Ceres member companies recognized as Climate Leaders
By John Weiss, Senior Manager, Corporate Program
Each year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Center for Climate Leadership, in collaboration with the Association of Climate Change Officers, the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, and The Climate Registry, recognizes corporate and individual leadership in reducing greenhouse gas emissions as part of its Climate Leadership Awards program. This year, five Ceres Network members were among the 18 honorees:
- Bank of America was recognized for “exemplify[ing] extraordinary leadership in their internal response to climate change, through engagement of their peers, competitors, partners, and supply chain, and addressing climate risk in their enterprise strategies.” This leadership included: establishing an absolute GHG emission reduction goal, issuing the first green bond to fund energy efficiency projects, and collaborating extensively with a broad range of external stakeholders to help achieve its climate change-related and other sustainability goals.
- Sprint was recognized for setting and exceeding its absolute GHG reduction goal of 20 percent from 2007 to 2017, and achieving an absolute reduction in GHG emissions of 29 percent in 2013. Notably, Sprint reduced its electricity use by 28 percent while simultaneously increasing the number of new data centers it operates.
- Brown-Forman was recognized for setting an absolute GHG reduction goal of 15 percent between 2012 and 2022 for global operations. Among the strategies Brown-Forman plans to employ to achieve its reduction goal is converting its distillation operation steam boilers to biomass fuels.
- EMC Corporation was recognized for establishing an absolute GHG reduction goal of 40 percent between 2010 and 2020 for global operations. EMC plans to meet this goal in part by increasing its renewable energy sourcing to meet 50 percent of its electricity needs by 2040.
- General Motors was recognized for its Chevrolet Clean Energy Campus Campaign, which provides funding to purchase and retire carbon reductions from clean energy efficiency projects on college and university campuses. By exceeding certain GHG reduction performance benchmarks, participating schools can sell certified carbon credits and use the revenue to help fund new energy efficiency and clean energy projects on campus.
Climate change is one of the top 10 issues of greatest concern to the global economy, according to the World Economic Forum. In fact, according to the International Energy Agency, the world must invest an additional trillion dollars per year – a Clean Trillion – by 2030 in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Businesses play a critical role in can help reach the Clean Trillion by investing in clean energy solutions throughout their supply chains.
We congratulate these companies for this recognition, and look forward to their ongoing leadership on climate and other sustainability issues. Review Ceres’ corporate sustainability benchmarking report, Roadmap for Sustainability, to check the progress many companies are already making to reduce greenhouse gas emissions improve the energy efficiency of operations, reduce electricity demand and obtain energy from renewable sources.