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Lodging Industry Slow to Commit to Science-Based Targets

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Green Lodging News recently featured Pranav Jampani, Director of Sustainability, Las Vegas Sands Corp., in its Personnel Profile section. During my conversation with Pranav, he said the following, “On a daily basis, we proactively try to reduce our environmental impact. Our goal is to align with science-based targets.” In an article posted on Green Lodging News last August, Caesars Entertainment Corp. was also mentioned as committing to science-based carbon reduction goals. What exactly does science-based mean? According to the Science Based Targets website, targets adopted by companies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are considered “science-based” if they are in line with the level of decarbonization required to keep global temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial temperatures, as described in the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC AR5).

The Science Based Targets initiative is a partnership between CDP, UN Global Compact, WRI and WWF, which helps companies determine how much they must cut emissions to prevent the worst impacts of climate change. So far, 211 companies have signed up and committed to science based targets. In our industry, Host Hotels & Resorts already has had its target approved. Caesars Entertainment has made an official commitment.

According to the Science Based Targets website, “Our aim is that by 2018, science-based target setting will become standard business practice and corporations will play a major role in closing the emissions gap left by country commitments.” It is also the aim of the organizations involved to provide assistance to those companies interested in the target setting process.

Why is setting science-based targets important? According to the Science Based Targets website, “Under the current trajectory, global mean temperatures are projected to increase by 3.7 to 4.8ºC by the end of this century, far beyond the levels of warming that the scientific and international community have identified as safe.”

How can your company get involved? The Science Based Targets website explains the process. In a nutshell, it involves submitting a commitment letter, developing a target, getting the target verified, and then announcing the target.

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