Strichpunkt Sustainability Talk #2
Valerie Ludwig, Planetly
When it comes to climate protection, companies are currently setting ambitious goals. But what is behind these bold announcements? Can the fight against climate change be won? @ Valerie Ludwig from Planetly by onetrust is betting on it. She explains why in our SP Sustainability Talk #2.
Valerie, Mercedes-Benz recently raised the ambition of their CO-2 targets, Amazon wants to increase the share of renewables - it seems as if there is a race to the top amongst companies when it comes to sustainability. Is that the case, or are those plans deceiving the reality?
It is true, that more companies and brands put the topic on top of the agenda. But: It is easy to announce, what one wants to achieve by 2030. What really matters is, which actions companies are undertaking in the coming years to reduce their footprint. And when we look at that, there is a lot of room for improvement.
„It is not a question if we achieve it - we just have to.“Valerie Ludwig
Could you think of an example?
Google's parent company Alphabet has called itself climate-neutral since 2007. And I see Google as a pioneer in the field of sustainability! But when you read the sustainability report of Alphabet, you can see that the analysis and the offsets are limited to scope 1, scope 2- and selected scope 3-emissions, which means that only direct corporate emissions are included. If we want to stay below 1.5 °C of global warming, companies such as Google must reduce their emissions by 90-95% along the entire value chain until 2050. I am curious about which actions Google is going to undertake in the coming years, to achieve the self-proclaimed goal of not emitting anything until 2030.
But you cannot achieve 95% with a few saving measures here and there. That sounds more like a real “Game Changer”
Yes, exactly. The fact, which makes me optimistic is: According to calculations done by the IPCC if all currently promised goals are achieved, we will be at approximately 2 °C of global warming. And I am hopeful that by the thirties and forties we will have developed climate technologies that we can't even think of right now. But we should and cannot rely on that.
„Who would have thought it's possible in 2019 that we would change our lifestyles as radically as we did during the pandemic? And why shouldn't we succeed in a much bigger challenge like the protection of our climate?“Valerie Ludwig,
But the war in Ukraine leads to a short-term revival of coal and oil
At the same time, however, this war has made it abundantly clear that dependence on fossil fuels is not the way forward. And right before that, the pandemic made it clear how much we can actually do if it really matters. Who would have thought it's possible in 2019 that we would change our lifestyles as radically as we did during the pandemic? And why shouldn't we succeed in a much bigger challenge like the protection of our climate?
Good question. What would you bet today, in spring 2022, that humanity will achieve the 1.5 °C-goal?
Well, I spend most of my awake time working towards achieving this goal. It is not a question if we achieve it - we just have to. Therefore, I am optimistic and would bet a few thousand on humanity. The real question is: Would you really want to bet against it?