Accenture, Apple, Cargill, Dow, IBM, LafargeHolcim, PepsiCo and Verizon join MIT Climate and Sustainability Consortium as founding members

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29 January, 2021


Member spotlight



WBCSD Communications

Launched on 28 January, the MIT Climate and Sustainability Consortium (MCSC) convenes an alliance of leaders from a broad range of industries and aims to vastly accelerate large-scale, real-world implementation of solutions to address the threat of climate change. The MCSC unites similarly motivated, highly creative and influential companies to work with MIT to build a process, market, and ambitious implementation strategy for environmental innovation. 

The work of the consortium will involve a true cross-sector collaboration to meet the urgency of climate change. The MCSC will take positive action and foster the necessary collaboration to meet this challenge, with the intention of influencing efforts across industries. Through a unifying, deeply inclusive, global effort, the MCSC will strive to drive down costs, lower barriers to adoption of best-available technology and processes, speed retirement of carbon-intensive power generating and materials-producing equipment, direct investment where it will be most effective, and rapidly translate best practices from one industry to the next in an effort to deploy social and technological solutions at a pace more rapid than the planet’s intensifying crises.

“If we hope to decarbonize the economy, we must work with the companies that make the economy run. Drawing its members from a broad range of industries, the MCSC will convene an alliance of influential corporations motivated to work with MIT, and with each other, to pilot and deploy the solutions necessary to reach their own ambitious decarbonization commitments,” says MIT President L. Rafael Reif. “By sharing solutions across companies and sectors, the consortium has the potential to vastly accelerate the implementation of large-scale, real-world solutions to help meet the global climate emergency. And as an Institute-wide effort, it will also complement MIT’s existing climate initiatives and make them more effective: Just as the Climate Grand Challenges effort is accelerating research on climate science and solutions, the consortium aims to accelerate the adoption of such solutions, at scale and across industries.”

Led by the MIT School of Engineering and engaging students, faculty, and researchers from across the entire Institute, the MIT Climate and Sustainability Consortium has called upon companies from a broad range of industries — from aviation to agriculture, consumer services to electronics, chemical production to textiles, and infrastructure to software — to roll up their sleeves and work closely with every corner of MIT.

“This new collaboration represents the incredible potential for academia and industry to work together on a shared mission to shape research, identify opportunities for innovation, and rapidly advance practical solutions with the sense of urgency needed to address our climate challenge. There are no bounds to what we can achieve together,” says Anantha P. Chandrakasan, dean of the School of Engineering, Vannevar Bush Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and chair of the MIT Climate and Sustainability Consortium.

The inaugural members of the MCSC are companies with intricate supply chains that are among the best positioned to help lead the mission to solve the climate crisis. The inaugural member companies of the MCSC recognize the responsibility industry has in the rapid deployment of social and technology solutions. They represent the heart of global industry and have made a commitment to not only work with MIT but with one another, to tackle the climate challenge with the urgency required to realize their goals.

These industry leaders can both help inspire transformative change within their own sectors and demonstrate the value of working together, across sectors, at scale. The inaugural members of the MIT Climate and Sustainability Consortium are:

  • Accenture is a global professional services company that delivers on the promise of technology and human ingenuity, which includes helping clients across 40 industries reach their sustainability goals by transitioning to low-carbon energy; reducing the carbon footprint of IT, cloud, and software; and designing and delivering net-zero, circular supply chains.
  • Apple is a global leader in technology innovation, providing seamless experiences across Apple devices and empowering people with breakthrough services.
  • Boeing is the world’s largest aerospace company and leading provider of commercial airplanes, defense, space and security systems, and global services.
  • Cargill is a global food manufacturer with the goal of nourishing the world in a safe, responsible, and sustainable way.
  • Dow is a global manufacturer of innovative products that solve the materials science challenges of its customers and contribute to a more sustainable world. 
  • IBM is a hybrid cloud platform and artificial intelligence company.
  • Inditex is one of the world’s largest fashion retail groups with eight distinct brands focused on fitting its products to meet customer demands in a sustainable way through an integrated platform of physical and online stores.
  • LafargeHolcim is the world’s global leader in building materials and solutions at the forefront of sustainable construction.
  • MathWorks develops mathematical computing software used to accelerate the pace of engineering and science.
  • Nexplore (Hochtief) is an innovative company that develops technology solutions to digitize the infrastructure sector, using next-generation technologies including artificial intelligence, blockchain, computer vision, natural language processing, and internet of things. Nexplore was founded in 2018 by HOCHTIEF, one of the largest infrastructure construction groups worldwide.
  • Rand-Whitney Containerboard (RWCB), a Kraft Group companyis a manufacturer of lightweight, high-performance recycled linerboard for corrugated containers, using the most environmentally sustainable production processes and methods.
  • PepsiCo is a global food and beverage company that aims to use its scale, reach, and expertise to help build a more sustainable food system.
  • Verizon is one of the world’s leading providers of technology, communications, information and entertainment products and services.

Jeffrey Grossman will serve as director of the MCSC. Grossman is the Morton and Claire Goulder and Family Professor in Environmental Systems, head of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and a MacVicar Faculty Fellow. Elsa Olivetti, the Esther and Harold E. Edgerton Associate Professor in Materials Science and Engineering, will serve as associate director. A steering committee comprised of faculty spanning all five of MIT’s schools and the MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing, will help to drive the work of the consortium.

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