PAUL, MINN.—Ecolab Inc., the global leader in water, hygiene and energy technologies and services, announced that it will align its operations and supply chain to the U.N. Global Compact’s Business Ambition for 1.5⁰C, and will work to reduce its carbon emissions by half by 2030 and to net-zero by 2050. The company is committed to doing its part in limiting the rise of global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 F) or less above pre-industrial levels, the limit deemed necessary by the U.N. to avoid the worst consequences of climate change.
“Climate change demands urgent action, and it’s absolutely critical that we accelerate our efforts to mitigate its impact,” said Ecolab Chairman and CEO Douglas M. Baker, Jr. “We don’t yet have all the answers as to how we’ll get to net-zero carbon emissions, but business needs to come together and create forward momentum. That’s why Ecolab is committing to 1.5°C.”
To help meet its commitment, Ecolab will:
- Move to 100 percent renewable energy in its global operations. In 2018, the company signed a virtual power purchase agreement that will cover 100 percent of its electricity needs in North America once the wind farm it is helping to finance comes online in 2020. Today, 99.4 percent of Ecolab’s electricity in Europe comes from renewable sources.
- Expand energy efficiency projects at Ecolab plants, office buildings and operations around the world.
- Move to electrify its fleet of service vehicles.
- Work with supply chain partners to adopt similarly ambitious climate goals.
In addition to efforts within its own operations, Ecolab is helping companies throughout the world become more resilient to the impacts of climate change. Water scarcity is exacerbated by climate change, and in 2018, Ecolab helped customers conserve 188 billion gallons of water. Using water also takes a sizable amount of energy, and these water savings helped avoid 19 trillion BTUs of energy use and 1.1 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
Sustainable Water Management
“Water is the missing link in the climate debate,” said Emilio Tenuta, Ecolab Vice President of Corporate Sustainability. “If the world economy made gains in sustainable water management, we’d be a significant step closer to a more climate-resilient world and cut our carbon emissions in the process.”
In its 2018 report, Global Warming of 1.5 °C, the U.N Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated that, based on the best available science, a global temperature increase of 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 F) above pre-industrial levels is no longer deemed safe. To avoid the worst consequences of climate change, global warming must be capped at 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 F) or less, the IPCC stated.
The U.N. Global Compact, a group of more than 9,500 companies that are collaborating to foster more sustainable ways of doing business, launched the Business Ambition for 1.5⁰C in 2019 to spur companies to do their part in achieving this goal. As of December 4, 2019, 140 companies have joined the Business Ambition for 1.5⁰C.