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New 1.5°C Business Playbook Will Help Businesses Take Exponential Climate Action

DAVOS, Switzerland (21 January, 2020) – The first Business Playbook for exponential action on climate emergency is being launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos. It supports the worldwide call to action for all companies to set sharp climate targets now and establish a strategy throughout their value chain, business proposition and beyond, which is aligned with the ambition to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

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 action in their business strategy.

The initiative is supported by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) – the institutional representative of more than 45 million companies, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), Ericsson, IKEA, Scania, Telia Company, WWF, Skanska, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Research and many additional partners and contributors.

Johan Falk, Christiana Figueres, and Johan Rockström pose with The 1.5C Business Playbook at the 2020 World Economic Forum in Davos.

“The science makes clear that we need a fundamental reshaping of business and finance. Every board and every company must show a credible strategy to align with 1.5°C. This Playbook is an excellent guide for the necessary journey to net zero emissions, to prepare business for the fastest economic transition in history and help them drive it. It’s a guide for preserving a more liveable planet for future generations,” Christiana Figueres, Former head of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Convenor of Mission 2020.

“We designed the 1.5°C Business Playbook to make it easy for businesses to set sharp targets and meet them through clear action. In fact, many companies can halve their emissions much faster than every decade,” says Johan Falk, Exponential Roadmap project, Senior Innovation Fellow, Stockholm Resilience Centre.

“This Playbook is aligned with the target to limit global warming to just 1.5°C.  The only pathway left is massive emissions reductions across all business sectors in the next decade. We show that this is achievable,” says Johan Rockström, Director of Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and Co-Chair of the Future Earth Advisory Committee.

According to the most recent science from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the world has 10 years to halve global greenhouse gas emissions in order to avoid the most dangerous effects of climate change and irreversible tipping points.

“We are entering a crucial decade. Everyone needs to take responsibility and act right now and cutting fossil fuel emissions rapidly and shifting to sustainable, exponential business models. We need to mobilise the entire business sector to create the critical mass required,” says Falk.

The 1.5°C Playbook is a spin-off from the world-leading Exponential Roadmap initiative. It guides companies and organisations of all sizes to exponential climate action, and helps them align with the 1.5°C ambition. It is a concrete tool to facilitate the first step of halving emissions, which is grounded in the latest science. Focused on simplicity and speed, the Playbook is aimed at helping the global economy to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Climate crisis is already harming societies and the global economy, and extreme weather events alone cost the world more than US$100bn in 2019.  A range of extreme weather events and natural disasters – including the recent devastating fires in Australia – have demonstrated the impacts that would become more common without significant emissions cuts. 2019 was the second hottest year on record.

“Humanity is taking grave risks with the stability of the Earth’s life support system as global average surface temperature continues to rise. We now need the fastest economic transition in history,” says Owen Gaffney, a contributor to the Playbook from Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).

The Playbook is based on four pillars: first, to reduce the company’s own emissions and then to reduce the company’s value chain emissions. The third pillar, and perhaps the most important, is to transform the company’s products, services and projects to generate low or zero emissions or even remove carbon from the atmosphere. The fourth pillar is to work with other actors in society to accelerate climate action.

“Now is the time for businesses to step up and take bold climate action for the future of humanity. ICC is proud to support the 1.5°C Business Playbook to provide companies of all sizes with a tool for actionable and ambitious climate policies that will accelerate the adoption of net-zero emissions targets across the private sector,” says John W. H. Denton AO, ICC Secretary General.

As a sustainability pioneer in the private sector we have been both an advocate of climate action within our own operations as well as in society. We have also developed an integrated strategy and set challenging 1.5°C targets. Now, it is time for all companies to do the same and the Playbook is a guide for how this can be done. We will work with our business partners to utilise the 1.5°C Business Playbook to enable exponential reduction of carbon emissions globally,” says Heather Johnson, Vice President, sustainability and corporate responsibility Ericsson.

“The 1.5°C Business Playbook – which we will share with our suppliers – will be a very important tool for us. We all need to commit to exponential climate action. At Telia Company we aim for Zero CO2 in our value chain and Zero Waste in our operations by 2030. This can only be achieved by assisting our customers in their quest to become carbon neutral, and by making sure that our suppliers join us and share our ambition. Being at the heart of digitalisation, Telia Company sees a huge potential in accelerating the transition to net zero and a circular economy. The knowledge and the necessary technology exist – the 2020s must be a decade of massive action,” says Christian Luiga, acting President and CEO, Telia Company.

“Many businesses accept that we are now in the fourth quarter of this climate change epic, and now we urgently need to use all the tools in our toolkit to achieve a sustainable path,” says Mark Griffiths, Global Leader of WWF’s Climate Business Hub. “Together with the Science Based Targets initiative, this Playbook provides the guidance and encouragement for all businesses to accelerate their transformation.”

“The 1.5°C Business Playbook is an indispensable guide for practitioners. For companies with leadership ambitions it is not enough to only focus on direct or even value chain emissions. True leadership in the 2020s means working in and beyond your industrial ecosystem to support and enable systematic changes away from fossil dependence,” Andreas Foller, Head of Sustainability, Scania.


The 1.5°C Business Playbook is complementary to existing standards and key initiatives such as the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG), the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), CDP, RE100, Mission Innovation’s 1.5°C compatible solutions framework and the ICC Chambers Climate Coalition.

For more info:

The 1.5°C Business Playbook:

The Exponential Roadmap Initiative:

For interviews, please contact:

Johan Falk, Co-founder Exponential Roadmap project, Senior Innovation Fellow Stockholm Resilience Centre. To be contacted via Anna Almberg, press officer at Exponential Roadmap, + 46 709 816782,

Mats Pellbäck Scharp, Ericsson,

Nina Ekelund, Haga Initiative,

Mark Griffiths, WWF,

Dawn Chardonnal, International Chamber of Commerce,


Partners and contributors

International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), WWF, Ericsson, Exponential Roadmap project, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), Mission 2020, Internet of Planet, Haga Initiative, Telia Company, IKEA, Scania, 2050 Consulting, The New Division, Skanska, MAX Burgers, The Finnish Future Fund (Sitra), Project Everyone, Normative, Engaged Tracking, Climate Leadership Coalition, CERO, KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Fossil Free Sweden Initiative, Breakit, WeDontHaveTime, GoClimateNeutral, Climate Hero.