July 21 (UPI) -- Nine companies on Tuesday announced a new joint initiative to develop research, guidance and a road map to their goals of achieving net zero emissions.
Leaders of all nine companies agreed to join the program, called "Transform to Net Zero." They are Microsoft, Natura & Co., Unilever, Nike, Starbucks, Mercedes-Benz, Wipro, A.P. Moller - Maersk and Danone.
The initiative seeks a standardized approach to limit global warming to a level that lessens the severity of extreme weather events. Other principles include focuses on advancing public policy, innovation and a "sustainable transition" to aid low-income communities affected by climate change.
The companies said they will collaborate with the Environmental Defense Fund, a U.S.-based non-profit advocacy group.
"The gap between where we are on climate change and where we need to be continues to widen," said Environmental Defense Fund President Fred Krupp. "So does the gap between businesses that just talk about action and those that are actually getting the job done.
"This new initiative holds tremendous potential to close those gaps."
Global non-profit BSR, which works with a network of more then 250 companies, will work with the coalition.
"When it comes to protecting the playing field we share - - our planet - - there isn't a moment to lose," Nike Chief Operating Officer Andy Campion said. "That's why we aren't waiting for solutions to climate change, we're coming together as global leaders to create them."