This week, a United Nations panel of scientists released a landmark report detailing how the damage humans have done to the planet is approaching the point of no return. The findings released by the group, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, reveal how human influence has precipitated global warming at an unprecedented rate and asserted that nations need to make quick and rapid changes to greenhouse gas emissions in order to avert climate catastrophe. The authors of the report found that since 1970, the earth’s surface temperatures have risen faster than any other 50-year period over the last 2,000 years. U.N. Secretary General António Guterres called the findings a “code red" for humanity. "There is no time for delay and no room for excuses," he said.
Even without a doomsday report, however, consumers and investors are looking to brands to prioritize fighting climate change and sustainability. Recently we’ve seen major brands make bold commitments to the planet, with some of them putting such promises at center stage of their marketing messages.
In July 2020, Apple debuted an unusual ad featuring nothing but a baby, snoozing away in the comfort of a plush white bed. The idyllic scenario announced the company’s promise to completely eliminate its carbon footprint by 2030. The ad followed a big environmental milestone for Apple, which had recently revealed that all its corporate operations, from facilities to travel, were carbon-neutral.