When you think about Siemens, you’re probably picturing medical scanners, energy generators, or transportation equipment. You might not be thinking about smart cities, or how the company is working to accelerate technology innovation, eMobility, resilience, and urban sustainability. But that’s just what Martin Powell, the Global Head of Urban Development at Siemens, focuses on each and every day.
At Environmental Defense Fund, we believe that environmental progress and economic growth can and must go hand in hand. EDF+Business works with leading companies and investors to raise the bar for corporate sustainability leadership by setting ambitious, science-based goals; collaborating for scale across industries and global supply chains; publicly supporting smart environmental safeguards; and, accelerating environmental innovation.
This is the 10th in a series of interviews exploring trends in sustainability leadership as part of our effort to pave the way to a thriving economy and a healthy environment.
Let’s turn back the clock to 1990. It was a milestone year for McDonald’s, as the company opened its first restaurants in Moscow, mainland China and Chile. It was also when the largest restaurant company in the world joined forces with Environmental Defense Fund to launch a groundbreaking partnership that would find ways to reduce McDonald’s solid waste. The results? $6 million in savings, more than 300 million pounds of packaging eliminated, and 1 million tons of corrugated boxes recycled.
2018 is shaping up to be a big year for McDonald’s too, with a packaging waste goal set in January and an announcement to reduce emissions across its supply chain in March. Led by Executive Vice President and Chief Supply Chain and Sustainability Officer Francesca DeBiase, McDonald’s has raised the corporate leadership bar with these ambitious sustainability targets. But now, the difficult and complex work of meeting these goals begins.
I caught up with Francesca ahead of the Global Climate Action Summit this week to ask her about what the roadmap to meeting these goals looks like, and how they’ll collaborate with their suppliers and the industry to prioritize action on the areas where McDonald’s has the biggest opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including responsible beef production
Here’s an edited transcript of our conversation.
The oil and gas industry is at an inflection point: according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the role that natural gas can play in the future of global energy is inextricably linked to its ability to help address environmental problems.
One of these problems is methane emissions–a key focus of the World Gas Conference in Washington, D.C. this week–which represent a reputational risk to the oil and gas industry, a waste of saleable resources, and a contributor to both poor local air quality and climate change.
At Environmental Defense Fund, we believe that environmental progress and economic growth can and must go hand in hand. EDF+Business works with leading companies and investors to raise the bar for corporate sustainability leadership by setting aggressive, science-based goals; collaborating for scale across industries and global supply chains; publicly supporting smart environmental safeguards; and, accelerating environmental innovation.
This is the eighth in a series of interviews exploring trends in sustainability leadership as part of our effort to pave the way to a thriving economy and a healthy environment.
Equinor, formerly known as Statoil, is not your average energy company. The Norwegian-based corporation reports producing oil and gas with half of the CO2 emissions, compared to the global industry average.
The company also stated commitment to building its business in support of the Paris Agreement, and plans to invest over $200 million in Equinor Energy Ventures, one of the world’s largest corporate venture funds dedicated to investing in growth companies in renewable energy. That may be why CDP ranked Equinor as the oil and gas company best prepared for a low carbon future.
Equinor is also doing its part to detect and reduce methane emissions by embracing innovation and technology. In fact, Equinor was the first energy producer to purchase and install a new solar-powered technology device to continuously detect methane leaks. And, Equinor collaborates with EDF and Stanford in supporting mobile monitoring advances, such as drone based sensors.
In advance of the World Gas Conference in DC later this month, I spoke with Bjorn Otto Sverdrup, senior vice president of sustainability at Equinor, to learn more about the company’s climate goals and how the company is addressing methane emissions from its oil and gas operations. Here’s an edited transcript of our conversation. Read more
Ten years ago, EDF found itself head-on with a challenge: how to effectively jump-start corporate energy efficiency initiatives. We started EDF Climate Corps, a summer fellowship program, with the theory that a small, intense injection of effort could catalyze investment in energy efficiency, giving companies the opportunity to capitalize on the associated cost and energy savings. That was ten years ago.
Since then, more than 800 fellows have been placed in over 430 organizations to advance corporate energy management.
