Hear from Leaders in Climate and Energy Innovation
Leaders from business, government, academia and nonprofits will share best practices to address climate change through policy and business solutions at the 2015 Climate Leadership Conference Feb. 23-25 in Washington, DC.
The Climate Leadership Conference is hosted by The Climate Registry, the Association of Climate Change Officers, and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES). The Environmental Protection Agency is the headline sponsor.
C2ES is hosting two workshops at the conference.
Conference registration is required to attend the workshops. Register Here
Emerging Best Practices for Identifying Climate Risk and Increasing Resilience
Monday, February 23, 8:30 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
This workshop will be a knowledge exchange seminar built around discussions on climate-related risks and opportunities for private sector businesses. Discussions will explore strategies companies are using to prioritize and plan; data and tools they use to understand their vulnerabilities and opportunities; key barriers that impede resilience planning; and the partnerships that allow companies to interact with public sector decision-makers that are also building resilience.
Conference Registration Required. Register Here
Chris Benjamin, Director, Corporate Sustainability, PG&E
Robert Kopp, Associate Professor, Rutgers University
Emilie Mazzacurati, Founder and CEO, Four Twenty Seven, Inc.
Janet Peace,Vice President, Markets and Business Strategy, C2ES
Joe Casola, Program Director, Science and Impacts, C2ES
Climate Solutions: The Role of Innovative Partnerships
Monday, February 23, 10:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
This workshop examines ways organizations are working collaboratively on leading-edge climate initiatives, such as greenhouse gas reduction goals and adaptation strategies that go above and beyond the business-as-usual approaches. We know that cross-sector collaboration makes more of an impact than what might be achieved alone. The session will showcase transformational partnerships that produce robust results, innovative solutions and scalability. Participants will be invited to share their own perspectives and explore where new partnerships may be needed.
Conference Registration Required. Register Here
Keith Canfield, Director, Corporate Sustainability Programs, Clinton Climate Initiative
David Tulauskas, Director, Sustainability, General Motors Company
Katie Mandes, Vice President, Community Engagement, C2ES
February 24, 2015
Climate Leadership Award Winners Announced
WASHINGTON – Sixteen organizations and one individual are being honored today with Climate Leadership Awards for their accomplishments in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and driving climate action.
The awards are given by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Center for Corporate Climate Leadership, in collaboration with the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, the Association of Climate Change Officers and The Climate Registry. Awardees will be honored this evening at the Climate Leadership Conference in Arlington, VA.
The awardees come from a wide array of sectors, from finance and manufacturing to retail and local government. Recipients have demonstrated leadership in managing and reducing emissions, investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy, and preparing for the impacts of climate change.
Information on the award winners is at: www.epa.gov/climateleadership/awards/2015winners.html
Following is EPA's press release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 24, 2015
UPS, Bank of America, SC Johnson among 16 Organizations across the U.S. Recognized for Climate Action
EPA also recognizes Chevrolet Clean Energy Campus Campaign, San Diego Regional Climate Collaborative in new Innovative Partnerships Category
WASHINGTON – From an innovative partnership enabling colleges to sell carbon credits to fund clean energy projects on campuses to some of the country’s leading corporations setting and exceeding aggressive emission reduction goals, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Leadership Award winners announced today are demonstrating that innovative actions to combat climate change are smart business decisions. Sixteen organizations and one individual representing a wide array of industries from finance and manufacturing to retail and technology show exemplary corporate, organizational, and individual leadership in response to climate change.
“I am proud to recognize our Climate Leadership Award winners for their actions to reduce the harmful carbon pollution that’s fueling climate change,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “Our winners are demonstrating that a healthy environment and a strong economy go hand in hand. These organizations are providing the leadership, commitment, and solutions needed to cut greenhouse gas emissions and meet head on the challenge of a changing climate.”
EPA’s Center for Corporate Climate Leadership, in partnership with the Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO), the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), and The Climate Registry (TCR), announced the fourth annual Climate Leadership Award winners.
The 2015 Climate Leadership Award recipients are:
- Innovative Partnerships Certificate (new category): This award recognizes organizations working collaboratively on leading edge climate initiatives with established objectives to measurably address greenhouse gas reduction goals and/or adaptation and resilience activities. This year’s recipients include:
o ChevroletClean Energy Campus Campaign (Detroit, Mich.): The Chevrolet Campus Clean Energy Campaign marks the first time college campuses have been able to use carbon performance methodologies to earn revenue via GHG reductions that result from on-campus efficiency and clean energy. The Campaign set a 100 percent absolute GHG reduction goal through 2014 (2012 base year).
o San Diego Regional Climate Collaborative (San Diego, Calif.): The Climate Collaborative supports members in setting and meeting GHG reduction targets via trainings and information on GHG inventory and monitoring tools; sharing climate action plan templates; supporting local governments in developing climate action plans; developing capacity for local governments to implement measures in their climate action plans; and more.
