Stabilize the Climate

Renewable Energy and Energy Optimization

Run global operations on 100% renewable electricity, increase energy efficiency by at least 30% and transition all buildings to net-zero emissions.

Companies commit to running global operations on 100% renewable electricity and increasing energy efficiency by at least 30% (against a 2020 baseline) by 2030. Companies commit to achieving net-zero emissions for all operated, owned and leased buildings by 2030 and for infrastructure and industrial facilities by 2040. Specifically, companies will:

  • Establish short and medium-term targets on the path toward producing or procuring 100% renewable electricity for global operations by 2030

  • Prioritize procurement of renewable energy that contributes to new renewable power generation, minimizing the purchase of unbundled renewable energy credits (RECs) to meet renewable energy goals

  • Prioritize engagement with high GHG emitting suppliers, identifying opportunities to incentivize increased energy efficiency and renewable energy production and procurement to convert fossil fuel systems to renewable electric alternatives, and also setting targets for performance improvement 

  • Optimize the energy efficiency of processes and begin the transition away from fossil-fuel consuming processes, setting interim targets for increasing operational energy efficiency

  • Develop a strategy for acquisition, renovation, redesign and contracting to transition all owned, operated and leased buildings, infrastructure and industrial facilities to net-zero emissions 

Through short and medium-term milestones and targets, companies demonstrate progress toward running global operations on 100% renewable electricity and increasing energy efficiency by at least 30%. Companies implement strategies to achieve net-zero emissions for all operated, owned and leased buildings by 2030 and for infrastructure and industrial facilities by 2040.  In 2025, companies will:

  • Implement renewable energy procurement plan, monitor progress, and allocate investment commensurate with plan goals 

  • Demonstrate progress toward short and medium-term targets and publicly disclose the percentage of renewable energy sourced across operations, including the percentage mix of of owned, contracted and acquired through RECs

  • Evaluate supplier incentive programs to increase energy efficiency, renewable energy production and procurement and renewable electrification and expand successful programs to suppliers beyond those with the largest carbon footprint

  • Require all direct suppliers to set quantitative, time-bound targets to increase sourcing of renewable energy, increase energy efficiency and convert fossil systems to renewable electric alternatives 

  • Implement strategies for achieving net-zero emissions for all owned, operated and leased buildings by 2030 and for infrastructure and industrial facilities by 2040 and expand strategies that can be brought to scale across various facility types and geographies

Companies run global business operations on 100% renewable electricity and have increased energy efficiency by at least 30%. All direct suppliers are required to increase sourcing of renewable energy and increase energy efficiency in support of the company’s goal to achieve net-zero emissions by 2040. All owned, operated and leased buildings operate with net-zero emissions and all infrastructure and industrial facilities are on a trajectory to achieving net-zero emissions by 2040. 

Clean Energy Market Growth

Fossil fuels currently account for 80% of global primary energy consumption, resulting in economies that are vulnerable to volatile fuel prices and reliant on energy imports. Left unchanged, energy markets and the regulations that govern them will make it extremely difficult to achieve 1.5ºC-aligned GHG emission-reduction targets.  Companies should collaborate and advocate to remove fossil fuel subsidies across the globe and accelerate access to renewable energy, energy efficiency and zero-emissions electrification services, ensuring these services are available to all, including underserved regions and populations of the world. 

Individually, companies should bring attention to the numerous benefits of renewable energy and energy efficiency by highlighting new and forthcoming pilot projects to generate positive public support in those regions.  Companies should also engage their government affairs and legal teams to partner with local NGOs and determine the most effective way to advocate for policy change, that includes a focus on impacts to local stakeholders and prioritizes a just and inclusive transition.  With public understanding and local support, companies can scale campaigns by collaborating with suppliers, customers, investors and other companies to drive innovative procurement and financing mechanisms and supportive public policies, making it practical to shift away from fossil fuels and toward clean energy alternatives.  

Getting Started

This section of the Ceres Roadmap 2030 identifies the foundational steps companies can take to begin implementing the actions needed to stabilize the climate.

