Worldwide potential to cut business GHGs revealed

28th June 2016

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Mitigation ,
  • Renewable ,
  • Management/saving



Annual global greenhouse-gas (GHGs) emissions from businesses could be cut by 3.7 billion metric tonnes of CO2 equivalent, according to research by the New Climate Institute and the CDP.

The research measured the potential impact of five global business initiatives on energy and climate change based on current membership. They are:

  • RE100, which commits business to using 100% renewable energy;
  • EP100, under which businesses have pledged to double the amount of economic output from each unit of energy;
  • science-based targets, which see companies making targets in line with scientific assessments on how to keep temperature rises below 2°C;
  • zero deforestation, a pledge by 50 companies to remove commodity-driven deforestation from their supply chains; and
  • Low Carbon Technology Partnerships Initiative (LCTPi), which aims to accelerate the development of low carbon technologies and scale up their deployment.

Current GHG reduction commitments under these initiatives would achieve 60% of the cuts pledged by all countries in the Paris agreement through the nationally determined contributions (NDCs), which are reductions by 2030 of six billion tonnes .

Around 300 companies are currently signed up to these initiatives, the report noted. Over the past 12 months, 174 companies signed up to the initiatives, compared with 49 companies in the previous year, it said.

If all relevant companies sign up, membership of the initiatives could rise to 3,500 and GHGs could be cut by 10 billion tonnes, the study found.

The report was launched at the Business and Climate Summit in London. Christiana Figueres, the outgoing executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said: ‘A universal climate agreement of nations also needs universal support from the private sector beyond Europe and North America.

‘I would urge committed business to reach out to peers in Africa, Asia and Latin America in order to further seed, catalyse and build action everwhere and in support of COP22 in Marrakech.’

The report calls on governments across the world to:

  • encourage utilities to offer renewable energy contracts and make it easier for businesses to sign up;
  • help companies build their own renewable electricity installations;
  • support research and development for low carbon technologies;
  • offer grants and capital depreciation to make energy efficiency investments more attractive;
  • create incentives for buyers and sellers of sustainable products; and
  • reduce the administrative and cost burden of certification for producers, so it is easier for them to produce commodities without deforestation.


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

A social conscience

With a Taskforce on Inequality and Social-related Financial Disclosures in the pipeline, Beth Knight talks to Chris Seekings about increased recognition of social sustainability

6th June 2024

Read more

Disinformation about the impossibility of averting the climate crisis is part of an alarming turn in denialist tactics, writes David Burrows

6th June 2024

Read more

David Symons, FIEMA, director of sustainability at WSP, and IEMA’s Lesley Wilson, tell Chris Seekings why a growing number of organisations are turning to nature-based solutions to meet their climate goals

6th June 2024

Read more

A system-level review is needed to deliver a large-scale programme of retrofit for existing buildings. Failure to do so will risk missing net-zero targets, argues Amanda Williams

31st May 2024

Read more

Chris Seekings reports from a webinar helping sustainability professionals to use standards effectively

31st May 2024

Read more

Although many organisations focus on scope 1 and 2 emissions, it is vital to factor in scope 3 emissions and use their footprint to drive business change

31st May 2024

Read more

IEMA submits response to the Future Homes Standard consultation

31st May 2024

Read more

What is the role for nature in the Climate Change Act? Sophie Mairesse reports

20th May 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close