C&EN @ COP21 – Paris Climate Change Conference – 2015, November 30 to December 11

Businesses Pledge to Cut Their Emissions

Drug companies and consumer product makers are among the 114 corporations from around the world that are pledging to develop targets for reducing their greenhouse gas emissions.

“we recognize the significant impacts climate change can have on our business if left unaddressed. That’s why we are taking action across our value chain,”

Together, the businesses, which include pharmaceutical manufacturers AstraZeneca, Novartis, and Pfizer, and consumer product companies Colgate Palmolive, Proctor & Gamble, and Unilever, currently have annual emissions equivalent to 476 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. This is the same as the annual emissions of South Africa or 125 coal-fired power plants, according to the Science Based Targets initiative, a joint effort of several groups, including the UN Global Compact — a voluntary corporate sustainability initiative — and World Wildlife Fund, an environmental organization.

P&G is one of 10 businesses that has already put numbers to its pledge under the Science Based Target initiative. It is committing to cut emissions from its operations by 30% from 2010 levels by 2020.

The companies, which include major retailer Walmart and automakers Honda, Nissan, and Renault, announced their efforts on Dec. 8 as part of the negotiations on a new global climate change treaty underway in Paris. The businesses include flavor and fragrance company Givaudan, cosmetic producer L’Oréal, and food makers Nestlé and General Mills.

RELATED: Emissions Gap Means More Work Ahead

“As a global food company, we recognize the significant impacts climate change can have on our business if left unaddressed. That’s why we are taking action across our value chain,” said Ken Powell, chairman and CEO of General Mills, a major food maker. “Real progress toward more sustainable emission levels will require unprecedented collaboration and collective innovation.”

Cheryl Hogue is reporting from Paris for Chemical & Engineering News. She has covered climate change negotiations since 1992.

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