Accelerating Corporate Leadership on Climate and Energy

For the largest businesses in the United States, the climate crisis has become a central part of their corporate strategy. In fact, 60% of Fortune 500 companies have now set goals to act on climate change. This is good news for the bottom line and for our planet.

It is everyone’s responsibility to mitigate climate change and preserve our planet for future generations, but as some of the world’s largest energy users, businesses have a unique opportunity to lead. Companies that align their business approach to the realities of climate science protect the environment while seizing the financial opportunity sustainability goals unleash. That’s why WWF works with companies large and small to help them create innovative strategies and partnerships that are building the low-carbon economy.

Transformational Partnerships

Climate Savers

At WWF, we work with companies that recognize the benefits of taking action on climate change and are prepared to take the steps needed to cut emissions throughout their value chain. The WWF Climate Business Network supports businesses on their path to align with a 1.5°C world and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. 

Companies across diverse sectors and at different stages on the road to net-zero can join the Network to rapidly advance their corporate climate ambition, cut emissions from their own operations and throughout their supply chain, and add their voice to drive strong climate policy. The companies taking the most ambitious action are named WWF Climate Savers - the highest level of the Network.

The goal of the Climate Business Network is to broaden corporate participation in the effort to tackle climate change: it aims to encourage and support companies at every stage of their climate change mitigation journey, demonstrating that climate action is vital, achievable, practical and compatible with corporate growth.

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Companies interested in more information can contact Tim Juliani at: [email protected]

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Driving Ambition and Setting Goals

Power Forward

Since 2012, The Power Forward report series has been analyzing climate and energy commitments among the largest US companies. The latest iteration, Power Forward 4.0, summarizes the climate commitments of the Fortune 500, demonstrating the steady growth in corporate climate action, new emerging trends, as well as the significant remaining gaps.

The 2021 edition finds:

60% of Fortune 500 companies (2020) have set a climate or energy-related commitment. This represents a 12-percentage-point increase since Power Forward 3.0, published in 2017.

Science-based target setting has grown significantly, with 63 Fortune 500 companies (13%) having set targets approved by the Science Based Targets initiative, six times the number of companies that had done so in 2017.

The exciting and growing trend among companies is setting net-zero, carbon-neutral, or related commitments, with 83 (17%) of the Fortune 500 possessing such targets.

Ninety-four companies have set a goal to buy or invest in renewable energy, up from the 53 that had done so in Power Forward 3.0. Fifty-eight of the 94 companies possess 100% renewable energy targets.

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Companies interested in more information can contact Luz Cervantes [email protected]

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Science-Based Targets Initiative

The 2015 Paris Agreement saw nearly 200 of the world’s governments commit to preventing dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2° C. For companies to do their part in achieving that goal, they need ambitious emissions reduction targets that align with current climate science. That’s why WWF, in collaboration with CDP, World Resources Institute, and the United Nations Global Compact, created the Science-Based Targets Initiative.

Science-based targets help companies by specifying how much and how quickly they need to reduce their GHG emissions to be aligned with the latest climate science. WWF helps companies define and promote best practices in science-based target setting, provide in-depth support to companies setting targets, assess company targets, and showcase companies setting science-based targets. The initiative’s overall aim is that by 2020, science-based target setting will become standard business practice and corporations will play a major role in driving down GHG emissions.
WWF POC:

Companies interested in more information can contact Tim Letts at: [email protected]

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Accelerating Renewable Energy

Renewable Thermal Collaborative

The Renewable Thermal Collaborative (RTC) is the leading coalition of organizations committed to scaling up renewable heating and cooling at their facilities and dramatically cutting carbon emissions. RTC members recognize the large and growing demand for renewable heating and cooling solutions and the urgent need to meet this demand sustainably and cost-competitively.

As a coalition, the RTC offers members “power in numbers.” The RTC is the only organization where large thermal energy users and solutions providers come together collaboratively to understand the problems in the market, learn from each other, and overcome barriers to renewable heating and cooling. 

In June 2021, WWF won $10 million through the Lever for Change 2030 Challenge, a public competition to award funding to the most impactful and durable solution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the buildings, industry, and/or transportation sectors in the US by 2030. The competition is supported by an anonymous donor and is administered by Lever for Change, a nonprofit affiliate of the MacArthur Foundation. The RTC is facilitated by WWF along with the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions and David Gardiner and Associates.

WWF POC:

Companies interested in more information can contact Marty Spitzer at: [email protected]

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Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance

As the US moves steadily toward a low-carbon future, businesses are stepping forward to demand more renewable energy. But the journey hasn't always been easy. That is why we created the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA). After incubating REBA for 5 years, WWF and our NGO partners spun-off REBA into a new independent US business trade association. REBA’s goal is to help business voluntarily purchase 60GW of additional renewable energy in the US by 2025. REBA is making it easier for more companies to buy renewable power on their own and through their local utilities. REBA brings together customers, suppliers, and policymakers to identify barriers to buying clean and renewable energy, to develop and test solutions, and to rapidly scale them to meet REBA's ambitious goal.

WWF POC:

Companies interested in more information can contact Marty Spitzer at: [email protected]

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International Renewable Energy Initiatives

Businesses need similar support buying renewable energy for their global operations and value chains stretching around the world. Inspired by the success of REBA in the US, WWF is advancing REBA-like partnerships through our local offices in Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Mexico, and Vietnam. WWF’s unique global network with deep local roots allows us to connect global businesses to local initiatives as well as provide them with country-specific expertise, strategies, and support.

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Companies interested in more information about corporate renewable energy initiatives in international markets can contact Daniel Riley at: [email protected]

Mobilizing Corporate Policy Engagement

As the ambition of the private sector in addressing climate change continues to grow, what it looks like to be a leader in corporate climate action has also shifted. Leading companies now recognize that voluntary private-sector action alone is not enough to address the climate crisis. We need strong federal and state climate policy to ensure the private sector’s climate commitments are as ambitious as what the science shows us we need.

To guide companies on what they should do on climate policy, WWF co-created the AAA Responsible Policy Framework that ensures companies can only claim the mantle of climate leadership when they:

  • Advocate for policies that are consistent with achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.
  • Align their trade associations’ climate policy advocacy to be consistent with the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.
  • Allocate advocacy spending to advance climate policies, not obstruct them.
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Companies interested in more information can contact Tim Juliani at: [email protected]

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America Is All In

In June of 2017, a coalition of companies, cities, states, colleges, and universities banded together to reaffirm their commitment to upholding the Paris Agreement. That coalition grew to more than 3,500 leaders across the United States who have reaffirmed America’s enduring commitment to fighting climate change and ensuring a clean energy future. The We Are Still In movement became the largest US coalition ever assembled in support of climate action and collectively represents more than 155 million Americans and $9.5 trillion of the US economy spanning all 50 states.

Now, under the new Biden administration, the coalition has been rechristened America Is All In and calls for high climate ambition and lent valuable support when the US put a new economy-wide climate target on the table—a commitment to reduce U.S. emissions by 50%-52% by 2030—in April 2021.

WWF is proud to be one of the coordinating organizations behind We Are Still In along with dozens of other partners

WWF POC:

Companies interested in more information can contact Marty Spitzer at: [email protected]

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