Recognizing that climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing the world, a coalition of Canada’s leading corporations understands that the time to take action is now and committed collectively to four strategic actions to protect the environment and ensure a sustainable, equitable and healthy future for all Canadians.
The initial signatories include Maple Leaf Foods, CN, and Celestica Inc.
Their commitments, which are aligned with the Paris Climate Accords, cover four key areas:
- Reducing Carbon Emissions: We recognize the threat of climate change and the devastating consequences it has on the future of the planet. We acknowledge the urgent need to act, and we commit ourselves to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions aggressively as we transition to a low-carbon economy.
- Setting Science-Based Targets: We are each among the eight companies in Canada and the 526 companies globally that have set emissions reduction targets through the Science Based Targets initiative in line with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and climate science. We believe that corporations can play a major role in reducing global greenhouse gas emissions and we have set targets aligned with climate science to future-proof our growth.
- Resource Stewardship: We are committed to ensuring our company operations follow sustainable practices to ensure our products and services are responsibly sourced, manufactured and distributed to Canadians. We believe in ensuring a healthy future and healthy planet for generations to come and pledge to minimize our environmental footprint and restore the planet.
- Sustainability Reporting: We are measuring our performance and reporting on our emissions reduction initiatives to track our progress and uphold corporate responsibility and transparency with Canadians.
We commit to meaningful action on climate change and to holding ourselves accountable in protecting the planet.
“In 2019, Maple Leaf Foods became the World’s First Major Carbon Neutral Food Company and is the only food company in Canada to adopt science-based emissions reduction targets that are aligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change,” says Michael McCain, President and CEO at Maple Leaf Foods. “If we can do it, others can too. We are proud to be a leader in sustainability and urge Canadian organizations to join us in our ambitious goal and take meaningful action to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and nurture a Better Planet for all.”
The sustainability commitment is in direct response to Canadians’ belief that corporations have a responsibility to make positive environmental change. In fact, a recent study conducted by Angus Reid showed that 91% of Canadians expect companies to do their part to protect the environment and reduce carbon emissions, and 88% think companies should be doing more to protect the environment.
“We are proud to serve North Americans every day and recognize the responsibility we have to act in the interests of generations to come,” explained JJ Ruest, President and Chief Executive Officer of CN. “As a historic nation building company and a modern trade enabler, we are motivated to ensure an environmentally sustainable future for all Canadians by offering sustainable transportation solutions to our customers and supply chain partners. We are committed to playing a key role in the transition to a low carbon economy.”
Effective sustainability practices require a long-term commitment and immediate action from corporations. Through collective action, and by setting science-based emissions reduction targets, corporations can play a leading role in tackling climate change and ensuring a sustainable future for all Canadians.
“For the past 10 years, sustainability has been integrated into everything we do and we firmly believe that our goals cannot be met by one person, or one organization alone, but through the power of many,” says Rob Mionis, President and Chief Executive Officer, Celestica Inc. “Collaboration is at the core of our sustainability strategy and we are proud to unite with these ambitious Canadian companies to take a stand against climate change and encourage others to join us in our sustainability commitment.”
Climate change is a matter of public concern and transparent sustainability communications are a key component of any corporate sustainability commitment. Transparent and ongoing communications demonstrate to Canadians’ that organizations are committed to making positive environmental change and addressing the climate crisis now.
All three Canadian companies are members of the Science Based Targets initiative and work collaboratively with this global body to set emissions reductions targets that align with the most up-to-date climate science and the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and actively disclose their environmental data through the CDP.
“As we wrap up a year of unprecedented challenges and continue on this decade of ambition, it has never been more important to double down on our efforts to fight climate change,” said Ateli Iyalla, Managing Director at CDP North America. “Environmental action and ambition starts with transparent corporate disclosure – after all, you can’t manage what you don’t measure. We applaud this unified call for meaningful action on climate change and encourage companies across Canada and around the world to answer this call and play their part in creating a sustainable future.”
“We applaud these Canadian companies for their leadership in sustainability and their drive to encourage other organizations to ensure a healthy future for people and the planet,” says Alberto Carrillo Pineda, Steering Committee member of the Science Based Targets initiative. “We champion SBTi-approved targets as a way for companies to take ambitious climate action and develop a clearly defined pathway to successfully reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in line with what climate science tells us is required to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. We believe that business has a vital role to play in building the resilient, zero-emissions economy we urgently need and science-based emissions reduction targets, in tandem with the other commitments in this letter are essential to realizing this future.”
The devastating effects of climate change must be addressed with urgency and with definitive action. The time for business leaders to confront the global climate crisis is now. We urge Canadian businesses to join us in ensuring a healthy future for all Canadians, and our planet, by supporting the Open Letter and joining the fight against climate change. Organizations interested in joining the sustainability commitment can contact Maple Leaf Foods at email@example.com or learn more about the Science Based Targets initiative at sciencebasedtargets.org.
- Maple Leaf Foods
- Celestica Inc.
From September 21-22, 2020 Angus Reid conducted an omnibus survey among 1,500 Canadians ages 18+. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 2.53%, 19 times out of 20.
*information regarding SBT companies is current as of December 7, 2020
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