This new coalition of heavy industry companies is collaborating on net-zero tech

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From shipping to chemicals to cement, heavy industry is harder to decarbonize than other sectors. But a new group is going to work together to find possible solutions. It’s easier for some companies to reach net-zero emissions than others—Google was able to get most of the way there just by shifting to renewable electricity . But almost all of its footprint involves the energy used to power its offices and its servers, which is simple to convert to renewable sources. For airlines or steel or cement companies that burn a lot of fuel in their day-to-day operations, there isn’t technology available yet for them to decarbonize at the same speed. Read Full Story

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Unilever is investing $1.1 billion in a new climate fund—and hopes to reach net zero emissions by 2039

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The goal is to hit the benchmarks set by the Paris Climate Agreement far earlier than the 2050 deadline. Unilever, one of the largest consumer goods companies in the world, had a carbon footprint equivalent to about 60 million metric tons of CO2 in 2019. But by 2039, the company plans to shrink the carbon footprint of its products to net zero, 11 years before the deadline set by the Paris Climate Agreement. Read Full Story

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PepsiCo says it will reach net-zero emissions by 2040

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In two decades, the giant food and beverage company plans a major shift to renewables and changes throughout its supply chain. As one of the largest food and beverage companies in the world, PepsiCo has a correspondingly massive carbon footprint—it generated 57 million metric tons in 2019. But by 2040, 10 years ahead of what’s necessary to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement, it plans to reach net-zero emissions. Read Full Story

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Walmart says it will reach zero emissions by 2040—without using any offsets

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Corporate climate commitments often involve paying into environmental projects to make up for an inability to truly achieve a clean footprint. The retail giant just set the bar higher. When companies set targets to get to zero emissions, they often aim for “net zero,” using carbon-offset projects like tree planting to make up for the fact that they haven’t fully stopped polluting. A new goal from Walmart goes further: By 2040, the company plans to reach zero emissions across its global operations without using any offsets. In other words, it’s aiming for real zero, not net zero. Read Full Story

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How to tell if a company’s ‘net zero’ goals are serious—or just greenwashing

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Here are some questions to ask when a company says it plans to get to zero emissions. The number of companies that have set net-zero climate goals—meaning that they’ll cut their CO2 emissions as much as possible, and any they still emit will be offset by projects that capture carbon—has more than tripled over roughly the last year. Nestlé, the world’s largest food company, says that it plans to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Unilever, another consumer product giant with hundreds of brands, plans to get there by 2039 . Duke Energy, the North Carolina-based electric utility with a long history of using coal, plans to reach net zero by 2050. Even oil companies such as BP now say that they are aiming for the same thing. Others, including Amazon and Microsoft , plan to hit the goal much sooner. Read Full Story

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At this new net-zero energy McDonald’s, on-site solar provides 100% of the power

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By 2030, emissions from McDonald’s restaurants and offices will need to drop 36%, compared to 2015, to meet the company’s science-based targets. This new restaurant now open at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida is one step toward that goal. At a new McDonald’s restaurant that just opened at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida (with COVID-19 protection measures in place), solar panels covering the roof—and solar glass panels throughout the building—are designed to generate enough energy that the restaurant can run on 100% renewable power. Read Full Story

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Prefab was supposed to fix the construction industry’s biggest problems. Why isn’t it everywhere?

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The Canadian company Bone Structure can produce zero net energy homes months faster than a traditional builder. But its challenges highlight the difficulty of disrupting the entrenched construction industry. Marc A. Bovet wanted to build a house, but when it came to the actual construction, he was overwhelmed with options. He had bought an empty lot and hired an architect to design a custom home in Montreal for his wife and four kids. He had all the permits and approvals, so he began looking for builders. When quotes started coming in, he was stunned to see that the highest estimate was almost twice as expensive as the lowest. Read Full Story

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