Etsy takes aim at shipping and packaging in setting 2030 net-zero goal

March 16, 2021 by  
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Etsy takes aim at shipping and packaging in setting 2030 net-zero goal Deonna Anderson Tue, 03/16/2021 – 05:00 Scope 3 emissions are the hardest emissions for companies to address when setting goals. But often, they are the most emissions to take on. For Etsy, the e-commerce marketplace known for handmade items like jewelry, art and apparel, Scope 3 emissions make up 99 percent of the company’s carbon footprint. That’s why it’s prioritizing engagement with sellers in its marketplace to drive down emissions. The ambition is part of the company’s net-zero carbon emissions by 2030 goal, which it set in February.   “I know many companies have different definitions of net-zero. We are definitely following the Science-Based Targets Initiative’s (SBTI) forthcoming emerging definition around net-zero ,” said Chelsea Mozen, director of sustainability at Etsy, who as one of the company’s first sustainability hires has helped build its strategy from the ground up. “It has been a really fun journey over the past seven years,” Mozen observed. “In the beginning, we really focused on our own operation, so getting our own house in order.” In addition to the net-zero goal, the e-commerce site has set two science-based targets using a baseline year of 2019, which are pending validation from the SBT i. They call for: a 50 percent absolute reduction in Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, including Etsy’s office operations and purchased energy a 13.5 percent absolute reduction in Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, including seller shipping and fulfillment The company’s most recent 10-K form for the fiscal year that ended Dec. 31, 2020, which it files annually with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, also noted a 2021 goal to “offset 100 percent of measured Scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas emissions annually.”  In a blog about the new net-zero pledge , Etsy CEO Josh Silverman wrote, “We’re committed to holding ourselves accountable and maintaining transparency as we push toward a net-zero 2030.” Mozen said that as the company makes its way toward the net-zero goal, it will continue the practice of reporting all of its sustainability metrics in its 10-K form, as well as within its Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) disclosures. Only 10 percent of companies are integrating sustainability metrics into 10-K filings, according to SASB . A couple of years ago, when Etsy first started including such metrics in its filings , former Etsy Senior Sustainability Manager Hilary Young, who still works at the company in a different role, wrote, “Key non-financial metrics around our economic, social and ecological impact are an integral part of how we run Etsy. It just makes sense for us to report those metrics in the same place.” The idea was that we know with the urgency of the climate crisis, we wanted to do something to immediately address that impact while we work towards long term reductions. In order to be transparent about its sustainability work, Etsy has to do the relevant work behind those reports. In recent years, Etsy has been working on addressing the carbon impact of its marketplace, which is made up of nearly 4.5 million sellers with more than 85 million items available for sale, as of December 2020. Back in 2019, Etsy launched its first initiative focused on reducing the carbon emissions of its marketplace by introducing carbon offset shipping . To offset shipping, Etsy estimates the emissions created by each product sold by looking at data such as the distance between a seller and buyer for each order and the expected weight of the items. Etsy then works with 3Degrees , a carbon offset and renewable energy company, to invest in emissions reduction projects such as wind and solar farms or forest protection.  Mozen said this was an obvious step for the company to address the emissions for the marketplace because it is the source of Etsy’s largest measured carbon impact.   In 2020, Etsy offset 404,439 metric tons of carbon in total and shipping alone was 303,218 metrics tons CO2 equivalent in 2020, according to the company. “The idea was that we know with the urgency of the climate crisis, we wanted to do something to immediately address that impact while we work towards long-term reductions,” she said. The third-largest area of Etsy’s footprint is purchased goods and services in its corporate supply chain, according to Mozen. Between now and 2030, Etsy said it plans to deepen its engagement on climate with vendors and will continue to prioritize partners that share similar carbon standards. Here’s a recent example of how Etsy has already done this: In 2020, the company completed its migration to Google Cloud, which combined with a 15-year power purchase agreement helped in reaching its goal to be 100 percent renewably powered by 2020 .  “From 2018 to 2020, our energy use for computing decreased by 23 percent. And that is largely thanks to the efficiency of Google Cloud Platform compared to what we have in our own colocated data centers,” Mozen said. And in total, last year, 81 percent of the money Etsy spent in its supply chain went to companies that have set a greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal. But a lot of the focus will be on other areas of Etsy’s business, over which it doesn’t necessarily have direct influence, she added. For example, in 2020, 75 percent of Etsy’s carbon footprint came from shipping, which it doesn’t have control over — its sellers ship directly to buyers.  “But we will be looking at that footprint,” said Mozen, who noted that the company thinks one of the ways to address shipping emissions is through public policy.  “There’s been a lot of moves in the space right now. And we’ve been very active in it,” she said. “We’re gonna double down on advocating for the decarbonization of the logistics sector. And that, for the next few years, will be very important as we head towards 2030.” In 2020, Etsy advocated for the Transportation and Climate Initiative, for which it received an award from the Ceres BICEP Network, as well as the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Advanced Clean Trucks Rule and other regional policies that the company believes have the potential to accelerate the decarbonization of the transportation sector. Etsy also plans to address the second largest contributor to its footprint, packaging, which it started measuring in 2020, Mozen said.  “We’re hopeful that providing more tools for [sellers] will help drive some of these decreases in our carbon footprint, especially in the packaging space,” she said. “We’re hoping that partnerships for more sustainable packaging that will be affordable for our sellers will help reduce that footprint.” She said Etsy is also interested in digging into the circular packaging space. “This would be early days for us. But that’s where I hope that we can make some gains.” Pull Quote The idea was that we know with the urgency of the climate crisis, we wanted to do something to immediately address that impact while we work towards long term reductions. Topics Shipping & Logistics E-commerce Packaging Net-Zero Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Etsy’s annex office in Hudson, New York. Courtesy of Etsy.

