UPM commits to the United Nations Global Compact’s Business Ambition for 1.5°C, joining leading companies in a promise to pursue science-based measures to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C. UPM will strive to mitigate climate change and drive value creation through innovating novel products, committing to a 65% CO2 emission reduction and by practicing sustainable forestry.
The 1.5°C ambition is a response to increasing concern about the severe consequences of a failure to stop global warming. UPM is among the first global forest industry companies making this commitment.
“UPM has a unique opportunity to make a positive impact and contribute to mitigating climate change by tangible actions. We innovate climate-positive products and turn them into growing businesses. At the same time, we limit risks from climate mitigation policies and physical impacts of changing climate. This is important for the long-term value of the company,” says Jussi Pesonen, President and CEO of UPM.
UPM is committed to climate-positive forestry, which is critical for the company’s business. Sustainably managed forests are also more resilient to changes in the climate. We will ensure that we always grow more forests than we harvest, and we will work to improve our forests’ growth and ability to absorb more carbon. In the future, UPM will also annually report the carbon sink levels of its forests, and the reporting system will be developed further. The annual average carbon sink of UPM’s forests in Finland has been 1.3 million tonnes of CO2eq during the last five years.
Decreasing the use of fossil fuels is the most important way to mitigate climate change. UPM has made a systematic global review of its opportunities for reducing emissions using existing technologies. We have also analysed the financial impact of each carbon action. Based on this assessment UPM today makes a commitment to reduce its CO2 emissions from fuels and purchased electricity by 65 per cent from the 2015 levels by 2030. In addition, the company aims to reduce the emission levels of its supply chain by 30 per cent.
Innovating novel products beyond fossils is the core of UPM’s Biofore strategy. UPM develops safe and sustainable products and offers alternatives to fossil materials. Many of the company’s products are already proven to be climate-positive. In the future, UPM aims to scientifically verify the climate impacts of all its products.
“Companies can be leaders in driving ambitious climate action. Committing to the Business Ambition for 1.5°C allows them to thrive while the global economy shifts to a net-zero future by 2050. We will continue to mobilise other companies to commit to science-based targets across their operations and value chains,” said Heidi Huusko, Senior Manager at the UN Global Compact and member of the Science Based Targets initiative’s Steering Committee.
Last week, UPM was included on the CDP ‘A List’ for leading efforts against climate change. CDP is a global non-profit organisation that drives companies and governments to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. It has been voted the number one climate research provider by investors.