The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represent the biggest and most complex challenges of our time — challenges that demand innovation, leadership and action. That’s why we set audacious 2030 Sustainability Commitments that push us to go further to solve big sustainability challenges and address issues like climate change and gender equality. We believe in collaboration and call on our industry to join us in creating system-wide changes through sustainable solutions for customers, efficient operations and public policy advocacy that pushes for climate solutions.
The SDGs define big global issues that are most critical to solve. We evaluated which goals we can have the biggest impact on based on our business, expertise and citizenship goals. We are one of the first companies that worked with the Trucost SDG Evaluation Tool to better understand which SDGs overlap with our operations, supply chain and products. The tool provides quantitative insights about which SDGs we can make the biggest impact on and where we have opportunities to improve.
The tool helped us see we can contribute most significantly to:
Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impact: The global demand for affordable, reliable energy and access to cooling and comfort are increasingly contributing to climate change. We are reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and increasing energy efficiency in our operations and through our products, as outlined in our 2020 Climate Commitment. Through our 2030 Sustainability Commitments, we will go even further and reduce our customers’ carbon footprint by 1 gigaton — equivalent to the annual emissions of Italy, France and the United Kingdom combined. To date, we have avoided more than 20 million tons of CO2e from our products compared to the 2013 baseline. Read more about our approach to environmental sustainability.
Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all: We are implementing energy efficiency measures across our enterprise and meeting more of our energy needs through renewable energy. As part of our 2020 Climate Commitment, we invested more than $500 million by 2020 in product-related research and development to fund long-term GHG reduction.
Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls: We were the first in our industry to enter the Paradigm for Parity Coalition when our CEO signed the pledge in 2017. 23.1% of our leadership positions are now held by women and there are 4 women serving on our Board of Directors. We are working relentlessly to fulfill the pledge and bring gender parity to our corporate leadership structure by 2030. Additionally, through our seven-step strategic sourcing process, we avoid using price as the primary driver for supplier selection. Instead, we consider a range of factors as agreed upon by a cross-functional team, including supplier diversity, quality and risk. We are also working toward our target to spend $15 billion with women-owned businesses through 2021. Read more about our commitments to diversity and inclusion in our business and supply chain.
To increase our impact, we aligned our citizenship targets with four of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) — Climate Action (SDG 13), Quality Education (SDG 4), Zero Hunger (SDG 2) and Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG 11). Read more about our 2020 Targets, 2030 Sustainability Commitments and approach to corporate citizenship.