Philips announced its new greenhouse gas emission reduction targets for the 2020 – 2040 period. As a health technology industry-first, Philips has had its new CO2 emission targets assessed and approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) – a collaboration between the CDP, the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) aimed at driving ambitious corporate climate action. The approval confirms that Philips’ long-term targets are in line with the level of decarbonization required to keep global temperature increase below 2°C compared to pre-industrial temperatures, as described in the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) [1], and set out in the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Philips’ new science-based CO2 emission targets for the 2020 – 2040 period are an extension of the company’s existing commitment to becoming carbon neutral in its own operations (i.e. its industrial and non-industrial sites, business travel and logistics) by 2020, and go beyond Philips’ own operations to cover a broader scope of the company’s value chain. The new targets will see Philips reducing total CO2 equivalent (tCO2e) emissions from its industrial and non-industrial sites by 75% by 2025, and 90% by 2040, compared to their 2015 emissions, together with a commitment to reducing indirect greenhouse gas emissions across its entire value chain by 4% by 2025, and 11% by 2040, compared to 2017.

“Companies that have set science-based targets are showing real leadership for the world to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement,” said Lila Karbassi, Chief Programs, United Nations Global Compact, one of the SBTi partners. “Science-based targets are now emerging as a ‘new normal’ in the way businesses are developing their strategies for the future. They give companies a clearly defined pathway for future-proofing growth in the transition to a net-zero future. This is not only good for the planet, but also makes business sense.”

“As part of our effort to deliver sustainable health technology innovations without adversely affecting the planet, Philips is fully committed to the targets set out in the Paris Agreement,” said Frans van Houten, CEO of Royal Philips. “We see reducing our CO2 emissions as an important prerequisite for sustainable growth, and it will enable us to be ahead of the curve in offering our customers green products and solutions, which already account for 60% of Philips’ revenue [2].”

To achieve the combined goal of sustainability and growth, Philips has adopted a strategy of decoupling economic growth from greenhouse gas emissions, through initiatives such as renewable electricity purchasing, materials reduction, equipment recycling/repurposing, reduced use of air transport for staff/freight, and EcoDesign, all of which have significantly reduced the company’s CO2 emissions over the last five years.

[1] IPCC, 2014: Climate Change 2014: Synthesis Report. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Core Writing Team, R.K. Pachauri and L.A. Meyer (eds.)]. IPCC, Geneva, Switzerland, 151 pp.

[2] Green Revenues are revenues generated through products and solutions that offer a significant environmental improvement in one or more Green Focal Areas: Energy efficiency, Packaging, Hazardous substances, Weight, Circularity and Lifetime reliability. For healthcare equipment, remote serviceability is another Green Focal Area. The lifecycle approach is used to determine a product’s overall environmental improvement. It calculates the environmental impact of a product over its total life cycle (raw materials, manufacturing, product use and disposal).