Emissions Trading in the U.S.: Experience, Lessons, and Considerations for Greenhouse Gases

Emissions Trading Report Cover

Emissions Trading in the U.S.: Experience, Lessons and Considerations for Greenhouse Gases

Prepared for the Pew Center on Global Climate Change
May 2003

A. Denny Ellerman and Paul L. Joskow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
David Harrison, Jr., National Economic Research Associates, Inc.

Press Release

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Eileen Claussen, President, Pew Center on Global Climate Change

In recent years, emissions trading has become an important element of programs to control air pollution. Experience indicates that an emissions trading program, if designed and implemented effectively, can achieve environmental goals faster and at lower costs than traditional command-and-control alternatives. Under such a program, emissions are capped but sources have the flexibility to find and apply the lowest-cost methods for reducing pollution. A cap-and-trade program is especially attractive for controlling global pollutants such as greenhouse gases because their warming effects are the same regardless of where they are emitted, the costs of reducing emissions vary widely by source, and the cap ensures that the environmental goal is attained.

Report authors Denny Ellerman and Paul Joskow of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and David Harrison of National Economic Research Associates, Inc. review six diverse U.S. emissions trading programs, drawing general lessons for future applications and discussing considerations for controlling greenhouse gas emissions. The authors derive five key lessons from this experience. First, emissions trading has been successful in its major objective of lowering the cost of meeting emission reduction goals. Second, the use of emissions trading has enhanced—not compromised—the achievement of environmental goals. Third, emissions trading has worked best when the allowances or credits being traded are clearly defined and tradable without case-by-case certification. Fourth, banking has played an important role in improving the economic and environmental performance of emissions trading programs. Finally, while the initial allocation of allowances in cap-and-trade programs is important from a distributional perspective, the method of allocation generally does not impair the program’s potential cost savings or environmental performance.

With growing Congressional interest in programs to address climate change—including the recent introduction of economy-wide cap-and-trade legislation controlling greenhouse gas emissions—the application of lessons learned from previous emissions trading programs is timely. In addition to this review, the Pew Center is simultaneously releasing a complementary report, Designing a Mandatory Greenhouse Gas Reduction Program for the U.S., which examines additional options for designing a domestic climate change program.

The authors and the Pew Center are grateful to Dallas Burtraw and Tom Tietenberg for reviewing a previous draft of this report. The authors also wish to acknowledge Henry Jacoby, Juan-Pablo Montero, Daniel Radov, and Eric Haxthausen for their contributions to various parts of the report, and James Patchett and Warren Herold for their research assistance.

Executive Summary

Emissions trading has emerged over the last two decades as a popular policy tool for controlling air pollution. Indeed, most major air quality improvement initiatives in the United States now include emissions trading as a component of emissions control programs. The primary attraction of emissions trading is that a properly designed program provides a framework to meet emissions reduction goals at the lowest possible cost. It does so by giving emissions sources the flexibility to find and apply the lowest-cost methods for reducing pollution. Emission sources with low-cost compliance options have an incentive to reduce emissions more than they would under command-and-control regulation. By trading emission credits and allowances to high-cost compliance sources, which can then reduce emissions less, cost-effective emission reductions are achieved by both parties. When inter-temporal trading is allowed, sources can also reduce emissions early, accumulating credits or allowances that can be used for compliance in future periods if this reduces cumulative compliance costs. Accordingly, cap-and-trade programs achieve the greatest cost savings when the costs of controlling emissions vary widely across sources or over time. In practice, well-designed emissions trading programs also have achieved environmental goals more quickly and with greater confidence than more costly command-and-control alternatives.

Emissions trading has achieved prominence beyond the United States largely in the context of discussions regarding implementation of the Kyoto Protocol, a proposed international agreement to control emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases. The Kyoto Protocol provides for the use of various emissions trading mechanisms at the international level. Some countries already are developing emissions trading programs while the process of ratifying the Protocol moves forward. Both the United Kingdom and Denmark have instituted greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions trading programs, and, in December 2002, the European environment ministers agreed on the ground rules for a European Union trading program that would begin in 2005 for large sources of CO2 emissions (and later for other GHG emissions). Indeed, proposals to control GHG emissions in the United States also include the use of emissions trading.

The theoretical virtues of emissions trading have been recognized for many decades—the basic elements were outlined in Coase (1960) and elaborated in Dales (1968)—but actual emissions trading programs have been brought from the textbook to the policy arena mostly in the last decade. It is important to recognize, however, that while properly designed emissions trading programs can reduce the cost of meeting environmental goals, experience does not indicate that significant emissions reductions can be obtained without costs. Emissions trading can be an effective mechanism for controlling emissions by providing sources with the flexibility to select the lowest-cost opportunities for abatement, but it does not make costs disappear. Moreover, emissions trading programs must be designed properly in order to realize their potential cost-reduction and environmental compliance goals. As with any emissions control program, poor design is likely to lead to disappointing results.

Experience with emissions trading, including both the design and operation of trading programs, provides a number of general lessons for future applications. This report reviews the experience with six emissions trading programs with which one or more of the authors have considerable experience:

  • The early Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Emissions Trading programs that began in the late 1970s;
  • The Lead Trading program for gasoline that was implemented in the 1980s;
  • The Acid Rain program for electric industry sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions and the Los Angeles air basin (RECLAIM) programs for both nitrogen oxides (NOx) and SO2 emissions, all of which went into operation in the mid-1990s;
  • The federal mobile source averaging, banking, and trading (ABT) programs that began in the early 1990s; and
  • The Northeast NOx Budget trading program, which began operations in the late 1990s.

Based on this experience, this report identifies and discusses five general lessons concerning the design and implementation of emissions trading programs, and two considerations of particular relevance for GHG applications.

General Lessons from Experience with Emissions Trading

Emissions trading has been successful in its major objective of lowering the cost of meeting emission reduction goals. Experience shows that properly designed emissions trading programs can reduce compliance costs significantly compared to command-and-control alternatives. While it is impossible to provide precise measures of cost savings compared to hypothetical control approaches that might have been applied, the available evidence suggests that the increased compliance flexibility of emissions trading yields costs savings of as much as 50 percent.

The use of emissions trading has enhanced—not compromised—the achievement of environmental goals. While some skeptics have suggested that emissions trading is a way of evading environmental requirements, experience to date with well-designed trading programs indicates that emissions trading helps achieve environmental goals in several ways.

For one thing, the achievement of required emission reductions has been accelerated when emission reduction requirements are phased-in and firms are able to bank emissions reduction credits. The Lead Trading program for gasoline, the Acid Rain program for the electric industry, the federal mobile source ABT programs, and the Northeast NOx Budget programs each achieved environmental goals more quickly through these program design features. Moreover, giving firms with high abatement costs the flexibility to meet their compliance obligations by buying emissions allowances eliminates the rationale underlying requests for special exemptions from emissions regulations based on “hardship” and “high cost.” The reduction of compliance costs has also led to instances of tighter emissions targets, in keeping with efforts to balance the costs and benefits of emissions reductions. Finally, properly designed emissions trading programs appear to provide other efficiency gains, such as greater incentives for innovation and improved emissions monitoring.

Emissions trading has worked best when allowances or credits being traded are clearly defined and tradable without case-by-case pre-certification. Several different types of emissions trading mechanisms have been implemented. Their performance has varied widely, and these variations illuminate the key features of emissions trading programs that are most likely to lead to significant cost savings while maintaining (or exceeding) environmental goals.

The term “emissions trading” is used, often very loosely, to refer to three different types of trading programs: (1) reduction credit trading, in which credits for emission reductions must be pre-certified relative to an emission standard before they can be traded; (2) emission rate averaging, in which credits and debits are certified automatically according to a set average emission rate; and (3) cap-and-trade programs, in which an overall cap is set, allowances (i.e., rights to emit a unit) equal to the cap are distributed, and sources subject to the cap are required to surrender an allowance for every unit (e.g., ton) they emit.

The turnaround in perception of emissions trading over the last decade—from a reputation as a theoretically attractive but largely impractical approach to its acceptance as a practical framework for meeting air quality goals in a cost-effective manner—largely reflects the increased use of averaging and cap-and-trade type programs. The performance of the early EPA reduction credit programs was very poor and gave “emissions trading” a bad name. These early EPA programs emphasized case-by-case pre-certification of emission reductions and were characterized by burdensome and time-consuming administrative approval processes that made trading difficult. The averaging and cap-and-trade programs have been much more successful. While the use of cap-and-trade or averaging does not guarantee success, and the problems with the reduction credit-based approach can be reduced by good design, avoiding high transaction costs associated with trade-by-trade administrative certification is critical to the success of an emissions trading program. The success of any emissions trading program also requires several additional elements: emissions levels must be readily measured, legal emissions rates or caps must be clearly specified, and compliance must be verified and enforced aggressively.

Banking has played an important role in improving the economic and environmental performance of emissions trading programs. Early advocates of emissions trading tended to emphasize gains from trading among participants (i.e., low-cost compliance sources selling credits and allowances to high-cost compliance sources) in the same time period. The experience with the programs reviewed here indicates that inter-temporal trading also has been important. The form that inter-temporal trading most often takes is credit or allowance banking, i.e., reducing emissions early and accumulating credits or allowances that can be used for compliance in future periods. Banking improves environmental performance and reduces cumulative compliance costs. Moreover, it has been particularly important in providing flexibility to deal with many uncertainties associated with an emissions trading market—production levels, compliance costs, and the many other factors that influence demand for credits or allowances. Indeed, the one major program without a substantial banking provision, the Los Angeles RECLAIM program, appears to have suffered because of its absence.

The initial allocation of allowances in cap-and-trade programs has shown that equity and political concerns can be addressed without impairing the cost savings from trading or the environmental performance of these programs. Because emissions allowances in cap-and-trade programs are valuable, their allocation has been perhaps the single most contentious issue in establishing the existing cap-and-trade programs. However, the ability to allocate this valuable commodity and thereby account for the economic impacts of new regulatory requirements has been an important means of attaining political support for more stringent emissions caps. Moreover, despite all the jockeying for allowance allotments through the political process, the allocations of allowances to firms in the major programs have not compromised environmental goals or cost savings. The three cap-and-trade programs that have been observed so far all have relied upon “grandfathering,” i.e., distributing allowances without charge to sources based upon historical emissions information, which generally does not affect firms’ choices regarding cost-effective emission reductions and thus the overall cost savings from emissions trading. There are other methods of allocating initial allowances—such as auctioning by the government and distributing on the basis of future information—that can affect cost savings and other overall impacts; but the major effects of the initial allocation are to distribute valuable assets in some manner and to provide effective compensation for the financial impacts of capping emissions on participating sources.

Considerations for Greenhouse Gas Control Programs

Emissions trading seems especially well-suited to be part of a program to control greenhouse gas emissions. The emissions trading programs reviewed for this report generally have spatial or temporal limitations because sources of the pollutants included in these programs—such as lead, SO2, and NOx—may have different environmental impacts depending on the sources’ locations (e.g., upwind or downwind from population centers) and the time of the emissions (e.g., summer or winter). The concerns of trading programs associated with climate change are different because greenhouse gases are both uniformly mixed in the earth’s atmosphere and long-lived. The effects of GHG emissions thus are the same regardless of where the source is located and when the emissions occur (within a broad time band). This means that emissions trading can be global in scope as well as inter-temporal, creating an opportunity for the banking of emission credits, which allows emissions to vary from year to year as long as an aggregate inter-temporal cap is achieved.

Emissions trading is also well suited for GHG emissions control because the costs of reducing emissions vary widely between individual greenhouse gases, sectors, and countries, and thus there are large potential gains from trade. While other market-based approaches, such as emissions taxes, also would provide for these cost savings, the cap-and-trade version of emissions trading has the further advantage of providing greater certainty that an emission target will be met. Moreover, GHG emissions generally can be measured using relatively inexpensive methods (e.g., fuel consumption and emission factors), rather than the expensive continuous emissions monitoring required for some existing trading programs.

Furthermore, emissions trading provides important incentives for low-cost compliance sources initially outside the program to find ways to participate, and thereby further reduce costs. This opt-in feature is useful because an environmentally and cost-effective solution for reducing concentrations of greenhouse gases should be comprehensive and global, whereas initial controls on GHG emissions will—for political reasons—likely be limited, if not to certain sectors and greenhouse gases, then almost certainly to a restricted number of countries. Therefore, an important criterion for initial measures is that they be able to induce participation by sources not yet controlled. The markets created by cap-and-trade programs provide incentives for sources outside the trading program to enter if they can provide reductions more cheaply than the market prices—a common feature of any market. Although, as discussed below, the voluntary nature of these incentives can create some problems, the ability to induce further participation is an important reason to include a market-based approach initially. Indeed, it is hard to imagine how command-and-control regulations or emissions taxes could provide similar incentives to non-participants to adopt new measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Opt-in or voluntary features have a strategic role that is likely to warrant their inclusion despite the potential problems associated with them. Experience with allowing sources not covered by mandatory emissions trading programs to “opt-in,” i.e., to voluntarily assume emissions control obligations and to participate in the emissions market, has revealed a trade-off. Setting clear baselines for opting-in lowers transactions costs and thus encourages participation; but some of this participation consists of credits for calculated “reductions” that are unrelated to the trading program and actually lead to increased emissions. For example, in the Acid Rain Program, evidence indicates that many of the voluntary participants received credits for having emissions below the pre-specified baseline even though they took no abatement actions. The simple emissions baseline had been set higher than these facilities’ actual emissions, so at least some of the credits they received did not represent real emissions reductions.

This experience suggests that the decision whether or not to include opt-in provisions should be determined by weighing the cost-saving benefits against the emissions-increasing potential. For greenhouse gases, the potential cost-savings benefits of including a voluntary element in the mandatory program are large because initial efforts are not likely to be comprehensive and global, as they must be eventually to achieve their environmental goals and be cost-effective. Opt-in provisions also have value in improving measurement and monitoring techniques, in familiarizing participants with the requirements of emissions trading, and more generally with inducing participation of sources outside the trading program that can offer cheaper abatement. As a result, allowing participants outside the mandatory GHG emissions control program to opt-in has a strategic value that has not been prominent in other opt-in programs. Indeed, it should be possible to learn from existing experience with opt-in programs how to reduce adverse effects while achieving cost-savings.

Viewed from a broad historical perspective, emissions trading has come a long way since the first theoretical insights forty years ago and the first tentative application almost a quarter of a century ago. Although still not the dominant form of controlling pollution in the United States or elsewhere, emissions trading is being included in an increasing number of programs and proposals throughout the world, and its role seems likely to expand in the future.


