At the UN Climate Change Conference, COP25 held in Madrid, over 500 companies publicly committed to further reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by a 1.5 degree trajectory leading to net zero by 2030.
These companies are part of the global community of Certified B Corporations, businesses that meet the ‘highest verified standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and legal accountability.’
Kim Coupounas, B Lab Global Ambassador, co-chair of B Corp Global Climate Task Force, co-leader of B Corp Climate Collective, commented on the announcement: “As the source and cause of the vast majority of the planet’s greenhouse gases, the business sector is uniquely culpable for the climate crisis—and therefore responsible for demonstrating leadership in eliminating emissions and drawing down carbon as rapidly as possible.
“As evidenced by the net zero 2030-commitments made at COP25 this week, B Corps recognise their agency as individual businesses, and as a collective force, to act.
“Together, these businesses can positively impact vulnerable communities both today and for generations to come, and in so doing literally change the course of history.”
Among them are 61 UK companies, including Bulb, Oxygen House, Greenheart Consulting and Green Element.
In total, there are over 3,000 B Corps in the world from more than 70 countries and 150 industries, including 14 energy companies from the United States, Australia and France among others.
In a statement issued after the announcement, the B Corp Community declared:
“We are living in unprecedented times. The most important global climate conference to address accelerating climate change and ecological breakdown has been forced to move to the other side of the world four weeks before the event because of the most recent example of a more immediate and growing threat to our global social order, persistent social inequities and increasing inequality.
“It is clear to us that these twin crises are being driven, and responses constrained, by an economic system that rewards the single-minded pursuit of profits while untenably externalising environmental and social costs.
“This results in decisions that prioritise short term financial returns often at the expense of people, communities and the natural world on which all life depends.
“As business leaders, we recognise these crises as threats to healthy markets and healthy businesses. As human beings, we recognise these crises as threats to our quality of life and the quality of life of our children and their children.
“We will have more to say in the near future about this underlying system failure, but in the context of COP25, we believe the science shows that a 1.5°C increase in average global temperature is the limit to reduce the worst impacts for our planet and its inhabitants, especially communities on the front lines who will be impacted first and most significantly.
“At the current trajectory, it is estimated we will reach this limit as early as 2030.
“We believe, therefore, that it is imperative for all businesses to demonstrate leadership in eliminating emissions, drawing down carbon, and ensuring a just transition for displaced workers and communities to a net zero emissions economy.
“In addition, we believe it is imperative to use the power of our collective voice to advocate for policy changes necessary to remove impediments and align incentives that will drive meaningful climate action.”