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Over 200 major corporations face consequences after missing crucial pledge deadline — here's what happened

It's not too late for these corporations to shift back into a positive direction.

It's not too late for these corporations to shift back into a positive direction.

Photo Credit: iStock

Hundreds of companies — in tech, medicine, entertainment, travel, and other sectors — have missed a crucial deadline in their pledges to lower pollution worldwide. 

While the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) is working with organizations to achieve net zero pollution targets — removing the same amount of carbon pollution from the air as they put in — many are not succeeding.

What's happening? 

In March, SBTi announced that 239 corporations would be listed as "commitment removed" for failing to adequately achieve pollution reduction goals

A commitment removed status could be explained by a company shutdown or commitment withdrawal. However, the status is frequently connected to an organization's failure to submit or successfully validate targets within a set timeframe. GreenBiz reported that the companies with the recent status changes had until Jan. 31 to meet those requirements. 

The most notable companies labeled "commitment removed" include Amazon, Eurostar International Ltd., Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft Corporation, Netflix, Procter & Gamble, Walmart Inc., and Xerox Corporation. You can find the complete list here

Why was this deadline important? 

Experts have called for individual, corporate, and governmental action to stop the Earth from overheating to a point that could cause irreversible damage to our communities and the environment. SBTi stresses that companies must play a vital role in lowering pollution levels. This can include pollution produced by their supply chains and customers. 

SBTi has insisted we are in a race to stop the overheating of the planet and significantly lower carbon pollution by 2030. 

Setting strict deadlines and standards for these corporations to lower their environmental impacts helps ensure consistent action toward the overall goal of protecting the planet. 

What can these corporations do? 

It's not too late for the corporations listed as "commitment removed" to fix their status.

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SBTi has said these organizations can submit targets for reducing pollution at any time, according to GreenBiz. Once those targets are validated, the company's label will be updated to "targets set." 

Several organizations impacted have said they still intend to work towards reducing pollutants, vowing to work alongside SBTi to meet their goals. 

"SBTi's removal of the net-zero commitment from our profile in no way impacts Microsoft's continued pursuit of our ambitious goals, which have not changed since we set them," Microsoft told GreenBiz

"Our focus remains on sharing credible progress, aligning with science, and engaging in collaborations to drive positive climate action," Procter & Gamble said

Meanwhile, some, like Unilever, have already resubmitted updated target plans for approval.

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