Emissions trading has emerged as a practical framework for introducing cost-reducing flexibility into environmental control programs and reducing the costs associated with conventional command-and-control regulation of air pollution emissions. Over the last two decades considerable experience with various forms of emissions trading has been gained, and today nearly all proposals for new initiatives to control air emissions include some form of emissions trading. This report has attempted to summarize that experience and to draw appropriate lessons that may apply to proposals to limit GHG emissions. In doing so, we hope that the reader has gained a better understanding of emissions trading and the reasons for its increasing importance as an instrument for addressing environmental problems.

Six diverse programs constitute the primary U.S. experience with air emissions trading. The EPA’s early attempts starting in the late 1970s to introduce flexibility into the Clean Air Act through netting, offsets, bubbles, and banking were not particularly encouraging. Most of the potential trades, and economic gains from trading, in these early systems were frustrated by the high transaction costs of certifying emission reductions. The first really successful use of emissions trading occurred in the mid-1980s when the lead content in gasoline was reduced by 90 percent in a program that allowed refiners to automatically earn credits for exceeding the mandated reductions in lead content and to sell those credits to others or bank them for later use.

The Acid Rain or SO2 allowance trading program for electricity generators, which has become by far the most prominent experiment in emissions trading, was adopted in 1990 and implemented beginning in 1995. This innovative program introduced a significantly different form of emissions trading, known as cap-and-trade, in which participants traded a fixed number of allowances—or rights to emit—equal in aggregate number to the cap, instead of trading on the differences from some pre-existing or external standard as had been the case in the early EPA trading programs and the lead phase-down program.

Another cap-and-trade program, the RECLAIM program for both SO2 and NOx emissions, was developed and implemented at the same time as the Acid Rain program by the regulatory authority in the Los Angeles Basin as part of its efforts to bring that area into attainment with National Ambient Air Quality Standards. The RECLAIM program is the first instance of emissions trading both supplementing and supplanting a pre-existing command-and-control structure that theoretically was capable of achieving the same environmental objective. The standards of the pre-existing command-and-control system largely determined the level of the cap, and the program’s ten-year phase-in design and trading provided the flexibility that led to the achievement of environmental goals that had been previously elusive. RECLAIM also introduced trading among different sectors.

The 1990 Amendments to the Clean Air Act also provided enabling legislation for two other emissions trading programs. Emissions from mobile sources were more effectively and efficiently controlled by the introduction of mobile source averaging, banking, and trading programs. The mobile source programs followed the example of the lead phase-down program by allowing firms to create credits automatically for any reductions beyond a required uniform emission standard and to use these credits in lieu of more costly reductions elsewhere or later within the company and to sell them. The 1990 Amendments also provided the mechanism that encouraged states in the Northeastern United States to adopt cap-and-trade programs to control NOx emissions that contributed to ozone non-attainment in that region of the country. As was the case in the RECLAIM program, emissions trading was adopted as a means to attain environmental objectives more quickly and cost-effectively than had proved possible through conventional command-and-control regulation.

There are many lessons to be gained from the experience with these six programs, but the five most important lessons can be summarized as follows. First, the major objective of emissions trading, lowering the cost of meeting emission reduction goals, has been achieved in most of these programs. Second, emissions trading has not compromised the achievement of the environmental goals embodied in these programs. If anything, and this is perhaps surprising, the achievement of those goals has been enhanced by emissions trading. Third, emissions trading has worked best in reducing costs and achieving environmental goals when the credits being traded are clearly defined and readily tradable without case-by-case certification. Fourth, temporal flexibility, i.e., the ability to bank allowances, has been more important than generally expected, and the ability to bank has contributed significantly to accelerating emission reductions and dampening price fluctuations. Fifth, the initial allocation of allowances in cap-and-trade programs has shown that equitable and political concerns can be met without impairing either the cost savings from trading or the environmental performance of these programs. In addition, the success of any emissions trading program requires that emissions levels can be readily measured and compliance verified and enforced.

All of these five lessons are relevant when considering the use of emissions trading in a program aimed at reducing GHG emissions. In fact, emissions trading seems especially appropriate for this environmental problem. Greenhouse gas emissions mix uniformly and remain in the atmosphere for a long time. Thus, it matters little where or when the emissions are reduced, as long as the required cumulative reductions are made. These specific characteristics of GHG emissions eliminate two of the concerns that have limited the scope of emissions trading in many other programs.

Although an effective GHG mitigation program must eventually be global in scope and comprehensive in its coverage of pollutants and economic sectors, the likelihood that control efforts will be limited initially to the richer countries, the more easily measurable gases, and perhaps to certain sectors of the economy introduces another consideration. The ability to induce initially uncapped sources to participate voluntarily in the early efforts will reduce costs and prepare the way for extending the caps. Thus, providing opportunities to opt-in for uncapped sources that can reduce emissions at lower cost than those within the cap has a strategic value beyond the potential cost savings. Although some existing programs with voluntary provisions have revealed opportunities for misuse, these problems can be managed more successfully now with the benefit of experience. The strategic value of opt-in provisions in any GHG emission control program makes their inclusion highly desirable.

Emissions trading has come a long way since the first theoretical insights forty years ago and the first tentative application almost a quarter of a century ago. Since then, the use of emissions trading has expanded steadily and significant experience has been gained. Although not the dominant form of controlling pollution in the United States or elsewhere, emissions trading now seems firmly established as a valuable instrument and its future use seems sure to increase. Our review of experience over the past quarter century suggests that this trend toward greater use of emissions trading will improve the performance of environmental regulation, including efforts to control GHG emissions.

About the Authors

A. Denny Ellerman, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Dr. Ellerman is a Senior Lecturer with the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he also serves as the Executive Director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research and of the Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change. His former employment includes Charles River Associates, the National Coal Association, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the U.S. Executive Office of the President. He served as President of the International Association for Energy Economics for 1990. Dr. Ellerman received his undergraduate education at Princeton University and his Ph.D. in Political Economy and Government from Harvard University. His current research interests focus on emissions trading, climate change policy, and the economics of fuel choice, especially concerning coal and natural gas.

Paul L. Joskow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Paul L. Joskow is Elizabeth and James Killian Professor of Economics and Management at MIT and Director of the MIT Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research. He received a B.A. from Cornell University in 1968 and a Ph.D. in Economics from Yale University in 1972. Professor Joskow has been on the MIT faculty since 1972 and served as Head of the MIT Department of Economics from 1994 to 1998.

At MIT he is engaged in teaching and research in the areas of industrial organization, energy and environmental economics, and government regulation of industry. Professor Joskow has published five books and over 100 articles and papers in these areas. He has been studying the behavior and performance of the SO2 allowance trading program created by the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 for several years and is a co-author of the book Markets for Clean Air: The U.S. Acid Rain Program (Cambridge University Press).

Professor Joskow has served as a consultant on regulatory and competitive issues to organizations around the world. He served on the EPA’s Acid Rain Advisory Committee from 1990-1992 and was a member of the Environmental Economics Advisory Committee of the EPA’s Science Advisory Board from 1998-2002. He is a Director of the National Grid Transco Group and the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and a Trustee of the Putnam Mutual Funds. He is a Fellow of the Econometric Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

David Harrison, Jr. , National Economic Research Associates, Inc.

David Harrison is a Senior Vice President at National Economic Research Associates (NERA), an international firm of 500 consulting economists operating in 16 offices on five continents and a Marsh & McLennan company. Dr. Harrison is co-chair of NERA’s energy and environmental economics practice.

Before joining NERA in 1988, Dr. Harrison was an Associate Professor at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where he taught microeconomics, environmental and energy policy, transportation policy, and benefit-cost analysis. He was a member of the Faculty Steering Committee of Harvard’s Energy and Environmental Policy Center. Dr. Harrison earlier served as a Senior Staff Economist on the President’s Council of Economic Advisors, where his areas of responsibility included environmental regulation, natural resource policy, transportation policy, and occupational health and safety.

Dr. Harrison has consulted for private firms, trade associations, and government agencies in the U.S. and abroad on many energy and environmental issues. Dr. Harrison has been active in the development of major emissions trading programs, including serving on the advisory committee to develop RECLAIM, an author of proposals for averaging, banking, and trading programs for mobile sources and for NOx trading proposals for the Northeast, and a consultant to the European Commission (EC) with regard to aspects of its proposed greenhouse gas emissions trading program. He is currently advising the UK government with regard to aspects of its EU program and the EC with regard to trading programs for non-greenhouse gas emissions.

Dr. Harrison holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University, a M.Sc. in Economics from the London School of Economics, and a B.A. in Economics from Harvard University.


A. Denny Ellerman
David Harrison, Jr.
Paul L. Joskow

Tackling Climate Change: 5 Keys to Success

Tackling Climate Change: 5 Keys to Success

Remarks by Eileen Claussen
President, Pew Center on Global Cliamte Change

4th Annual Dartmouth Student Science Congress

May 2, 2003

Thank you very much.  It is a pleasure to be here at Dartmouth for the Fourth Annual Student Science Congress.  I understand that as part of these proceedings, students will be voting on a series of ballot questions.  I have not yet seen these questions, but tonight I am nevertheless going to try to influence your answers.  

For example, if one of the questions is “How serious a problem is global warming?” I encourage you to answer that it is a very serious problem indeed.  And, if one of the questions is “Who was your favorite speaker during the Congress?” . . . well, just keep in mind that Claussen sort of rhymes with awesome. 

Seriously, I appreciate this opportunity to address your Student Science Congress, and I applaud the organizers of this event for taking on a topic of such pressing importance.  Whether we like it or not, global warming is shaping up as one of the most important  challenges of the 21st century.  It is going to drive far-reaching changes in how we live and work, how we power our homes, schools, factories and office buildings, how we get from one place to another, how we manufacture and transport goods, and even how we farm and manage forests.  It touches every aspect of our economy and our lives, and to ignore it is to live in a fantasy land where nothing ever has to change – and where we never have to accept what the science tells us about what is happening to our world.

My goal tonight is to give you a clear idea of where we stand today in the effort against global climate change. To do that, I’d first like to offer you an insider’s look at how the world and the United States have responded to this challenge over the last decade.

Then, after the history lesson – and don’t worry, there will not be a test – I want to look forward.  And I’d like to suggest to you five keys to success – five things we need to do if were are to successfully meet the challenge of climate change.

So, to begin with, let’s travel back in time to 1992, when another George Bush was our President, and when the nations of the world gathered in sunny Rio de Janeiro for the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, affectionately known as the Earth Summit.  This was the event, you may recall, where more than 150 countries signed an agreement called the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. 

The UNFCCC, as it is known, set an ambitious long-term objective: to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would – and I quote – “prevent dangerous anthropogenic (or human-caused) interference with the climate system.”  This is a goal that the United States, and virtually every other nation, has embraced.  

As a first step, industrialized countries agreed to a voluntary emissions target:  they aimed to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2000.  Before long, however, it became clear that the targets would not be met and that voluntary commitments could not deliver genuine action.  So the United States and others countries began to negotiate a new agreement, one with binding targets, and they agreed at the outset that these new commitments would extend only to the industrialized countries, which so far have contributed the most to the problem. 

The result, negotiated five years after the Rio summit in Kyoto, Japan, is the Kyoto Protocol.  The Protocol requires countries to reduce or limit their emissions of greenhouse gases in relation to 1990 levels, with different countries agreeing to different targets.  The agreement also includes a number of features advocated by the United States to ensure countries a high degree of flexibility as they work to achieve their targets.  They can make actual emission reductions at home, trade emission credits with others who have made reductions, and use “sinks” such as farms and forests to remove carbon from the atmosphere. 

During the negotiations in Kyoto, Vice President Al Gore flew to the ancient Japanese capital to help hammer out the deal.  And what the U.S. negotiators ultimately agreed to was a binding 7-percent reduction in emissions below 1990 levels by 2012. 

The problem was that it was already 1997, and U.S. emissions had already risen over 1990 levels by more than 8 percent.  In other words, we had pledged to reduce our emissions by nearly 14 percent and we didn’t have any kind of program in place to do this, nor any will to put such a program into place. 

Another problem was that the United States Senate, under the Byrd-Hagel resolution, had recently voted unanimously that the United States should not sign any climate treaty that – quote – "would result in serious harm to the economy of the United States" or that did not impose some type of commitment on developing countries as well. 

Of course Kyoto did not include commitments for developing countries, because the parties, including the United States, agreed at the outset that it would not.  And the target agreed to by the United States was portrayed by those who wished to kill the treaty as clearly harmful to our economy, a charge that was not effectively countered by the Administration.  So the fact of the matter is that the Kyoto Protocol negotiated by the Clinton administration was about as welcome in the Senate as the proverbial skunk at a lawn party – and senators had no intention of holding their noses so they could tolerate this thing.  They just plain didn’t want it anywhere near them. 

The Clinton administration, for its part, did nothing to try to bring about the ratification of this treaty that its people had made such a big deal of signing.  Granted, the President at the time was caught up in a scandal, and Vice President Gore was gearing up for a presidential run of his own and surely wanted to avoid being publicly associated with anything that could be said to pose a threat the economy.  But still, the whole episode of U.S. participation in Kyoto -- and, before that, the UNFCCC -- was enough to recall the line from Shakespeare: “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”  The bottom line: We clearly were not prepared to deliver at home what we were promising abroad. 

But the story does not end there.  To fast forward to 2000, American voters elected another President – another Bush – and within months of entering office his administration made a unilateral decision to reject the Kyoto Protocol out of hand, instead of working to change it and make it better.  Needless to say, this decision was not received warmly by other nations that had persevered through years of difficult negotiations and that had acceded to U.S. demands early on that the treaty include trading and other business-friendly mechanisms. 

As an aside, I think it is interesting to note that in the recent run-up to the war in Iraq, it was hard to find an article about other countries’ perceptions of the United States that did not mention the impolitic way in which this Administration rejected Kyoto.  It was perceived as a real slap in the face – a confirmation of global fears that the United States, which is responsible for almost one-fourth of global greenhouse has emissions, had no intention of acting seriously on this issue.

As if to confirm these fears, the Bush administration last year announced a climate strategy that was big on rhetoric but not-so-big on results.   Here is what this strategy does: It sets a voluntary “greenhouse gas intensity” target for the nation.  The idea is to reduce the ratio of greenhouse gas emissions to U.S. economic output, or GDP.  But the funny thing about the White House target – an 18 percent reduction in greenhouse gas intensity by 2012 – is that it would allow actual emissions to grow by 12 percent over the same period.

What’s more, the Administration’s strategy relies entirely on voluntary measures.  This despite the fact that U.S. climate policy has consisted primarily of voluntary measures for more than a decade.  And what have these voluntary measures achieved?  As of 2001, U.S. greenhouse gas emissions were up 11.9 percent over their 1991 levels.  And so now we are more than ten years removed from the Earth Summit, and we still – still – have no real plan in place to reduce the U.S. contribution to the problem that we and other countries identified back then as – quote – “a common concern of humankind.”

