General Electric (GE) announced it is setting a goal to achieve carbon neutrality for its facilities and operational greenhouse emissions by 2030. However, this commitment does not address the emissions associated with its products (Scope 3). GE has recently announced that it is pursuing an exit from the new build coal power market, a start toward reducing emissions associated with its products.
Last year, As You Sow filed a shareholder resolution on behalf of Amalgamated Bank asking General Electric to report on whether and how it plans to modify its business plan in alignment with the Paris Climate Agreement goals. The resolution was withdrawn after the company agreed to evaluate product emissions and set new greenhouse gas emission targets. In 2018, As You Sow and other investors raised similar concerns in an investor letter to GE regarding its plans to construct a new coal plant in Kenya in spite of strong local opposition. Working with the Climate Action 100+ investor initiative, As You Sow has continued to urge the company to increase its climate ambitions and disclose how it will align its business model with the Paris Climate Agreement’s goals.
Lila Holzman, Energy Program Manager of As You Sow, stated:
“This is significant progress. We now look to the company to address its Scope 3 product emissions. Otherwise it will continue to invest in already outdated technologies that put the company and the planet on an unsustainable path.”
Danielle Fugere, President of As You Sow, stated:
“GE is taking a range of actions to move its product base toward clean and sustainable energy. Setting a net-zero target for the company’s full range of emissions is the next logical step to drive that change across the entire organization.”
Ivan Frishberg, Director of Impact Policy at Amalgamated Bank, stated:
“This is a significant step that reflects innovation and hard work from the team at GE, but as Chairman Larry Culp notes, it is the product and client impact that is at the center of solving the climate crisis. We are looking for the company to begin the process of measuring its full emissions impact and setting science-based targets as is now becoming standard practice.”
For more information on As You Sow’s work on climate change, click here.