At the time of writing, 133 of the 197 countries that signed the Paris Agreement have ratified it. In Finland, the agreement entered into force in December, and new states are joining it all the time. The commitment to this common goal is firm. Still, many have recently posed the same concerned question: What if the United States, the world’s second largest producer of emissions and global economic trend-setter, would relinquish its environmental responsibilities under the leadership of their new president – America first, Earth second?
Even the thought is unbearable.
There are also many signs that this concern is unfounded. The fight against climate change is not canceled by the talk of one leader or nation. Even the United States is full of public and private actors, cities, and companies that are committed to sustainable development and often base their business on it.
Of the Fortune 500 companies, the majority have set goals for reducing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions or for adopting renewable energy. A vast group of companies has been created to help achieve these goals, with business operations based on enabling other companies to reduce their emissions.
Neste can be counted as a member of this group. Last year, our customers were able to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by a total of 6.7 million tons thanks to renewable fuels. It is equivalent to the annual emissions of around 2.4 million cars and is well over the annual amount of carbon dioxide emitted by all of Finland’s passenger cars.
Indeed, the demand for renewable solutions is only partly due to regulations – more often it is driven by opportunities. In the end, the operations of companies are most influenced by the desire of end users to make responsible choices.
More and more of us perceive the significance of our decisions regarding the environment. Responsible choices make us more desirable business partners and employers. And we don’t have to think too hard about the multiplier effect when we come face to face with much bigger issues. Planet first.