July 21, 2020 / 6:54 AM / 18 days ago

Microsoft, Nike, Unilever team up to combat global carbon emissions

(Reuters) - Microsoft Corp, Nike Inc, Starbucks Corp, Unilever NV and five other industry titans from various sectors are teaming up to help businesses globally achieve zero carbon emissions.

Called “Transform to Net Zero”, the group plans to recruit other members and will work with the Environmental Defense Fund and focus on delivering guidance, research and blueprints for businesses to achieve zero carbon emissions no later than 2050.

The announcement gave no details of any investment the companies would make, outlining only initial research and other work to be completed over the next five years.

Some aims for net zero carbon emissions include reductions across the entire value chain, including impact of products and services, and the substantial commitment and willingness to invest in and speed innovation.

The current alliance also includes French food group Danone SA, German automaker Mercedes-Benz AG, top shipping container firm A.P. Moller - Maersk A/S, Indian tech firm Wipro Ltd, and Brazilian cosmetics maker Natura & Co.

While many companies have made commitments to improve, critics say action by the corporate world still falls far short of the sort of far-reaching change needed to meet UN targets on emissions and capping the global rise at 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Microsoft in January had announced plans to be carbon negative, pledging to remove as much carbon as it has emitted in its 45-year history and allocated $1 billion to create a “Climate Innovation Fund” to invest in developing carbon removal technology.

Reporting by Rebekah Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr

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