This article is sponsored by Aspiration.
Many companies have embarked on a net zero journey to address the climate crisis. Yet with the IPCC warning that there’s little time left to act, companies must find a way to accelerate climate mitigation strategies.
Meta has set a goal to reach net zero emissions across its value chain in 2030. To do so, Meta’s sustainability strategy is aligning with the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi), an organization that encourages businesses to set science-based emissions reduction targets. Reducing emissions is the most important priority, but to address residual emissions from hard-to-abate sectors, high-quality carbon removal projects are critical. Recent IPCC research highlights carbon removal as an effective mitigation tool to limit the planet’s warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
But companies — even those as large as Meta — can’t do it alone. Meta recently partnered with Aspiration Partners, a global climate finance firm, to engage in carefully selected nature-based projects. Corporate partnerships can lead to significant benefits for both ecosystem restoration and local communities. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals highlight the value that these partnerships bring to fighting the climate crisis, with the ability to drive innovation, mobilize resources, improve livelihoods and facilitate knowledge sharing, which are essential for tackling complex global challenges.
When businesses collaborate, they can combine their expertise, scale their efforts and create more significant impacts on sustainable development.
Partnering on nature-based projects
In partnering with Aspiration, Meta has pre-ordered 6.75 million metric tons of carbon removal credits with an expected delivery from 2027 through 2035. These projects span all types of ecosystem restoration and natural carbon removal approaches, including native reforestation, agroforestry and the implementation of sustainable agricultural practices to maximize positive impacts to the communities in which the projects take place.
“Through our carefully selected partnerships and projects like this carbon credit purchase with Aspiration, we aim to manage and minimize our environmental impact while accelerating our path to net zero in a responsible and scalable manner,” said Tracy Johns, carbon removal program lead at Meta. “Our partnership with Aspiration is grounded in a shared commitment to a robust and comprehensive sustainability strategy — we know that carbon credits are only one piece of the puzzle in achieving our ambitious goals for net zero emissions across Meta’s ecosystem.”
Meta selected Aspiration for this partnership in large part due to the company’s rigorous standard for evaluating nature-based carbon removal initiatives — ensuring that the projects it supports are high quality with verifiable carbon removal and well-managed risks to the durability of carbon storage. Beyond that, Aspiration requires all carbon projects to demonstrate tangible environmental and social benefits. Working closely with top-tier carbon project developers and third-party verifiers, Aspiration maintains stringent criteria for quality, legitimacy and accountability. This approach ensures that the carbon credits it offers are transparent, verifiable and result in real, lasting carbon removal.
“When we invest in and partner to develop carbon removal projects for our clients, we take our responsibility to ensure credibility of these projects not just in terms of carbon sequestration, but also social and environmental impacts,” Olivia Albrecht, CEO at Aspiration explains.
Driving meaningful change through collaboration
Meta’s partnership with Aspiration shows how collaboration between innovative companies drives meaningful climate action. Meta has taken the lead in expanding global carbon removal capabilities, having in 2022 committed a collective $925 million for technology development with Stripe, Alphabet, Shopify and McKinsey Sustainability.
This new partnership with Aspiration demonstrates the scale at which corporations may be considering nature-based carbon solutions as part of their sustainability roadmaps. Natural forest regeneration and mangrove restoration efforts are among the potential projects supported by the partnership. High-quality carbon projects such as these are critical for carbon sequestration and biodiversity conservation while providing ecosystem services to local communities.
“Working together, we’re able to unlock larger capital commitments through Aspiration’s financing partnerships which enable us to take on larger, more impactful nature-based carbon removal projects,” said Albrecht. “Many of these projects wouldn’t be able to get off the ground without this type of corporate commitment, which illustrates how companies can amplify their efforts and make a more significant impact on global climate goals.”
Meta knows that by embracing ambitious sustainability targets and creating strategic partnerships, businesses can pave the way for a more sustainable global economy. Combining resources, expertise and influence allows these collaborations to drive more significant, lasting impacts on climate change mitigation and ecosystem restoration.
Companies must first prioritize reducing emissions and also invest in high-quality carbon projects. Businesses across industries can help accelerate the global transition to a more sustainable and resilient future. This collective effort is crucial if we are to correct course and address the urgent challenges posed by climate change.