Today, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)® released its 2019 Industry Report on GHG Emissions
, a new report tracking the consumer tech industry’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and operational efforts to combat climate change. The report presents GHG emissions data from CTA’s consumer tech manufacturers and service providers that are publicly disclosing their data and recognizes companies’ independent environmental achievements and goal-setting initiatives. The report details CTA member company commitments – from using renewable energy to building more efficient manufacturing plants – to cut emissions and reduce its impact on the environment.
CTA’s new initiative is focused on tracking and reporting the industry’s progress to reduce GHG emissions - both globally and in the United States – in an annual report. CTA’s first report looks at member emissions from 2016 to 2017, the most recent year data is available. According to the report, CTA members reduced GHG emissions in the United States by nearly 9%, a downward trend that reflects industry efforts to reduce GHG emissions in its operations. The report shows that global emissions from electronics companies increased by 2.7%. While this increase shows there is still progress to be made, industry growth from 2016 to 2017 was more than four times that (11.7%), emphasizing how emission-reducing initiatives can counteract a rapidly growing industry.
“The consumer technology industry is committed to creating solutions that address climate change,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA. “This report is a key step to monitoring the progress we’ve already made – and understanding how we can continue to improve. Tech devices are more sustainable and efficient than ever – using fewer materials to produce and less energy to operate – and helping us to save energy and cut emissions by teleworking and automating tasks at home. Tracking our carbon emissions and sharing our progress will drive our industry to find even better ways to protect the planet for future generations.”
This report is part of the CTA Board of Industry Leaders’
(BIL) resolution to continue climate change efforts following the spirit of the Paris Agreement, made in 2017 shortly after the U.S. announced its intention to withdraw. As a part of the BIL’s agreement, CTA committed to the following:
- Measuring the consumer tech industry’s GHG emissions as vetted by a third-party organization (CDP, a not-for-profit charity that supports companies and cities to disclose, manage and reduce GHG emissions.);
- Issuing an annual report tracking the combined progress made by CTA members;
- Encouraging CTA members to calculate and publicly disclose their emissions;
- Recognize individual members with programs and initiatives in place to reduce GHG emissions.
The 2019 report details how member companies are meeting the CTA BIL resolution by advancing emission-reduction initiatives in the spirit of the Paris Agreement. Highlights from the report include:
Company Scope 1 and 2 CO2 emissions have declined 8.9% in the United States. The report finds emissions are declining from company-controlled sources including fuel combustion, transportation and heating, as well as upstream sources of company energy consumption such as electricity.
Major tech companies have received a CDP score of A or A-. CDP ranks companies based on awareness of climate change issues, management methods and progress on climate change initiatives. Of the CTA members whose data was included in the report’s findings, over 55% received a top letter grade of A or A-.
Company initiatives to reduce GHG emissions are surging. From increasing renewable energy to setting target dates to meet GHG-reduction levels, tech companies across the industry are shifting to more sustainable operations and making energy-saving goals a top priority.
For each annual report, CTA focuses on member companies whose primary business involves one or more phases of consumer electronics technology – from manufacturing to retailing electronics products or providing technology services. In order to highlight emission trends, CTA will only include companies that report to the CDP in both the current and prior reporting years in order to present meaningful comparisons. CTA’s annual report will not include any individual company reported data - all reported data is aggregated for electronic companies.
In addition to growing energy-saving operations, industry innovation is creating more sustainable products that do more while using less. One CTA report
found that even though the number of tech devices in US homes increased 21% from 2013 to 2017, those devices accounted for 25% less residential energy. Another CTA study found home automation products – one of the fastest-growing
categories among consumer adoption – could reduce total residential primary energy consumption by as much as 10%. Technology has also enabled consumers to shift to energy-saving habits such as telecommuting and e-commerce
activities, shrinking our resource and electricity consumption.