FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ben and Jerry’s, Eileen Fisher and Stonyfield Farm Join BICEP Coalition
Wave of Businesses Joins Other Consumer Giants in Pushing for Strong Energy and Climate Legislation
Ceres president Mindy Lubber announced today that three new companies – Ben & Jerry’s, Eileen Fisher and Stonyfield Farm– have joined the business coalition, Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP) that is calling for strong climate and energy legislation from Congress in 2009.
The new members were announced as the U.S. Senate considers a comprehensive climate and energy legislation and as world leaders prepare to meet in Copenhagen next month to negotiate a new international agreement on climate change.
“These companies know that there is no distinction between what is good for business and what is good for the environment,” said Lubber, whose group helps coordinate BICEP. “We welcome these new BICEP members and look forward to their contributions in achieving strong Congressional action to catalyze a clean energy economy.”
Launched last November, BICEP includes 16 of the nation’s largest consumer brands, including founding members Nike, Starbucks, Levi Strauss & Co., Sun Microsystems and The Timberland Co.
“Supporting positive change has always been important at EILEEN FISHER. We are honored to join the collective voices of BICEP and support the work of our U.S. legislators to develop climate policy,” said Eileen Fisher, CEO of the clothing company based in Irvington, NY.
This wave of companies joining BICEP comes against the backdrop of growing momentum for strong nationwide energy and climate policies. Last month, as part of Ceres’ and Clean Economy Network’s “We Can Lead” effort, more than 150 companies from 30-plus states came to Capitol Hill to advocate for comprehensive climate and energy policies. Business leaders from a variety of sectors brought the message to Washington that strong climate and energy legislation would create over 1.7 million new jobs, cut global warming pollution, restore America’s competitiveness and provide for our economic and national security.
“Stonyfield rejects the notion that aggressive climate action is going to be costly,” says Gary Hirshberg, CEO Stonyfield Farm, an organic yogurt company headquartered in New Hampshire. “Based on our experience, climate action offers economic opportunity rather than economic penalty. With global warming now approaching dangerous levels, Congress must look less at economic models and more at economic reality – what the actual, on-the-ground experience of pro-active entities like the BICEP companies shows.”
BICEP’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 and members can be found at www.ceres.org/bicep.
“Ben & Jerry’s believes in the power of grassroots activism to create positive change. By working cooperatively with our consumers, we can tell our Congressional representatives that strong climate-change legislation is critical. Together, with our consumers and the BICEP coalition, we have a much better chance to pass meaningful climate-change legislation," said Walt Freese, CEO of Vermont-based Ben & Jerry’s.
The new BICEP companies all have long track records of making sustainability a central component of their business models:
- Eileen Fisher is using innovative solutions to reduce the environmental impact of its clothing through all four stages of its life cycle: raw material, production process, product use and disposal.
- To help reduce its own contribution to global warming, Stonyfield has dramatically improved efficiency in its production and distribution, offset all of the CO2 emissions generated from its facility energy use for well over a decade and made several investments in renewable energy.
- To get a clear picture on generation of company greenhouse gases, Ben & Jerry’s continues work on a carbon inventory of United States operations to identify the best areas for reducing climate impacts and offset 100% of emissions associated with the Vermont manufacturing facilities for the seventh consecutive year.
BICEP members include Levi Strauss & Co., Nike, Starbucks, Sun Microsystems, The Timberland Co., Ben & Jerry’s, eBay, Eileen Fisher, Gap Inc., Stonyfield Farm, Symantec, Clif Bar & Company, Seventh Generation, Aspen Skiing Company and Jones Lang LaSalle. BICEP is coordinated by Ceres, a leading coalition of investors, environmental and public interest organizations working with companies to address sustainability challenges such as climate change. For more information, please visit www.ceres.org/bicep.
About Ben & Jerry’s
Ben & Jerry’s produces a wide variety of super-premium ice cream and ice cream novelties, using high-quality ingredients including milk and cream from family farmers who do not treat their cows with the synthetic hormone rBGH. Ben & Jerry’s, a Vermont corporation and wholly-owned subsidiary of Unilever, operates its business on a three-part Mission Statement emphasizing product quality, economic reward and a commitment to the community. For the full scoop on all Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop locations and fabulous flavors, visit www.benjerry.com.
About Eileen Fisher
Eileen Fisher designs simple clothes that work together, across the seasons and across the years. With pure shapes and fine fabrics, they create sophistication, comfort—and style that lasts. Founded in 1984, the company reported overall sales of $273 million in 2008. The collection is sold by major retailers and specialty stores across the U.S. and Canada as well as in 49 company-owned stores and online at www.eileenfisher.com. Based in Irvington, N.Y., the company operates showrooms in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas and Atlanta. For more information, please visit www.eileenfisher.com.
About Stonyfield Farm
Stonyfield Farm is the world's leading organic yogurt company. Its all-natural and certified organic yogurt, smoothies, milk, cultured soy, frozen yogurt and ice cream are distributed throughout the U.S. The company advocates that healthy food and healthy people can only come from a healthy planet. Its purchases of organic ingredients keep over 100,000 acres of farmland free of toxic, persistent pesticides and chemical fertilizers that can contaminate soil, rivers and drinking water. For more information, please visit www.stonyfield.com/about_us.