- Organizational Leadership Award: Bank of America (Charlotte, N.C.) is being honored with this award for not only completing its own comprehensive greenhouse gas inventory and setting an aggressive emissions reduction goal, but also exemplifying extraordinary leadership in its internal response to climate change through engagement of its peers, competitors, partners, and supply chain, and addressing climate risk in its enterprise strategies. Bank of America issued the first corporate green bond to fund energy efficiency projects in 2013. Bank of America is setting an absolute global greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goal of 15 percent from 2010 levels through 2015. This goal builds on a previous total reduction of 18 percent of its U.S. GHG emissions from 2004-2009.
- Excellence in Greenhouse Gas Management (Goal Achievement Award): The following organizations are being honored for publicly reporting and verifying organization-wide greenhouse gas inventories and achieving publicly-set aggressive greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals:
- The City and County of San Francisco;
- The Clorox Company (Oakland, Calif.);
- DPR Construction (Redwood City, Calif.);
- SC Johnson (Racine, Wis.);
- Sprint (Overland Park, Kan.); and
- UPS (Atlanta).
- Individual Leadership Award: Mayor Bill Finch, City of Bridgeport, Conn., is being recognized for demonstrating extraordinary leadership in driving meaningful climate action within the Greater Bridgeport community and throughout the City’s operations. The Mayor is implementing an emission reduction goal for the city of 10 percent below 2007 levels by 2020.
- Excellence in Greenhouse Gas Management (Goal Setting Certificate): The following organizations are being honored for publicly reporting and verifying organization-wide greenhouse gas inventories and publicly setting aggressive greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals:
- Brown-Forman Corporation (Louisville, Ky.);
- California Department of Water Resources;
- Capital One Financial Corporation (McLean, Va.);
- CH2M HILL (Englewood, Colo.);
- The Clorox Company (Oakland, Calif.);
- EMC Corporation (Hopkinton, Mass.);
- The Hartford (Hartford, Conn.); and
- Tiffany & Co. (New York).
“After the hottest year globally on record, action on climate change is more urgent than ever,” said Elliot Diringer, executive vice president of C2ES. “We applaud the CLA winners for demonstrating the many paths forward to a low-carbon future, and hope others follow their example.”
“The Climate Registry is honored to recognize an impressive group of climate champions for their dedication to and leadership in addressing climate change in their operations,” said David Rosenheim, executive director of TCR. “This year’s deserving award winners are leading the way in reducing carbon pollution through greater transparency and consistent data, demonstrating the path to a more sustainable future.”
“Climate change presents immense challenges across an incredible array of sectors, geographic regions and job functions," said Daniel Kreeger, executive director of the Association of Climate Change Officers. "The 2015 Climate Leadership Award winners have shown that incorporating climate into decision making is critical to their organizational success and are raising the bar on climate action."
The awards were presented at the 2015 Climate Leadership Conference in Arlington, Va.
EPA's Center for Corporate Climate Leadership establishes norms of climate leadership by encouraging organizations with emerging climate objectives to identify and achieve cost-effective GHG emission reductions, while helping more advanced organizations drive innovations in reducing their greenhouse gas impacts in their supply chains and beyond. The Center provides technical tools, guidance, educational resources, and opportunities for information sharing and peer exchange among organizations interested in reducing the environmental impacts associated with climate change.
More information about the 2015 Climate Leadership Award winners: www.epa.gov/climateleadership/awards/2015winners.html
More information about EPA’s Center for Corporate Climate Leadership: www.epa.gov/climateleadership
One city, company, state or nation can’t solve our climate and energy challenges overnight. Meaningful progress requires a variety of approaches by multiple actors, and that’s why partnerships are critical.
The benefits, indeed, the necessity of partnering and collaborating on climate action is increasingly being recognized.
The MIT 2014 Sustainability Report notes that “a growing number of companies are turning to collaborations — with suppliers, NGOs, industry alliances, governments, even competitors — to become more sustainable.” Collaborating with non-traditional partners was the focus of this month’s National Association of Clean Water Agencies’ (NACWA) Winter Conference, where C2ES President Bob Perciasepe touted the benefits of water and energy utility partnerships. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will recognize the importance of innovative partnerships for the first time in the upcoming 2015 Climate Leadership Awards to be announced Feb. 24 in Washington D.C.
Successful partnerships on climate and energy challenges, like successful relationships, take work. So in honor of Valentine’s Day, we offer the following six rules for strong partnerships:
1. Be authentic and honest. Coming into the partnership with a clear understanding of what drives your organization and the motivation for partnering can influence the success of the project. As McKinsey&Company puts it, “Any collaboration must make sense for all parties, whether their primary interests are commercial, environmental, or social. Enlightened self-interest is the only genuinely sustainable motive.”
