Sunday, March 11, 2007

Climate Change: Corporations are Taking the Lead

The following is a list from the WorldWatch Institute examing the efforts and achievements of several large corporations in reductions of energy use and increases in renewable energy use. It seems necessary to continually point out to the right-wing nutjobs out there that corporate actions to combat global warming are saving corporations money by driving their energy costs down. These are just a few of the many examples of positive corporate action being taken on global warming and climate change, there are certainly dozens of more examples. If you find more, please send them to me.

Dupont – Has already achieved its target of reducing GHG emissions 65 percent below 1990 levels; the original target date was 2010. Dupont plans to derive 10 percent of the energy it uses worldwide from renewable sources by 2010.

Silicon Valley – Hewlett-Packard, Oracle, Calpine, Lockheed, ALZA, Life Scan, and PG&E announced in March 2004 a plan to reduce CO2 emissions in Santa Clara County, California, to 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2010. This is triple the goal that the Kyoto Protocol set for the United States as a whole (a 7 percent reduction below total U.S. 1990 emissions levels by 2012). Companies plan to curb their emissions by retrofitting buildings with more efficient heating and cooling systems and insulation; shifting auto fleets to hybrid vehicles; replacing light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs; and installing motion detectors. They expect all of these changes to be cost-effective. The city of San Jose will also take part, improving public transportation, enacting more energy efficient building codes, and converting its vehicle fleet to hybrids.

Alcoa has committed to reducing its GHG emissions to 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2010.

Bank of America - In May 2004, the corporation announced unprecedented targets and timetables for reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, with an initial goal to reduce emissions 7 percent by 2008, and pledged to stop funding projects that involve oil and gas exploration, among other things.

Power Companies – Five U.S. power companies committed in early 2004 to reducing their GHG emissions and to supporting a mandatory federal cap on CO2 emissions. As part of the PowerSwitch Challenge initiated by the World Wildlife Fund, Austin Energy (Texas), Burlington Electric Department (Vermont), FPL Group (Florida), Sacramento Municipal Utility District (California), and Waverly Light and Power (Iowa) have committed to undertaking at least one of the following by 2020: increasing the share of electricity they sell that is generated by renewables to 20 percent; increasing energy efficiency by 15 percent; and/or retiring the least-efficient half of their coal generating capacity.

Shaw’s Supermarket now sells renewable electricity in several New England cities, and at least 3 of its stores are purchasing renewable energy to meet 25 percent of their electricity needs. Shaw’s was the first supermarket chain in New England to offer green power to its customers. The renewable energy is generated on the rooftops of BJ’s Wholesale Club stores.

An estimated 10,000 U.S. businesses (and 110,000 households) are now using certified “green” electricity that is generated with renewable resources.

My additions to the WorldWatch list:

Earlier this month global financial services firm JPMorgan and Innovest Strategic Value Advisors launched the first bond index designed to address the risks of global warming. The JPMorgan Environmental Index-Carbon Beta, the JENI-Carbon Beta for short, is a United States high-grade corporate bond index. It enables credit investors to make decisions that systematically take into account risks and opportunities issuers face as they address climate change.

Johnson Controls, Inc. is expanding its business in the areas of designing, installing and servicing geothermal, solar, biomass, wind and other renewable sources as energy supply options for customers.

Wells Fargo & Company claimed the top spot in green power purchasing by buying 550 million kilowatt hours of renewable energy last year. Whole Foods Markets and Johnson & Johnson were in second and third place.


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