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Etsy takes aim at shipping and packaging in setting 2030 net-zero goal

Transform to Net Zero: Microsoft, Nike, Starbucks team up on corporate climate alliance

July 22, 2020 by  
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Transform to Net Zero: Microsoft, Nike, Starbucks team up on corporate climate alliance Cecilia Keating Wed, 07/22/2020 – 00:20 A clutch of major multinational corporates including Microsoft, Danone, Nike, Unilever, Starbucks and Mercedes-Benz together have launched a new forum dedicated to sharing resources, tactics and strategies aimed at speeding up the business community’s transition to net zero.  The Transform to Net Zero initiative launched Tuesday will see members of the coalition — which also include Danish shipping giant Maersk, Indian information technology company Wipro and Brazilian beauty company Natura & Co — collaborate on research, guidance and roadmaps to help businesses slash their carbon emissions in line with a 1.5 degrees Celsius global warming trajectory. The group, which expects to complete its work by 2025, aims to encourage businesses around the world to adopt science-based climate targets that address the environmental impact of their full value chains, sometimes known as Scope 3 emissions. They also have committed to share information on investing in carbon-reduction technologies and to collectively push for public policies that accelerate the net zero transition. Microsoft president Brad Smith said that the initiative would help companies at all stages of their decarbonization journey turn climate commitments into “real progress” towards net zero. The business world of the future cannot look like it does now. “No one company can address the climate crisis alone,” he added. “That’s why leading companies are developing and sharing best practices, research, and learnings to help everyone move forward.”  The nonprofit business network BSR is serving as the initiative’s secretariat and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is also assisting with the initiate as the single non-corporate member. EDF president Fred Krupp said that the initiative held “huge potential” to address growing disparities between corporate talk and action on climate change. “The new initiative holds tremendous potential for closing these gaps,” he said. “Especially if other businesses follow in the coalition’s footsteps, leading by example and using the most powerful tool that companies have for fighting climate change: their political influence.”  The founding members confirmed that they would make all findings public and encouraged other companies to sign up over the weeks, months and years to come. Many founding members of the Transform to Net Zero initiative already have set their sights on achieving net zero emissions. Consumer goods giant Unilever has committed to achieving net zero across its value chain by 2039 while Microsoft has committed to an industry-leading goal of becoming “carbon negative ” by 2030, replacing more carbon into the atmosphere that it generates.  Meanwhile Unilever CEO Alan Jope also welcomed the launch of the new forum. “The business world of the future cannot look like it does now; in addition to decarbonization, a full system transformation is needed,” he said. “That why we’re pleased to join other leading businesses as a founding member of Transform to Net Zero so we can work together and accelerate the strategic shift that is needed to achieve net zero emissions.” Pull Quote The business world of the future cannot look like it does now. Topics Commitments & Goals BusinessGreen Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Illustration of a smokestack Shutterstock cubicidea Close Authorship

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Apple embeds racial justice into new supply-chain carbon neutrality pledge

