We Can Grow Business While Not Growing Carbon

climatesavers1Those were the closing words of the WWF Climate Savers briefing held on Friday, March 27, 2009 at the U.S. Senate. The event was a 2-hour program filled with testimonials from more than a dozen multinational corporations including Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson, HP, Sony, Nokia Siemens, Johnson Diversey, IBM and Lafarge.

The announcements and results of their collaboration and respective efforts were remarkably striking, including:
The 21 WWF Climate Savers member companies project a combined reduction in emissions of an estimated 50 million tons by 2010 (since the program’s inception in 1999); Several companies have incorporated climate change considerations into the formal review and assessment (and compensation) of their employees, thus providing incentives to all employees to develop innovative ways to reduce emissions; and all of the companies involved indicated that “it made good business sense” (both short-term and long-term) to focus on energy efficiency and implementation of renewable energy projects, and then identified numerous examples where costs had been reduced, profitability improved and GHG emissions reduced.

During the first Q&A session, I asked:
“What steps can industry take to improve the skills and knowledge of individuals tasked with addressing GHG emissions and energy consumption?”
The consensus response amongst the panelists was that education and training were paramount, and it was clear that these organizations have been working together to collaborate on efforts to reduce their respective GHG emissions. Bryan Jacob, Environmental Technologies Manager at The Coca-Cola Company indicated that organizations such as WWF Climate Savers played a key role in this effort, enabling the member companies to learn from each other.

-Dan Kreeger is Interim Executive Director of the Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO).

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