The Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) has announced that it achieved net zero emissions and sourced 100% renewable electricity globally for its direct operations, which are now carbon neutral.
According to the company, it has also met its goal to set science-based emissions reduction targets for its direct operations and value chain.
To achieve its net zero emissions and RE100 goals by 2020, ELC focused on reducing its operational carbon footprint by deploying high-quality solutions and investing in projects bringing additional renewable energy to the grid.
The company signed the Virtual Power Purchase Agreement (VPPA) for 22 megawatts (MW) of wind power from the Ponderosa wind farm in Oklahoma, which is the company’s largest renewable energy agreement to-date. The Ponderosa wind farm will cover more than half of the company’s electricity footprint with renewable energy technologies.
ELC reportedly also installed ground-mount and rooftop on-site solar arrays at its facilities around the world, bringing the company’s global total to more than 5 mw of solar capacity. In markets where ELC operations have a comparatively smaller carbon footprint, the company procured renewable energy certificates (RECs) or their international equivalent to support local renewable energy generation.
To address any remaining annual emissions from operations, ELC purchased offsets from the Massachusetts Tri-City Forestry project in North America, which protects 6,500 acres of public forestland from significant commercial timber harvesting and ensures long-term sustainable management of the forest.
Moving foward, ELC's new climate targets address scopes 1, 2, and 3 emissions and are validated and approved by the Science Based Target (SBTi) initative.
Their commitment is set in reducing the absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions 50% by 2030 from a 2018 base year. In addition, they are committed to reducing the scope 3 GHG emissions from purchased goods and services, upstream transportation and distribution, and business travel 60% per unit revenue over the same timeframe. This also meets the SBTi criteria for ambitious value chain goals, meaning they are in line with current best practice.
Fabrizio Freda, president and chief executive officer of The Estée Lauder Companies, said: “Today’s announcement signals a new level of ambition and dedication to climate action for The Estée Lauder Companies. Setting ambitious targets in line with the latest climate science is testament to our values and commitment to managing our business for the long term. In this decisive decade for climate action, we will continue to accelerate efforts to ensure a healthy, beautiful planet for generations to come.”
“The Estée Lauder Companies has been deeply committed to climate action for many years and, in 2020, we not only stayed true to our commitments, but took steps to further accelerate progress," said Nancy Mahon, senior vice president, global corporate citizenship and sustainability of The Estée Lauder Companies. "At such a critical time for our planet and communities around the world, we know this work is more important than ever. The events of this year have only underscored the urgency and imperative of climate action and we’re committed to doing our part, collaborating with partners to tackle one of the greatest challenges of our time.”
Helen Clarkson, chief executive officer, the Climate Group, said: “We congratulate The Estée Lauder Companies on their fantastic work to switch to renewable electricity globally. When large companies like The Estée Lauder Companies set their sights on an ambitious target, they can achieve huge change at a rapid pace. This is exactly the sort of leadership we need to see in the climate decade, as we work to halve global emissions.”