Exponential Roadmap Initiative

By Charlotte Owen-Burge | June 30, 2021

What is the Exponential Roadmap Initiative?

The Exponential Roadmap Initiative is for innovators, transformers and disruptors taking action in line with 1.5°C, with the mission to halve emissions before 2030 through exponential climate action and solutions. It is an accredited partner of United Nations’ Race To Zero, TED Countdown and a founding partner of the 1.5°C Supply Chain Leaders and the SME Climate Hub. It is a non-profit, independent actor anchored in the latest climate science.

The IPCC report on 1.5°C concludes that we need to keep global warming to a maximum of 1.5°C to avoid high risk of catastrophic consequences for people and our living environment. To do so, the world needs to follow up peak emissions in 2020 with halving of emissions every decade until 2050, starting with the first halving by 2030. Halving by 2030 is a prerequisite for achieving net-zero by 2050 at the latest, thus maintaining the possibility to keep global heating to a maximum of 1.5°C.

Its role in the Race to Zero

The Exponential Roadmap Initiative is an entry point for businesses to join the Race to Zero, aimed at innovative, transformative and disruptive businesses who share the mission of halving emissions before 2030 towards net zero through exponential climate action and solutions, and go further than decarbonisation of their own- and value chain emissions, also integrating climate deeply in business strategy and influencing climate action in society. This is described by the 4 pillar framework presented in the 1.5°C Business Playbook– a guideline which helps companies and organisations of all sizes to set a 1.5°C aligned strategy and move to action.The Playbook focuses on simplicity and speed and is anchored in the latest science.

The Exponential Roadmap Initiative and Race to Zero are both founding partners of the SME Climate Hub, together with the International Chamber of Commerce and We Mean Business coalition. The SME Climate Hub provides a one-stop-shop climate action platform for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to curb carbon emissions, build business resilience and gain a competitive advantage. The SME Climate Hub opens the doors for SMEs to join the Race to Zero, by making the internationally recognised SME Climate Commitment, as well as accessing practical tools and resources to take climate action.

The Exponential Roadmap Initiative hosts the 1.5°C Supply Chain Leaders, together with founding partners Ericsson, IKEA, Telia Company, BT Group and Unilever and with the support of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the We Mean Business coalition. The 1.5°C Supply Chain Leaders have committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions across their value chain in line with the 1.5°C ambition, and will work together to drive climate action throughout global supply chains. The 1.5°C Supply Chain Leaders will support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through the SME Climate Hub, and encourage their suppliers to make the SME Climate Commitment and take action through the tools and resources on the SME Climate Hub.

It brings innovative, transformative and disruptive businesses with 1.5°C aligned strategies and action to the Race to Zero. These include multinational corporations such as Ericsson, IKEA, Telia Company, BT Group, Unilever, Nestlé, Telefónica, Ragn-Sells, Tech Mahindra and Microsoft, as well as more than 40 additional businesses. All have committed to go further than decarbonisation of their own- and value chain emissions, also integrating climate deeply in business strategy and influencing climate action in society, as described by the 4 pillar framework presented in the 1.5°C Business Playbook.

Through the SME Climate Hub, the Initiative has contributed to bringing more than 1300 small and medium-sized enterprises from 65 countries into the Race to Zero.

Quotes from partners

“Climate change is the biggest risk we face as a society. At Google, we see a challenge as an opportunity to solve it  and make things better for everyone. In 2007, we became the first major company to achieve carbon neutrality, and since 2017 we’ve matched 100% of our electricity consumption with renewable energy, enabling us to more than halve our cumulative scope 1 and 2 emissions over the last decade. Now we’ve taken on a new moonshot- by 2030 we aim to be the first major company to operate 24/7 on carbon-free energy. Building a carbon-free future for all won’t be easy, so we look forward to collaborating with other leaders and innovators in the Exponential Roadmap Initiative and the UN Race to Zero,” Kate Brandt, Google Sustainability Officer.

“The scientific consensus is clear. If we don’t curb emissions, and temperatures continue to climb, science tells us that the results will be catastrophic. We look forward to collaborating with other global corporate climate leaders and learning from each other to support our suppliers in taking climate action in line with science. Together we can move quicker,” Lucas Joppa, Chief Environmental Officer Microsoft.

“Unilever is delighted to join the Exponential Roadmap Initiative and endorse the 1.5°C Business Playbook. While there are many resources out there to help companies tackle climate change, the Exponential Roadmap and the 1.5°C Business Playbook are exceptional in that they recognise the urgency of the challenge, while making ambitious action accessible to organisations of any size,” Thomas Lingard, Global Sustainability Director- Climate & Environment.

A stronger, more resilient, future-proof global economy

The Exponential Roadmap is a science-based cross-sector collaboration launched in 2018. It highlights 36 solutions with exponential scaling potential to halve global greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Scaling of solutions comes from sharp policy, from climate leadership by companies and cities and from a finance and technology shift towards green solutions with exponential potential. The roadmap shows how we can build a stronger, more resilient and future-proof global economy and increase human prosperity and health – within the planetary boundaries.

The 1.5°C Business Playbook is a spin-off from the Exponential Roadmap, launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2020, together with Christiana Figueres and Johan Rockström. The Playbook, produced by leading experts and business stakeholders, provides a framework for all companies to reach net-zero emissions rapidly through the adoption of an exponential trajectory of at least halving their greenhouse gas emissions every decade to approach net zero by 2050, and integrating climate in their business strategy. The Playbook focuses on simplicity and speed and is anchored in the latest science.