The reason I have presented this history lesson is to show that, as the world has set out in the last decade to respond to the problem of climate change, the United States has been both a driver and a drag on the process, a driver in terms of development of a framework for action, a drag because we have made no serious attempt to implement that framework.  We are like the boyfriend or girlfriend who says sweet things all the time but will never truly commit.  And lately we aren’t even saying sweet things any more. 

The reality is that it is long past the time for playing these sorts of games.  We should have committed long ago to serious action on this issue and, having failed, it is all the more urgent that we get serious now.  What does that mean?  What principles should guide these efforts?  I’d like to offer five – five keys to success in meeting the challenge of climate change. 

Key Number One: We must forge a global response to the problem of  climate change.  As I already said, the United States is responsible for one-fourth of global greenhouse gas emissions.  The 15 countries of the European Union are responsible for another one-fourth.  The remainder is divided among other developed nations and rapidly developing countries such as China and India.  And, while developed countries clearly are responsible for a majority of these emissions, that will not be the case in the future as emissions continue to grow more rapidly in developing countries than anywhere else.

It is one of the most contentious issues in the debate over global climate change – that is, the perceived divide between the interests and obligations of developed and developing countries.  Equity demands that the industrialized world—the source of most past and current emissions of greenhouse gases—act first to reduce emissions. This principle is embedded in both the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol, which sets binding emission targets for developed countries only. However, with the Protocol expected to enter into force sometime this year or next, it is now time to turn our attention to what happens next.  And as we do this, we need to think broadly of a framework that will include not only the countries that will be implementing the Kyoto protocol, but also the United States, Australia, and the major emitting countries in the developing world.   

I do not claim to know what form this framework should take.  But here’s what I do know:  It must be effective; over the coming decades, it must significantly reduce global emissions of greenhouse gases.  It also must be fair.  We must recognize who bears responsibility for climate change, and who will bear the brunt of its impacts; and we must arrive at an equitable sharing of responsibility for addressing it.  That probably means different kinds of measures for different countries at different times, but all the major emitting countries must do their part.  Finally, this new framework must marry our environmental goals with our economic and development objectives.  In the developing world in particular, commitments that are not consistent and compatible with raising standards of living and promoting sustainable economic growth have little chance of success.  And even in the developed world, all countries will have to be convinced that the environmental goals they agree to, the carbon limits they accept, will not impede their efforts to sustain economic growth.  This will mean not only ensuring that countries are given flexibility in how they meet their goals, but also that they can turn over the existing capital stock and acquire more climate friendly technology at prices that they can afford.    

This brings us to the second Key to Success in our efforts to address the climate issue: We need to think in terms of both short-term and long-term actions.  There is a great deal we can do now to reduce our emissions.  At the same time, we need to be looking ahead to longer-term, and potentially more far-reaching, reductions in the years and decades to come. 

At the Pew Center, we are developing a plan we call the 10/50 Solution.  The idea is to think ahead to where we need to be 50 years from now if we are going to meet the challenge of climate change, and then to figure out decade by decade how to do it.

Why look 50 years out?  Because achieving the necessary reductions in our greenhouse gas emissions will ultimately require innovation on a level never before seen.  It will require a massive shift away from fossil fuels to climate-friendly sources of energy.  And, as I said at the start of my remarks, it will require fundamental changes in how we live and work and grow our economies. 

The 10-50 approach doesn’t just look long-term, though.  It recognizes that in order to realize that 50-year vision, we have to start right now.  We can start with the low-hanging fruit – the countless ways we can reduce greenhouse emissions at little or no cost by simply being more efficient: everything from more fuel-efficient cars and trucks, including hybrids, to energy-efficient appliances and computers, efficiency improvements in industry, and even better management of animal wastes.

In the medium to long term, the challenge is to begin what we have called a second industrial revolution.  The Pew Center is just now completing a scenario analysis that identifies several technologies as essential to our ability to create a climate-friendly energy future for the United States.  Among them:

· Number one: natural gas.  Substituting natural gas for coal results in approximately half the carbon emissions per unit of energy supplied, but we need policies to encourage the expansion of natural gas supply and infrastructure.
· Number two: energy efficiency.  We have the ability to dramatically improve the fuel economy of cars and light trucks right now and in the very near future through a combination of advances in the internal combustion engine or through hybrid electric vehicles.
· Number three: renewable energy and distributed generation.  The potential here is enormous, but policy support will be essential in promoting investment and breaking barriers to market entry for these technologies.
· Number four: nuclear power.  Despite its problems, the fact remains that our carbon emissions would be much higher without nuclear power.
· Number five: geological sequestration.  Sequestration holds the potential of allowing for the continued production of energy from fossil fuels, including coal, even in the event of mandatory limits on carbon emissions. 
· And number six: hydrogen and fuel cells.  The President’s recent announcement of a new federal commitment to fuel cell research was a welcome one, but we must have policies that will help pull these vehicles into the market.

Looking down this list, it is hard not to see that most, if not all, of these technologies would be important even in a world where we did not have this pressing obligation to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.  For energy security and economic growth reasons, and a wide range of environmental reasons as well, these are simply smart things to do.  The second industrial revolution is not just about responding to the challenge of climate change; it’s about creating a common-sense energy future. 

And, in order to create that energy future, we are going to have to keep in mind Key to Success Number Three: Industry must be a partner in shaping and implementing climate solutions.   The Pew Center serves as a convenor of leading businesses that are taking practical steps to reduce their contribution to the climate problem. The 38 members of our Business Environmental Leadership Council represent nearly 2.5 million employees and have combined revenues of $855 billion.  They include mostly Fortune 500 firms, and they are deeply committed to climate solutions:

· There is DuPont, for example, which made a voluntary pledge to reduce its global emissions of greenhouse gases by 65 percent by the year 2010.  And guess what?  Late last year, they announced they had achieved this target eight years ahead of schedule.
· Also ahead of schedule in meeting its target is BP, which in 2002 announced it had reduced global greenhouse emissions by 9 million metric tons in just four years.  This marked a 10-percent reduction in the company’s emissions – and, like DuPont, BP had originally intended to achieve this goal in 2010.

Over the past several years, it has become clear that there are three types of companies when it comes to the issue of climate change: those that do not accept the science; those that accept the science and are working internally to reduce their contribution to the problem; and those that accept the science, are working internally and are advocating for strong government action to address this issue. 

BP, DuPont and the other companies we are working with at the Pew Center clearly fall into this latter group.  And I hope that our government – as well as other governments throughout the world – will take full advantage of their expertise and commitment.

The benefits of active involvement by industry in environmental policy making first became clear to me during negotiations on the Montreal Protocol – the agreement that set out to address the man-made threat to the Earth’s protective ozone layer.   An important reason for the success of that agreement, I believe, is that the companies that produced and used ozone-depleting chemicals—and that were developing substitutes for them—were very much engaged in the process.  As a result, there was a factual basis and an honesty about what we could achieve, how we could achieve it, and when. And there was an acceptance on the part of industry, particularly U.S. companies, that the depletion of the ozone layer was an important problem and that multilateral action was needed.  

I am happy to report that we are seeing the same kind of acceptance and determination to act on the climate issue among the companies we work with at the Pew Center.  Their involvement should serve as a reminder that it is industry that will develop the technologies and the strategies that will reduce global emissions of greenhouse gases.  It is industry that will have to deliver on government requirements and goals.  To ignore this as we try to structure a global response to this enormous challenge is to fail.

Speaking of government, let me introduce a fourth Key to Success in responding to climate change: We have to adopt real, mandatory goals.  Voluntary approaches, as I have said, simply have not worked to address this problem.  In order to engage the full spectrum of industry and society, we need to set clear, mandatory goals for emission cuts, and at the same time provide sensible, business-friendly rules that give companies the flexibility they need to help meet those goals as cost-effectively as possible. 

This is the approach embodied in recent legislation introduced by the bipartisan duo of Senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman.  This landmark measure for the first time brings together several features that would be critical to the success of a national climate change strategy.  The bill would establish ambitious and binding targets for reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.  Equally important, it would provide companies with the flexibility to reduce emissions as cost-effectively as possible – thanks to the creation of a rigorous nationwide system allowing emissions trading and providing some credit for carbon storage.  Last but not least, the bill would recognize those reductions that are being made now by the companies that are taking the lead on this issue and provide additional flexibility for these early actors. 

Of course, the McCain-Lieberman measure has little chance of becoming law any time soon, but it is an encouraging development nonetheless to see our policymakers in Washington finally coming to grips with exactly what it is going to take to yield real progress toward a climate-friendly future.  And what it is going to take is a set of real, enforceable commitments.

This leads us finally, and forgive me if this seems redundant, to Key to Success Number Five: The United States must be an integral part of the climate solution.   Despite having 4 percent of the world’s population, we have contributed nearly a third of worldwide emissions of greenhouse gases in the last century, and we continue to be the largest source of these emissions worldwide.  And still, we have decided to sit on the sidelines while the world moves forward with a plan to begin addressing this challenge.  Even worse, we have yet to develop anything resembling a domestic program to reduce our own emissions and protect the climate.  

This problem, quite simply, will not be solved without us.  We owe it to ourselves, we owe it to other nations, and we owe it to future generations, to commit American ingenuity and American leadership to meeting this challenge.  I think the job begins at home: We must achieve a national consensus on how best to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.  And from there, we must engage constructively with other nations in the searching for a lasting global solution. 

So there you have it.  Five keys to success:  We need to address this issue globally.  We need to think and act both short-term and long-term.  We need to involve industry.  We need mandatory goals.  And we need the United States to do its part both at home and abroad. 

Yet another key to success, as I have learned over the years, is to keep your remarks to a reasonable length.  So I will stop there, and I welcome your questions. 

Thank you very much. 

Press Release: United Technologies Steps up Global Conservation Efforts

For Immediate Release
April 22, 2003

Contact: Paul Jackson      
(860) 728-7912


WASHINGTON, D.C. - United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX) said today it has surpassed its 25 percent energy and water usage reduction goals four years ahead of schedule and is increasing them to 40 percent.

The company also announced it is joining the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Climate Leaders program. The voluntary industry-government partnership identifies environmental leaders in adopting aggressive goals and strategies for curtailing greenhouse gas emissions at manufacturing and other facilities. Since 1997, UTC has lowered its greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent.

"EPA applauds United Technologies for its environmental leadership and
strong commitment to conserving our natural resources," said Jeff Holmstead, assistant administrator for the agency's Office of Air and Radiation.

UTC's original conservation plan, announced in 1998, called for the company to reduce both water and energy usage by 25 percent, as a percent of sales, by 2007.  The company reported at today's Earth Technologies Forum in Washington, D.C., that it had exceeded those goals by achieving a 27 percent energy reduction and 34 percent water use reduction through 2002. UTC's new goals call for a 40 percent reduction of each by 2007.  Performance will be monitored annually to track results and identify further conservation opportunities.

"UTC has more than 200 facilities worldwide participating in these conservation efforts, including more than 100 in the United States, over 50 in Europe and nearly 40 in Asia," said Rick Bennett, vice president of environmental health and safety. " Site audits and conservation tools are available to help facilities identify effective savings opportunities."

Bennett said the new goals exemplify UTC's strong environmental commitment, which has helped conserve both natural and economic resources.     

UTC's Carrier Corp. has reduced water consumption at its Shanghai factories by more than 10 million gallons a year. For every $1,000 Carrier invests in low-flow showers and other conservation devices, the company estimates it saves $11,000 per year in associated water costs.

Otis Elevator's Breclav plant in the Czech Republic completed heating, lighting and compressed air system improvements that are conserving more than 1 million kilowatt-hours of electricity and 560,000 cubic meters of natural gas annually.

In the U.S., Sikorsky reduced energy demand at its main manufacturing plant in Stratford, Conn., a full percentage point by converting a temporary rotor-painting booth to a sanding booth with an air re-circulation system that eliminates high-energy dust collection apparatus. Energy savings amount to $94,000 a year.

Another example: Pratt & Whitney, with engineering support from Carrier, replaced centrifugal air compressors and a chilled water plant, upgraded lighting fixtures and completed other projects at its Middletown, Conn., jet engine assembly and test facility that combined have conserved 3.5 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year. 

United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn., is a diversified company that provides a broad range of high-technology products and services to the building systems and aerospace industries worldwide. More information is available on the company's Web site at

Solving the Climate Equation: Mandatory & Practical Steps for Real Reductions

Mandatory & Practical Steps for Real Reductions

Remarks By Eileen Claussen
President, Pew Center on Global Cliamte Change

Alliant Energy Conference
Madison, Wisconsin

April 15, 2003

Thank you very much. It is a pleasure to be here in Madison. And to be here on tax day makes it even more special. I hope I can be as creative in my remarks as many Americans are on their Form 1040.

Considering that it is tax day and coming from Washington, as I do, I thought you would be interested to know that Congress is indeed getting very serious about tax simplification. It’s true. The new tax forms they are discussing would include just three parts.

Part One: How much did you make last year? Part Two: How much do you have left? Part Three: Please send in the amount listed in Part Two.

Seriously, I expect you will all be glad to know that I am not here today to talk about taxes. Rather, what I want to talk about is the very taxing problem of global climate change. Okay, that’s the last time today that I will mention taxes.

I know that this morning’s panels included a session on the science of climate change. So I will skip the part of the speech laying out the evidence of how serious a problem this is. I hope that I don’t need to persuade you of that.

Instead, I would like to talk about where we stand today in our efforts to meet the challenge of climate change – and I may surprise some of you by saying there are actually a lot of good things happening. The momentum is building for practical solutions. People and governments are indeed taking important and worthwhile steps to address this problem, and I want to talk with you a little bit about what they are doing.

At the same time, I also want to talk with you about what must happen next. Because what is happening now is clearly not enough. And the priority looking ahead must be to marry a long-term vision of a climate-friendly future with the short-term strategies that will get us there. We need mandatory goals to ensure the broadest possible participation across all industry sectors in this effort. And we need to give businesses the flexibility to achieve those goals as cost-effectively as possible.

But, before I get into all of that, let me give you some background about the organization I represent. The Pew Center on Global Climate Change is a non-profit, non-partisan and independent organization. We consider ourselves a center of research, analysis, and collaboration. We are also a center in another sense – a much-needed centrist presence on an issue where the discussion too often devolves into battling extremes.

Our mission is to provide credible information, straight answers and innovative solutions in the effort to address global climate change. We see ourselves as a force for a pragmatic path forward on this issue. And we fulfill this role by educating the public and key policy makers, and by encouraging the domestic and international community to take practical steps to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

Over the past several years, we have issued 45 reports from top-tier researchers on key climate topics such as economic and environmental impacts, policy solutions, equity issues and more. We have convened conferences and symposia, and we have worked with policy makers and businesses throughout the world as they strive to shape climate solutions.