We have seen companies use their help to go beyond single-site projects and scale energy efficiency across their entire portfolios of facilities. This growth is representative of a vibrant and growing industry. Deploying energy efficiency has become a mainstream practice, and an entire ecosystem of service providers has cropped up to support these efforts. Employment in this market has skyrocketed and energy efficiency now represents the largest source of clean energy jobs in the country.
But the corporate energy challenge doesn’t stop there.
While energy efficiency continues to be an important way for companies to reduce carbon emissions from electricity, it can only get them so far. Alongside scaled-up efficiency efforts, holistic, strategic energy management plans that include clean energy generation (onsite and offsite) must be developed–and many companies are stepping up to the plate to do so.
Today we observe companies asking fellows to explore clean energy procurement options, dig through various state and federal incentive structures and effectively build the business case for investing in new, clean generation sources.
Today, clean energy is where energy efficiency was for companies a decade ago.
Building on the success of 10 years of fellowships, we are excited to announce that this summer over 100 new EDF Climate Corps fellows from top universities in the U.S. and China will help companies such as McDonald’s, Boston Scientific, JPMorgan Chase and Walmart meet their carbon and energy reduction goals. Fellows will scale energy efficiency, deploy clean energy technologies (1/3 of our class of over 100 fellows will work on clean energy solutions!), help companies set strategies to achieve science-based GHG goals, and even dig into carbon reductions in supply chains. They’ll also set themselves up for lasting careers in clean energy, energy efficiency and sustainability, alongside four million other Americans. We know that our network of over 1500 sustainability-focused professionals will help them along the way.
Corporate commitments for reducing carbon emissions are only getting stronger. Despite federal rollbacks in environmental protections, companies are continuing to navigate clean energy innovation, and we’re excited to see how the next 1o years of EDF Climate Corps will help drive this momentum.
Follow Liz on Twitter, @lizdelaneylobo
Stay on top of the latest facts, information and resources aimed at the intersection of business and the environment. Sign up for the EDF+Business blog. [contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]
Insert Twitter/Facebook sharecard image. (ideal size 1200x630px)
The fuel choice for a vehicle is a critical factor determining its greenhouse gas emissions. The potential of low-carbon fuels has driven a lot of attention to the space over the past several years. As more vehicles that can operate on alternative fuels become available, companies are exploring which ones make sense for their companies. Additionally, much effort is going into making the next generation of these fuels.
For the next call in the Environmental Defense Fund series exploring opportunities to cut greenhouse gas emissions from corporate fleets, we will survey the current and near-term landscape for fuels. Leading this discussion will be Mike Millikin, founder and editor of Green Car Congress (GCC), who was also our guest for Electrifying Corporate Fleets. From his perch at GCC, Mike observes the daily developments of this market.
The call is on June 28th at 12pm ET. To join, call:
* Phone number: +1 (213) 289-0500
* Code: 267-6815
We look forward to having you join us in this conversation.
Are you actively measuring your fleet emissions? Thinking about using medium-duty hybrid trucks?
We want to know what’s going on with your fleet greening initiatives! To that end, we’re asking everyone we know that has a fleet to take 5 minutes to fill out the 2010 PHH survey on fleets and the environment.
Now in is fourth year, the survey has become a valuable tool for tracking trends in fleet environmental management. For example, thanks to the survey, we know that the percentage of fleets measuring their emissions has been growing each year, which is good news for those businesses as well as for the environment. Read more
PHH Arval released their annual survey on fleet environmental initiatives yesterday. The item that most caught my attention was the percentage of fleets that claimed to be measuring their greenhouse gas emissions — 40%. While that still leaves ample room for growth, it is a significant jump from the 28% reported in 2008. Differences in the PHH survey methods mean the 2008 and 2009 numbers might not be directly comparable, yet the magnitude of change is consistent with our experience over the past year and the direction is consistent with the trend in the industry toward greenhouse gas measurement becoming a standard practice.
This is good news as measuring emissions is the first step to understanding how to reduce them. Fleet manager interest in emissions measurement led us to develop an online calculator for fleets and train fleet managers during a seminar at the NAFA annual conference. We also wrote a “how-to” article for Automotive Fleet magazine. Read more