Evaluating a Company's Net-Zero Carbon Target
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Evaluating a Company’s Net-Zero Carbon Target

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The following content is sponsored by MSCI.

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Evaluating a Company’s Net-Zero Carbon Target

A net-zero carbon target is a climate essential.

Companies from Apple to Microsoft are making commitments to halve their emissions by roughly 2030—and eliminate them altogether by 2050. These targets follow the recommendations set forward by the Paris Agreement in order to avoid devastating climate conditions for future generations.

However, not all targets are rigorous, let alone feasible. To shine a light on this problem, MSCI developed a Net-Zero tracker that helps investors analyze the strength of company targets.

What is Net-Zero?

Net-zero refers to driving down greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) to zero by mid-century.

To achieve this, processes such as carbon removal, carbon reduction, renewable alternatives, and energy efficiency will aid in the transition to carbon neutrality. To date, at least 50 countries and 21% of the largest corporations worldwide have set net-zero targets.

Net-Zero Carbon Analysis

MSCI developed a framework centered on two primary criteria:

 ComprehensivenessAmbition
DescriptionDoes the target focus on the majority of a company’s emissions?How much and how quickly does a target aim to reduce emissions?
Key Components% of company footprint covered by targets

Unit

Target scopes
Projected target emissions against net-zero trajectory in 2030 & 2050

Intention to use carbon offsets

Target year

Thanks to its standardized framework, the analysis helps investors evaluate all companies’ net-zero targets on the same components.

The Net-Zero Dataset

Where is data drawn from, and what determines the net-zero score?

Using MSCI’s Climate Target and Commitments dataset, the drivers of carbon emissions fall into scope 1,2, and 3 emissions. Here is a hypothetical example of how these emission are analyzed:

Drivers of EmissionsDescriptionReported/ EstimatedEmissions (Mega tCO₂e)
Scope 1Direct emissionsReported0.04
Scope 2Indirect emissions from purchased energyEstimated0.18
Scope 3Value-chain emissions*Estimated
Reported
12.47
11.17

* Both upstream (supply chain) and downstream (use of a company’s products)

For investors looking to sincerely address climate change and reduce their portfolio emissions, the Net-Zero Tracker lets investors compare commitments with other companies, informs their climate risk profile, and report portfolio emissions according to frameworks such as the Task Force on Climate-Related Disclosures.

The Net-Zero Scorecard

The Climate Target and Commitments dataset tackles two key issues:

  • Identifies disparities in a company’s net-zero carbon target
  • Identifies the main sources of carbon emissions for a company

Sometimes, companies will set lofty net-zero pledges without having systems of short-term accountability. In other cases companies will set targets that exclude segments of their business.

Let’s consider the following hypothetical leading company, whose net-zero carbon target covers 100% of their business and has 3.8% projected emission reductions annually.

Net-Zero ScorecardKey ComponentsValue
Comprehensiveness% of company footprint covered by target

Unit

Target scopes
100%

tCO₂

1,2,3
AmbitionProjected reduction per year to meet stated target

Intention to use carbon offsets

Target year
3.77% p.a.

No

2030

With a target year of 2030, the company’s net-zero commitment covers all scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions. For these reasons, the company’s net-zero target is credible and has short-term accountability.

Green Credentials

As the year 2030 closes in, there is hope that business as usual will become even less viable.

Companies who refuse to acknowledge the climate crisis will likely face greater pressure from shareholders. Financial markets may reward those with achievable climate strategies. The net-zero carbon target tracker allows investors to think critically as they play a part in this transition.

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A Breakdown of Americans’ Monthly Credit Card Spending

Do you know where your money goes? From travel to gas, we break down Americans’ monthly credit card spending by category.

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Credit Card Spending

Americans’ Monthly Credit Card Spending

If you were fortunate enough to keep your job during the pandemic, you probably noticed a financial benefit: you spent less. Amid restrictions, credit card spending on fun activities—like going out for dinner—became less frequent.

Looking ahead, the majority of Americans plan to continue at least one budget change post-pandemic, including eating out less (49%), buying fewer clothes and shoes (41%), and traveling less (37%). Of course, the first step in budgeting is tracking where your money is going.

In the above graphic from Personal Capital, we break down Americans’ monthly credit card spending by category. It’s the first in a three-part series that will explore the spending and saving of Americans.

Behind the Numbers

Credit card spending is based on anonymized data from Personal Capital users, who tend to have a higher-than-average net worth. For this particular subset of users, people had an average net worth of $1.3 million and a median net worth of $405,000. Therefore, the credit card spending amounts may be higher than those of the general U.S. population.

It’s also worth noting that the data reflects credit card spending only. It does not include expenses such as mortgage or rental payments, which are typically paid through other methods.

