The realities of climate change are pushing big businesses to focus on sustainability
Photo by Markus Spiske
New York (CNN)A consensus appears to be taking root in Corporate America: What's good for the environment can also be good for business.
As President Joe Biden prepares to bring 40 world leaders together for a two-day climate summit this week, big businesses have been amplifying their sustainability initiatives and making trillion-dollar pledges to fight climate change. Meanwhile, consumers are increasingly concerned about business' carbon footprints, and companies are feeling the pressure and urgency to act.
Ahead of Earth Day and Biden's climate summit, CNN Business rounded up the latest news from Corporate America's environmental enlightenment.
JPMorgan's $2.5 trillion commitment
JPMorgan Chase (JPM) is putting serious firepower behind the fight against climage change. The bank on Thursday said it would finance or facilitate investments of $2.5 trillion over 10 years to support initiatives that focus on combating climate change and enhancing sustainable development. Some of the efforts will center around renewable energy, new clean technology, waste management and conservation. The announcement is the latest addition to a long list of environment-focused pledges from financial institutions, but it's believed to be the largest of its kind by a major bank.
Google Earth shows the effect of climate change
A new Google Earth feature gives viewers a sobering look at how much climate change and human behavior have damaged the planet during the past four decades. The feature, called Timelapse, turns the platform's still images into a 4D experience. Clicking through reveals moving pictures of melting ice caps, receding glaciers, massive urban growth and devastation from wildfires from 1984 to today.
Mastercard's carbon calculator
Mastercard (MA) created a calculator that measures consumers' carbon footprints based on what they purchase. The tool focuses on specific spending categories but doesn't track individual transactions. It also shares information about the number of trees that are required to absorb the same amount of carbon dioxide that is released from the consumer's purchases in specific categories.
Nike wants to resell your shoes
In an effort to reduce waste, Nike (NKE) is asking customers to bring in sneakers that are gently worn or have manufacturing flaws. After cleaning and sanitizing the shoes, the company plans to resell them at select stores at a reduced price. Nike said it's currently selling the returned shoes in eight Nike stores in the United States, and it plans to expand to 15 locations by the end of April and several more by the end of the year.
Wells Fargo aims for net-zero emissions
Wells Fargo announced its goal of hitting net-zero greenhouse gas emissions — including from the companies and projects it finances — by 2050. And while 2050 is far away, the announcement is a big step for Wells Fargo (CBEAX), which has long been a major backer of oil, natural gas and coal projects that climate activists warn threaten the planet.
Volvo goes fully electric
Volvo announced that by 2030, it will sell only electric cars, and only online. The company hopes to have electric cars make up half of its sales in 2025, and hybrid cars will make up the other half of sales.
GM aims to sell emission-free cars
General Motors, the largest automaker in the United States by sales, plans to be completely carbon neutral by 2040, and it hopes to offer only zero-emission cars by 2035. The company plans to reach the goal by transitioning to battery-powered electric vehicles or other zero-emission technologies. The move will require a $27 billion investment.