This month saw a milestone reached: nearly a third of the UK’s largest businesses have now made a pledge to eliminate their contribution to carbon emissions by 2050. Together, these firms represent a total market capital of £650 billion.
Here’s our highlights of the companies making net zero headlines in March:
Morrisons to be completely supplied by net zero farms by 2030
Morrisons has pledged to be the first supermarket to source exclusively from net zero carbon British farms by 2030, five years ahead of the market. Over the next nine years, it will work with its 3,000 farmers and growers to produce net zero carbon meat, fruit and vegetables.
The retailer has started working with a selection of meat and produce farmers to create net zero carbon farm ‘models’. Together with the farmers they will look at the emissions picture through the whole lifecycle of farm produce – from germination to leaving the farmgate for a Morrisons store. Once a workable blueprint has been established, the models will then be shared with all Morrisons farmers, so that all food can be produced in this net zero carbon way.
FedEx Commits to global carbon-neutral operations by 2040
FedEx has announced its goal to achieve carbon–neutral operations globally by 2040. The company is designating more than $2 billion of initial investment in three key areas: vehicle electrification, sustainable energy, and carbon sequestration.
This includes a pledge of $100 million to Yale University to help establish the Yale Center for Natural Carbon Capture, accelerating research into methods of carbon sequestration at scale, with an initial focus on helping to offset greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to current airline emissions.
Aviva Investors sets net zero by 2040 target
Aviva has announced a plan to become net zero carbon by 2040, which it says is the most demanding target of any major insurance company in the world today.
The strategy includes achieving net zero emissions from its investments by 2040, and net zero emissions across its entire supply chain by 2030. The company will sign up to the Science Based Targets Initiative so that its work can be validated.
Unite Students targets net zero construction from 2030
Real estate investment company Unite Students has announced it is targeting net zero carbon operations and construction from 2030. The company, which provides student accommodation, says it will reduce carbon emissions from new and existing buildings in line with climate science, and follow the net zero carbon hierarchy, with a strong focus on reducing energy consumption through improving its buildings. It also plans to strengthen the way it buys renewable energy and invest in certified carbon offsets for any residual emissions.