In the course of our work, as you might expect, we have developed a fairly keen sense of where things stand in the global effort to address the climate problem. This is what I want to share with you today. It is the view from 30,000 feet, and I find it’s an especially useful vantage point for assessing our progress on this issue.

What does this high-level view show us? It shows us that despite everything we see and hear coming out of Washington, despite the fact that U.S. climate policy remains in neutral, from a higher altitude we can see that there is actually a great deal of activity under way. There are actually a lot of people who are already hard at work charting the “Path Forward” on climate change that is advertised as the topic of this conference.

Consider this: Despite the opposition of the Bush administration, the Kyoto Protocol stands on the verge of entering into force sometime this year. The ratification of the treaty by Poland and Canada late in 2002 brought the number of ratifying countries to 100. These countries were responsible for nearly 44 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions in 1990. Russia’s expected ratification of the treaty later this year should bring that share to 55 percent, which is the level required for Kyoto to become law.

I have no illusions, of course, that Kyoto is the definitive solution to the climate problem – and I strongly believe, as I will say later, that it is time to start thinking beyond Kyoto. But the simple fact that this critical mass of developed nations have agreed to the treaty – and are already hard at work on strategies to meet their Kyoto emission targets – is a development of truly historic proportions.

Equally encouraging – if not equally historic – are the voluntary efforts of many companies throughout the world to address the climate problem in a proactive way. As many of you know, the Pew Center serves as a convenor of leading businesses that are taking practical steps to reduce their contribution to the problem. The 38 members of our Business Environmental Leadership Council represent nearly 2.5 million employees and have combined revenues of $855 billion. They include mostly Fortune 500 firms, and they are deeply committed to climate solutions:

There is DuPont, for example, which made a voluntary pledge to reduce its global emissions of greenhouse gases by 65 percent by the year 2010. And guess what? Late last year, they announced they had achieved this target eight years ahead of schedule.  Also ahead of schedule in meeting its target is BP, which in 2002 announced that it had reduced global greenhouse emissions by 9 million metric tons in just four years. This marked a 10-percent reduction in the company’s emissions – and, like DuPont, BP had originally intended to achieve this goal in 2010.

Other companies have set similar targets and are working hard to meet them. And then there are all the companies that, even if they are not setting targets, are working in other ways to reduce their contribution to the climate problem. Alliant Energy itself – the sponsor of this important gathering – is also the sponsor of an array of energy efficiency and renewable energy programs.

The company’s innovative Second Nature program, for example, allows residential utility customers in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin to buy renewable energy equal to 25 percent, 50 percent or 100 percent of their electric usage. At the end of 2002, Second Nature customers helped generate more than 9.8 million kilowatt-hours of renewable energy, including wind power from a new wind farm in Minnesota and biomass energy from a methane gas plant at a landfill in Mayville, Wisconsin.

Companies such as Alliant, BP and DuPont are not alone in taking proactive steps to address this problem. Also charting a path forward are individual states throughout the country. The Pew Center’s research shows that a majority of states have programs that, while not necessarily directed at climate change, are achieving real emission reductions.

Texas and 13 other states, for example, now require utilities to generate a specified share of their power from renewable sources. New York State’s new energy plan sets a goal of reducing emissions 10 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. What’s more, some states are going beyond target-setting and are establishing direct controls on carbon emissions from power plants and – in the case of California – cars and SUVs.

And I would be remiss not to mention what is happening here in Wisconsin, which since 1993 has required any facility that emits more than 100,000 tons of carbon dioxide to report its emission levels to the Department of Natural Resources. Wisconsin was the first state with a mandatory reporting rule; of the other states, only New Jersey has followed Wisconsin’s lead. And now Wisconsin is hard at work on a new registry that will enable firms to report reductions of CO2 or other greenhouse gases. The state is doing this, in part, to make sure that firms acting now will be able to get credit under future emission reduction regimes.

And so the path forward is being mapped out all around us – by entire nations, and by individual companies and states. Even the news from Washington is not all bad. Last year alone, nearly twice as many climate change bills were introduced on Capitol Hill than in the previous four years combined.

Then, early this year, as all of you know, the bipartisan duo of Senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman forged a landmark measure that for the first time brings together several features that would be critical to the success of a national climate change strategy. This bill would establish ambitious and binding targets for reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Equally important, it would provide companies with the flexibility to reduce emissions as cost-effectively as possible – thanks to the creation of a rigorous nationwide system allowing emissions trading and providing some credit for carbon storage. Last but not least, the bill would recognize those reductions that are being made now by the companies that are taking the lead on this issue and provide additional flexibility for these early actors.

Of course, the McCain-Lieberman measure has no real chance of becoming law any time soon, but it is an encouraging development nonetheless to see our policymakers in Washington finally coming to grips with exactly what it is going to take to yield real progress toward a climate-friendly future. And what it is going to take, as I stated early in my remarks, is a long-term vision of where we need to be, coupled with short-term strategies that will get us there.

At the Pew Center, we call it the 10/50 Solution. The idea is to think ahead to where we need to be 50 years from now if we are going to meet the challenge of climate change, and then to figure out decade by decade how to do it.

Why look 50 years out? Because achieving the necessary reductions in our greenhouse gas emissions will ultimately require innovation on a level never before seen. It will require a massive shift away from fossil fuels to climate-friendly sources of energy. It will require fundamental changes in how we produce things, how we power our homes and buildings, and how we travel to work.

The 10-50 approach doesn’t just look long-term, though. It recognizes that in order to realize that 50-year vision, we have to start right now. A while back, the Pew Center held a workshop with leading scientists, economists and other analysts to discuss the optimal timing of efforts to address climate change. They each came at it from a different perspective, but the overwhelming consensus was that to be most effective, action against climate change has to begin right now. Among the reasons why:

First, current atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases are the highest in more than 400,000 years. This is an unprecedented situation in human history, and there is a real potential that the resulting damages will not be incremental or linear, but sudden and potentially catastrophic. Acting now is the only rational choice under these circumstances.

A second reason to act now is that the risk of irreversible environmental impacts far outweighs the lesser risk of unnecessary investment in reducing or mitigating greenhouse gas emissions.

Third, it is going to take time to figure out how best to meet this challenge. And we must begin learning by doing now.

Fourth, the longer we wait to act, the more likely it will be that we are imposing unconscionable burdens and impossible tasks on future generations.

Fifth, there is an obvious lagtime between the development of policies and incentives that will spur action and the actions themselves.

And, last but not least, we can get started now with a range of “no regrets” policies that have very low or even no costs to the economy.

We can start with the low-hanging fruit – the countless ways we can reduce greenhouse emissions at little or no cost by simply being more efficient: everything from more fuel-efficient cars and trucks, including hybrids, to energy-efficient appliances and computers, efficiency improvements in industry, and even better management of animal wastes.

In the medium to long term, the challenge is to begin what we have called a second industrial revolution. The Pew Center is just now completing a scenario analysis that identifies several technologies as essential to our ability to create a climate-friendly energy future for the United States. Among them:

  • Number one: natural gas. Substituting natural gas for coal results in approximately half the carbon emissions per unit of energy supplied, but we need policies to encourage the expansion of natural gas supply and infrastructure.
  • Number two: energy efficiency. We have the ability to dramatically improve the fuel economy of cars and light trucks right now and in the very near future through a combination of advances in the internal combustion engine or through hybrid electric vehicles.
  • Number three: renewable energy and distributed generation. The potential here is enormous, but policy support will be essential in promoting investment and breaking barriers to market entry for these technologies.
  • Number four: nuclear power. Despite its problems, the fact remains that our carbon emissions would be much higher without nuclear power,
  • Number five: geological sequestration. Sequestration holds the potential of allowing for the continued production of energy from fossil fuels, including coal, even in the event of mandatory limits on carbon emissions.
  • And number six: hydrogen and fuel cells. The President’s recent announcement of a new federal commitment to fuel cell research was a welcome one, but we must have policies that will help pull these vehicles into the market.

Looking down this list, it is hard not to see that most, if not all, of these technologies would be important even in a world where we did not have this pressing obligation to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. For energy security and economic growth reasons, and a wide range of environmental reasons as well, these are simply smart things to do. The second industrial revolution is not just about responding to the challenge of climate change; it’s about creating a common-sense energy future.

And how can we make that future happen? Well, for one thing, we need an effective, long-term international agreement – one ensuring that all major emitting countries do their fair share to meet this challenge. The Kyoto Protocol – despite all its flaws, and despite being rejected by President Bush – is a reasonable first step. But even as other countries move ahead to implement it, they need to be looking beyond 2012 when the 1st commitment period ends. Because an agreement that’s going to work – an agreement that can bring in not only the United States, but developing countries as well – will in all likelihood be somewhat different than Kyoto. And it’s going to take some time to get there.

The more immediate challenge, of course, is here at home. That challenge is to get serious about reducing U.S. emissions. And getting serious means recognizing that a national climate strategy that lets emissions continue to grow is really not much of a strategy at all.

Download Transcript (in Word format)


Transportation Solutions

The following is a brief overview of transportation solutions undertaken by members of C2ES's Business Environmental Leadership Council (BELC).

For more information on each of these companies efforts to address climate change, please see the Businesses Leading The Way section of this Web site.


Air Products and Chemicals

  • Air Products and Chemicals’ distribution fleet is over 50 percent more fuel-efficient than it was three decades ago. Air Products uses sophisticated logistics scheduling software to maximize the amount of product hauled in each load and determine the optimal delivery routes to customers. Air Products fleet managers have recently set new internal miles per gallon targets to increase fleet efficiency using best practices for driving and maintaining vehicles.
  • Air Products and Chemicals develops hydrogen infrastructure and fuel-handling technologies to enable the commercialization of hydrogen as an energy carrier and is working with the private and public sectors to develop a market for hydrogen fuel.
  • Air Products and Chemicals is providing hydrogen production, distribution, and vehicle expertise to collaborations of public, private, and government institutions, and is participating in numerous demonstration projects in North America and Europe on the development of hydrogen fuels, fueling systems, and vehicles. For more information visit, Air Product's Hydrogen Energy Website.
  • Air Products is part of the California Fuel Cell Partnership, a unique collaboration of auto manufacturers, energy companies, fuel cell companies, and government agencies. The partnership’s goal is to advance and evaluate new automobile technology that can move the world toward practical and affordable environmental solutions. The organization was formed in April 1999 and placed over 40 fuel cell vehicles—cars and buses—on the road between 2000 and 2003. In addition to facilitating the placement of up to 300 vehicles in fleet demonstrations between 2004 and 2007, partnership members will build demonstration hydrogen fuel stations, act to facilitate a path towards commercialization of hydrogen, and enhance public awareness and support.


  • Alstom’s Coradia regional train models continue to meet with considerable success with the new generation Coradia Polyvalent, a powerful new addition to the Coradia line that travels at 160 km/h.  Alstom’s high performance Coradia Polyvalent engine is light and compact and over 90% of its components are recyclable. In addition, it can capture energy generated during braking and return it to the power grid.


American Water
  • American Water is working to improve its efficiency of its fleet of cars and trucks and has implemented a "no idle policy" to improve fuel efficiency. 
  • About 5 percent of American Water’s GHG emissions come from its vehicle fleet, which is used to operate and maintain its water and wastewater systems. American Water continues to work with public utility commissions in the states in which it operates to obtain approval for the increased purchase of high-efficiency, hybrid and electric vehicles.


  • BP is part of the California Fuel Cell Partnership, a unique collaboration of auto manufacturers, energy companies, fuel cell companies, and government agencies. The partnership’s goal is to advance and evaluate new automobile technology that can move the world toward practical and affordable environmental solutions. The organization was formed in April 1999 and placed over 40 fuel cell vehicles—cars and buses—on the road between 2000 and 2003. In addition to facilitating the placement of up to 300 vehicles in fleet demonstrations between 2004 and 2007, partnership members will build demonstration hydrogen fuel stations, act to facilitate a path towards commercialization of hydrogen, and enhance public awareness and support.
  • BP is taking practical steps to bring hydrogen fuel and fuelling facilities into cities around the world as demonstration projects involving buses and cars with the aim to familiarise commerce and the public with hydrogen as the ultimate clean fuel of tomorrow. BP sees their business role as a supplier of hydrogen fuel and a partner in demonstrating the viability of fuel cells in mobile and stationary applications. This strategy makes use of BP’s core skills in fuel production, storage and distribution.
  • BP’s Global Choice program allows Australian business customers to offset the greenhouse gas emissions from their fuel consumption. Participation in the program is free for companies purchasing BP Ultimate or bp autogas and only 1-2 cents per liter to offset regular unleaded or diesel fuels. The offsets are independently audited and certified by the Australian Federal Government’s Australian Greenhouse Office (AGO). Since November 2001, over 6,500 customers have offset 626,095 tonnes of greenhouse gases.

Cummins Inc.

  • Cummins joined the U.S. government and other industry partners in the Twenty-First Century Truck Initiative, with the goal of developing commercially viable truck and propulsion system technologies that will dramatically cut fuel use and emissions from medium and heavy-duty trucks and buses.
  • Cummins sold over 2000 Compressed Natural Gas engines to the Beijing Public Transportation Corporation for the city bus fleet. These engines exceed Euro II emissions standards.
  • Cummins has partnered with Lockheed Martin Control Systems and Orion Bus to produce the diesel engine and soot filter for Lockheed’s hybrid electric drive system for 125 Orion VII hybrid buses, to be purchased by the New York City Metropolitan Transit Authority.


  • Daimler seeks early compliance with the Euro 6 standard for passenger cars by 50 percent of all Mercedes-Benz and smart new vehicles in Europe by the end of 2014.
  • Daimler will introduce EEV engines for light commercial vehicles in all van production series by the end of 2013, which will lead to a reduction in GHG emitted.

Delta Air Lines, Inc.

  • In 2010, Delta installed winglets on twenty-one 737-800s, fifteen 757-200s and fourteen 767-300ERs (part of a long-term program to save 50 million gallons per year) 
  • Delta increased the utilization of single-engine taxi procedures, resulting in 5 percent additional savings from the 30 million gallons per year program
  • Delta enhanced arrival sequencing software in Atlanta to take into account gate availability, saving an additional 2.1 million gallons a year
  • Delta increased the number of aircraft routing options for international flights, saving 1.6 million gallons per year; expanding the engine wash program to include the additional fleets, saving 2.5 million gallons per year. 
  • Delta revising descent procedures for uncongested airports, saving 1.3 million gallons per year.


