This blog is a follow up to an earlier blog published: Top 3 Trends in Corporate Sustainability for 2019.
Earlier this year, I identified the top 3 corporate sustainability trends that all business leaders should be watching in 2019. Those trends were: mobility projects gaining popularity as a strategy to reduce emissions, longstanding sustainability champions being joined by the majority and greater industry diversity for Science-Based Targets.
I’m revisiting those trends to give an update on where they stand as the year comes to an end, using real-world company examples to back up my insights.
In a world where big-box retailers are falling to online giants, Best Buy has managed to thrive.
Earlier this week, Best Buy announced a Science-Based Target (SBT) to help consumers reduce their carbon emissions by 20 percent and save $5 billion on utility costs. In its own operations, Best Buy will reduce carbon emissions by 75 percent.
To date, 567 companies have set or committed to set SBTs. But what makes Best Buy’s story unique is its strategy to make customers part of the equation: Reduce the company’s total carbon footprint by selling more energy efficient products to customers.
Here’s how this goal was set
Photo credit: Wendy Palmer
One of the world’s top chocolate companies shared new plans for reducing its impact on the planet – including committing to set Science-Based Targets. But what sets Hershey apart from its peers is not this commitment. It’s the journey behind how it got here.
Leading up to today’s announcement, a lot happened behind the scenes – data was collected, numbers were crunched and methodologies chosen. It required time, human capital and expertise.
But Hershey didn’t do it alone. The company hired a graduate student to help with the heavy-lifting that comes before a target can be set.
A lot happened in 2018. The U.S. made some notable progress with the first Muslim and Native American women elected to Congress, and and SpaceX launched the world’s most powerful rocket. (I also became a first-time dad! And remember Yanny vs. Laurel?). And we experienced some major lows, with hundreds of innocent lives lost to multiple mass shootings and families torn apart due to the current administration’s troubling immigration policies. Now, with 2018 coming to a close, attention is being redirected to the year ahead.
But before I begin anticipating what’s to come in 2019, I want to step back and celebrate a few big corporate sustainability accomplishments from 2018 that I’m particularly encouraged by.