After achieving carbon neutrality across its operations, Steelcase is now targeting new goals to be carbon negative by 2030.
Motivated by the urgency of climate change, Steelcase expanded upon its existing renewable energy commitments with the purchase of carbon offsets. In 2020, Steelcase achieved a reduction of more than 30 per cent in greenhouse gas emissions over the previous ten years. While the carbon neutral (net zero) target has been achieved by removing as much carbon as it emits, the company is now taking its commitment further with a goal to become carbon negative by 2030, which it plans to accomplish by reducing emissions across its operations with targets in line with climate science.
In the coming years, the company will focus on ambitiously reducing emissions at a rate needed to prevent the worst impacts of climate change. For Steelcase, becoming carbon negative (also referred to as climate positive) by 2030 would mean removing more carbon than it emits, through a combination of absolute reductions and investing in renewable energy. Additional actions to achieve the carbon negative goal may include financing carbon offset initiatives and supporting external emission reductions with social benefits.
To advance a low carbon economy, Steelcase has set science-based targets aligned with a 1.5°C climate scenario. This means the company expects to reduce absolute emissions from its own operations by 50 per cent by 2030 and cut indirect emissions from business travel and waste generated in operations. Since most of its emissions are considered indirect or scope 3 emissions, Steelcase plans to engage with suppliers to set their own science-based targets by 2025. By aggressively cutting greenhouse gas emissions at this rate, the company is aligned with the most ambitious goal of the Paris Agreement.
“Steelcase is proud to lead our industry in addressing this critical global issue,” said Jim Keane, president and CEO, Steelcase. “We continue to see the destructive effects of climate change that touch the lives of people in communities around the world and are pleased to be taking immediate steps in the right direction.”
Over the next decade, Steelcase plans to apply the following principles to execute its strategy:
- Prioritise the absolute reduction of emissions with a range of approaches, including:
- invest in energy efficiency opportunities identified through a series of audits performed at its top emitting facilities;
- supplement energy efficiency projects via direct renewable energy supply in key markets where available;
- explore onsite renewable energy and reduce emissions associated with business travel, supply chain, logistics and waste generated in operations.
- Advocate for climate and energy policy
- Empower its employees and suppliers to champion the effort of transitioning to a low carbon economy
While the company’s progress will be published in future Steelcase Impact Reports, reported emissions are expected to undergo third-party verification starting this year.
This announcement underscores the company’s ongoing commitment to sustainability by bringing lasting value to its customers, employees, shareholders, partners, communities and the environment. Through innovative products and solutions, Steelcase is committed to unlocking human promise and promoting the advancement of strong and resilient communities.
Steelcase will continue to build on its strong foundation by using less, conserving more, sourcing more responsible materials and growing more sustainably, helping the company leave a positive legacy and support a regenerative economy.
For more information, please visit Steelcase’s sustainability page.