  • Dominion's home state of Virginia is a very active emerging market for electric vehicles (EVs) and is laying the groundwork for their development and use. The EV market has the potential to grow to 86,000 vehicles, or 5 percent of all vehicle sales in Virginia by 2020.
  • Dominion Virginia Power currently has three Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) in its service fleet. PHEVs contribute to lowering our carbon footprint, cut fuel use and test the value of this clean technology in densely populated Northern Virginia. 
  • Two hybrid aerial lift trucks are in service in Northern Virginia, where they are used to work on power lines. Tests have produced fuel savings of up to 60 percent relative to their diesel-powered counterparts. In addition to the environmental benefits, the hybrid vehicle technology offers potentially lower maintenance costs, less noise at service calls, and healthier work conditions for our line crews.
  • Dominion has teamed up with General Motors and eight other utilities to test the Chevrolet Volt Extended Range Electric Vehicle and the supporting charging infrastructure. Dominion installed two charging stations on Interstate 64 in New Kent County, VA, that are available to the public and free of charge. 
  • In October 2010, Dominion and Ford Motor Company announced plans to coordinate efforts to help prepare Virginia for the operation of EVs. Our two companies are working together to develop consumer outreach and EV educational programs, as well as share information on charging needs and requirements to ensure the power grid can support the necessary electrical demand.
  • The collaboration between Ford and Dominion also involves working with state and local governments on the most efficient ways to bring EVs to Virginia. Government support for infrastructure and a simple charging station permitting process are thought to be two key prerequisites for EV acceptance in Virginia and across the country.
  • In July 2011, Dominion launched an EV pilot program to collect data on customer adoption of EVs, battery charging patterns and the effects of EV charging on the power grid. It offers two different voluntary time-of-use pricing options to encourage customers to charge their EVs at times when electric demand – and costs – are lower (off-peak). 
  • Dominion Energy currently employs more than 300 natural gas vehicles (NGVs), primarily light- and medium-duty pickup trucks, at 22 locations in Ohio. The compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling these vehicles displaces the equivalent of 360,000 gallons of gasoline a year. CNG usage in light-duty pickup trucks typically requires 87 percent less gasoline than regular, gasoline-fueled light-duty pickup trucks. Over the past decade, we estimate that our NGV fleet has displaced a total of about 2.4 million gallons of gasoline.
  • Dominion began testing B20 biodiesel fuel in our Dominion Virginia Power fleet in 2007. Since then, Dominion has used 4 million gallons of B20 at 32 locations in Virginia and North Carolina. More than 1,000 Dominion service vehicles currently operate on biodiesel fuel every day.

Dow Chemical Company

  • Dow Automotive Systems is helping manufacturers reduce vehicle weight – and, in turn, improve energy efficiency and reduce environmental impact.

Duke Energy

  •  Duke Energy collaborates with manufacturers of vehicles, batteries and charging stations to promote the long-term adoption of plug-in electric vehicles. It is also a board member of the Electric Drive Transportation Association and helped launch in 2010, which offers information on advancements in electric vehicle technologies, purchase incentives and environmental benefits.
  • Duke Energy will provide eligible residential customers with electric vehicle charging stations as part of pilot programs in Indiana and the Carolinas. Duke Energy will install charging stations, as well as service the technology for the duration of the programs. When the pilot ends, participants will have the option of purchasing the charging stations at significant savings
  • Duke Energy has set a goal  to only purchase electric and hybrid vehicles by 2020


  • Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., a DuPont company, the world's leading developer and supplier of agricultural seeds, operates a significant portion its fleet of farm and transportation equipment on biofuels such as ethanol and bio-diesel, offsetting CO2 emissions from fossil fuels.


  • Biodiesel and Hybrid Vehicle Program
    • ComEd continues to be a major voluntary user of B-20 biodiesel blended product, with 2004 consumption surpassing the 2 million gallon mark. For 2004, this consumption level reduced particulate emissions by more than 340 tons and displaced the need to purchase more than 400,000 gallons of petroleum-based diesel. ComEd is recognized as the largest regional consumer of biodiesel and ranks in the top 5 percent of biodiesel consumers nationwide.
    • In 2005, Exelon purchased 50 Ford Escape Hybrids, the first production hybrid sport-utility vehicle (SUV). These now comprise about 25 percent of the company’s overall SUV fleet. The combination gasoline and electric Ford Escape operates in electric-only mode when the vehicles travel at low speeds or idle at a stop. As a result, the hybrid Escapes provide an estimated 50 percent improvement in city/highway fuel economy when compared to the conventional Escape.
    • In 2004, Exelon also joined the Hybrid Truck Users Forum (HTUF), a project of the U.S. Army and WestStart. The forum coordinated specifications and a request for proposal (RFP) for the prototype of a medium-duty hybrid utility truck. Exelon’s fleet-supply team had the opportunity to drive the prototype, named the Validator, in January 2005. The truck offers specific benefits for the utility business, such as an immediate source of 25 kilowatts (kW) of exportable power that can be supplied to specific customer locations that have lost power, thereby introducing the possibility of reducing the Customer Average Interruption Duration Index (CAIDI). In 2005, Exelon procured two preproduction hybrid trucks from International Truck and Engine Corporation, one each for PECO and ComEd operations. The combination diesel and electric powered trucks are expected to improve fuel economy up to 60 percent compared to diesel-only fueled trucks. The new hybrid truck will also allow the operator to shut off the diesel engine and operate the bucket on an electric motor for up to two hours before the engine has to come back on to briefly charge the battery. As a result, considerably less fuel is burned and noise is reduced. About two-thirds of the fuel savings result from the engine being shut off at the work site.
  • Donated CNG station for airport transit buses
    • Partnering with the Greater Philadelphia Clean Cities Program (GPCCP), PECO helped move the Philadelphia International Airport (PIA) one step closer toward procurement of compressed natural gas (CNG) transit buses. A recent study, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) through a GPCCP grant, determined that significant reductions in emissions are possible through adoption of alternative fuel vehicles, most notably CNG fueled vehicles.
    • In 2004, the decision was made by PECO to close the CNG station located at the King of Prussia service area on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Declining patronage and increasing operations and maintenance (O&M) expenses were the main drivers. Since the major expense in decommissioning the station was removal and site restoration, PECO offered the station to GPCCP and PIA in hopes that it could be re-commissioned to support an anticipated procurement of CNG transit buses.
    • In November, the station was moved from the turnpike service area to a temporary location at PIA, awaiting installation and commissioning at the airport in mid-2005. This move eliminated the O&M expense and demonstrated PECO’s environmental commitment by facilitating future use of this asset in a manner certain to improve air quality at the airport. In addition, PECO made a $20,000 cash gift to GPCCP for funding the relocation and site restoration

General Motors

  • Throughout GM's vehicle brands, it has 13 vehicle models that achieve at least a 30 mpg highway rating or higher for the 2010 model year. GM has made its vehicles more efficient through the use of a variety of technologies such as Active Fuel Management, six-speed transmissions, variable valve timing, and direct injection. It also offers five hybrid vehicles – Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Yukon, GMC Sierra and Cadillac Escalade.


  • Hp's projects to improve transport efficiency reduced GHG emissions by 54,000 tonnes CO2e. Switching transport of HP Visual Collaboration studios from air to ocean and optimizing shipping container size saved 880 tonnes CO2e per shipment

  • In 2004, Hewlett-Packard was ranked in the top twenty FORTUNE 500 companies participating in the public-private sector voluntary program Best Workplaces for Commuters.SM Best Workplaces for CommutersSM was established by the DOT and EPA to publicly recognize employers whose commuter benefits address parking, congestion, and environmental impacts associated with driving-alone commuting. Seventy percent of HP's employees telecommute on a full-time, regular, or occasional basis. HP’s Bay Area work sites also have electric vehicle recharging stations onsite and offer transit subsidies to employees. HP work sites in Georgia also offer transit subsidies, hold quarterly meetings to discuss commuter issues, and subsidize all vanpool expenses beyond the cost of gas.


  • In 2004, IBM was ranked in the top twenty FORTUNE 500 companies participating in the public-private sector voluntary program Best Workplaces for Commuters®. Best Workplaces for Commuters® was established by the DOT and EPA to publicly recognize employers whose commuter benefits address parking, congestion, and environmental impacts associated with driving-alone commuting. Commuter programs particularly telecommuting, not only benefit the environment by reducing traffic congestion, but also benefit IBM employees by providing them with greater flexibility, and benefit the company by enhancing the productivity of its work force. IBM has currently more than 20,000 employees participating in telework arrangements in the U.S. Many IBM locations around the country also encourage employees to take public transportation, carpool, vanpool, use bikes, etc. in order to reduce traffic congestion and its resulting air pollution. At these multiple locations, IBM provides commuter assistance programs which provide employees with guidance on using alternative modes of transportation and Emergency Ride Home programs. Some of these IBM locations provide employees with various benefits including but not limited to transit subsidies, discounted transit passes, internal carpool ride-matching service, access to onsite amenities such as cafeterias, credit unions, ATM's, medical center, commuter information kiosks, common telework stations, bike racks, showers, etc.


  • In 2004, Intel was ranked number one among FORTUNE 500 participating companies in the public-private sector voluntary program Best Workplaces for CommutersSM. Best Workplaces for Commuterssm was established by the DOT and EPA to publicly recognize employers whose commuter benefits address parking, congestion, and environmental impacts associated with driving-alone commuting. In 2003, 44 percent of Intel’s 48,600-plus U.S.-based employees were able to take advantage of telecommute options, while other staffers participated in flextime, compressed workweeks, part-time hours, and job-share programs. Intel offers commuter benefits to more than 90 percent of its work force including a universal vanpool and transit subsidy program and Emergency Ride Home services. In addition, Intel provides on-site fitness centers, food cafes, dry cleaning, and photo development for its employees at major work sites.

Johnson Controls

  • PowerFrame is our patented, precision-stamped grid technology in lead-acid batteries. Its optimized grid design and sturdy outer frame delivers significantly improved durability, performance and reliability and extends the battery’s lifecycle. The PowerFrame manufacturing process utilizes 20 percent less energy, emits 20 percent fewer greenhouse gases and is virtually waste-free because all excess stamping materials are recycled. The PowerFrame grid technology process is used at all Johnson Controls manufacturing sites in the United States and is being implemented at the company’s battery production facilities in Mexico and Europe.
  • Johnson Controls has developed seating frames that are 30 percent lighter than current frames and help reduce overall vehicle weight. This new frame will be
    available to Japanese car makers for production in 2012.
  • Johnson Controls. through its joint venture, Johnson Controls-Saft-Saft, was the first to market lithium-ion batteries for production automobiles, supplying the Mercedes S-Class and BMW 7 Series hybrid vehicles. It established the first U.S. automotive lithium-ion battery production facility in Holland, Michigan, in 2010. Battery pack assembly began at this facility this year, with cell production to begin in 2011. The plant supports production contracts with Ford, Daimler, BMW and Azure Dynamics.

NextEra Energy, Inc.

  • Florida Power & Light, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy, Inc. has updated its vehicle fleet  with hybrid-electric and biodiesel vehicles. It converted one-third of its 2,400 company cars to hybrids by the end of 2010.

NRG Energy

  • In 2010, NRG launched eVgo, the nation’s first comprehensive, privately funded electric vehicle charging ecosystem. Starting in Houston and expanding to Dallas-Fort Worth and additional markets, eVgo delivers an unlimited miles “home-and-away” charging service for a low monthly fee, making EV ownership easier and more affordable. This will help pave the way to an electric vehicle revolution that has the potential to not only break America’s addiction to foreign oil, but also significantly reduce greenhouse gases and other harmful air emissions by fueling vehicles with lower emission electricity instead of gasoline.

PG&E Corporation

  • PG&E Corporation began its Clean Air Transportation program in 1988 and currently has more than 650 natural gas vehicles in its fleet.
  • PG&E is conducting a PEV (Plug-in Electric Vehicle) "smart charging" pilot project with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), technology companies and automakers to evaluate load management technologies that will minimize the impacts to the grid from charging electric vehicles.
  • PG&E is helping to develop the underlying codes and standards for electric vehicles, working with national and international organizations to ensure that electric vehicles charge and communicate in similar ways. This will reduce costs for utilities, car companies and, ultimately, consumers. For example, as chair of EPRI's National Infrastructure Working Council, PG&E was instrumental in securing agreement across the electric vehicle industry to adopt the J1772 physical plug standard. This standard means that all electric cars will have the same plug for charging vehicle batteries.
  • Last year, PG&E added the nation’s first all-electric bucket truck to the fleet. The Smith Electric Vehicle joins the PHEV and hybrid diesel-electric bucket trucks already in service. PG&E also continued to evaluate and test numerous electric passenger vehicles, including the Mitsubishi i-Miev and AC Propulsion's eBox, and have incorporated Ford Escape PHEVs and two Toyota Prius PHEVs into PG&E’s fleet.
  • PG&E's fleet includes more than 1,000 compressed natural gas (CNG) passenger cars, pickups, vans and trucks. The company also maintain a network of 35 CNG and one liquefied natural gas (LNG) stations, most of which are open to the public. 
  • PG&E has partnered with General Motors to take delivery of more than 100 dual-mode hybrid pickup trucks, joining more than 50 Ford Escape hybrids already in the fleet. PG&E will also add 10 Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric vehicles once they are available. To support these new vehicles, PG&E has installed more than 20 new electric vehicle charging stations at seven locations, with plans to add more as new vehicles come into the fleet. We are also adopting energy-efficient LED vehicle lighting as the standard for our fleet in 2010 to reduce overall electricity use.

Rio Tinto

  • Rio Tinto subsidiary US Borax is participating with Millenium Cell in the further development and possible commercialization of a process that generates pure hydrogen or electricity from environmentally friendly raw materials such as borates. In the Hydrogen on Demand™ process, the energy potential of hydrogen is carried in the chemical bonds of sodium borohydride, which in the presence of a catalyst either releases hydrogen or produces electricity.

Royal Dutch/Shell

  • In August 2010 Royal Dutch/Shell signed a binding agreement with Cosan to form a joint venture for producing ethanol from sugar cane in Brazil. Following regulatory approval this would mark Shell’s first move into the production of biofuels.
  • Royal Dutch/Shell works with Iogen Energy, a Canadian company, to develop the processing technology that enables ethanol to be made from straw using enzymes. Iogen opened a demonstration plant in Ottawa, Canada, in 2004.
  • With US company Virent Energy Systems we also have a joint technology development programme to convert plant sugars directly into a range of high performance liquid transport fuels. In 2010 Virent opened a demonstration plant to convert plant sugars directly into petrol.
  • Royal Dutch/Shell is part of the California Fuel Cell Partnership, a unique collaboration of auto manufacturers, energy companies, fuel cell companies, and government agencies. The partnership’s goal is to advance and evaluate new automobile technology that can move the world toward practical and affordable environmental solutions. The organization was formed in April 1999 and placed over 40 fuel cell vehicles—cars and buses—on the road between 2000 and 2003.
  • Royal Dutch/Shell’s Shell Hydrogen was established in early 1999 to pursue and develop global business opportunities related to hydrogen and fuel cells. Shell Hydrogen is involved, through Icelandic New England Ltd, in a pioneering project that may bring about a complete transition to a hydrogen economy in the coming decades in Iceland.


