In the recent ‘Close the Gap’ report, Enablesus, a website providing consumers with sustainability information about companies, indicated that 61% of consumers consider climate action by companies and their brands an important factor when purchasing products. Unfortunately, many global brands like Coca-Cola, Target, and McDonald’s are not fully addressing this message in setting sufficient climate goals.
In the most recent analysis by Enablesus, 18 leading global brands were reviewed for their alignment to key elements of the Paris Agreement. The results show that 66% of these leading global brands failed to report setting quantitative short-term (by 2025) greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets. This is important because companies are the backbone for actual reductions in GHG emissions in countries, and the Paris Agreement requires countries to set ambitious commitments every five years and report on progress every two years. This mechanism is set to ensure that real actions are being taken both now and in the future. The analysis also found that 78% of these leading global brands did report setting quantitative medium-term (by 2030) targets, but none reported quantitative long-term (by 2035) targets.
“Short-term targets are critical at this stage because they show that a company actually has its train on a green track..”Douglas Marett
As Douglas Marett, Managing Director at Enablesus, points out, “short-term targets are critical at this stage because they show that a company actually has its train on a green track, especially since many leading global brands now report on their GHG emissions in a standard way and implement some actions to reduce GHG emissions. The majority of consumers want to understand the climate impact and direction companies are taking and would like companies to be more transparent about this”.
The top performers in the analysis having set quantitative short- and medium-term GHG emissions targets include Adidas, Nestlé, Nike, and Seventh Generation. They are also among the companies who have ambitious targets validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), who are among 965 companies having commitments aligned to the ambitious Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 C.  However, this is still a drop in the bucket when one considers that there are over 24,000 large companies in Europe alone, according to OECD. 
“The importance of quantitative long-term targets should not be overlooked either. Several of the companies we reviewed such as Starbucks, Unilever, and Nike also have goals to be Net-Zero at least by 2050 under the Transform to Zero mission , but they do not report any quantitative targets past 2030. What this means for consumers is that we cannot be certain if even leading global brands will actually stay on the green track or even if there is a track beyond halfway”, says Douglas Marett.
During the global climate change conference, COP26, Enablesus will highlight gaps in the alignment of leading global brands climate plans with eight key elements of the Paris Agreement. Follow these results on the Enablesus profiles on We Don’t Have time and LinkedIn.
Enablesus is a website that empowers consumers with free and easy access to organisations sustainability information so they can make impactful decisions, and Enablesus helps organisations use less time and resources in communicating their sustainable impacts. Access Enablesus here: https://enablesus.com
Notice: Enablesus has no commercial affiliation with the companies and their brands mentioned in this article and those in the referred to analysis.
 Science Based Targets initiative webpage Oct. 2021
 OECD “Enterprise by business size” for 2018.
 Transform to Zero webpage 2021
Image Julia Marett
Oringally Published in We Don’t Have Time on 29th October 2021