Companies in Action
PepsiCo aligns its policy advocacy with the Paris Agreement and urges its trade associations to adopt a similar stance when engaging on climate. Recognizing that individual company efforts alone will not be enough to shift to a green economy, PepsiCo has taken a number of steps to support strong climate policy in the U.S. Beyond aligning its own policy advocacy with the Paris Agreement, PepsiCo joined coalitions like the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, signed the American Business Act on Climate Pledge and was a founding member of the U.S. Climate Leadership Council. Further, PepsiCo voices its support for climate policy outside of like-minded groups through its trade associations. The company annually reports on its trade association memberships and the climate positions of each group. PepsiCo uses its leverage as an association member by choosing to withhold funding from certain initiatives that do not align with the company’s positions. Beyond its financial leverage, PepsiCo ensures its dissenting opinions are voiced. For example, the company publicly stated its disagreement with the climate policy views of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Total S.A. reviews membership in industry associations to ensure alignment with its climate position. To collectively address the urgency of the climate crisis, companies are realizing the need to step up on public policy issues and assess how their lobbying efforts and those of industry association partners are aligned with scientific recommendations along with the company’s own sustainability priorities. In the company’s 2019 Integrating Climate Into Our Strategy report, Total examined the most significant industry associations the company is a part of to review their stance on climate issues. For those with a stated public position, Total looked into whether that position was aligned with its own ambitions based on six criteria: the scientific position; Paris Agreement; carbon pricing; the role of natural gas; development of renewable energy; and development of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS). As a result of this exercise, the company made specific determinations about which memberships it will not renew and which it wants to maintain. Out of the 30 high-priority associations examined in 2019, Total reported having 26 whose climate commitments were aligned with the company. Total has disclosed a list of affiliations since 2016 and provided details in its 2019 report of the industry association review process and key outcomes.
Unilever CEO questions business groups and trade associations on their alignment with the company’s advocacy position and the ambitions set out in the Paris Agreement. To address the climate crisis, companies need to address impacts across the value chain and look for opportunities to elevate business voice in the public policy debate, extending expectations to partners to collectively take action. Unilever has long been a strong advocate for robust public policies on climate through different forums and industry collaborations.The company is also walking the talk and has set a target to become carbon positive in its operations by 2030. Looking to align its advocacy efforts with those of its business partners and trade associations, Unilever CEO Alan Hope in 2019 published a letter to these constituencies, asking them to confirm that their current lobbying position on climate policy is consistent with Unilever’s position and the 1.5° C ambition set out in the Paris Agreement. The letter also rallies partners to assess and amplify their ambitions to further align with the urgency of the climate crisis.