  • In December 2009, Toyota launched the 2010 Prius Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle (PHV) demonstration program. The Prius PHV is based on the third-generation Prius, expanding Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive® technology with the introduction of a first generation lithium-ion (Li-ion) drive battery that enables all-electric operation at higher speeds and longer distances than the conventional Prius hybrid.
  • Toyota plans to bring the new RAV4 battery electric vehicle to market in 2012.
  • Both the US EPA's Fuel Economy Guide and the Natural Resources Canada Fuel Consumption Guide for model year 2010 list the Toyota Prius as the most fuel-efficient vehicle available for sale in both countries.
  • Toyota's low viscosity SAE (formerly known as the Society of Automotive Engineers) 0W-20 multigrade gasoline engine oil enables increased fuel economy performance over higher viscosity oils by reducing friction while maintaining necessary lubrication in the engine.
  • Toyota is committed to bringing hydrogen-powered vehicles to global markets in 2015, and it sees FCHVs (Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicles) as yet another critical element in its progression toward sustainable mobility.
  • Toyota's Green Wave Advisor enables traffic signals to communicate directly with the vehicle. The signals send information to the vehicle that is translated and displayed for the driver as a suggested range of speeds. If followed, this information will allow the driver to pass through a series of green lights for a more efficient
  • Over the past decade, Toyota’s new automobile fleets have consistently achieved higher fleet average fuel economy than both the industry standard and the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard required by U.S. law - for both car and non-passenger (light truck and SUV) fleets.
  • Toyota is exploring ways to accelerate the research and development needed to commercialize bio?hydrocarbon fuels.
  • Toyota is part of the California Fuel Cell Partnership, a unique collaboration of auto manufacturers, energy companies, fuel cell companies, and government agencies. The partnership’s goal is to advance and evaluate new automobile technology that can move the world toward practical and affordable environmental solutions. The organization was formed in April 1999 and placed over 40 fuel cell vehicles—cars and buses—on the road between 2000 and 2003. In addition to facilitating the placement of up to 300 vehicles in fleet demonstrations between 2004 and 2007, partnership members will build demonstration hydrogen fuel stations, act to facilitate a path towards commercialization of hydrogen, and enhance public awareness and support.
  • Toyota is also part of the Canadian Transportation Fuel Cell Alliance (CTFCA) a public/private initiative to demonstrate and analyze fuel cell fueling options for fuel cell vehicles in Canada.


  • In February 2008, Chevron and Weyerhaeuser announced the creation of a 50-50 joint- venture company focused on developing the next generation of renewable transportation fuels from nonfood sources. The joint venture, Catchlight Energy LLC, will research and develop technology for converting cellulose-based biomass into economical, low-carbon biofuels.

Carbon Sequestration and Offsets Solutions

Carbon Sequestration and Offsets Solutions

The following is a brief overview of carbon sequestration and offsets solutions undertaken by members of C2ES's Business Environmental Leadership Council (BELC).

For more information on each of these companies efforts to address climate change, please see the Businesses Leading The Way section of this Web site.

Air Products and Chemicals

  • Air Products is a technology developer and provider for the CO2 Capture Project (CCP), which is an international effort by seven of the world’s leading energy companies. This project seeks to develop new technologies to reduce the cost of capturing CO2 from combustion sources and safely storing it underground. It is a collaborative effort involving partnerships with governments, industry, NGO’s and other stakeholders.

  • Under the CCP, Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. has directly contributed to projects, including early development of sorption enhanced water gas shift process and advancing the feasibility study of retrofitting boilers and fired heaters with oxy-fuel burner systems.

  • Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. is also participating as a partner in the CANMET programs exploring means to increase efficiency in energy-intensive industries, develop more efficient hydrocarbon conversion processes, and reduce emissions, including CO2, from fossil fuel combustion.


  • Alcoa plants thousands of trees annually near their operations and service areas, sequestering thousands of tons of CO2 every year.

  • In 2003, Alcoa employees fulfilled a goal to plant one million trees around the world in ten years—and did so in half the time. A new company goal is for employees to plant 10 million trees by the year 2020.


  • BP is a member of the CO2 Capture Research Project (CCP), an international effort by seven of the world’s leading energy companies. BP is learning from its CO2 geologic storage facility in Algeria, where it will be storing around one million tons of CO2 a year beginning in 2004.

  • B P is working with the MIT Energy Laboratory as part of a consortium researching the environmental impacts, technological approaches, and economic issues associated with carbon sequestration. The MIT research focuses on efforts to better understand and reduce the cost of carbon separation and sequestration.

  • BP is contributing to the development of a Blue Chip Standard, as part of the Climate and Biodiversity Alliance, for demonstrating the contribution of forestry projects to the goal of atmospheric greenhouse gas stabilization. This standard will support the creation of carbon sequestration credits that are generally recognized and therefore tradable.

  • BP’s Global Choice program allows Australian business customers to offset the greenhouse gas emissions from their fuel consumption. Participation in the program is free for companies purchasing BP Ultimate or bp autogas and only 1-2 cents per liter to offset regular unleaded or diesel fuels. The offsets are independently audited and certified by the Australian Federal Government’s Australian Greenhouse Office (AGO). Since November 2001, over 6,500 customers have offset 626,095 tonnes of greenhouse gases.

Delta Air Lines, Inc.

  • Delta was the first U.S. airline to offer carbon offsets to its customers through a partnership with The Nature Conservancy. Proceeds benefit a forest conservation, reforestation and wildlife habitat restoration project in Louisiana’s Tensas River Basin. In 2010 Delta, together with its customers, contributed more than $75,000 towards this project, the equivalent of offsetting the CO2 emissions of ten 747 flights from Tokyo to Detroit.


  • Dominion has supported a number of research projects designed to commercialize carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies. For example, the company contributed $500,000 to the Virginia Center for Coal & Energy Research at Virginia Tech where scientists are studying carbon dioxide storage in the unmineable coal seams of Central Appalachia.

  • Some of the most promising sites for carbon storage are in Virginia’s coalfield region near the company’s new Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center, which Dominion designed to accommodate CCS technology once it is becomes available.

DTE Energy

  • DTE Energy seeks opportunities to sequester carbon dioxide and capture methane escaping from landfills. Since 1995, DTE Energy has planted 20 million trees in Michigan alone and DTE Biomass landfill projects have captured the equivalent of nearly 20 million tons of CO2.

  • DTE Energy is a participating member of the UtiliTree Carbon Company. UtiliTree is a consortium of 41 utilities organized by the Edison Electric Institute to invest in a portfolio of forestry projects that manage GHG emissions, particularly CO2. A $3.2 million investment in eight domestic and two international projects will capture over 3 million tons of CO2 over the life of these projects.

  • DTE is a founding member of PowerTree Carbon Company, LLC, a voluntary carbon sequestration initiative. PowerTree, which has 25 member companies, will invest $3.4 million for reforestation of over 3,800 acres of bottomland hardwood projects in Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana. The project will sequester over 2 million tons of CO2 over the 100-year project term.

Duke Energy

  • In 2010, Duke Energy and ENN Group, one Duke's Chinese partners, conducted a joint study to test the ability of various strains of algae to remove carbon dioxide
    (CO2) from coal-fi red power plant emissions. This was the first study to use CO2 from power-plant flue gas instead of pure CO2. The team of scientists found that
    several strains of algae grew just as well using flue gas instead of pure CO2, an important indicator that these strains could be a good fi t for potential CO2 mitigation


  • Entergy plants thousands of trees annually on their landholdings, sequestering thousands of tons of CO2 every year.

  • Entergy in partnership with Trust for Public Land and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), is acquiring 1,600 acres of land adjacent to the Tensas River Wildlife Refuge, restoring bottom land hardwood habitat on marginal croplands and donating the improved land to USFWS who will manage the property. This will sequester 640,000 tons of CO2 over the next 70 years.

  • Entergy in partnership with the Conservation Fund, USFWS and Friends of the Red River, dedicated the Red River Wildlife Refuge in Natchitoches, Louisiana, and established a 600 acre sequestration site that will create 225,000 tons of CO2 offset credits over the next 70 years.

  • Entergy has leased 30,000 tons of CO2 offset credits from the Pacific Northwest Direct Seed Association (PNDSA). Credits are generated by growers who have agreed to use direct seed agriculture methods for at least 10 years. Direct seed cultivation avoids soil losses from oxidation associated with traditional farming techniques and also reduces the growers’ fuel use and soil erosion.

  • In December 2003, Entergy became the first U.S. utility to purchase carbon emissions credits from geological sequestration projects. These projects capture CO2 vent gases that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere and then place them into oil-bearing geologic formations for use in enhanced domestic oil recovery. Under this program, Entergy plans to purchase over 2,800,000 metric tons of CO2e emission reduction credits by the end of 2005.

  • Entergy is a participating member of the UtiliTree Carbon Company. UtiliTree is a consortium of 41 utilities organized by the Edison Electric Institute to invest in a portfolio of forestry projects that manage GHG emissions, particularly CO2. A $3.2 million investment in eight domestic and two international projects will capture over 3 million tons of CO2 over the life of these projects.


  • TreeVitalize

    • PECO and Exelon have committed $150,000 to TreeVitalize, an aggressive four-year, $8 million partnership to plant more than 20,000 shade trees and restore 1,000 acres of forested riparian buffers in southeastern Pennsylvania. Tree cover (percent of land covered by trees and shrubs) has been decreasing in the five-county Greater Philadelphia region due mainly to the combined impacts of suburban sprawl and urban decay. In response to a study highlighting the loss of tree cover, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources launched TreeVitalize.

    • Planting alone is not sufficient to address the loss of tree cover. Both existing and new trees need better care. TreeVitalize will work with municipalities to identify tools to promote improved tree care. TreeVitalize will also collaborate with community groups to nurture volunteers by providing training for 2,000 citizens in proper tree care techniques.

    • For more info, visit the TreeVitalize website at

  • Working in partnership to restore prairie grass

    • Exelon has restored more than 110 acres of natural prairie habitat on buffer lands and rights of way in Illinois since the initiative’s beginning in 1994. This effort is helping to sequester CO2, restore wildlife habitat, prevent runoff and improve water quality.

    • In 2004, restoration work continued on several significant Illinois projects. We partnered with the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County to manage transmission rights of way in conjunction with a larger restoration project. An ecosystem lease was signed for the county to manage our property, which was a first for Exelon. And in Will County, we restored four acres along a transmission right of way adjacent to a larger restoration project. Another six acres of prairie were restored adjacent to a Forest Preserve District of Will County restoration project along the DuPage River.

    • Exelon is currently evaluating 10 to 15 additional acres of company rights of way and buffer lands for possible restoration.

  • Capturing CO2 emissions through tree plantings

    • During 2004, Exelon maintained its participation in PowerTree Carbon Company, LLC, an initiative formed in 2003 by 25 U.S. power generators as part of a voluntary industry response to climate change. Member companies committed more than $3 million for reforestation in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley. The projects will remove from the atmosphere and store more than 2 million tons of CO2 over their projected 100-year lifetimes. Exelon will be entitled to claim approximately 3 percent of the sequestered CO2.

    • As of December 31, 2004, PowerTree Carbon Company had planted in excess of 2,000 acres of seedlings, using native tree species. Projects typically involve planting on a 12- by 12-foot spacing for an initial tree density Periodic monitoring using peer-reviewed methodologies measures above- and below-ground carbon stores.

    • The Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley once contained nearly 22 million acres of bottomland hardwoods that have been reduced to approximately 4 million acres as a result of decades of flood control measures and conversion of forestlands to marginal farmland. Benefits from PowerTree Carbon Company, LLC projects beyond carbon sequestration include restoration of habitat for birds and other wildlife, reduction of fertilizer inputs to water bodies and increased soil stabilization. This initiative will help to advance the science behind carbon sequestration as a GHG mitigation option.

    • For more info, visit the PowerTree website at

  • Managing trees along rights of way

    • Exelon maintains almost 56,000 miles of overhead electric lines in its distribution system and more than 6,000 miles of transmission rights of way. Our vegetation management program uses safe, reliable and cost-effective methods, including tree trimming, removal and herbicide application. These methods follow the standards set by the American National Standards Institute, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the International Society of Arboriculture.

    • PECO maintains its 12,150 miles of distribution lines on a five-year cycle, ComEd its 43,700 miles on a four-year cycle. Our transmission rights of way on state, local and federal lands – through prairies, wetlands, woods, agricultural land, suburban and urban areas and along highways and railroad corridors – are maintained on a five-year cycle, with annual comprehensive surveys of conditions.

    • ComEd is converting sections of transmission rights of way to native grasses and to date has converted 110 acres. Through the Municipal Tree Restoration Program, PECO encourages customers to plant the right tree in the right place to help minimize contact with wires. Both PECO and ComEd support municipalities by funding the removal and replacement of diseased, weakened or tall-growing trees under our overhead conductors. ComEd and PECO support National Arbor Day by working with school groups, municipalities and civic organizations to supply trees and planting training. ComEd is a five-year recipient of the National Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree Line USA Award.

    • For more info on tree plantings near power lines visit PECO's Compatible Trees for Planting Under or Near Power Lines.

NRG Energy

  • As part of NRG's aggressive effort to transition to a low-carbon economy, it is currently exploring a variety of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) projects including post-combustion technologies to capture  CO2 from the flue gas of a power plant and place it in safe geological formations for permanent sequestration.

    • NRG's post-combustion CCS demonstration project at WA Parish near Houston, Texas, will be among the first of its kind and is expected to begin operating in 2013. The project will process flue gas from the plant equal in quantity to that of a 60 MW unit, a level that can prove the technology's viability on a larger scale, and then deliver that captured CO2 for use in enhanced oil recovery in nearby oil fields. This commercial-scale demonstration is designed to capture approximately 90 percent (or just under half a million tons) of CO2 in the flue gas annually.

    • NRG Energy has invested in a 680 net megawatt (MW) IGCC plant with carbon capture and sequestration in Tonawanda, NY. IGCC technology removes more than 90% of nitrogen oxide (NOX), 99% of sulfur dioxide (SO2), and 95% of mercury emissions, compared to conventional coal-fueled plants. Additionally, our IGCC plant will capture 65% of CO2 emissions, with a potential of up to 90% over time.

