General Electric (GE) announced it is setting a goal to achieve carbon neutrality for its facilities and operational greenhouse emissions by 2030. 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.
With more than 1,000 facilities across the globe including factories, test sites, warehouses and offices, the scale of GE’s industrial manufacturing footprint means that achieving the new goal will represent a significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
GE is targeting the majority of progress toward the 2030 goal to be through absolute reductions of direct emissions and energy use achieved through operational investments, smart power sourcing, and elimination of waste.
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 The resolution was withdrawn after the company agreed to evaluate product emissions and set new greenhouse gas emission targets.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.