SETTING SUSTAINABILITY STANDARDS
One of CCA’s chief aims is to serve as an educational resource for the business community. Within our business partnerships we have spoken with CEOs from a range of industries who have expressed a general interest in decarbonizing their operations, and are curious about where to begin. The following initiatives and case studies serve as valuable references, and the breadth of their scope allows companies to model their sustainability practices from several angles, whether for the purposes of corporate responsibility, competitive advantage, or climate resiliency and mitigation.
Greenhouse Gas Protocol—A longstanding partnership between the World Resources Institute and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development has produced this comprehensive toolset for companies looking to reduce the footprint of their operations. Their platform offers standards guidance, calculation tools, and online courses. The GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Standard helps businesses develop an inventory of all seven greenhouse gases regulated under the Kyoto Protocol, along with strategies for managing emissions.
Interface New Industrial Model—Strategy advisor Lavery / Pennell created this case study of Atlanta-based sustainability luminary Interface, Inc. The report details Interface’s three-stage process comprising 1) Increasing non-labor resource efficiency (such as packaging optimization, waste reduction, and energy efficiency) 2) Reinvesting savings from Stage 1 in renewable energy and recycled materials, and 3) Optimizing competitive advantages enabled by Stages 1 and 2 to develop innovative products that enable growth. The New Industrial Model conforms with triple-bottom-line principles by increasing revenues, reducing GHG emissions and waste, and creating jobs.
Science Based Targets—A multi-partner initiative, SBT provides a three-step process whereby companies can submit emissions reductions targets that comply with IPCC standards. Once these targets are verified, member companies benefit from being showcased through SBT case studies, media, and events. In addition to receiving guidance on improving competitive advantage while meeting targets, members can sign on to the Net Zero by 2050 team, which pledges to eliminate all greenhouse gas emissions from their operations by 2050.
ShareAction—This UK-based nonprofit mentors institutional and individual investors in responsible, carbon-friendly investing, while campaigning for improving companies' accountability to their shareholders. Their comprehensive suite of reports features evaluations of asset managers, individual companies, and pension funds according the quality of their transparency and commitment to decarbonization. ShareAction's initiatives help shareholders engage with companies on issues such as the need to transition to renewable energy sources, complying with the Paris Accords, tracking greenhouse gas emissions through supply chains, and investing in sustainable agriculture.
Thomson Reuters Global 250—A compilation of emissions data from the top 250 greenhouse gas emitters, representing 1/3 of annual global emissions, Global 250 spotlights leaders among multinationals in corporate responsibility. The report profiles companies such as Toyota and Total SA, who have set a course to significantly reduce GHG emissions throughout their operations while continuing to report revenue growth. The findings of the review “demonstrate the relationships between decarbonization and long-term financial performance.” Global 100 was produced in collaboration with the CDC (formerly the Climate Disclosure Project), a nonprofit specializing in creating international standards for companies and governments to report their environmental impacts
Tropical Forest Alliance 2020—A coalition of public-private partnerships consisting of commodities producers, traders, and producing companies that work to eliminate deforestation from all levels of their supply chain, primarily by targeting palm oil, beef, paper and pulp, and soy. Distinguished by its fostering of cross-sector collaboration among governments, companies, NGOs, and indigenous peoples, the alliance directs its efforts toward forestry regulation, reforming the financing of target commodities, “capitalizing conservation,” and the jurisdictional approach, among others.