2. Share a joint vision of the future. Agreeing on the expectations and goals of the partnership helps establish a shared language, which is a key ingredient for developing a sense of trust. For example, the C2ES Make an Impact program works with companies to craft of a vision of a successful employee engagement program and then works collaboratively to create and deliver a unique engagement campaign.
3. Fill roles that accentuate strengths. Companies often partner with nonprofits, universities or companies in their supply chains to bring together the right mix of resources to achieve goals. As partnerships are developing, it’s important to understand each organization’s strengths and constraints. For example, an organization with unique expertise but a mission not tightly aligned with a partnership's goal could still make a valuable contribution.
4. Remember: Your partner doesn’t need to fill every role for you. “You complete me” is a beautiful thought as long as it’s coming from Jerry Maguire. Given the complexity of some climate challenges, some efforts will require more than two actors. For example, the San Diego Regional Climate Collaborative brings together a number of public agencies as well as universities and nonprofits to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, prepare for local climate change impacts and share their learnings.
5. Things should be good - most of the time. There can be a lot of negotiating and management associated with developing and maintaining truly transformative partnerships. Organization leaders have to put in the time and sometimes make concessions for the collaboration to succeed. That said, it is important that the benefits and value created through the collaboration outweigh the transaction costs of the time and resources required to participate in the partnership.
6. Allow your partner to evolve - and let yourself evolve, too. Organizational evolution is expected. Internal and external priorities, strategies, and ability to contribute to partnerships change over time. Some changes in leadership and markets will provide growth opportunities but may require the partnership to adjust. Maintaining an open dialogue will go far in preserving what the relationship has already delivered and ensuring that everyone is aware of and can respond to evolving conditions.
C2ES will explore these best practices and the role of innovative partnerships in climate solutions in a side event at the 2015 Climate Leadership Conference, which is a platform for powerful collaboration on climate. The conference gathers forward-thinking leaders from business, government, academia, and the non-profit community to explore energy and climate solutions. Online registration closes Feb. 18.
A new C2ES report highlights lessons useful for companies and policymakers as more states and countries consider carbon pricing to spur innovative technologies and cut emissions at the lowest possible cost.
The report, written for the World Bank’s Partnership for Market Readiness (PMR), examines how three companies — Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Rio Tinto, and Royal Dutch Shell -- prepared for carbon pricing programs.
The PMR shares this type of information with developing countries to help them create their own market-based policies. We were pleased to partner with the PMR to explore how a few of the companies in our Business Environmental Leadership Council prepared for carbon pricing and we thank the companies for sharing their expertise.
The lessons they shared fall into two categories – what business can learn from other companies operating in carbon markets and what governments considering market-based climate policy can learn from business.
Lessons for companies include:
- Incorporate climate change into a company’s strategy. Regulations to curb greenhouse gas emissions can affect many industries, especially those that are energy-intensive. Companies need top-level support for a comprehensive climate change strategy that leverages expertise across the company. For instance, in 1998, Shell conducted its first formal study on the potential impact of climate-related regulations on its global business. Then managing director and later CEO Jeroen van der Veer was the driving force behind the study, which built an internal case for climate action.
- Monitor, report, and verify (MRV) greenhouse gas emissions. A first step is often to build a greenhouse gas inventory. The inventory helps a company understand its direct and indirect emissions and anticipate its exposure to new carbon pricing regulation. For example, some of Rio Tinto’s units started collecting inventory emissions as far back as the mid-1990s, several years before any regulations required them to do so. Today, Rio Tinto continues to measure and report on emissions from most operations, even in jurisdictions where there is no reporting requirement.
- Identify risks and opportunities. By engaging in the policymaking process, companies can reduce uncertainty as well as identify business opportunities.
- Build knowledge and skill early. There are many ways to increase company knowledge of future carbon policies, such as participating in a voluntary offset market to understand the methodologies, rules, and processes for acquiring carbon credits. PG&E gained experience with offsets in 2007 through its ClimateSmart program. Working with the Climate Action Reserve, PG&E supported the development of several offset protocols, and some of the protocols were later adopted by California’s cap-and-trade program. These activities can also build in-house expertise, including how to handle carbon trading transactions.
Lessons for policymakers include:
- Create a predictable regulatory environment. An environment of predictability, consistency, and flexibility is key to helping companies plan with confidence.
- Introduce early emissions reporting. Introducing reporting requirements in advance of carbon pricing regulations gives companies time to build an inventory of accurate emissions data.
- Include flexible market mechanisms. Certain design features, such as offsets and the banking and/or borrowing of allowances, can provide flexibility and improve the efficiency of a new program.
- Balance stakeholder interests. Each company and sector will have its own set of interests under a carbon pricing regime. The goal is to balance different interests and find solutions that benefit society as a whole.
