Press release: World’s largest ever corporate climate retreat? Reports indicate Canon Inc cuts emission target by 50%

Tuesday 29 November, 2022: Corporate accountability group Action Speaks Louder is calling on Canon Inc to clarify reports indicating it has cut its emission target by more than 50%.

The demand comes in the wake of an analysis by Transition Asia revealing Canon’s new 2030 emissions reduction target has been lowered from its original 50% commitment, to approximately 23% comparative emissions reduction. 

“Canon needs to urgently clarify whether it is trying to retreat from its climate policy,” said Action Speaks Louder Executive Director James Lorenz.

Such a policy reverse would be almost unprecedented in a corporate world which continues to ratchet up climate ambition. It would be a slap in the face to Canon’s staff, investors and customers which have bought into the company’s promise of environmental leadership. 

The decision would put Canon at odds with the vast majority of the business world which continues to increase climate ambition to match consumer expectation, and also to take advantage of the decreasing cost of renewable energy. Fujifilm retains a 2030 emission reduction target of 50%, with Kyocera at 46% – double that of Canon.

In addition, in February this year, Action Speaks Louder revealed Canon’s think tank, The Canon Institute for Global Studies, is a platform for climate denial, with one Research Director, Taishi Sugiyama labeling the climate emergency ‘fake news’ and accusing Greta Thunberg of communism.

Moreover, Canon’s leadership has come under fire from investors on other issues such as diversity. At its 2022 AGM, 25% of shareholders, including the world’s largest asset manager Blackrock, voted against the re-election of Canon CEO Fujio Mitarai – a revolt almost unheard of in the corporate landscape in Japan. As a rationale for its vote against Mr Mitarai, BMO Asset Management stated, ‘the Board lacks sufficient diversity to meet our expectations.” 

“Canon’s leadership is drawing attention to itself for all the wrong reasons. In order to avoid a further erosion of its credibility, Canon must live up to the standards it purports to set for itself and maintain a climate target based on science rather than fiction,” said Lorenz.

Action Speaks Louder is calling on Canon Inc to:

  • End its support for climate denial through the Canon Institute for Global Studies;
  • Commit to 2030 absolute emissions reduction target that is at least equivalent to 45% from 2010 (excluding offsets);
  • Commit to 100% renewable energy with at least 60% RE by 2030 and secure captive and PPA;
  • Develop and implement a 1.5°C-aligned climate policy engagement plan that includes active engagement on key 1.5°C-relevant regulation and RE policy, especially in Japan.

For more information contact James Lorenz at or +61 (0) 400 376 021