26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, UK.What, private businesses like GAR Corp can contribute to overcoming this “Code-Red-for-Humanity” juncture?
On 13th November 2021, almost 200 countries agreed to Glasgow Climate Pact to increase their efforts to arrest climate change and save the planet. At the COP 26 held in Glasgow, Scotland, the participating nations agreed to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases that lead to global warming.
The UN Secretary-General António Guterres had warned the world in August 2021 at the release of IPCC* Working Group 1 Report on the Physical Science Basis of the Sixth Assessment. He said, “Today’s IPCC Working Group 1 Report is a code red for humanity. The alarm bells are deafening, and the evidence is irrefutable: greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel burning and deforestation are choking our planet and putting billions of people at immediate risk. Global heating is affecting every region on Earth, with many of the changes becoming irreversible. The internationally agreed threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius is perilously close. We are at imminent risk of hitting 1.5 degrees in the near term. The only way to prevent exceeding this threshold is by urgently stepping up our efforts and pursuing the most ambitious path. We must act decisively now to keep 1.5 alive.”
*The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change.
The report is damning in its assessment of the state of global climate. It lists the contribution of everyone in bringing the world to the brink of disastrous, irreversible, and damaging change.
What is a Code Red? In simple words, it is a dire warning pointing to an imminent danger and ensuring that there is an increased preparedness to tackle the same. UN Secretary-General has termed it a Code Red for Humanity because the world has failed to achieve its commitment to a 45% reduction of global emissions by 2030, essential to stop catastrophic climate change.
According to experts, a 16% rise in global emissions by 2030 is a disastrous projection for millions compared to the 2010 figure. We have already seen in the last 12 to 18 months extreme disasters due to weather disruptions. Devastating heat waves, forest fires, storms, and flooding are increasing every year. Crop productivity will decrease, water scarcity will take serious proportions, and sea levels will rise to dangerous levels.
According to the World Bank, more than 216 million people across the globe will become climate refugees by 2050. Indeed a grim apocalyptic kind of scenario due to human greed makes our environment close to uninhabitable.
It is a non-negotiable and imperative fact that globally governments alone cannot achieve the net-zero target negotiated at Glasgow last week. Private businesses must take leadership on climate and step up their efforts in this regard. It is a matter of survival for all.
Many companies have pledged to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 to mitigate the worst effects of climate change on current and future generations. Between 2019 and 2020, the percentage of private companies across the globe pledging a net-zero target has significantly doubled, but it is still a mere 10% of all the publicly listed companies worldwide. Net-zero is nothing but avowing not to add any new emissions to the atmosphere.
In December 2019, as part of the Caring for Climate meet and ‘Business Ambition for 1.5°C — Our Only Future’ campaign, 177 companies pledged to reduce the carbon footprint to align with limiting the rise of global temperatures to 1.5°C above pre-industrial level and attaining net-zero target by 2050. The emissions by these 177 corporate entities equal the total emission of CO2 by France in a year. These 177 companies represent 36 sectors across 36 countries and employ a combined number of 5.8 million persons. Moreover, as many as 50 fashion houses have, through a Fashion Pact, committed themselves to achieve the net-zero-emissions-by-2050 goal.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres welcomed the initiative had said, “he was encouraged that 177 major companies have committed to set scientific, verifiable emission reduction targets aligned with a 1.5°C future. By stepping up, these companies are pioneering new ways of doing business, driving systemic change in the economy, and signaling to consumers, investors, and governments that they intend to lead as the global economy undergoes a just transition to a net-zero future.”
The UN Environment Programme (UNEP), UN Global Compact (UNGC), and UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) are part of the UN Race to Zero campaign. These UN organizations are active in engaging the private sector to take necessary steps. They want the companies to be effective in meeting sustainable development goals. Such actions will help the world to achieve the net-zero target by 2050.
