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177 companies commit to set 1.5°C-aligned science-based targets across their operations and value chains, as movement doubles in size since September

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MADRID, 11 December 2019 — 177 companies have pledged to set highly ambitious emissions reduction targets to help limit the worst effects of climate change — more than doubling in size since the first group of early movers was announced at the UN Climate Action Summit in September.

As part of the “Business Ambition for 1.5°C — Our Only Future” campaign, new signatories have pledged to set climate targets that align with limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and reaching net-zero emissions by no later than 2050. 

The 177 companies collectively represent over 5.8 million employees, spanning 36 sectors and with headquarters in 36 countries. The companies have a combined market capitalization of over US$2.8 trillion, and represent annual direct emissions equivalent to the annual total CO2 emissions of France. 

The companies are committed to setting science-based targets through the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), which independently assesses corporate emissions reduction targets in line with what climate scientists say is needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.

The announcement was made at the 25th annual United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 25) and represents the major business contribution to the Climate Ambition Alliance: a growing multi-stakeholder group convened by the COP 25 Chilean Presidency that brings together countries, businesses, investors, cities and regions working towards achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

With this announcement, these companies are leading the way in creating a positive feedback loop known as an “ambition loop” — with Government policies and private sector leadership reinforcing each other, and together taking climate action to the next level. Ambitious corporate action helps to send strong market signals, and should give Governments confidence to urgently ramp up their national climate plans, including Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and long-term strategies, in line with the latest climate science. By setting policies and targets in line with a 1.5°C trajectory, Governments give business the clarity and confidence to invest decisively in the zero-carbon economies of the future.

The news comes on the occasion of the annual High-level Meeting of Caring for Climate, convened by the UN Global Compact, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and UN Environment. As a high-level stakeholder consultation — with a focus on private sector engagement — the event helps to identify key levers of action necessary to help increase corporate support for enhanced Nationally Determined Contributions and the Sustainable Development Goals.

"We need businesses to unite behind the science by taking rapid and ambitious action across their operations and value chains,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres. “I am encouraged that 177 major companies have committed to set scientific, verifiable emission reduction targets aligned with a 1.5°C future through the “Business Ambition for 1.5°C” campaign. By stepping up and setting science-based targets, these companies are pioneering new ways of doing business and driving systemic change throughout the global economy."

"We are quickly nearing our last opportunity to be on the right side of history. The climate emergency is already disrupting people, business operations, economies and ecosystems around the world," said Lise Kingo, CEO and Executive Director of the UN Global Compact, one of the SBTi partners. "As countries prepare to enhance their national climate action plans next year, business leaders have a critical role to play in challenging Governments to urgently match their climate ambitions. We need all businesses to be activists for our only future."

The latest cohort of companies joining the “Business Ambition for 1.5°C” campaign includes: Abreu Advogados, Aguas Andinas, Ambev, An Post, Auchan Retail Portugal, BanColombia, Beiersdorf, BIAL, Carlsberg Group, Cellnex Telecom, Chanel, CTT - Correios de Portugal, Decathlon, Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, Dutch-Bangla Pack, Ecolab, EcoVadis, Efacec Power Solutions, EPAL - Empresa Portugesa das Aguas Livres, Europa Mundo Vacaciones, Europcar Mobility Group, Everis Portugal, Givaudan, Green Innovation Group, Grundfos, Henkel, Iberia, Ignitis Group, Infraestruturas de Portugal, International Airlines Group (IAG), Intrepid Travel, Landsec, Lojas Renner, Lundbeck, Multiplex Construction Europe, NOS, Novo Banco, NR Instant Produce, Olam International, Ono Pharmaceutical, Orbia Advance, Orkla, Qalaa Holdings, Red Electrica de España, REN - Redes Energeticas Nacionais, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, Sopra Steria Group, South East Water, Storebrand, Tendam Retail, TenneT Holding, Tesco, The Lux Collective, TMG Automotive, Univar Solutions, Uxua Casa Hotel & Spa, and Yarra Valley Water, amongst others.

These companies are joined by a group of investors managing close to US$4 trillion in assets who have committed to converting their investment portfolios to net-zero emissions by 2050 through the UN-convened Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance, in addition to over 50 companies in the fashion industry that have committed to align with a 1.5ºC future through the Fashion Pact.

The high-level United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights was held in Geneva from 25th to 27th November 2019. More than 2'000 participants attended the annual forum and addressed how the business sector can help advance sustainability practices. Along with that, a new report was published — "Navigating the Future of Business and Human Rights: Good Practice Examples" - addressing how companies can embed human rights into their corporate strategies and advance people-centred solutions to growing global challenges.

A large number of present companies and business organisations during these three days highlighted the growing importance of human rights due diligence in the private sector. The discussions showed the relevance of respecting basic human rights in business is and how often they still are violated.

The UNGC, the Global Compact Network Kenya and many other local networks co-organised the following session at the UN Forum for Business and Human Rights: Connecting corporate human rights due diligence and anti-corruption efforts.

Statement by Lise Kingo, CEO and Executive Director of the UN Global Compact
“In a rapidly-shifting world, human rights have proven to be a grounding force for leaders of all kinds. Business respect for human rights is about investing in your workforce: retaining good talent, promoting respect for diversity and ensuring workers’ rights are protected. Companies that respect human rights are sending a signal to consumers, investors and the public that they are a trustworthy brand and serious about sustainability.”

The Forum offered a unique opportunity to get insights and discuss practices for improvement. To bring the respect for human rights forward, the interaction between the UN, the states, NGOs and businesses, thereby, is crucial.

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The new report Navigating the Future of Business and Human Rights: Good Practice Examples published by the UN Global Compact presents snapshots of good practice from companies participating in the UN Global Compact. It also highlights insights by various Global Compact Local Networks, and showcases initiatives that are advancing seven major themes:
future of work, climate justice, effective remedy and grievance mechanisms, migrant rights, gender equality, due diligence and tackling working poverty.


Phyllis Wakiaga - Board Chair

 Tuesday, 19 November, Nairobi - Global Compact Network Kenya (GCNK) is pleased to announce new members to its Board, appointed by the Kenyan Local Network General Assembly. Four new Board members have been appointed as follows.

  1. Mrs. Rebecca Miano - Managing Director & CEO, Kenya Electricity Generating Company PLC (KenGen)
  2. Ms. Carole Kariuki - CEO, Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA)
  3. Mr. Martin Ochieng- Group Managing Director, Sasini PLC 
  4. Mr. Kariuki Ngari - Regional CEO & Managing Director, Standard Chartered Bank East Africa
“I am very delighted to welcome these four new members to the Board of the Global Compact Network Kenya,” said Ms Phyllis Wakiaga,  Kenya Network Board Chair and Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) CEO after the appointments.  “Mrs. Miano, Ms. Kariuki, Mr. Ochieng and Mr. Ngari bring with them a wealth of experience and insight that will help guide the Compact as we work to maximize impact on the road to 2030.”
The Global Compact Network Kenya Board plays an important role in shaping the strategy and policy of the initiative, which acts as the flagship for responsible business action. Designed as a multi-stakeholder body, the Board provides ongoing strategic and policy advice for the initiative. Board members are considered champions who are willing and able to advance the mission of the United Nations Global Compact. They act in a personal, honorary and unpaid capacity.
With only ten years left until the deadline of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Global Compact Network Kenya Board will be instrumental in helping bring business to the table in support of the 2030 Agenda.
New GC Board