pledged to increase its current environmental business initiative from $50 billion to $125 billion in low-carbon business by 2025.
  • Berkshire Hathaway Energy has pledged to invest up to an additional $15 billion in renewable energy generation.
  • Cargill has pledged to improve greenhouse gas intensity by 5 percent by 2020 from its 2015 baseline and improve freshwater efficiency by 5 percent.
  • Coca-Cola has pledged to reduce its GHG emissions by 25 percent by 2020.
  • General Motors has pledged to reduce carbon intensity from facilities 20 percent by 2020 over a 2010 baseline, reduce water intensity 15 percent and reduce total waste 40 percent.
  • Goldman Sachs has pledged to achieve carbon neutrality across its operations and business travel in 2015 and maintain it thereafter.
  • Google has pledged to powering its operations with 100 percent renewable energy and reducing water consumption by its Bay Area headquarters by 30 percent in 2015 from its 2013 baseline.
  • Microsoft has pledged to maintain carbon neutral operations for its datacenters, offices, labs, manufacturing facilities and business air travel.
  • PepsiCo has pledged to expand the use of sustainable farming practices to 500,000 acres of farmland used by its North American agricultural suppliers in our corn, oats, potato and citrus supply chains by the end of 2016.
  • UPS has pledged to reduce GHG emissions 20 percent by 2020 compared to a 2007 baseline.
  • Walmart has pledged to drive the production or procurement of 7 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of renewable energy globally by the end of 2020 — a 600 percent increase against its 2010 baseline.

In signing the Pledge, the companies are demonstrating their support for a strong outcome at this year’s UN Climate Change Conference in Paris.

In May, 12 international states and provinces signed a first-of-its-kind climate agreement to limit the increase in global average temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius. The agreement provides a template for the world’s nations to follow during the Paris climate negotiations.

Photo: Microsoft corporate building via Shutterstock. 

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