Big Tech Companies are Making Climate Change Commitments, but Are They Actually Impactful?
Many large companies like Apple, Amazon and Microsoft are rethinking their supply chains and carbon footprints after pressure from consumers and employees to address their role in climate change. Here’s what these groups are doing, and experts’ take on their effectiveness.
While your short showers and LED lights help in the overall fight against climate change, massive corporations play a massive role in the climate crisis. Their carbon footprints, energy and water use and high volume of disposable/non-recyclable products greatly affect the environmental systems at play.
Luckily, some Big Tech leaders are starting to recognize their role. However, many are choosing to help is not-very-helpful ways, like through carbon offsets.
Earlier this month, Apple became the latest Big Tech giant to promise to reduce the emissions of planet-warming greenhouse gases, announcing in a statement that by 2030, “every Apple device sold will have net-zero climate impact.”
This idea of “net-zero climate impact” involves both direct changes in systems and indirect, reallocation of funds outside the company. Apple will reduce emissions by 75 percent in its manufacturing chain by recycling more components of its products and encouraging its suppliers to use renewable energy. For the remaining 25 percent, the company plans to “balance” them by funding reforestation projects and improving energy efficiency in its operations.
However, climate activists note that these offsetting, funding efforts are inadequate, as they do little to actually change and redefine the systems the companies utilize. Companies that offset emissions through external funding allow emissions to “grow at a time when the scientific consensus demands that emissions be cut in half by 2030 in order to avoid the worst effects of climate change—and be reduced to zero by 2050.”
Want to learn more about carbon offsets? Reach this article by GreenBiz.