  • NRG Energy created and maintains the Oxbow Reforestation Project in Shreveport, La. The project features one of the largest single reforestation efforts on private land in the southeastern United States and is supported by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  The site includes 60 acres of shallow water wetlands and nearly 2,000 acres of bottomland hardwood forest.

  • The Restore America's Estuaries Nation Conference was held in Galveston in 2010. NRG was the conference's climate sponsor, offsetting 1,500 metric tons of carbon for the weeklong event. Wetland plants from NRG Energy's EcoCenter were donated and planted by conference participants during the Restore Galveston Bay field session

PG&E Corporation

  • Pacific Gas and Electric Company has submitted a proposal to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for a new and innovative environmental program that will allow interested customers to contribute toward a cleaner California. This voluntary program would be available to most of PG&E’s residential and business customers.

    Through the Climate Protection Program, customers can choose to sign up and pay a small premium on their monthly utility bill which will fund independent environmental projects aimed at removing carbon dioxide from the air. To read more about this program, click here. (pdf)

Rio Tinto

  • Rio Tinto Aluminium (RTA) partnered with The Carbon Pool Pty Ltd. In the “Minding the Carbon Store (MTCS)” project to abate approximately 1 million tons of CO2 emissions through avoided deforestation. The project, verified and approved under the Australian government’s Greenhouse Gas Friendly initiative, provided payments to landowners to forego permits to clear native vegetation, avoiding the release of GHG emissions over a period of 120 years from land clearing of 12,000 hectares of native vegetation.

  • Rio Tinto’s Luzenac America subsidiary purchased green tags from the Bonneville Environmental Foundation to offset 100 percent of the GHG emissions associated with energy used at its Yellowstone Talc mine near Cameron, Montana.

  •  Rio Tinto invests in developing and commercialising carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology. Rio Tinto is a founding member of the Global CCS Institute and supports other collaborative efforts to deploy CCS technology, such as the CO2CRC's Otway Basin geosequestration project in Australia

Royal Dutch/Shell

  • Royal Dutch/Shell is a member of the CO2 capture project CO2 Capture Research Project, an international effort by seven of the world’s leading energy companies.

  • Shell leads the CO2Sink project at Ketzin in Germany, which is the first onshore project in Europe to inject CO2 underground. From 2008 - 2010, the project will store up to 60,000 tonnes of CO2 in saltwater rock layers, showing how effectively CO2 is absorbed and its movement over time. Shell is leading this project, providing  technical expertise and helping  find the most cost-effective ways to store CO2 in saltwater formations. Governments will also use findings to help design effective safety regulations.


  • Project Pioneer was announced in April 2008, when TransAlta, along with partner and technology developer Alstom Canada, announced intent to build a large-scale, pre-commercial CCS facility in Alberta. The project is expected to be complete in 2013. Results of the pilot are sure to influence practices across our industry as well as others.
  • TransAlta is a participating member of the UtiliTree Carbon Company. UtiliTree is a consortium of 41 utilities organized by the Edison Electric Institute to invest in a portfolio of forestry projects that manage GHG emissions, particularly CO2. A $3.2 million investment in eight domestic and two international projects will capture over 3 million tons of CO2 over the life of these projects.

  • TransAlta, in concert with a coalition of governments and industry, will research commercially viable technology to eliminate CO2 from coal-burning power plants. The coalition plans to construct and operate a demonstration plant by 2007 to test the technology’s technical, environmental, and economic viability.

  • TransAlta is part of the Greenhouse Emissions Management Consortium, a non-profit Canadian corporation formed by ten Canadian Energy Companies that invests in emissions offsets. Among other offsets, the consortium has purchased 6 million metric tons of carbon emission reduction credits from Iowa farmers who use minimum-till and no-till farming practices, cropland retirement, buffer strips, afforestation, reforestation, improved timber management, power generation from biomass, and methane abatement from livestock waste to reduce emissions.


  • In 2008, Weyerhaeuser sequestered 8.4 million metric tons of greenhouse gases in our forests and products, meaning the company sequestered about five times more carbon dioxide than we directly emitted.
  • At the close of 2004, Weyerhaeuser owned, licensed, or leased 37.9 million acres of forests worldwide. The company uses intensive silvicultural practices on the highly productive forests it owns to achieve the natural biological potential. In other areas it uses less intensive practices to emulate natural forest structure. In both cases, these sustainably managed forests sequester large pools of CO2 inherent in the trees. Weyerhaeuser invests in afforestation ventures in South America to sustainably sequester additional tons of CO2 and uses recycled fibers in products to extend the time that CO2 removed from the atmosphere during the tree-growing stage is stored in products.

  • In 2004 Weyerhaeuser improved its process for inventorying GHG emissions and the carbon stored in its forests and products. The company’s operations sequestered approximately 26 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents and emitted approximately 7 million tons from the use of fossil fuels and other activities. This effectively sequestered 19 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent or 0.5 metric tons of carbon equivalents per ton of production, an improvement of approximately 18% over 2003.

Energy Demand Solutions

Energy Demand Solutions

The following is a brief overview of energy demand solutions undertaken by members of C2ES's Business Environmental Leadership Council (BELC).

For more information on each of these companies efforts to address climate change, please see the Businesses Leading The Way section of this Web site.


Air Products and Chemicals

  • Air Products and Chemicals’ efficiency engineers constantly monitor the performance of their major energy-intensive operations. In 2002, those engineers completed numerous global energy efficiency projects resulting in an estimated 26 MW of power savings; this is equivalent to the power consumed by 18,500 average homes annually and equivalent to avoiding 174,000 tons of CO2 emissions.
  • Air Products works closely with its energy suppliers to make the most efficient use of their generation facilities to help them minimize their greenhouse (GHG) emissions. Air Products matches its energy needs to that of the energy supplier by shutting down production at times of peak demand and increasing production at other times. Such efforts contribute to "demand loading," a practice in which energy suppliers try to optimize the generational efficiency of a power plant by ensuring that it runs as close as possible to the point of maximum efficiency.
  • Air Products is working with the DOE’s Vision 21 Program and other business partners on the development of Ion Transport Membrane (ITM) Oxygen technology. Many emerging energy-production technologies, environmental cleanup technologies and industrial processes would benefit from using oxygen in place of air.
  • Air Products and Chemicals and its partners were selected by the DOE Industries of the Future (IOF) Best Practices Program to demonstrate the potential for using CO2 to manufacture polyurethane. In addition to using less energy, the new process will be cleaner, significantly reduce the environmental impact of making the foam, and reduce the net release of CO2.


  • Alcoa has reduced the electricity required to produce a ton of aluminum by 7.5% percent over the last 20 years.
  • Alcoa supplies lightweight, recyclable materials for motor vehicle assembly; each kilogram of aluminum that replaces higher density materials provides the potential to save 20 kilograms of CO2e emissions via better fuel economy and recyclability.

American Water

  • Although lighting accounts for less than one-half of one percent of American Water’s electricity use, facilities are incorporating high efficiency lighting technology to reduce energy use.
  • In Pennsylvania, American Water is piloting a technology that allows its large energy consuming sites to reduce their electric consumption during peak events or times of energy usage. This "demand management" technology will avoid the need for additional power generation and reduce energy costs for its customers.

Cummins Inc.

  • Cummins has implemented energy conservation efforts in several of its facilities. Corporate headquarters and other major facilities have agreed to cut electricity consumption by 6 MW on peak demand days. Other facilities have installed air compressor controls and high-efficiency lighting, and have begun using hot water from engine testing to melt snow, reducing the need for electric resistance wiring.

Delta Air Lines, Inc.

  • Delta has replaced over 380,000 square feet of roof at Delta’s Technical Operations Center in Atlanta with white thermoplastic polyolefin roofing material. The reflective properties of this material reduce the use of energy for building heating and cooling. As a result of this installation, Delta saved over 165,000 kWh of annual energy use. In 2011, another $2.8 million will be invested in this eco-friendly roofing material at Delta’s Technical Operations Center.
  • An effort to reduce the use of electricity at Delta’s Technical Operations Center included the replacement of lighting fixtures in two hangars. Annual energy savings associated with this project total 1,802 metric tons of CO2 —equivalent to the annual emissions of 355 passenger vehicles.
  • In 2010, Dominion installed more than 30,000 smart meters and related technology in four Northern Virginia localities, bringing total installations in Virginia to about 100,000. These initial installations lay a foundation for more fully understanding the costs and benefits of smart meter technology as the company assesses its potential for reducing customers’ energy usage and improving grid reliability.
  • At Dominion East Ohio, the company is investing $9.5 million a year in demand-side management (DSM) programs for its Ohio customers. Of that annual total, $6.5 million is funding home weatherization programs for qualified low-income customers, administered by the Cleveland Housing Network.
  • Dominion also created a DSM Collaborative, comprised of Dominion East Ohio, the Staff of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, consumer advocates and other interested stakeholders. Based on DSM Collaborative input, we are investing $3 million a year towards a residential retrofit program called "Home Performance with Energy Star."
  • Dominion maintains four voluntary energy efficiency and conservation programs that are expected to save our customers an estimated $290 million over the next 15 years. There are two residential programs and two commercial programs. These offerings are also expected to provide significant environmental benefits and help Dominion meet the state of Virginia’s voluntary 10 percent energy conservation goal by 2022.
    • Smart Cooling Rewards: Customers receive $40 annually for letting Dominion cycle on and off their air conditioner or heat pump system during periods of high demand.
    • Home Energy Improvement Program: A free in-home energy audit and improvement program for income-qualified customers, where an energy specialist will examine a customer's home, generate a custom audit report and complete energy efficiency improvements.
    • HVAC Rewards: Customers who replace their HVAC system or install a new HVAC system with one that has a higher efficiency rating than the current national minimum requirements receive a rebate for part of the price of the system, based on a per ton rate.
    • Lighting Rewards: Customers who retrofit existing lighting with more efficient lighting receive a rebate based on a per fixture rate. 
Dow Chemical Company
  • Since 1994 Dow has saved $9.2 billion and 1700 trillion BTUs due to improved energy intensity.
  • Dow has initiated 40 energy efficiency projects at facilities in the U.S., Germany, Spain, France and The Netherlands that are anticipated to save approximately 8 trillion BTUs of energy and reduce CO2 emission by more than 400,000 metric tons. Selected for their ability to reduce energy use and GHG emissions, as well as accelerated energy cost savings, these projects are sponsored with $84 million from the Energy Intensity Improvement Fund and demonstrate Dow’s expertise in developing energy efficiency innovations to achieve environmental effectiveness and economic efficiency.
  • In the fall of 2009, Cobblestone Homes approached The Dow Chemical Company about partnering on a net-zero energy home. The company embraced the concept and Vision Zero was born. Throughout the next six months, the two companies worked together to develop plans and select technologies that would insulate and seal the building envelope as well as generate renewable energy.

DTE Energy

  • DTE Energy works with customers to find ways they can help protect the environment by using energy wisely. DTE Energy Partnership has a staff of more than 40 energy engineers that work with businesses to increase efficiency.

Duke Energy

  • Duke Energy seeks to reduce customer energy consumption by 2500 GW and peak demand by 2,100 MW by 2013
  • Duke Energy received regulatory approval to implement the smart grid in Ohio in 2008 and began full-scale deployment in 2010. of the technology. Duke Energy has installed approximately 140,000 smart electric meters, 100,000 smart gas meters, and 22,000 communication nodes in Ohio — eliminating the need for manual meter readings and giving customers greater insight into their daily energy usage.
  • Duke Energy is conducting a pilot Smart Grid program in Indiana and expects a ruling about the future of the program from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) in July 2011.
  • Beginning in 2011, Duke Energy's Residential Smart Saver will give Kentucky residents incentives of as much as $250 to cover part of the cost of items like air sealing, attic insulation, duct sealing, and tuneups for air conditioning and heat pumps. The incentives also will be available for the installation of high-efficiency heat pumps or air conditioners in homes. The program won't have income limits. Instead of the incentives, Duke will provide direct installation of energy efficiency options for low-income customers.
  • Duke's various programs also include energy audits, energy bill assistance and financial incentives to customers who let the utility remotely turn off their air conditioners during peak usage times in the summer months.


  • DuPont used seven percent less total energy in 2004 than it did in 1990, despite an almost 30 percent increase in production. Compared to a linear increase in energy with production, this achievement has resulted in $2 billion in cumulative energy savings.
  • DuPont Tyvek housewrap improves the energy efficiency of buildings, with energy savings in the first year of use alone some 10-20 times the energy required to produce the product.
  • DuPont’ engineering polymers in applications like intake manifolds help to safely reduce the weight of motor vehicles and improve their fuel efficiency.


  • As of June 2011, Entergy's pilot program SmartView has provided 2,500 New Orleans residents with "smart meters" to provide real-time updates on their power use.

  • Entery deploys energy efficiency/Demand Side Management programs throughout Entergy's service territory. Currently there are 25 EE/DSM programs that cover all customer classes (residential, commercial and industrial). Recognizing the powerful benefits associated with energy efficiency, Entergy created an Energy Efficiency Task Force to identify initiatives that can reduce systemwide energy demand by a goal of 300 megawatts.

  • Entergy, under its commitment to stabilize power plant CO2 emissions, has implemented 44 internal GHG reduction programs as of December 2003 that will achieve a projected 1 million tons of CO2 equivalent reduction by 2005. Several of these projects focus on using less fuel to generate electricity at power plants: two projects allow generating units to operate on less power when in stand-by mode, while two other projects are installing advanced controls to regulate the combustion processes in selected plant boilers. These projects are dedicated to improving the efficiency and capacity factor of Entergy’s cleanest and lowest emitting fossil, nuclear, and renewable electric generating units.


