The race is on to reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses emissions before it is too late. Human-caused emissions have increased carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, are wreaking havoc on our planet, and driving us further into an irreversible climate calamity. Diversey will build on our past progress to take action on a net zero target and demonstrate our unwavering commitment to reducing the impacts of climate change.
Uncovering the Imperative of Net-zero Carbon
Overall, net zero carbon encompasses the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to as close to zero as feasible, with remaining emissions being countered by carbon removal by the atmosphere, seas, forests, or carbon capture. According to the UN Net Zero Coalition the Earth is around 1.1°C hotter than it was back in the late 1800s, at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, and emissions continue to climb. To avert an irreversible climate disaster that might endanger the Earth and our society, emissions must be diminished by 45 % by 2030 and reach the net zero carbon threshold by 2050 to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
At Diversey, we have pledged to achieve net zero carbon emissions in our operations by the year 2050 as part of our new "Protect. Care. Sustain." strategy, as was highlighted in our 2021 Sustainability Report. To achieve this ambitious goal, we are outlining a series of progressive initiatives. We have engaged in renewable energy generation, deploying cost-effective and energy-efficient equipment, and reducing wasteful energy consumption.
Science-Based Approach to Net-zero CO2 Emissions
Reaching net-zero carbon emissions requires a comprehensive, systems-based strategy, including the interplay of several domains, including the built environment, transportation, energy, manufacturing, and resources, as well as nature-based solutions and behavior modification. The concept of "net zero" is significant since this is the point at which the rate of global warming is halted, at least in terms of CO2 emissions. The Paris Agreement emphasizes the need to reach net zero emissions: “to achieve a balance between anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gasses in the second half of this century.”
In this pursuit, the UN Global Compact explains that by outlining how much and how quickly businesses must cut their emissions of greenhouse gasses, the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) provides a roadmap to sustainable growth. Pledging our commitment to this scientific approach, Diversey has joined the Science-Based Target Initiative (SBTi), which will validate our approach and support our efforts to combat climate change.
In 2023, as we calculate our Science Based Target (SBT), we will also develop a comprehensive carbon strategy and expand our reporting capabilities. Furthermore, we will also lay out the steps needed to reach our 2050 Net Zero objective.
Overall, Diversey’s SBT must address all GHG emission levels:
- Scope 1: Fuel we burn in assets we own or control
- Scope 2: Electricity used in assets we own or control
- Scope 3: Emissions from all upstream and downstream actions
Is Our Society on Track to Achieve Net-zero?
However, the latest emissions gap assessment from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) indicated that new and revised nationally decided contributions fell significantly short of the reductions necessary to fulfill the Paris Agreement's objectives. In this pursuit, the Committee on Climate Change estimates there would be a 50% probability of averting a "catastrophic" 1.5°C temperature increase by 2100.
While 69% of organizations have committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050 or even sooner, the Benchmark reveals that most enterprises have failed to demonstrate progress across critical indicators, such as the disclosure of medium-term emissions targets and CAPEX strategies that are aligned with the 1.5°C targets. According to one research conducted by McKinsey, if the globe heats by 2.0 °C, more than half of the global population might be at risk from at least one climate hazard. Heat exhaustion, crop failure, flood damage, and a lack of available water are all examples of such threats.
Nonetheless, there are multiple enterprises that, like Diversey, step up their sustainability efforts. Many suppliers and customers are also establishing their SBTs simultaneously as Diversey is doing so. This creates an exciting opportunity for us to work across our extended supply chain to deliver low carbon solutions into our marketplace. By working with suppliers, we can develop cleaning and hygiene solutions that take care of what is precious, while lowering GHG emissions. As we partner with our customers, we will implement new and existing solutions that continue to improve efficiency and reduce the carbon footprint associated with cleaning and hygiene.
- UN, https://www.un.org/en/climatechange/net-zero-coalition
- Paris Agreement, https://unfccc.int/files/essential_background/convention/application/pdf/english_paris_agreement.pdf
- UN Global Compact, https://www.unglobalcompact.org/take-action/action/science-based-target
- UNEP, https://www.unep.org/news-and-stories/press-release/inadequate-progress-climate-action-makes-rapid-transformation
- Committee on Climate Change, https://www.theccc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Net-Zero-The-UKs-contribution-to-stopping-global-warming.pdf
- Benchmark, https://www.ceres.org/news-center/press-releases/climate-action-100-net-zero-company-benchmark-shows-increase-company-net
- McKinsey, https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/sustainability/our-insights/charting-net-zero-insights-on-what-the-transition-could-look-like