FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aspen Skiing, Clif Bar & Company and Seventh Generation Join BICEP Coalition
Third Wave of Businesses Joins Other Consumer Giants in Pushing for Strong Energy and Climate Legislation in 2009
Ceres president Mindy Lubber today announced that three new companies – Aspen Skiing Company, Clif Bar & Company, and Seventh Generation - have joined the new coalition Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP). The coalition is calling for passage of strong U.S. climate and energy policies in 2009 to spur development of a clean energy economy in America and reduce global warming pollution.
The announcement came at Ceres’ annual conference in San Francisco, which continues today at the Fairmont Hotel. Ceres, a leading coalition of investors and environmental groups working with companies to address sustainability challenges like climate change, coordinates BICEP.
Lubber greeted the newest BICEP members by pointing to the foresight embodied in their much-admired business models. “These companies have already proven that they see the future,” Lubber said “They’re pioneers in sustainable business practices that extend to every corner of their stakeholder communities – from employees and customers to operations and supply chains around the world.
“So it’s no surprise that these companies are joining BICEP in tackling our nation’s climate and energy challenges,” Lubber said. “We welcome these new BICEP members and look forward to their contributions in achieving strong Congressional action to catalyze a clean energy economy.”
Elysa Hammond, who oversees Clif Bar’s environmental impact efforts, said that addressing climate change has always been at the forefront of the company’s work.
"At Clif Bar & Company, addressing global warming has always been a top priority in our sustainability program. As a food company, we understand that growing food depends on a stable climate. As a company run by people who love the outdoors, we recognize that global warming threatens the places we care about most deeply. We're honored to join the BICEP coalition of businesses speaking up on behalf of strong and effective climate policy."
BICEP was launched in November by Levi Strauss & Co., Nike, Starbucks, Sun Microsystems and The Timberland Co. Last month three other companies joined -- eBay, Gap and Symantec.
This third wave of companies joining BICEP comes against the backdrop of growing momentum for strong nationwide energy and climate policies. BICEP members say an emphasis on energy efficiency and renewable energy provides the least expensive way forward for addressing climate change and transitioning to a clean energy economy. The group issued a statement last week supporting the core principles of the Waxman/Markey climate and energy bill introduced in Congress March 31.
The coalition's core principles include stimulating production of renewable energy, promoting energy efficiency and clean energy jobs, requiring the auction of all carbon allowances and limiting new coal-fired power plants to those that capture and store carbon emissions. Details on BICEP’s principles can be found www.ceres.org/bicep.
Auden Schendler, Aspen Skiing Company’s Executive Director for Sustainability, said BICEP’s work in the current climate and energy policy debate makes it “the most important and meaningful part” of companywide efforts to address climate change.
“It trumps all our other activities,” Schendler said. “We see climate as a key strategic issue facing the ski industry -- in Colorado alone winter sports are a $2 billion business and all of it is threatened by changes in climate. In turn those changes affect other parts of our economy like hunting, fishing, whitewater rafting and ranching. That’s why this is job one for us.”
Seventh Generation President Jeffrey Hollender said that joining BICEP is important to his company “because a planet at risk puts our business at risk. We believe the purpose of business is not separate from the project of humanity.”
The new BICEP companies all have long track records of making sustainability a central component of their business models:
- Aspen Skiing Company, owner of the four-season Aspen/Snowmass resort, has been a pioneer in the use of wind power, green building technology and biodiesel fuels.
- Clif Bar has erected 13 wind turbines to offset its carbon footprint and instituted a “Cool Commute” employee incentive program that has resulted in the purchase of 33 hybrid or bio-diesel vehicles thus far.
- Seventh Generation is a leader in the production of non-toxic household products and in consumer education about those products. The company has also blazed a trail by candidly discussing in its public documents and reports its failures as well as successes in reaching sustainability goals.