Let’s talk climate change
We operate in an industry with one of the largest climate impacts - the global logistics industry is estimated to account for approximately 7 percent of the total global CO2 emissions. I am personally, like many of you, concerned about what kind of world we leave for our children and their children. It is also clear that it represents a significant business opportunity for us in Cargotec. We have an opportunity, and I would also say an obligation, to serve our customers with solutions that enable us to live in a better world.
AUTHOR: MIKA VEHVILÄINEN
Discussion and concerns about climate change are growing in importance, and our industry is no exception. Even with the Covid-19 crisis ongoing, this discussion has thankfully not gone away and there are signs that government efforts to come out of this crisis could further support climate ambitions at least in some regions.
We operate in an industry with one of the largest climate impacts - the global logistics industry is estimated to account for approximately 7 percent of the total global CO2 emissions. Therein lies also our opportunity. I am personally, like many of you, concerned about what kind of world we leave for our children and their children. Whatever view we take on it personally it is clear that it represents a significant business opportunity for us in Cargotec. Our customers are under increasing pressure to address their carbon footprint through public opinion, their customer demands and through regulation. We have an opportunity, and I would also say an obligation, to serve them with solutions that enable us to live in a better world.
We recently published our commitment to the United Nations Global Compact’s Business Ambition for 1.5°C. With that commitment we joined the leading companies in a promise to pursue science-based measures to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C. You may ask what difference does 1.5 make to, say 2.0 degrees. The answer is: a huge difference. If you are interested in learning more, here is a good link to understand it better: Visual feature: The Emissions Gap Report 2019.
In practice this commitment means that we need to reduce the CO2 emissions of raw material sourcing and product use phase by at least 50 percent from the 2019 levels by 2030. In addition, we have an even more ambitious target for our own operations and aim to carbon neutrality in our own operations by 2030. The set ambition level is challenging, but at the same time a great, inspiring business opportunity. It is also an integral part of our purpose to enable smarter cargo flow for a better everyday. 10 years is not a long time and the clock is ticking while you read this.
As the CEO of Cargotec, I have signed The We Mean Business coalition. The coalition is catalyzing business action and driving policy ambition to accelerate the zero-carbon transition. Bold climate actions are needed and should be supported. Just a few weeks ago I also signed the UN's Uniting Business and Governments to Recover Better statement. The statement is part of the Science Based Targets initiative and its Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign. The aim of the recently published ‘recover better’ statement is to remind Governments that in a time of global disruption, like now with the Corona pandemic, ambitious climate action is as urgent as ever.
To me it was quite natural to sign the statement when the opportunity was provided. I believe that Cargotec’s Climate Ambition is both the right thing to do and actually the only way to make profitable business in the future. I did not agree to set the climate ambition only as a talk during good times, but because I honestly believe it can offer a great business opportunity - even when, and especially when, recovering from the current pandemic.
During the current pandemic crisis, it has become clear that our strategic direction and will to promote intelligent cargo handling is the right one. Our service business is advancing, with main focus in increased data usage, device connectivity and remote maintenance issues - all things where we have made clear progress and all in line with our Climate work. In recent weeks, the interest in increasing efficiency through automation has become evident, and robotics and remote working in connection with port and terminal operations, for example, have materialised.
Based on the studies we have conducted so far, our current strategy to e.g. increase the offering of electric products, makes both good business sense and decreases the carbon footprint of our products’ use phase. We have looked into different climate scenarios, their risks and opportunities. We continue the analysis into more detail but so far everything indicates that setting ambitious climate goals is a wise thing to do.
We are committed to achieve the set goals and will work intensively to find more ways to achieve the reduction target by developing our products and services to be low-carbon solutions, by identifying the raw materials and suppliers supporting us being a 1.5℃ company and by figuring out how to make our own operations carbon neutral. And all of this has to make economic sense as well.