Ppt Sustainability

As the Planet Heats Up, It’s Now or Never for Manufacturers to Act

July 22, 2022
PPG’s Sustainability Leader: ‘It’s a pivotal moment.’

One of my favorite Chinese proverbs states, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.”

This statement could not be more fitting as organizations continue to place emphasis on understanding their customers’ sustainability needs, evaluating their core emissions sources, prioritizing positive impacts in their communities and further refining overall governance for the company. Many organizations have historically invested in strategies to address these issues, but an increasing number of companies recognize the pivotal moment we now face in order to reverse the detrimental effects of climate change, and how strong environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices can further this journey. The time to act is now.

As we collectively work toward a low-carbon economy—which is at once an enormous challenge and opportunity—an increasing number of companies have a keen eye to furthering their sustainability efforts and reducing their greenhouse gas emissions and associated carbon footprint. A key part of that includes reducing energy use and exploring options for renewable energy sources across manufacturing sites.

We recently announced the startup of a high-efficiency power-generation facility at PPG’s Quattordio, Italy, automotive coatings manufacturing site. Through an agreement with a third-party developer of high-efficiency energy-generation solutions, the facility is expected to reduce energy costs by 13% and carbon dioxide emissions by 10% annually. This is just one example of actions manufacturers can make to further their energy efficiency and greenhouse-gas emission reduction strategies, and ultimately reduce their carbon footprint. 

In addition, organizations should also consider committing to collaborating with various stakeholders across their respective value chain to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and consider setting a science-based target (SBT) for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. PPG recently made a commitment to the Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi) to define new Scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas emission reduction targets that define a pathway to reduce the impacts of climate change. We are proud to have joined the more than 3,000 companies that have committed to SBTi and will use this commitment as a basis for our sustainability goals moving forward. I encourage manufacturers to consider taking decarbonization actions now to continue our responsibility as corporate stewards of the environment in which we live and work.

As we move toward a low-carbon economy and identify new ways to lessen the impact of companies’ upstream and downstream emissions sources, organizations must measure the positive impact and steps taken to improve waste, water and energy use. We must also focus on the human aspect of ESG. I encourage companies to develop and act upon sound diversity, equity and inclusion goals as a business imperative, as well as focus on corporate social responsibility actions.

If your organization is committed to leading the charge to protect and preserve the planet for future generations, create more inclusive communities and make a positive impact within the places in which you live and work, the time for bold action was 20 years ago, but the second-best time is arguably right now.

Diane Kappas is vice president, Global Sustainability for PPG. She also represents PPG in the “Sustainability 50” organization, a private community for sustainability leaders from globally respected organizations to share ideas, solutions and collaborate on climate change issues. PPG’s 2021 ESG Report is available at sustainability.ppg.com.

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