The ever-ominous impacts of climate change are already revealing themselves worldwide and now American businesses are doing their part to halt impending hotter temps.
On Monday, the White House launched the American Business Act on Climate pledge and hosted 13 of the country’s largest companies dedicated to the effort. Those in tow include: Alco, Apple, Bank of America, Berkshire Hathaway Energy, Cargill, Coca-Cola, General Motors, Goldman Sachs, Google, Microsoft, PepsiCo, UPS and Walmart. Combined, the companies represented $1.3 trillion in revenue last year and a combined market capitalization of at least $2.5 trillion.
According to a White House press statement, 19 of the 20 hottest years on record happened the last two decades, and across the globe countries are experiencing more persistent droughts, more severe weather, bigger storm surges and more frequent and dangerous wildfires.
“No corner of the planet and no sector of the global economy will remain unaffected by climate change in the years ahead,” the White House noted.
President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, once fully implemented, is expected to cut nearly 6 billion tons of carbon pollution through 2030—an amount roughly equal to taking all of the cars in the U.S. off the road for more than four years.
Companies signing the American Business Act on Climate pledge are making their own promises to reduce emissions, increase low-carbon investments, deploy more clean energy and generally build more sustainable businesses.
As part of the pledge, Walmart said it would drive the production of 7 billion kilowatt hours of renewable energy globally by 2020, a 600 percent increase over its 2010 baseline. The company also said it would double the number of solar energy projects at its stores and distribution centers by 2020 and establish agricultural partnerships with 17 suppliers, cooperatives and service providers on 23 million acres of land in the U.S. and Canada, potentially reducing 11 million metric tons of greenhouse gas in the next five years.
Walmart will also work toward achieving zero net deforestation in product sourcing by 2020.
“At Walmart, we believe climate change is an urgent and pressing challenge, and we must all do our part to reduce, avoid and mitigate the impact of rising greenhouse gas (GHG) levels,” the company noted in its individual pledge. “We remain committed to our role in accelerating the transition to a sustainable future.”