Global IT solutions provider World Wide Technology has opened up on its newly set 2050 net zero target, stressing that it doesn't want to "buy its way" out of reducing its carbon emissions.
According to plans that will be formally unveiled next month, WWT has committed to a target of net zero emissions by 2050 for its global operations, in line with the Science-Based Targets initiative.
Near-term plans to cut its scope 1 and 2 emissions by 40-45 per cent by 2030 are also in the process of being validated by SBTi.
The announcement, which will formally be made at next month's Global Citizens Festival, comes after the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed a new rule that would require US public companies to disclose extensive climate-related information in their SEC filings. It also follows 2040 net zero announcements from top UK counterparts Softcat and Computacenter.
Although WWT is a private company, the £14.5bn-revenue Cisco, HPE, Dell and NetApp partner serves more than 70 of the US Fortune 100 (its St Louis HQ is pictured below).
"Even though we don't fall into those SEC guidelines, we want to be ahead of the curve and put all this additional reporting in place so that we are able to support our customers in their journeys. Some of them will fall into these SEC guidelines," explained WWT director of global ESG, Varchala Abrol.
WWT's new targets also include a commitment to achieving a 75 per cent diversion of solid waste from landfills by 2030, as well as an aim of reaching water neutrality by 2040 (with a 25 per cent cut achieved by 2030).
These new goals are underpinned by a comprehensive assessment of WWT's emissions inventory over the last two years, Abrol said.
"We've spent a lot of time collecting, managing and measuring data. I feel that reliable, comparable, measurable data that's backed by evidence, in addition to transparent reporting, is going to be the catalyst for change," she said.
I would say 90 per cent of those goals will be met by real-time reduction strategies, whether that means switching to green power or solar or power purchase agreements
Although WWT purchased some renewable energy certificates in 2019 and 2020, the strategy now is more about cutting emissions than offsetting, she added.
"We do not want to buy our way into net zero or neutrality," Abrol explained.
"We want to implement real-time mitigation and reduction strategies and that's why it was a very conscious decision to make sure that the strategy and the goals we put together are realistic. I would say 90 per cent of those goals will be met by real-time reduction strategies, whether that means switching to green power or solar or power purchase agreements."