COP28: The Corporate World is Not Moving Quickly Enough to a Net Zero Transition

Jai Thattil, the Senior Director and Head of Industry and Sustainability Marketing at Juniper Networks says the company is moving full steam ahead with its efforts to reduce emissions across operations

How important is COP28 to achieve net zero targets stipulated by the Paris Agreement?
The challenge posed by climate change requires science-based emission reduction targets that align with the Paris Agreement goals. A United Nations-level conference is critical for elevating the importance of global collaboration to take stock of both targets and progress against the targets. Juniper has a long road ahead, as we only recently committed to the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi). However, we are moving full steam ahead with our efforts to reduce emissions across operations and across our value chain. We are determined to lower our environmental impact in every aspect of our business, from how we make our products to extending product life through refurbished options.

What are the various challenges faced by corporates in the region about achieving net zero targets? 
Net zero pledges currently cover 88% of global emissions according to SBTi, but arguably the corporate world is not moving quickly enough to a net zero transition. At Juniper, we are heavily leveraging renewable energy for Scope 2 and our focus is on bringing new, additional renewable energy onto the grid. Procuring existing renewable energy doesn’t displace emissions, so unbundled RECs pose a threat to meaningful net zero action.

What are the challenges faced by corporates when it comes to capturing continuous actionable data related to sustainability/ESG?
While Scope 1 and 2 data collection is straightforward, Scope 3 categories present a myriad of data challenges. All corporates – all entities in fact – are continuously refining data and incorporating more granular inputs into categories such as purchased goods and services.  Emissions data and disclosure are key to tracking progress, but the risk here is that we spend so much time on carbon accounting that our limited bandwidth doesn’t allow the same level of attention on meaningful action. I’m thrilled we’re now leveraging a carbon accounting platform and we have a more robust cross-functional team gathering data so that Juniper can simultaneously execute on planned energy efficiency projects and renewable energy procurement.

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