As per a systemic analytical report published in March 2021 by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU), a UK based non-profit, and Oxford Net Zero, an interdisciplinary research initiative at the University of Oxford, at least one fifth (21%) of the 2000 largest global public companies, with a combined sales of nearly $14 trillion, have committed themselves to meet the net-zero target.
The link is given here below for anyone interested in reading the full report.
According to Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI)**, several companies declaring a net-zero target are increasing annually. It has published an infographic report on what steps companies and investors can take to achieve Net-Zero Emissions. To know in detail the chief considerations for the companies to meet their commitments to reduce the effect of climate change, open the link here below.
**An investment research firm providing stock indexes, portfolio risk, performance analytics, and governance tools to institutional investors and hedge funds.
In addition, the MSCI Net-Zero Tracker helps to know the progress the publicly listed companies are making in their commitment to achieving the net-zero target.
At GAR Corp, we ensure that GAR is considered a visionary, transparent, accountable, and responsible corporate entity. We have right from the start aimed to make our own small and yet significant contribution to the society we operate within. It is the least, we consider, a megacorporate conscientious entity like us should be doing. We have been punctilious, meticulous, and diligent in this regard. For achieving practical results, we have in place a system that defines short- and long-term targets, devise strategies to meet them, implement what has been agreed by the top management, and finally, communicate the same to all. It also keeps track of the progress achieved. GAR, like other responsible global companies, has set science-based targets (SBTs). This approach ensures that our existing green buildings and future sustainable projects reduce the emissions in line with the net-zero target and minimize biodiversity loss. We have long acknowledged how human health is dependent on nature. And we achieve it by collaborating, engaging, and communicating with all our stakeholders.
GAR has already won many international and national awards for the steps taken towards a more sustainable business approach. High-performance green buildings constructed by GAR are environmental buildings, sustainable in every aspect. Efficient planning has allowed GAR buildings to be ecologically sound and aesthetically pleasing. At GAR, we are conscious of future generations, and therefore, ensure that our building activities do not lead to resource depletion. For us having green buildings is a strong commitment and not an empty vision statement.
We have understood that providing sustainability in construction has many components. A strategically designed lighting architecture, sustainable insulation leading to greater energy efficiency and lower energy bills, proper coordination between different departments helps achieve harmony with the social, economic, and environmental aspects. With our diligence and focus on details, we create healthy workplaces for our employees and tenants. LEED certification has shown that our practical actions have achieved increased health and productivity benefits for all the users of our green buildings.
Our holistic approach to building construction involves the three paradigms that are important in delivering an eco-friendly design. And these are Ecological, Bio-climatic, and Energy paradigms. The landscape, building design, and architecture are in sync and related.
For us, at GAR, commitment to sustainability starts at the planning stage itself. GAR has always understood the need to have environmentally optimized buildings. We have acknowledged the critical relationship between the buildings, the consumption of power, and the emissions. We take energy reduction measures at the conceptual stage itself to respect our appreciated environment. When aiming for zero-energy sustainable building involves taking a responsible approach to energy efficiency and energy management.
Our wise architectural programming involves sustainability at the schematic design stage Itself. We, at GAR, have been energetic, motivated, and enterprising to incorporate issues concerning our environment as part of every operation we undertake. We do that to minimize, and eliminate wherever possible, the production of waste and polluting emissions. Our efforts optimize the efficiency and productivity of available resources by using them effectively and responsibly. Such endeavors help in mitigating the environmental impact and financial costs.
Our built environment is Bio-climatic, Eco-sustainable, Environment-friendly, and with a Net-zero-energy architecture. GAR Buildings are Eco-sustainable, Environment-friendly, and with a low carbon footprint. GAR is committed to Sustainable Construction by using Right Materials and employing the Right Methods.
GAR believes climate change affects every single entity in the world. Therefore, our climate ambitions will become real by setting a robust pathway. Such a pathway will allow us to meet our honest commitment of making a significant contribution, at our level, to carbon neutrality and net-zero target by 2050.