Unilevers Polman among the business leaders backing UN CO2 goals

Unilever's Polman among the business leaders backing UN CO2 goals

Representatives from the political, business, finance and civil sphere came together in New York yesterday (23 September) at the UN's 2014 Climate Change Summit. Food corporations were among those signing up to pledges to tackle the growing problem of climate change. Here just-food provides a flavour of the promises our industry has made - and reaction to them.

"The last few months have seen a welcome race to the top. Consumers have sent companies a clear signal that they do not want their purchasing habits to drive deforestation and companies are responding. Better still, companies are committing to working in partnership with suppliers, governments and NGOs to strengthen forest governance and economic incentives. It can be done and this Declaration signals a real intention to accelerate action." - Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever 

"Climate change threatens agriculture and food systems in many regions, making it more difficult to achieve food security. As a food company, it's our responsibility to help ensure the long-term sustainability of key grains, including rice, and enable those who help grow and supply it." - John Bryant, chairman and CEO, Kellogg

"The Caring for Climate initiative is fully aligned with our own explicit commitments, which reflect our respect for society in which we operate, respect for the environment, respect for the future generations. Climate change must be addressed through mutually beneficial collaboration and multi-stakeholder channels to be effective ultimately." - José Lopez, Nestle EVP and head of operations

"We want to do our very best to be the trusted supplier of sustainable agricultural goods. We are proud of our track record tackling deforestation. Today, I am here to say that we are going to do more. We understand that this sort of commitment cannot be limited to just select commodities or supply chains. That's why Cargill will take practical measures to protect forests across our agricultural supply chains around the world." - Cargill CEO Dave MacLennan

"Mondelez International is a proud signatory to the New York Declaration on Forests, an important step to unite governments, NGOs and business to slow and then end forest loss. We can't act alone to halt deforestation or climate change, so we call on everyone to play a role.  While it won't be easy, I believe this agenda is achievable if we link it directly to business goals." - Mondelez International chairman and CEO Irene Rosenfeld

"Combating climate change is absolutely critical to the future of our company,Green Cooler customers, consumers-and our world. I believe all of us need to take action now. PepsiCo has already taken actions in our operations and throughout our supply chain to ‘future- proof' our company-all of which deliver real cost savings, mitigate risk, protect our license to operate, and create resilience in our supply chain." - Indra Nooyi, chairman and CEO of PepsiCo

"Every part of society showed up and delivered here at the summit, with the exception of world leaders who still have a lot of work to do...  we're still waiting for governments to ratchet up their ambition and deliver global, system-wide change on the scale needed to solve the climate crisis... That rallying cry was amplified by many other groups, from faith leaders, to youth groups to civil society, and even big business. We saw critical corporate leadership - from company actions to tri-sector coalitions - on issues like deforestation and 100% renewable energy." - WWF Head of Delegation Samantha Smith

"This week we saw progressive business and faith leaders making strong commitments that are moving ahead of what world leaders promised today. The leaders of major economies must be bolder than they were today in providing a vision for 100% renewable energy for all." - Greenpeace International executive director Kumi Naidoo