- This year’s Earth Day theme is “Invest in Our Planet”.
- The day was marked by companies making promises and touting progress in tackling the climate crisis, including Apple, CVS Health, ADM, and Stripe.
- This article is part of the “Financing a Sustainable Future” series that explores how companies are taking steps to set and finance sustainable goals.
During this year’s Earth Day activation, companies like Stripe and ADM took the opportunity to promote new commitments and mark progress toward their public goals.
Their news underscores the two main drivers of sustainability investing today — companies moving away from legacy systems, and in favor of new technology solutions.
This year’s Earth Day theme is Invest in Our Planet. “Unless businesses act now, climate change will further damage the economy, increase scarcity, drain profits and job prospects, and impact us all,” reads the Earth Day website. “Through regulation, incentives and public/private partnerships, governments hold the key to transforming and building a green economy.”
As global consumer interest in sustainability increases, corporate Earth Day announcements are mushrooming.
In addition to unveiling its traditional green logo at its retail locations, Apple is marking Earth Day by revealing it has increased the use of recycled materials across its products by nearly 20%, while also promoting
as a channel to support the World Wildlife Fund.
CVS Health lists climate progress for 2021, including having a net zero target validated by the company’s Science-Based Targets initiative’s net zero methodology.
News out of Stripe and ADM highlight progress on climate initiatives for startups and emerging technologies, as well as legacy companies in transition.
Stripe partners in new carbon removal fund
Payment giant Stripe is not trying to walk the road to sustainability alone. This is sharing investment with industry peers.
On the eve of Earth Day, Stripe announced partnership with Alphabet, Meta, Mckinsey and others, to form Frontier.
The goal is to accelerate and scale carbon capture and storage technology by committing to purchase a $925 million carbon removal technology, which is being developed at the startup, over the next nine years. Stripe Climate allows its customers to direct a portion of their revenue to the fund.
“Some of the most exciting investments made in sustainability come from
,” Cary Krosinsky, who teaches sustainable finance at Yale University and Brown University, told Insider. “Stripe’s focus on investing in start-ups that do carbon capture and this scale recognizes that people expect more from companies today than just how they reduce their own operations. footprints.”
Just as investors come together to make key financial transactions easier, Krosinsky says Stripe is collaborating to help make changes that would otherwise be difficult to do on their own. This includes the amount of investment required.
“It makes a lot of sense for the tech sector to say, ‘Each of us is going to throw money into a big project,'” he said.
ADM improves deforestation timeline
As part of this year’s Earth Day celebrations, multinational food processing company ADM said it had accelerated its 2030 timeline for deforestation-free sourcing. The company increased this commitment over five years, to 2025.
ADM said it will achieve its traceability goals in its soybean supply chain in Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina by the end of the year, and is making progress in tracing its palm oil supply chain.
Previously, ADM also committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2035. The commitment was made after conducting a feasibility study from the professional engineering services company WSP Global. It identifies pathways to meet this goal, which include purchasing renewable electricity, upgrading equipment, and using more biomass fuel.
ADM also continues to invest in satellite imaging technology to keep its supply chain transparent and monitor for signs of deforestation.
It uses mechanisms such as Green Bonds to finance or refinance sustainability projects, notes analyst Corinne Bendersky at S&P Global Ratings. This gives the company a “strong” rating in this regard.
“ADM expects to use an amount equal to the net proceeds of each sustainable bond financing issued under the framework within 24 months of issuance to exclusively finance or refinance eligible green and social projects,” the note reads.
Projects include the areas of sustainable agriculture, green buildings, energy efficiency and renewable energy, and clean transportation.