✓ Engage Role Players

To capture the full breadth and depth of risks and opportunities in stabilizing the climate, companies should consider the role of various business units across the value chain and regularly engage with business unit leaders to analyze the intersection between climate risks and opportunities and their processes.  Upstream, climate-related opportunities may take the form of sourcing decisions or the redesign of a product to reduce GHG emissions or deforestation.  Downstream, these opportunities may take the form of changing how products and services are delivered or even consumer and customer marketing.  Engaging business unit leaders will uncover better solutions and make the process of establishing workforce accountability easier.  Concurrently, business unit leaders and senior management need to establish fluid lines of communication and disseminate key risks and opportunities into clear messaging that will engage board members. Complementary board oversight and accountability from the top down will support the integration of sustainability priorities across the business, informing strategic and annual planning and ensuring the proper allocation of resources for achieving stated goals. 

✓ Connect the Dots 

To take meaningful action in stabilizing the climate, companies must first accept that climate risk is a financial risk in both the short-term and long-term. To properly address climate risk, companies should analyze and measure the extent in which the company’s activities produce greenhouse gas emissions, across all scopes. There may be aspects of the company’s GHG footprint that are difficult to quantify. It is important to identify gaps in measurement and set the goal of increasing accuracy and completeness over time. Where appropriate, companies can temporarily use informed estimates to fill gaps until better measurement processes are created.

✓ Establish Policies

Once the challenge is defined, companies should establish enterprise-wide policies that support the intention to phase out activities that negatively impact the climate, including production of GHG emissions and deforestation.  Based on the company's business model and structure, the depth and complexity of these policies will vary; however, the policies should first be implemented in areas of the value chain that have the largest absolute impact.  These policies should be revised and strengthened on a regular basis as more information is gathered. Strong climate-related policies will help guide and inform corporate decision-making.  It is critical that companies analyze the interconnectedness, potential consequences and tradeoffs of policies to  minimize the risk of any adverse impacts to people, communities and resources elsewhere. 

✓ Build a Management System Designed for Evolution

Once policies and procedures are designed to address climate-related risks and opportunities, performance must be measured as part of a comprehensive management system to ensure that processes are driving towards intended outcomes and that management has the data available to make informed decisions.  Companies should develop processes and tools as part of their management systems to monitor the performance and effectiveness of business units as well as develop sector-relevant key performance indicators to enable alignment between commitments, operations, relationships and investments.  As part of a complete management system, companies should create processes to address non-compliance and make efforts to address the root causes of the issues identified.

✓ Perform Scenario Analysis

To determine where climate-related impact is the greatest, companies should perform a climate scenario analysis and assess risk across their value chains to identify where and under what conditions the company is most exposed to physical and transition climate risks. The climate scenario analysis should extend across multiple time horizons out to 2050 and cover multiple temperature rise scenarios, including but not limited to: business as usual, 2 ºC, and 1.5 ºC. Companies should also be cognizant of the different pathways leading to a given temperature increase. A 2 ºC scenario in particular could be the result of a smooth or disruptive transition, which may present different sets of risks and opportunities. To provide stakeholders with decision-useful information, scenarios should be based on reputable inputs and models, with additional customization where necessary. Methodology details and assumptions should be publicly disclosed.

Disclosing Progress

Disclosure establishes accountability, provides a foundation for engagement and serves as a platform for demonstrating priorities, process and progress. See the Transparency and Disclosure section of Ceres Roadmap 2030 on how to make all of your disclosures complete, credible and decision-useful.

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards and the Sustainable Accounting Standards Board (SASB) are two disclosure tools widely recognized as standards for guiding comparable sustainability disclosure. Disclosure related to corporate efforts to stabilize the climate should also be guided by three additional disclosure resources that help to strengthen corporate disclosure and meet the expectations of stakeholders, in particular investors: the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), the CDP Climate Change Questionnaire (CDP-CC) and the CDP Forests Questionnaire (CDP-F).

