You are here: Home The Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability Company Performance Performance: Operations P1.1: GHG Emissions and Energy Efficiency
Document Actions
  • Print this
  • Email this page

P1.1: GHG Emissions and Energy Efficiency


Companies will reduce GHG emissions by 25% from their 2005 baseline by 2020, by improving energy efficiency of operations by at least 50%, reducing electricity demand by at least 15% and obtaining at least 30% of energy from renewable sources.3
Roadmap in Action arrow 3 (transparent)

Exelon's Bill Brady, Director of Environmental Strategy, talks about how the company is setting and meeting energy efficiency and GHG emission reduction targets. Read more and watch the interview...

Check out Roadmap in Action for more examples of how companies are implementing the Ceres Roadmap.

The urgency of mitigating and addressing the impacts of global climate change is greater than ever before. The Ceres Roadmap expectations are aligned with the scientific targets recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that call for the U.S. to achieve reductions of 80 percent below 1990 baseline levels by 2050. To hit that target, companies should be moving now to implement comprehensive climate change strategies that tangibly reduce emissions by improving energy efficiency and sourcing renewable energy.

While energy efficiency and conservation, renewable energy production or procurement should be pursued first, carbon reduction strategies can be supplemented with purchase of verified Renewable Energy Credits or Certificates (RECs), which represent a fixed amount of energy generated from renewable sources, or carbon offsets that signify actual reductions in GHG emissions.


Explore the interactive data.

In The Road to 2020: Corporate Progress on The Ceres Roadmap For Sustainability, we evaluated 600 of the largest U.S. companies on their progress towards meeting the expectations laid forth in The Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability.  Using data compiled and analyzed by Sustainalytics, a cross-section of indicators was used to assess not only if companies have programs and targets in place to reduce GHG emissions and increase renewable energy procurement, but also to determine whether those programs are having an impact.

Tier description - 3Nearly half of the companies (284 companies) are making some progress to reduce Scope 1, 2 and 3 GHG emissions by reducing electricity demand, ramping up energy efficiency and procuring renewable energy. A third (193) of the 600 companies evaluated have in place time-bound targets for reducing GHG emissions for direct operations. Though some companies are setting GHG emission reduction targets, they are not necessarily aggressive enough to meet the targets set forth in The Ceres Roadmap. For example, only nine percent (51 companies) are demonstrating year over year carbon intensity reductions and only seven percent (45 companies) are sourcing more than five percent of their primary power for operations from renewable sources.

In 2011, global investment in clean energy reached a record high of $260 billion.4 As such investments increase, and the price per kilowatt-hour from renewables goes down, the procurement of solar, wind and other renewable energy will continue to be one of the most effective ways to reach emission reduction goals. Just over seven percent of the 600 companies evaluated (45 companies) are sourcing more than five percent of their primary energy from renewable sources. Baxter International currently sources 18 percent of its energy from renewable sources, with a goal to increase that to 20 percent by 2015.

Kohl’s Department Stores achieved net zero emissions in 2010 through its comprehensive GHG emissions reduction strategy. Over 500 of its stores are ENERGY STAR®-labeled indicating that these stores use, on average, 35 percent less energy than similar buildings and generate one-third the carbon emissions. Kohl’s also tops the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Green Power Partnership list of renewable power purchasers, for sourcing 100 percent green power for its U.S. operations. Other top purchasers of renewable energy in the U.S. include Intel, Johnson & Johnson, Whole Foods, Staples and Starbucks.

In some locations, companies are finding it advantageous to invest in onsite renewable energy generation projects. For example, Darden Restaurants recently unveiled a 1.1 megawatt solar panel installation on the rooftop of its Restaurant Support Center in Orlando. The largest private solar array in Florida, the system will generate enough power to subsidize 15 to 20 percent of the building’s annual usage.


Click on a performance tier below to view more information about how companies are performing.

Filter by Year
Filter by Sector

[23] Priority Sector Companies in Mediocre in 2012