Nine leading businesses launch new initiative to accelerate progress to a net zero future

Initiative is committed to leading by example, charting the course for other businesses to follow

REDMOND, Wash. – July 21, 2020 – The heads of nine companies today announced the establishment of a new initiative to accelerate the transition to a net zero global economy. The initiative, known as Transform to Net Zero, intends to develop and deliver research, guidance, and implementable roadmaps to enable all businesses to achieve net zero emissions.

The Initiative will be led by founding members including A.P. Moller – Maersk, Danone, Mercedes-Benz AG, Microsoft Corp., Natura &Co, NIKE, Inc., Starbucks, Unilever, and Wipro, as well as Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). The Initiative is supported by BSR, which is serving as the Secretariat for the Initiative.

Transform to Net Zero will focus on enabling the business transformation needed to achieve net zero emissions no later than 2050, in addition to driving broader change with a focus on policy, innovation, and finance. The outputs of the initiative will be widely available to all, though additional companies may join. The Initiative intends to complete the outputs of this work by 2025.

The work will be led by the following principles:

  1. Focused on transformation: Delivering on our individual commitments and translating into action, which will include corporate strategy, governance and accountability, finance and operations, risk management, procurement, innovation and R&D, marketing, and public affairs.
  2. Led by science and best practice data and methods: Committed to standardized approaches to achieve what the best available science requires for a 1.5°C world; committed to improving the quality and availability of research, data, and tools for all; committed to the highest return for the climate on investment.
  3. Leveraging existing efforts: Committed to open collaboration with existing net zero initiatives (sign-on, advocacy, sectorial, methodology efforts) to leverage existing work and advance business transformation to net zero.
  1. Strong governance and oversight: At the highest levels of the company, governance and oversight structures will work to achieve net zero, including through developing innovative products, services, and business models.
  2. Robust reduction and removal across the extended enterprise: Net zero requires emissions reductions across the entire value chain, including impact of products and services and supply chain. Net zero requires us to achieve greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions aligned with the latest science and increase our capacity for GHG removals in the near term to be the path to get companies—and the world—to net zero no later than 2050 to ensure a stable climate, and will mean a mix of climate-positive actions should be pursued.
  3. Investment in innovation: Substantial commitment and willingness to invest in and accelerate innovation to achieve net zero transformation, including partnering with others.
  4. Policy engagement: Advancing public policy that enables and accelerates progress towards net zero, and engagement with bodies such as trade associations to achieve this objective.
  5. Transparency and accountability: Public reporting and disclosure on progress towards net zero transformation to key stakeholders, including investors, customers, consumers, and where required―regulators; sharing information with all stakeholders on good practice to net zero transformation.
  1. Just and sustainable transition: We know that marginalised groups and low-income communities bear the greatest impacts of climate change. Therefore, we will help enable conditions needed to achieve effective, just, and sustainable climate solutions for people of all gender, race, or skills.


A.P. Moller – Maersk

Søren Skou, CEO of A.P. Moller – Maersk, said: “A.P. Moller – Maersk is committed to a carbon-neutral future of transport and logistics. To contribute to the Paris agreement’s goal, we announced our ambition of having net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050 back in 2018. Since then we have taken several concrete actions to decarbonise the industry. The overall target of keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees can only be reached through strong alliances across sectors and businesses. We are therefore happy to join Microsoft and other global companies in the Transform to Net Zero initiative.”


Aron Cramer, President and CEO of BSR, said: “Over the past decade, many businesses have committed to net zero targets. It is now time to accelerate the actions needed to achieve this essential goal. Our window for staying under 1.5 degrees of warming is closing, and fast.  We are now in a decisive decade, in which we must urgently decarbonize the economy, if we are to stave off the worst impacts of climate change. That’s why Transform to Net Zero is so important. More than just setting a high bar for inspiration, Transform to Net Zero will provide companies with an actionable roadmap enabling them to transform their businesses to thrive in and shape a net zero economy.”


Emmanuel Faber, Chairman and CEO of Danone, said: “Our One Planet. One Health frame of action puts the climate at the core of the food system transformation. Carbon neutrality is therefore not optional for Danone, it is a way to reinvent our growth model. This revolution cannot be achieved alone. That’s why I truly believe in the collective power of Transform to Net Zero. Let’s share best practices and build new systems to create the evidence-based solutions that will help us drive the change and keep global warming under 1.5°C.”

Environmental Defense Fund

Fred Krupp, President of Environmental Defense Fund, said: “The gap between where we are on climate change and where we need to be continues to widen. So does the gap between businesses that just talk about action and those that are actually getting the job done. This new initiative holds tremendous potential for closing these gaps. 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.”

Mercedes-Benz AG

Ola Källenius, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG, said:

“If there is one lesson we can learn from dealing with the COVID-19-pandemic it is how much we can achieve if we act together. This is the only way we can also win the fight against climate change. We need to set common goals and implement measures to achieve them. That’s why we are joining ‘Transform to Net Zero.’ Our mission at Mercedes-Benz is CO2-neutral mobility. We are making good progress towards this end and we are determined to follow through.”


Brad Smith, President, Microsoft, said: “No one company can address the climate crisis alone. That’s why leading companies are developing and sharing best practices, research, and learnings to help everyone move forward. Whether a company is just getting started or is well on its path, Transform to Net Zero can help us all turn carbon commitments into real progress toward a net zero future.”

Natura &Co.

Roberto Marques, Executive Chairman of the Board and group CEO of Natura &Co., said: “At Natura &Co we truly believe in cooperation. We recently released our 2030 Commitment to Life in which we set for all our business the target to become net carbon zero in ten years. But to address the climate crises the world is facing, we need to help each other to do more and faster. The Net Zero initiative strives to do just that, bringing together companies committed to making the right changes at the right pace. We are committed to build a brighter future that will allow not only a greener world for future generations but the economic recovery under new premises that that society is demanding.”

NIKE, Inc.

Andy Campion, Chief Operating Officer, NIKE, Inc., said: “When it comes to protecting the playing field we share—our planet—there isn’t a moment to lose. That’s why we aren’t waiting for solutions to climate change, we’re coming together as global leaders to create them. If we act now, and work together, we can drive meaningful progress toward a more sustainable future. We’ll be relentless in our pursuit of ensuring a healthy planet for generations of athletes to come.”


Kevin Johnson, Starbucks President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “Starbucks aspires to be a resource-positive company by building on our long history in sustainability. Joining Transform to Net Zero aligned with our aspiration for a more sustainable future. Partnering with other like-minded companies, we will open-source best practices, advocate for positive government policies, and support a just transition. We believe in driving real change and encourage other organizations to join us in this critical effort for humanity.”


Alan Jope, Unilever CEO, said: “The climate crisis is not only a threat to our environment, but also to lives and livelihoods, and it is critical that we all play a part in addressing it. The business world of the future cannot look like it does now; in addition to decarbonisation, a full system transformation is needed. That’s 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; in Unilever’s case, by 2039.”


Thierry Delaporte, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Wipro Limited, said: “We are pleased to be a founding member of Transform to Net Zero. It is closely aligned with our values and our commitment to sustainability. Climate change is a defining challenge for our times and we firmly believe that businesses must step up and address the challenges head-on. A partnership forum like this can help catalyse and accelerate such a response and guide our future engagements across the value chain through a collaborative spirit of innovative, transformational solutions.”


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