Credit Card Spending by Category

Here’s a breakdown of monthly credit card spending, based on averaged data from November 2020 to October 2021.

CategoryMonthly Spend% of Monthly Spend
Travel$82216.9%
General Merchandise$81516.7%
Restaurants$56711.6%
Groceries$56211.5%
Clothing/Shoes$52210.7%
Home Improvement$51910.7%
Healthcare$3587.4%
Online Services$3316.8%
Entertainment$2104.3%
Gas$1683.4%
Total$4,874100.0%

Users with no transactions in a particular category were excluded from the average spending amounts. Data is statistically weighted by age to ensure accurate and reliable representation of the total U.S. population, 20 years of age and older.

As border restrictions ease, Americans are spending the most on travel. In fact, 83% of Americans say they are excited to plan a trip in a post-pandemic world. The most popular merchant within travel is Airbnb, followed by airlines such as Delta and United as air travel recovers from its pandemic slump. However, this recovery could be in jeopardy amid fresh concerns over the Omicron variant.

Travel is closely followed by general merchandise, at places like Amazon, Costco, Walmart, and Target. Monthly spending in this category has averaged at $815 over the last year. Of course, this could climb even higher near year-end due to the holiday spending boom typically seen in the U.S. every year.

On the other hand, Americans spend the least on online services (such as Google and Facebook), entertainment, and gas. Though the average monthly spending on gas was the lowest of all categories, it increased by 60% from November 2020 to October 2021. This is likely due to gas being one of the categories hit hardest by inflation, along with increased travel.

Turning Reduced Spending Into Savings

With the swipe of a credit card, it can be easy to underestimate how quickly eating out and online shopping add up. However, by taking a closer look at your credit card spending, you can get a sense of where your money is going.

Like most Americans, you may also decide to carry over at least one budget change post-pandemic. What do Americans want to do with the extra cash? Over half plan to put it towards savings, and 16% aim to contribute more to retirement savings or investments.

In Part 2 of the Americans’ Spending and Saving series, we’ll break down Americans’ financial assets by age.

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Copper’s Essential Role in Protecting Public Health

Copper can kill up to 99.9% of bacteria on surfaces within two hours of exposure and slow the spread of diseases.

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Copper’s Essential Role in Protecting Public Health

Every day, high-touch surfaces present health risks to people in public spaces, and especially the most vulnerable in healthcare. In fact, of every 100 hospitalized patients at any given time, seven will get at least one healthcare-acquired or “hospital infection”.

With naturally antimicrobial properties, copper can kill up to 99.9% of bacteria on surfaces within two hours of exposure and slow the spread of diseases.

In this infographic from our sponsor Teck, we explore copper’s bacteria-fighting abilities and its crucial role in public health.

How Copper Kills Bacteria

Due to its powerful antimicrobial properties, copper kills bacteria in sequential steps:

  • First, copper ions on the surface are recognized by the bacteria as an essential nutrient and enter cell.
  • Then, a lethal dose of copper ions interferes with normal cell functions.
  • Finally, the copper binds to the enzymes, impeding the cell from breathing, eating, digesting, or creating energy.

This rapid killing mechanism prevents cells from replicating on copper surfaces and significantly reduces the amount of bacteria living on the surface.

Antimicrobial copper is effective against bacteria that causes common diseases like staph infections and E. coli that causes foodborne illness. The metal continuously kills bacteria and never wears out.

Besides bacteria, researchers are currently studying copper’s impacts on the virus that causes COVID-19. A previous study suggested that SARS-CoV-2 was completely destroyed within four hours on copper surfaces, as compared to 24 hours on cardboard, and up to three days on plastic and stainless steel. Pre-pandemic studies also demonstrated copper’s ability to kill other coronaviruses.

The Applications of Antimicrobial Copper

Institutions around the world have already deployed antimicrobial copper solutions relating to hospitals, fitness centers, mass transit systems, schools, professional sports teams, office buildings, restaurants, and more.

To date, antimicrobial copper has been installed in more than 300 healthcare facilities around the world. Taking the reduced costs of shorter patient stay and treatment into consideration, the payback time for installing copper fittings is only two months, according to an independent study by the University of York’s Health Economics Consortium.

In Canada, Teck has worked with its partners to install antimicrobial copper coatings on high-touch surfaces in hospitals, educational buildings and transit.

The Stanley Cup champions Los Angeles Kings have installed antimicrobial copper surfaces in their strength and training facility in California. Furthermore, over 50 water bottle filling stations made from antimicrobial copper can also be found throughout the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta.

Copper’s Role in Public Health

While many hospitals and other institutions are already using copper fittings, others are still not aware of its impactful properties.

As awareness increases, copper can become a simple but effective material to help control the spread of infections.

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