The lesson for both companies and policymakers is that for an emissions policy to meet government objectives in a way that is also workable for the business community, it is crucial to create an open and transparent dialogue. This dialogue is essential as more states and countries look to carbon pricing.
Almost 40 countries and more than 20 cities, states, and provinces already use carbon pricing mechanisms or are planning to implement them. South Korea launched its carbon pricing program in January. China is running pilot carbon pricing programs in seven cities and two provinces and intend to release a plan for a national program next year. South Africa will also implement a carbon pricing program next year.
More than a quarter of the U.S. population lives in a state with a price on carbon, and some states may consider the policy as a way to implement new power plant emissions standards.
Getting ahead of the curve and preparing for these programs is just sound business strategy.
Preparing for Carbon Pricing: Case Studies from Company Experience: Royal Dutch Shell, Rio Tinto, and Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Most people can agree that being efficient consumers of energy is a good thing. And yet encouraging energy efficiency can be challenging, in part because the potential audience can be huge and diverse, and in part because making a change, even if it saves you money, typically requires effort.
That’s why it’s essential to find the people who are most likely to give energy-efficiency programs a try. Intelligent use of customer data can help target and inform a receptive audience. Members of this audience will then be encouraged to take action with some motivation.
I recently moderated a panel at the Behavior Energy and Climate Conference in Washington, D.C., where three experts discussed innovative ways to strategically target energy-efficiency programs, address factors that make people hesitant to join, and then scale the program.
Nearly 2,000 Alcoa employees, their families, and members of their communities learned how to save energy, save money, and help the environment at green fairs over the past three months.
These fairs, organized by the C2ES Make an Impact program in partnership with Alcoa and the Alcoa Foundation, are an example of an evolving approach to corporate social responsibility and employee engagement.
Building awareness of environmental challenges is important, but it isn’t enough. A new approach, bringing together several engagement strategies, aims to build a work force that is both knowledgeable and active in local organizations. The goal is to create stronger relationships among a company, its employees, and community stakeholders, a win-win-win.
Employees, community members and even two mayors came to Alcoa Green Fairs to meet with local businesses and groups providing sustainability solutions. The events took place on weekends or during work breaks in Fullerton and Torrance, Calif.; Hampton, Va.; and Warrick, Ind. Participants could ask questions and get tips about recycling, saving energy and water, and making choices to promote sustainability.
Hands-on activities made it fun. For example, at each fair, we challenged people to see how much physical energy is needed to turn a hand crank (pictured at left) and produce enough power to light an old-fashioned incandescent bulb compared with a modern, efficient compact fluorescent bulb, which requires 75 percent less energy.
The team from Virginia Naturally challenged Hampton fair-goers to guess how long it takes for different types of litter to decompose, driving home the importance of recycling. California employees answered trivia questions from Heal the Bay about storm water management and water conservation.
The fairs informed employees and strengthened Alcoa’s connections to its local communities. More than 50 organizations participated, paving the way for future partnerships and employee volunteer opportunities that will improve the sustainability of each community.
While the focus in New York this week has been on world leaders pledging to act on climate change, business leaders also stepped up to be part of the climate solution.
In recent years, many companies have acknowledged the risks of climate change and worked to improve their energy efficiency and sustainability. This week, companies announced new efforts to fund clean energy, reduce carbon emissions, and support a price on carbon.
For example, Bank of America announced an initiative to spur at least $10 billion of new investment in clean energy projects. Hewlett Packard announced plans to reduce emissions intensity of its product portfolio by 40 percent from 2010 levels by 2020.
Many companies joined together to take a stand:
Have you ever thought that by leaving a light on, you’re wasting water, or that a leaky faucet wastes energy? It’s odd, but accurate.
That’s because water and energy are interrelated. Water is used in all phases of energy production, and energy is required to extract, pump, and move water for human consumption. Energy is also needed to treat wastewater so it can be safely returned to the environment.
C2ES recently hosted a series of webinars (video and slides here) on the intersection between water and energy (sometimes referred to as the “nexus”). The series was co-sponsored by the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies and the Water Information Sharing and Analysis Center. Participants discussed how the water and energy sectors depend on each other and how they can work together to conserve resources.
Three recent announcements signal important progress toward greater deployment of technology to capture and store carbon emissions that would otherwise escape into the atmosphere. CCS technology can capture up to 90 percent of emissions from power plants and industrial facilities and is critical to reducing climate-changing emissions while fossil fuels remain part of our energy mix.
One piece of good news came when NRG Energy announced it has begun construction on the Petra Nova Project in Texas, where an existing coal-fired power plant will be retrofitted with carbon capture equipment. The Petra Nova Project will be the world’s third commercial-scale CCS power project, following the nearly-completed SaskPower Boundary Dam project in Saskatchewan, Canada, and Southern Company’s Kemper County Energy Facility in Mississippi opening in 2015.