Top tech companies step up commitment to reaching climate change goals

Global Business

For people concerned about climate change, the Trump administration has been worrying. In 2017, it promised to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate agreement and it has rolled back numerous environmental regulations. But where the U.S. government has stepped back, U.S. companies have stepped up.

CGTN’s Karina Huber has more on the companies leading the green way forward. 

In September Amazon pledged to do more to fight climate change, committing to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2040 and 100 percent renewables by 2030. 

In a statement, founder Jeff Bezos said: “If a company with as much physical infrastructure as Amazon—which delivers more than 10 billion items a year—can meet the Paris Agreement 10 years early, then any company can.” 

The move came as climate marches erupted around the world, led mainly by young people demanding more from their governments and companies.

“There’s a lot of pressure on companies to become more sustainable, to think about their place in the world and think about how they contribute or not to things like climate change,” said Andrew Winston, the Founder of Winston Eco Strategies.

A list called the Carbon Clean 200 aims to help consumers and investors get a better sense of which publicly traded companies are leading the greenway. It looks at firms that are making the most money by selling solutions for climate change.

Google’s parent company Alphabet, which makes the bulk of its money selling online ads, tops the list. That’s mainly because the company is fully powered by renewable energy. 

Industrial companies dominate the list but information technology firms also feature prominently. China has the most companies on the list.

“A lot of them are of the smaller nature but there’s some bigger ones there too like Lenovo. It’s on there for making energy-efficient devices and computers and different types of internet hardware,” said Toby Heaps, CEO of Corporate Knights, a research firm that helps compile the list. 

BYD which makes electric vehicles is also on the list as is Jinko Solar, one of the largest solar energy companies in the world.

“So you have a whole sort of raft of energy efficiency, renewable power, electric vehicle, and smart grid companies as well,” Heaps said.

Apple announced its achievement of 100 percent clean energy in April of 2018. Many other tech companies including Microsoft have vowed to get there too. 

Andrew Winston, who co-authored the book “The Green to Gold” advises companies on how to become more sustainable. He says firms around the world are more attuned to the associated risks of climate change than ever before.

“Almost every large company in the world now has a carbon reduction goal and energy reduction goal. And now hundreds have committed to science-based targets meaning they will say they will reduce emissions at the pace that science demands. That we now know we need to reduce to try to control climate change enough to avoid the very worst outcomes,” he said.