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WWF works to sustain the natural world for the benefit of people and wildlife, collaborating with partners from local to global levels in nearly 100 countries.
Many of the world’s leading companies have made major strides in addressing climate change over the last decade. By establishing climate targets, they pushed themselves to look harder at energy waste and found money lying on their factory floors. These success stories have been celebrated, but far more needs to be done to avoid the dangerous and irreversible risks to society and businesses from climate change as global temperatures continue to rise.
A new report from WWF and CDP—The 3% Solution: Driving Profits Through Carbon Reductions—helps U.S. businesses chart a new path forward. This path is tremendously profitable, practical and helps curb climate change.Calculate Your Carbon Target & Profits h
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The report identifies novel approaches for the private sector to realize cost-savings up to $190 billion in 2020. These savings are achieved by boosting energy-efficiency measures and transitioning to low-carbon energy sources. In the process, the US corporate sector will cut carbon emissions by 3% annually and achieve the 2020 carbon reductions scientists say are needed. Written and researched with CFOs in mind, The 3% Solution is the answer that businesses and sustainability stakeholders have been searching for.
Built upon rigorous analysis by leading consulting firms and chock-full of practical cost-saving examples from a variety of sectors, this study offers the most compelling business case made to date for setting ambitious carbon reduction targets. The 3% Solution will help businesses—those already saving millions through carbon reductions or just beginning the journey—discover cost-savings waiting to be harvested.
To be on track to keep the rise of global temperatures below 2°C, the US corporate sector must reduce total annual greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 by 1.2 gigatons of CO2e from 2010 levels. This amount is equivalent to annual reductions of approximately 3 percent per year across the US corporate sector.
The 3% Solution shows these reductions can be achieved through cost-effective measures alone, generating savings of up to US$190 billion (PV) in 2020 for the US corporate sector, excluding utilities. Between 2010 and 2020, that amount grows to up to $780 billion in potential savings.
Companies can capture these unrealized savings from three primary types of activities:
WWF’s analysis produced three key findings about these profitable opportunities which can be achieved with current technologies and policies:
The 3% Solution is a limited time offer. If US business acts now to reduce emissions 3 percent annually through 2020, they can collectively capture cost-savings of up to US$190 billion in 2020 and put us on the pathway to curbing climate change. Waiting until 2020 to start the journey would be costly for companies and the climate, requiring a 9.7 percent reduction annually on average to meet the IPCC’s minimum 2050 target. Waiting until 2030 is not an option; the 2°C target would be out of reach.
In addition to up to US$190 billion of savings opportunities in 2020, another gigaton in emission reduction opportunities from utilities, consumers and supply chains can be cut through low-cost investments. Together, 2.2 GtCO2e of annual emissions reductions are achievable in 2020, almost double what is required to meet the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s 2020 minimum target of reducing emissions by 25% from 1990 levels.
The Carbon Productivity Portfolio is a set of five practical actions that help capture the full 2.2 GtCO2e opportunity. Built upon the experiences of leading companies, the five steps maximize carbon reduction and simultaneously create business value.
Engage with stakeholders and government
Improve energy management and investment
Develop low-carbon products and supply chains
Increase low-carbon energy supplies
Set ambitious targets