How UPS, Bayer and Rubicon Carbon are making an impact with sustainable technology

When UPS was founded in 1907, it started with two entrepreneurial teenagers and a bicycle. After more than 100 years, UPS innovation is back on a bicycle.

“Throughout our history, we’ve said, ‘Let’s find new ways to be more efficient, more efficient, more productive, and more productive with the resources we have,'” said Laura Lane, executive vice president and director of corporate affairs and sustainability, a UPS employee.

At Fortune’s Impact Initiative During Wednesday’s summit, Lane shared that UPS, a 115-year-old company, has found many innovative ways to help meet its commitment to become carbon neutral by 2050. The reform also includes an e-bike delivery system starting in 2050. 2012 On the streets of HamburgThe solution has since expanded to dozens of cities.

While there are no easy solutions to developing sustainable strategies and solutions to dramatically limit climate change, experts agree that significant investment is required. Jennifer Jenkins, Rubicon Carbon’s chief sustainability officer, said research shows $3.5 trillion will need to be spent annually between now and 2050 to develop sustainable technologies to save our planet.

“We need every possible solution,” Jenkins said. Rubicon Carbon just opened this week– An initial capital commitment of $300 million from private equity firm TPG’s Climate Investment Fund.

Rubicon Carbon aims to address concerns about carbon credits, and corporate interest is steadily growing as companies make net zero pledges and other climate commitments. But the credit market isn’t always based on a reliable methodology where a company’s commitment leads to tangible improvements.

“There are people who don’t believe in offsets, so we know we’re going to be criticized,” Jenkins said. The solution is better methodology, improved monitoring, and ultimately the empowerment of companies arriving at Rubicon Carbon, as these firms truly work to decarbonize their supply chains.

“I’m a big believer in technology, methodology, standards and data so that we can really track projects and have the impact we need to achieve net zero by 2050. Jenkins said.

In a pharmaceutical company based in Germany Bayer AG’s last major sustainability update came in 2018 when Bayer acquired Monsanto, the world’s largest seed firm. With the new company evenly split between healthcare and agriculture, Bayer had to develop a sustainability strategy for the agricultural part of its business.

“Even a company as old as Bayer needs to reinvent itself from time to time, otherwise it cannot survive,” said Klaus Kunz, head of ESG external engagement and performance reporting at Bayer.

But in some cases, the sky really is the limit. As UPS aims to become carbon neutral, it faces the harsh reality that 60% of its emissions come from the air. Electric airplanes are an innovation in markets such as the Middle East and Australia, but they are not yet a widespread solution. “There’s a huge technology gap in how we address and remove emissions from the air,” Lane said.

Kunz says that sustainability solutions must be shared not only by large organizations like Bayer, but also by the millions of farmers they work with.

“If you can measure it, you can embed carbon, climate, even ecosystems, but you have to do it reliably,” Kunz said.

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