Largest companies setting emissions reduction targets

A new report from Ceres, Calvert Investments, and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) finds that most have set at least short-term goals for reductions in GHG emissions. The organizations surveyed the environmental practices of many of those in the Fortune 100 and Global 100 -- some of the world's largest companies.

According to the report, 96 of the combined 173 companies in the Fortune 100 and Global 100 have set GHG reduction goals. A majority have established emissions reduction goals for the near term, while about one-third have done so through 2020. Less than 10 percent have established such goals for 2050 and beyond.

As recently as May of this year, Ceres was warning that the sustainability efforts of U.S. corporations were insufficient. Only one-third of 600 companies surveyed by Ceres and Sustainalytics, for example, have set targets for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Taking into account the legislative inaction on climate change by the U.S. Congress -- as well as the repeated failure of governments to agree on binding commitments -- the world appears to be lurching toward a crisis, even while the solutions to it are in plain sight.

"Sustainability has yet to gain traction at anywhere near the scale and speed required given the global threats we face," said Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres, earlier this year.

Next page: Barriers to uptake of renewable energy