The business case for aggressive climate and energy action is gathering in strength and expanding in scope, much like how many believe climate change is fueling stronger and scarier superstorms. More and more companies are setting science-based climate targets in response.

As I explained in my previous blog, companies are increasingly aligning themselves with the vision of a climate-compatible future by setting science-based targets. But what’s the fundamental business case behind this trending ambition in climate and energy?

The short answer: Today, there is range of top-line, bottom-line, and ancillary business factors that compel companies to act. They go beyond productivity, the classical business rationale for minimizing environmental impact in the pursuit of efficiency gains and cost reductions. Businesses taking climate and energy issues seriously are reaping a variety of benefits in surprising ways. Here’s how:

As you can tell, the swirling system of business drivers for aggressive climate and energy action is strengthening and expanding, much like how storms in a warming world are intensifying. This is both appropriate and necessary. In order to avoid the worst consequences of climate change, businesses must mobilize resources, galvanize action, and demonstrate leadership. One way companies can do this is by adopting science-based emissions-reduction targets. Now that you know what they are and why to use them, join me in my next post, where I will explain how to go about setting science-based climate targets.