Burberry and Kering are among 160 leading companies leading the way when it comes to taking action on climate change, water and deforestation in 2017, according to a new analysis.
Compiled by non-profit global environmental disclosure platform CDP, the list has been published alongside the company’s annual ‘Picking up the pace: tracking progress on corporate climate action’ report, which monitors how the largest, most environmentally-impactful companies are responding to climate change. It found that nearly 89% now have carbon emissions targets, with a fifth planning low-carbon into their futures to 2030 and beyond.
British luxury fashion group Burberry was recognised in the ‘2017 Climate, Water and Forests A Lists’ ranking for its work on water, while Kering was singled out for its work on climate change. They were among 3,300 companies monitored.
“Even though we have a broad-based and holistic strategy in place and Kering is innovating in many areas to drive sustainability uptake, we are still focused on the fundamentals,” said Marie-Claire Daveu, chief sustainability officer and head of international institutional affairs at Kering.
“We are continually working to reduce our carbon footprint and taking actions to combat climate change. Going even further, we have set Science Based Targets within our 2025 sustainability strategy to guide us to do so, while we pursue our progressive sustainability targets overall.”
Meanwhile, the report found that 14% of a sample of 1,073 responding companies have future-proofed their growth by committing to, or having targets approved, under the Science Based Targets initiative. These are emissions reduction targets in line with the level of decarbonization required to keep global temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius, the central aim of the Paris Agreement on climate change signed by nearly 200 nations.
An additional 317 companies (30% of the sample) aim to set science-based targets within two years. Existing targets take the sample almost one third (31%) of the way to being consistent with keeping global warming below 2 degrees, a notable improvement since last year (25%), reflecting the rise in science-based target-setting.
“Two years ago, the Paris Agreement fired the gun in the race to a low-carbon economy,” says Paul Simpson, CEO of CDP. “This year, the recommendations from the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures accelerated the pace. We can already see corporate winners and losers emerging. Best practice, from the scaling of solar power to the construction of zero-energy buildings, with innovation in processes, products and philosophies is emerging; and is increasingly led from the boardroom.”
However, the research also found the majority of the large corporations analysed do not yet appear to have the right, science-based targets in place to successfully transition their business in line with the Paris Agreement – although many have ambitions to take this step in the next two years.
“We strongly urge them to follow through and align their targets with climate science, to ensure their resilience in the transition to a well below 2-degree world,” Simpson adds.