July 21, 2020 by  
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Apple embeds racial justice into new supply-chain carbon neutrality pledge Heather Clancy Tue, 07/21/2020 – 04:13 Apple already has ventured far beyond most other companies when it comes to pushing for climate action within its supply chain.  Consider that it has convinced more than 70 Apple suppliers to use renewable energy to produce products on its behalf , an effort funded in part by close to $5 billion in green bonds issued by the technology giant as well as a dedicated pool of money in China.  Now, it’s wandering farther into uncharted territory. With its latest set of combined sustainability commitments, Apple is pushing for carbon neutrality across its entire business by the end of this decade, including its supply chain and the life cycle for its products. Its own operations have been carbon neutral for some time, thanks in large part to its extensive investments in renewable energy projects. While every large company focuses to some extent on motivating suppliers to embrace sustainability principles such as reduced emissions or zero waste, few have aggressively and officially extended their corporate carbon neutrality pledges into the Scope 3 realm and into to their entire value chain. IKEA, L’Oreal, Microsoft and Unilever stand out as the notable recent exceptions in my sphere of knowledge. (I’d love to hear about more.) “By driving this scale of climate ambition through its supply chain, Apple is making a big, global contribution to the move to clean energy, transport and manufacturing. It will have a particularly big impact in some of the most critical markets for tackling greenhouse gases. The 2030 timing is as important as the scale of this move. By then, the whole world needs to halve carbon emissions,” said Sam Kimmins, head of the RE100 initiative at the Climate Group, in a statement. As of this update — and thanks to new projects in Arizon, Oregon, and Illinois — Apple has supported the development of more than 1 gigawatt of clean energy to support its own corporate campus footprint. Apple’s new carbon neutrality strategy will be supported by a number of investments, including a carbon solutions fund to protect and restore forests (something that Microsoft and Amazon are also prioritizing). Its first projects, in partnership with Conservation International, include a unique focus on restoring mangroves — which can store up to 10 times more carbon than forests on land. The overall aim of this nature-based carbon solutions fund is to remove 1 million to 2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, with the aim of scaling over time. “This approach is more than buying carbon credits — it is an investment in nature that provides meaningful returns for both the planet and the people who invest in it,” Apple notes in 2020 annual environmental progress report . Speaking of investments in people, Apple has created an Impact Accelerator meant specifically to invest in minority-owned businesses focused on “positive outcomes” in its supply chain or addressing communities disproportionately affected by environmental hazards. “Systemic racism and climate change are not separate issues, and they will not abide separate solutions,” said Lisa Jackson, vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives for Apple, in a statement. “We have a generational opportunity to help build a greener and more just economy, one where we develop whole new industries in the pursuit of giving the next generation a planet worth calling home.” Apple hasn’t said how much the accelerator will allocate in funding toward addressing the climate crisis, but the effort is part of Apple’s larger $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative announced in June. We’ll be watching this initiative closely. Plenty of other updates are included in Apple’s progress report. I’ll leave you with a few highlights:  7 gigawatts and counting. That’s how much clean energy companies within Apple supply chain have committed to using. In China and Japan, Apple also has stepped in to help facilitate the development of close to 500 megawatts of solar and wind projects. Incidentally, while many of these initiatives are international, close to a dozen involve facilities in the United States. A new materials diet. Apple is using the first batch of the low-carbon aluminum it has been developing in production related to the 16-inch MacBook Pro notebook computer. Liam and Daisy, meet Dave. The company has added another disassembly robot within its materials recovering and circular production lab in Austin, Texas. This one takes out the Taptic Engine from iPhones, which is the haptics technology component. (You can catch a video here .) Recycled and rare. All rare elements included in the aforementioned Taptic Engine were reclaimed from recycling. 35 percent. That’s how much Apple reduced its actual carbon footprint since it peaked in 2015. This story was updated at noon EDT July 21 to remove the Greenpeace USA comment, as it did not properly reflect certain publicly stated elements of Apple’s strategy. Topics Information Technology Corporate Strategy Supply Chain Social Justice Energy Efficiency Racial Justice Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) On Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Apple partnered with Conservation International and regional partners in 2018 to protect and restore a 27,000-acre mangrove forest in Colombia. It will apply those learnings to addition projects. Courtesy of Apple Close Authorship

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Apple embeds racial justice into new supply-chain carbon neutrality pledge

Small low carbon tech is better for decarbonization than mega projects, study suggests

April 14, 2020 by  
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Nuclear plants, CCS and whole-building retrofits should not be prioritized over smaller cheaper alternatives, study argues, while acknowledging small scale technologies do not offer a panacea.

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Small low carbon tech is better for decarbonization than mega projects, study suggests

Could COVID-19 open the door for driverless deliveries?

April 14, 2020 by  
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The COVID-19 pandemic has put an incredible strain on global supply chains, from medical supplies to household goods, as spikes in demand stress-test logistics infrastructures. There is an opportunity for unmanned delivery vehicles to assist in addressing this demand and help to reduce the risk of spreading infection.

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What past disruptions teach us about reviving supply chains after COVID-19

April 14, 2020 by  
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In the long term, the need for visibility into supply chain data, and ability to provide services digitally across borders, whether for telehealth or education, is clear.

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What past disruptions teach us about reviving supply chains after COVID-19

This tech breakthrough could revolutionize lithium extraction

April 14, 2020 by  
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One huge potential benefit: reduced production costs for electric vehicle batteries.

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This tech breakthrough could revolutionize lithium extraction

Green hydrogen could curb one-third of fossil fuel and industry emissions by 2050

April 7, 2020 by  
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That’s according to a BloombergNEF report that calls policy support for the hydrogen economy “insufficient.”

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Green hydrogen could curb one-third of fossil fuel and industry emissions by 2050

How innovator Bill Gross’s solar breakthrough could decarbonize heavy industry

March 4, 2020 by  
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The renowned entrepreneur and investor discusses the evolution of Heliogen and his new concept for capturing carbon.

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How innovator Bill Gross’s solar breakthrough could decarbonize heavy industry

New Jersey sets its sights on a decarbonized economy

February 13, 2020 by  
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The state is planning comprehensively for economy-wide decarbonization, and putting meaningful, near-term policies in place to affordably reduce emissions.

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