The TCFD is emerging as the de-facto framework for guiding climate-related disclosure and is widely supported by the investment community. The TCFD recommendations require disclosure across four key areas: Governance, Strategy, Risk Management and Metric and Targets. Investor preference for the TCFD framework is guided by the insights provided into how climate-related risk and opportunities are integrated and managed across the business and how companies are planning for the future.  Companies can also benefit from the process involved with aligning disclosures to the TCFD recommendations (e.g. the lessons learned from conducting a scenario analysis and comprehensively disclosing company wide climate-related impacts). 

Many companies are improving their TCFD disclosures by engaging investors and stakeholders as part of the process. The strongest TCFD disclosures will also have the complete support and buy-in of the board and C-suite executives and other key parts of the organization, such as Investor Relations, Finance and Risk Management.  There is no prescribed frequency for how often a TCFD disclosure should be updated. However, companies should consider the impact of significant business decisions, global events and availability of data as triggers for making updates and enhancements.

Companies and investors recognize CDP disclosures for their comprehensiveness and detailed information. More than 8,000 companies disclose to CDP, while over 500 investors with assets totaling more than $100 trillion request data from CDP.  Both the CDP Climate Change Questionnaire and Forest Questionnaire come in two versions: a minimum version and a full version that includes sector-specific questions.  Either version can be used to calculate a company’s CDP score. The questionnaires allow companies to provide structured details pertaining to how they are addressing and managing climate change and forest impacts.  The questionnaire and scoring process is performed annually, giving stakeholders the opportunity to monitor climate change and forest commitment progress on a regular basis.

The CDP-CC recently mapped specific sections of the questionnaire to the TCFD recommendations and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This makes reporting across multiple frameworks easier, while also creating space for companies to provide more granular details with respect to projects, initiatives, goals and metrics across GHG emissions scopes and the company’s value chain.  

The CDP-F recently mapped specific sections of the questionnaire to the Accountability Framework (a supply chain framework focused on land use and rights issues) and the SDGs, again helping users understand how information disclosed through CDP can be mapped to other standards.  

Since few companies are able to disclose quantitative progress towards eliminating deforestation, it is difficult for investors to understand, analyze and mitigate risk across their portfolios.  Companies should make every effort to disclose the following metrics:

  • Percent of a commodity that is traceable - Percentage of a sourced commodity that a company can trace to the product’s origin or to a point at which the company can assure compliance with its policies
  • Percent of suppliers in compliance - Percentage of their total suppliers that comply with their no-deforestation policies. They should also update these numbers to reflect recent suspensions due to non-compliance
  • Percent of commodity in compliance - How much of the total supply of a commodity is in compliance with company policies and standards. This is particularly important when a company sources most of a commodity from just a few suppliers

Additional Disclosure Resources

Ceres: Disclose What Matters - Analyzes the sustainability disclosures of the world's largest companies and can help companies bridge the gap and provide executable, relevant information to investors.

TCFD Good Practice Handbook - Identifies good practices in implementing the TCFD recommendations. The examples are drawn from across the G20 to cover multiple jurisdictions and a diversity of practices in making the 11 TCFD recommended disclosures across the four core elements of governance, strategy, risk management, and metrics and targets. 

TCFD Knowledge Hub - Provides resources needed to understand and implement the TCFD recommendations.

WBCSD’s TCFD Preparer Forum - The TCFD Preparer Forums bring leading companies together to discuss disclosure practices and the work needed to enhance disclosure effectiveness and implement the TCFD recommendations. In the Forums, members will identify examples of good practice, develop disclosure roadmaps and seek investor perspectives on TCFD disclosures, including how market participants use the information.


With respect to renewable energy and energy optimization there are many programs, resources and materials available to help guide companies.  Below is a list of some key resources:

EP100 - An initiative of the Climate Group in partnership with the  Alliance to Save Energy , EP100 brings together  a growing group of energy-smart companies  committed to improving their energy productivity,  driving innovation in energy efficiency and increasing competitiveness while delivering on emissions reduction goals. 

RE100 - RE100 is a global corporate leadership initiative bringing together influential businesses committed to 100% renewable electricity.  Led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, RE100’s purpose is to accelerate change towards zero carbon grids, at global scale.

The Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment (WGBC) - The Commitment challenges companies, cities, states and regions to reach net-zero operating emissions in their portfolios by 2030, and to advocate for all buildings to be net zero in operation by 2050.

Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA) - An alliance of large clean energy buyers, energy providers and service providers that, together with NGO partners, are unlocking the marketplace for all nonresidential energy buyers to lead a rapid transition to a cleaner, prosperous, zero-carbon energy future.

RE-Source Platform - The RE-Source Platform educates all stakeholders on the advantages and  huge untapped opportunity of sourcing renewable energy and centralises information on renewable energy sourcing.

LEED Certification - LEED is a third-party green building certification program and the globally recognized standard for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings and neighborhoods.

Better Plants Initiative (US DOE) - This initiative partners with leading manufacturers and water utilities to improve energy efficiency and competitiveness in the industrial sector, saving money in the process. Through Better Plants, partners voluntarily set a specific goal, typically to reduce energy intensity by 25% over a 10-year period across all their U.S. operations.

The Energy Efficiency Global Alliance - An international coalition of government, corporate and NGO leaders working to put the world on a path to three percent annual energy efficiency improvement. 

Companies in Action

Google commits to operate on 24x7 carbon-free energy and to secure 5 gigawatts of new carbon-free energy in manufacturing regions by 2030. As a carbon neutral company since 2007 and one of the largest corporate buyers of renewable energy, Google has positioned itself as a leader in sustainable energy. By 2019, the company had matched its energy usage with 100% renewable energy purchases for three years in a row. Google achieved this target through a combination of aggressive energy efficiency initiatives and renewable energy purchases and by retiring carbon offsets for the remaining emissions. In the fall of 2019, the technology giant announced an ambitious commitment to spend more than $2 billion in new renewable energy infrastructure across the U.S., South America and Europe, including 18 new energy deals, positioning the company among the largest corporate buyers of renewable energy. Google’s announcement increases the company’s renewable energy portfolio by more than 40%. While the majority of the company’s renewable energy purchases have been focused on wind, the recent deal doubles the capacity of the company’s global solar portfolio through investments in solar farms in North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas. Building on this commitment and extending its impact into the product side, the company in early 2020 launched a new carbon-intelligent platform that shifts the timing of many non-priority computer tasks to when low-carbon power sources are most plentiful, directly supporting the company's pledge to achieve 24x7 carbon-free energy facilities.

General Mills commits to 100% renewable energy by 2030. General Mills has announced joining the RE100 corporate initiative, pledging to source 100% renewable electricity by 2030. The announcement builds on earlier renewable energy commitments and expands the company’s goals beyond the U.S. The company’s strategy to achieve this goal includes investing in large renewable energy projects throughout the world, such as large-scale wind farms and anaerobic digestion facilities. General Mills has also signed ambitious Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with leading providers whose credits would equal 100% of electricity used annually at the company’s U.S. facilities. General Mills’ renewable energy goals build on a strong commitment to tackling the climate crisis, exemplified through the company’s 2020 Science Based Target to limit warming to 1.5℃, putting the company on track to be net zero by 2050 and aligning the company with the goals established in the Paris Agreement.

Apple sets goal to shift all electricity used throughout its supply chain to renewable sources by 2030. Apple is pursuing a multi-part strategy to achieve an ambitious goal of reaching carbon neutrality across its entire business by 2030. Transitioning energy used in its supply chain to renewables is a key part of Apple’s strategy, alongside planned investments in the development of low-carbon product designs and nature-based carbon removal solutions. Apple has a strong history of renewable energy commitments, announcing in 2018 that all of its global facilities had transitioned to renewable energy. However, Apple recognized that the larger opportunity for carbon reductions lies within its supply chain, given that nearly 75% of the company’s carbon footprint originates from its global manufacturing partners. Apple is pairing its efforts to achieve this goal with its Racial Equity and Justice Initiative, through its Impact Accelerator. The Accelerator will prioritize investment in minority-owned businesses and in communities that are disproportionately impacted by climate change.