The US President Joe Biden had invited Chairman and CEO of Johnson Controls, George Oliver, to participate in the virtual Leaders’ Summit on Climate on April 23.
The summit brought together leaders of the world’s major economies and other vital partners for an urgent and open dialogue on ways to strengthen collective efforts to address the climate crisis. President Biden has made tackling climate change a top national priority since assuming the president’s office and is urging other world leaders to attend the summit to discuss how their governments will help drive the goal of limiting global temperature rise.
On the invitation, George Oliver said, “I am honored to accept President Biden`s invitation to join him and other world leaders calling for urgent climate action. It is especially important to establish a roadmap to limiting the rise of global temperatures as we get closer to the COP26 climate conference scheduled for November in Glasgow.” Also, he added, “Transitioning to a lower-carbon economy is an opportunity to build back better, as we recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. Providing clean, sustainable and energy efficient solutions creates jobs while building strong, resilient, global economies.”
A major theme of the summit was the broad economic benefits of climate action, with a strong focus on job creation. The theme was kept so to explore both the economic benefits of green recovery and long-term decarbonization and the importance of ensuring that all communities and workers benefit from the transition to a clean energy economy.
Representing both the Business Roundtable and Johnson Controls, Oliver addressed these topics in a session on April 23 and also spoke on the role buildings can play to slash both emissions and costs. Business Roundtable is an association of CEOs of America’s leading companies and Oliver was named chair of the Business Roundtable Energy & Environment Committee in January 2021.
The majority of the Business Roundtable’s 223 member CEOs had, prior to the event, made public commitments to reduce their companies’ greenhouse gas emissions/carbon footprints. Nearly half of those commitments are for net zero carbon emissions by 2050, if not sooner.
Johnson Controls own ambitious emissions reductions targets that were approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative – an independent organization that assesses corporate sustainability claims. As a part of its environmental sustainability commitments, Johnson Controls aims to cut operational emissions by 55 per cent and reduce customers’ emissions by 16 per cent before 2030. The company believes its OpenBlue platform for optimizing building sustainability will be central to fulfilling these goals and ultimately creating an environment for healthy people, healthy places and a healthy planet.
The company also recently joined the Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign and is a signatory to The Climate Pledge, an initiative of business leaders co-founded by Amazon and Global Optimism. As a leader in the buildings space for more than 135 years, Johnson Controls has been a pioneer in sustainability and is ranked in the top 12 per cent of climate leadership companies globally by CDP. It is on the World’s Most Ethical Companies Honoree List and is named one of Corporate Knights’ global 100 most sustainable companies.