Clorox reveals new emissions targets that increase supply-chain pressure
The pandemic sent Clorox Company’s stock on a roller coaster ride, soaring 60% in the first half of last year as cleaning-obsessed customers cleared its products off store shelves. It has since lost most of that increase, as performance has lagged and supply chain problems have pinched. But when I talked last week with CEO Linda Rendle, who took over the top job one year ago, she still had no doubt that the pandemic‘s effect on her company had been net positive.
“It’s been an interesting time to run a 108-year-old company,” she said. “To say that we are a stronger company 18 months into this is absolutely true. We are going to look back at this time and say, ‘It has made us better.’”
Rendle gave me a preview of new targets for greenhouse gas emissions that Clorox is announcing this morning. Like a steadily increasing number of companies, it is not only pledging to reduce all emissions by 2050, but to cut emissions across all its operations by 50% by 2030.
The most interesting commitment is the smallest—a 25% reduction in so-called “Scope 3” emissions that occur outside the company, across its value chain. “Ninety percent of our emissions are not directly under our control,” Rendle explained.
What that means is Clorox will have to increase pressure on the transportation logistics industry and others that service it to deliver on its promise. It’s that supply-chain effect that carries the potential to ultimately transform the economy. As ever-more Fortune 500 companies commit to “Scope 3” reductions, the companies that serve them will have to change to meet their commitments. That sort of supply chain effect is why I think that, even absent effective government action, 2021 will be seen as a turning point in business commitments to tackling climate change.
“We have had nearly two decades of focusing on our climate impact,” Rendle said. “What the pandemic has done is strengthen our resolve.”
More news below.
Nvidia and ARM
Nvidia is expected to file for EU regulatory clearance of its proposed ARM takeover as soon as today, but European officials suggest it may not get an easy ride. The U.K. antitrust authority has already laid into the deal, and has not yet accepted Nvidia's promise not to cut ARM's chipmaking licensees off from the technology they need. Financial Times
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has signed a decree saying social-media firms such as Twitter and Facebook will have to provide "just cause and motivation" before nuking people's accounts or content. Bolsonaro and his supporters have frequently fallen victim to having their posts removed on the basis that they were misleading. BBC
SoftBank and Deutsche Telekom
SoftBank's share price rose nearly 10% on news of a complex deal between it and Deutsche Telekom—in this and a separate deal involving Telekom's sale of its Dutch unit, the Japanese conglomerate will get a 4.5% stake in the German telecoms group, and Telekom will move closer to control of T-Mobile US, with a 48.4% stake. Fortune
A sexual-assault case that shocked China's tech industry has closed, after Jinan prosecutors said the accused former Alibaba manager won't face "forcible indecency" charges. The ruling triggered outrage online. Fortune
AROUND THE WATER COOLER
Airlines and hotels that were hoping for a business-travel bounce-back this year have been disappointed, with the spread of the Delta variant (which Delta Air Lines insists on referring to as B.1.617.2) hitting the appetite for both business and leisure travel. Wall Street Journal
Today's the day El Salvador makes Bitcoin legal tender. Whether that turns out well or not—and let's just say a lot could go wrong—it's a milestone for cryptocurrency, and one that its devotees have tried to honor by each buying $30 worth of Bitcoin. That's the amount that Salvadoran citizens are getting for free when they set up the government's digital wallet on their devices. Fortune
During the pandemic, many people have learned more about their colleagues' politics and bedrooms than they wanted to. As Kayleen Schaefer writes in this Fortune piece: "Some of what we saw may have changed our working relationships for the better…But while some workers saw empathy shoot up, others couldn't help but judge the life choices the person who used to sit a desk away was now making." Fortune
Did you know ABBA's quest to avoid stratospheric Swedish taxes once led the band to set up a doomed oil-trading scheme? If not, dive on into Katherine Dunn's fascinating piece on ABBA and their unique business sense. Fortune
This edition of CEO Daily was edited by David Meyer.
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