Companies will invest the necessary resources to achieve environmental neutrality and to demonstrate respect for human rights in their operations. Companies will measure and improve performance related to GHG emissions, energy efficiency, facilities and buildings, water, waste, and human rights.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions & Renewable Energy
Companies will reduce scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 25 percent by 2020 (from a 2005 baseline) through the improvement of energy productivity, reducing electricity demand, direct procurement of renewable energy and low-carbon transportation strategies.
Facilities & Buildings
Companies will ensure that both owned and leased buildings, as well as new construction and franchised facilities, meet rigorous green building standards. When siting facilities, companies will follow best practices that incorporate sustainable land use and smart growth considerations.
Companies will assess water-related impacts and risks across all direct operations and the supply chain. Companies will set quantitative and time-bound targets for addressing and mitigating impacts as well as supporting, in collaboration with other stakeholders, efforts to improve overall watershed health, with priority given to operations and suppliers in high water risk regions.
Companies will design (or redesign as appropriate) manufacturing and business processes as closed-loop systems, reducing toxic air emissions and hazardous and non-hazardous waste to zero.
Companies will have a formal human rights policy that covers all direct employees as well as employees of suppliers and clients. The policy will be aligned with universal standards including the ILO Core Conventions and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Companies will conduct regular human rights due diligence assessments and disclose management systems in place for implementation.
Direct operations—those activities over which companies exercise immediate control or influence—offer the greatest opportunities for improving sustainability performance. Doing so also gives credibility to a business’s efforts toward improving sustainability performance downstream to suppliers or upstream to consumers.
Since the release of the Ceres Roadmap in 2010, the urgency of global threats— such as climate change and water scarcity— has continued to mount, and the need to take aggressive action is ever more critical. Fortunately, the international community is coming together to strike a path forward. From the United Nations’ release of the new Sustainable Development Goals to the historic global climate agreement in Paris, governments from across the world are taking strong steps to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, protect natural resources and provide decent work and economic growth for all.
And corporate leadership on sustainability is crucial to achieving those efforts. Recently, more than 1,000 U.S. companies and investors came out in support of the continued transition to a low-carbon economy. Calling for an energy-efficient U.S. economy powered by low-carbon energy, these companies underscored the importance of these actions for boosting job growth and U.S. competitiveness.
This collective and powerful voice from the business sector reinforces the economic message that sustainability is not just good for the bottom line, it is the bottom line. The business case for companies to improve performance on energy, water, waste, and human rights is more concrete and straight-forward than ever.