  • Exelon Energy Delivery’s Smart Returns Load Reduction Programs
    • ComEd’s 10 Smart Returns products represent one of the largest, most successful loads response portfolios in the United States. The programs provide customers with a financial incentive to curtail use, while benefiting the community and the environment through a lower, more stable load. The more customers curtail use, the more financial incentives they can potentially earn.
    • From single-family residential homes to large steel mills, the Smart Returns products provide opportunities for almost every customer to participate. ComEd works closely with large commercial, institutional and industrial customers to customize curtailment plans and maximize energy efficiency opportunities. On hot summer days, ComEd’s load response programs can contribute a 1,000-MW reduction to system peak loads.
    • PECO’s Smart Returns program has three products, and customers may participate in any or all. The first, active load management (ALM), is a program in which participating customers guarantee that they will reduce their energy consumption within one hour of PECO’s request. This emergency program is designed to respond to events that are triggered within the PJM Interconnection, a regional transmission organization. During 2004, PECO gained 26 MW of new ALM customer load, in addition to the existing 74 MW under contract.
    • Under the second Smart Returns program, voluntary load reduction, customers receive a one-hour notification to curtail energy consumption and share in a percentage of PECO’s energy cost savings. PECO had 123 MW under this program for 2004.
    • Finally, PJM’s voluntary Economic and Emergency Load Response Programs provide an additional Smart Returns choice for potential load response customers. During 2004, PECO signed up more than 200 MW.
  • EED internal energy efficiency initiative
    • The Exelon Environmental Strategy Energy Efficiency Team was charged with the goals of improving energy efficiency at EED facilities by 3 percent annually from 2003–2007 and developing recommendations for expanding the program to other Exelon facilities. The team, which supports 74 EED facilities and 8,200 employees, implemented a broad strategy that includes a budget for collateral materials, facility benchmarking and energy audits, efficiency retrofits and a multiyear communications plan with internal articles, posters and stickers to remind employees to turn off computers and lights when not in use.
    • For 2004, EED reduced energy consumption by 7 million kilowatt hours (kWh) compared to the 2002 baseline. Normalizing the data based on 30-year averages and the current year heating and cooling degree-days resulted in an improvement of 4 percent in 2003 and 3.8 percent in 2004, thus exceeding the goal each year.
    • Currently, there is a focus within Exelon Nuclear to identify energy efficiency opportunities.
  • Green corporate headquarters
    • In 2004, Exelon’s Real Estate and Facilities business unit initiated the consolidation of our three downtown Chicago locations into a single flagship headquarters. We believe that greater cross-collaboration between functions can achieve synergies that will improve productivity. The new headquarters will contribute toward reducing our real estate costs.
    • We will demonstrate our environmental stewardship by incorporating sustainable design and building practices into the headquarters’ design. The U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program defines the parameters for building and operating new and existing buildings to be more environmentally friendly. In determining whether Exelon could participate in the LEED program without incurring an unreasonable cost premium, we recognized that the building and design marketplace has evolved to a point where the new headquarters can incorporate many established and forward-thinking elements of sustainable design and construction. The costs associated with sustainable design are now on a par with typical building materials and processes. We are confident that the new headquarters will be an inviting, innovative and practical space for our employees and visitors for years to come.
  • EED support of Chicago Green City goal
    • The Exelon Marketing Technical Services (MTS) team actively supports Chicago’s efforts to make the city the greenest community in the United States. Exelon’s support ranges from energy efficiency work in city facilities to efficiency improvements in industrial facilities and sustainable design outreach.
    • Retrofits in city facilities. In 2004, MTS conducted a benchmark study evaluating energy efficiency opportunities such as lighting retrofits and solar domestic water heating for the city’s firehouses. Exelon also completed lighting retrofits at several Chicago Transit Authority and City Colleges of Chicago facilities, including bus garages, repair shops, classrooms, laboratories, gymnasiums and swimming pools. In aggregate, the projects saved more than 1,500 kW in installed lighting load, 9.6 million kWh in annual electricity consumption and 20.5 million pounds of CO2 emissions.
    • Saving energy, avoiding emissions and improving Chicago’s economy. In conjunction with the University of Illinois and the city’s Department of Environment, MTS supports and coordinates Chicago’s Industrial Rebuild Program targeted to specific industrial segments. In 2004, ComEd completed assessments of chemical manufacturers and continued assessments of confectionery companies. These efforts identified potential annual savings of 3.7 million kWh and 14.5 million cubic feet of water and avoidance of 5.5 million pounds of CO2 emissions.
    • Sustainable design. Through creation of a Chicago Standard, the city is committed to LEED certification for all new buildings. ComEd is providing technical support for operating efficiency, maintenance practices and training of building staff. ComEd is also commissioning four new Chicago Public Schools.

General Motors

  • GM reduced energy use at its global facilities 39% between 2005 and 2009. These savings also reduced greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 3 million metric tons over that timeframe.
  • General Motors’ Lansing Delta Township Assembly Plant in Michigan has a gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. The building is the first automotive manufacturing plant in the world – as well as the largest facility and the most complex manufacturing site – to ever receive any level of LEED certification.
  • GM has invested $40 million in various clean energy projects throughout America with a goal to reduce 8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. The initiative is based on projects that promote energy savings, renewable energy, responsible use of natural resources and conservation in communities across the United States.


  • HP participates in the US EPA’s ENERGY STAR® Program, and more than 300 of its products are ENERGY STAR® qualified.
  • HP uses “Instant On” technology in many of its laser-jet printers, allowing them to save energy from immediately shifting from active printing to a power saving “sleep mode,” without sacrificing printer reliability or the time needed to start the next job.
  • HP is developing “all-in-one” products that combine several typical office appliances into one machine, saving up to forty percent in energy and materials.
  • HP has implemented energy-saving measures at many of its own facilities. These measures include installing automated and centralized control systems to minimize energy consumption and maximize efficiency, establishing new temperature set-points, reducing lighting, encouraging employees to turn off lights, computers, and other appliances when not in use, and educating employees about energy conservation. At its Roseville technology campus in California, the percentage of computers left on after work dropped from 33 percent to 8 percent in one year.


  • In June 2011, IBM launched its Intelligent Building Management software, which the IT company estimates can reduce maintenance costs by 10 to 30 percent, and cut energy usage by up to 40 percent. IBM says that the software offers a comprehensive view of energy and facility operations with real-time energy management and performance optimization through end-to-end visibility. It works by collecting real-time data and events from sensors on boilers, air ducts, lights, water pipes, chillers, computer rooms, and external temperature monitors, as well as from building management systems.
  • In 2009, IBM’s four-processor and UNIX-based POWER® 750 Express and Power 755 enterprise servers became the first four-processor servers in the industry to be qualified to the U.S. EPA ENERGY STAR server requirements. These systems are able to deliver significantly more workload and support many more individual applications on a single server than comparable one- or two processor ENERGY STAR systems.
  • IBM achieved a 6.1 percent reduction in total conventional energy use through energy efficiency and conservation measures and through the procurement of renewables. This corresponds to an approximate reduction of 173,500 tons of CO2 at a cost savings of $17.3 million.
  • IBM sets targets for product efficiency for a wide range of products. One-hundred percent of new IBM personal computers, monitors, and printer office models introduced from 2001 through 2003 met the ENERGY STAR® criteria. Continued focus on reducing non-productive standby power ("off" mode for those products having power management) has resulted in AC adaptors offered with IBM's ThinkPads since 2001 using less than 1 watt in standby, with the majority using less than 0.6 watts.


  • Intel now has a policy of designing all new buildings to a minimum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver level. A design center in Haifa, Israel—completed in 2010—is our first LEED-certified building and was the first building in Israel to receive LEED Gold certification
  • Since 2001, Intel has invested more than $45 million and completed over 1,500 projects (as of 2010), saving more than 790 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy, or the approximate CO2 emissions from the electricity use of more than 69,000 average U.S. homes for one year1.
  • Intel, working closely with ENERGY STAR® implemented power management on 65,000 laptop displays and 45,000 desktop monitors worldwide. This initiative will save about 9,650,000 kWh over the next year, or enough electricity to light 11,000 U.S. homes for one month. At $0.05 per kWh, Intel will realize an annual savings of $482,000.
  • Intel provides enabling technology for electronics manufacturers to build products that meet or exceed the ENERGY STAR® standard. For example, Intel’s Instantly Available PC allows PCs to go to under 5 watts "sleep mode" with wake up in under 5 seconds. From 2002 to 2010, these savings will prevent 159 metric tons of CO2 emissions.

Johnson Controls

  • The Johnson Controls headquarters campus at Glendale, Wisconsin now has the largest concentration of buildings on one campus to ever receive LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certification. 

NextEra Energy, Inc.

  • Florida Power & Lights (FPL) has improved the fuel efficiency of its fossil power plant fleet by 13 percent since 2000 and by 19 percent since 1990. Today, FPL’s fossil power plant fleet uses only about 8,200 BTUs of heat from fuel to produce a kilowatt-hour of electricity, or nearly 20 percent less than the fossil industry average of 10,100
  • Under the World Wildlife Fund's PowerSwitch! program, FPL committed to a 25 percent improvement in electric generation efficiency by 2020 from a 2002 baseline
  • FPL has saved more megawatts through demand-side management programs than all but one other utility in the country. These efforts have allowed FPL to avoid building 13 medium-size power plants since 1980
  • Energy Efficient Building Design – NextEra Energy, Inc. donated 80 rooftop solar panels for the Palm Beach Zoo, helping it become the first zoo in the country to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.

NRG Energy

  • Reliant Energy, a subsidiary of NRG Energy, leads Texas in bringing the benefits of smart energy technology to consumers with more than 225,000 customers signed up for e-Sense smart energy solutions. 
  • NRG's strategy includes repowering older facilities with new high efficiency units that produce far less greenhouse gas emissions per megawatt of electricity. As newer units come online, older units are placed on deactivated reserve or decommissioned
  • NRG Energy's Dover and Minneapolis energy centers provided 1,500 compact florescent light bulbs for local low income families. The lamps were distributed by Catholic Charities in the Dover area to eligible households who apply for energy assistance benefits under the Delaware Energy Assistance Program.

PG&E Corporation

  • PG&E Corporation’s utility, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, reduced overall energy use in 2002 at 88 of its California facilities by almost 24 percent compared with 1998 baseline energy usage levels through energy efficiency and conservation. This resulted in savings of almost 28 gigawatt-hours of electricity, and prevented approximately 7,000 tons of CO2 from being emitted to the atmosphere.
  • PG&E reduced energy use in offices and service yards by 5 percent—or 19,900 MMBTUs—meeting our target for the year. To save energy, it installed programmable thermostats at more than 60 locations, replaced office and yard lighting at selected sites and installed new energy management systems in two buildings. 
  • Since 1990, Pacific Gas and Electric Company's customer energy efficiency programs have cumulatively saved more than 138 million MWh of electricity (cumulative 36 million to 80 million tons of CO2 emissions avoided, depending on whether a base or peak load emission factor is used). Customer energy savings realized in 2002 were approximately 4.9 million MWh of electricity and 160 million therms of natural gas—enough to power approximately 740,000 homes for a year. The emissions avoided from these actions alone totaled approximately 2.8 million tons of CO2.

PNM Resources

  • PNM is one of four U.S. utilities to be selected by EPRI as host sites for a smart-grid demonstration project. PNM's project will combine demand-side management, energy storage and solar PV to further the understanding of integration technologies and standards needed to allow for greater deployment of renewables and energy efficiency. The five-year, multi-phased project is a collaborative effort between PNM, EPRI, Mesa del Sol, Sandia National Laboratories, the University of New Mexico and Northern New Mexico Community College.
  • PNM's customer energy efficiency programs are projected to reduce carbon emissions by an estimated 80 million pounds, or 36,000 metric tons, per year. This is the equivalent of removing more than 6,600 cars from the road.

Rio Tinto

  • Rio Tinto and the Australian Government announced the formation in 2002 of the Rio Tinto Foundation for a Sustainable Minerals Industry, a research and technical development partnership to jointly fund sustainable minerals industry programs, including projects related to energy efficiency and greenhouse gas sequestration.

Royal Dutch/Shell

  • Royal Dutch/Shell is utilizing an in-house developed energy-efficiency program to support its 5-year energy-efficiency targets. The program, operated through Shell Global Solutions and known as Energise, helps facilities identify, implement, and sustain energy efficiency projects.


  • In March of 2010, the U.S. EPA awarded Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc., with a 2010 ENERGY STAR® Sustained Excellence Award — the
    sixth consecutive award under the ENERGY STAR program.
  • Toyota’s 624,000 square-foot headquarters expansion in Torrance, CA includes buildings that are expected to exceed state energy-efficiency standards by 20 percent. The facility includes a 500 kW photovoltaic system, and was awarded a certification of LEEDTM Gold by the U.S. Green Building Council in April 2003.
  • In an effort to reduce energy usage from its sales and distribution network, Toyota established an energy usage database that is updated monthly. Through the help of this database and other efforts, Toyota has reduced total energy consumption by 11% in its sales and distribution network since 2000. These savings include the avoided consumption of over 18 million kwh of electricity, 707,000 therms of natural gas, and cost savings of over $2.8 million.


  • TransAlta improved its energy efficiency by an estimated 3 to 5 percent by upgrading turbines, cooling towers, advanced control systems, boilers, and heat exchangers.
  • TransAlta reduced emission intensity y 12% at all Alberta fossil-based plants in 2009 through a combination of purchased offsets, emision performance credits and Technology Fund contributions under Alberta's Specified gas Emitters Regulation.


  • In 2004, Weyerhaeuser used 27% less energy to produce a ton of product than it did in 1999.  

Energy Supply Solutions

Energy Supply Solutions

The following is a brief overview of energy supply solutions undertaken by members of C2ES's Business Environmental Leadership Council (BELC).

For more information on each of these companies efforts to address climate change, please see the Businesses Leading The Way section of this Web site.

Air Products and Chemicals

  • Air Products’ larger hydrogen plants function as “cogeneration” facilities. In addition to producing hydrogen, steam is often produced and exported to a nearby user. The energy efficiency of these hydrogen plants is over 85% of what is theoretically achievable, exceeding the 60% efficiency level typical of modern natural gas-fired combined cycle turbine power plants.
  • A cogeneration unit was also installed to provide energy, heating and cooling at the Air Products Hersham, UK European headquarters. This innovative approach for providing energy to an office complex reduced CO2 emissions by 2700 metric tonnes per year.


  • Alcoa and other leading corporations are partnering with World Resources Institute (WRI) to build markets for renewable energy. Convened in 2000, WRI's Green Power Market Development Group seeks to develop corporate markets for 1,000 MW of new, cost competitive green power by 2010.
  • Alcoa produces high-efficiency turbine blades for the industrial turbine market in the electric power generation industry.


  • In March 2010, Alstom Power and its partner Bardella opened a new plant at Porto Velho in Amazonia. This plant produces hyroelectric equipment for future power plant facilities that will be built along the Rio Madeira and in northern Brazil. This is Alstom's third plant in the country.
  • Alstom will supply two 25 MW turnkey geothermal power plants to Mexico's Los Humeros power station in Michoacán state, with the steam turbines to be produced locally at Alstom’s site in Morelia. The two plants, which are scheduled for commissioning in 2012, will power more than 100,000 homes in southeastern Mexico.
  • Alstom has installed or is installing more than 2,100 wind turbines, corresponding to a total capacity of more than 2,700 MW.
  • Alstom turbines and generators installed worldwide represent more than 25% of the total hydropower capacity today.
  • Alstom designs, engineers, and constructs geothermal power plants.

American Water

  • In 2005, American Water constructed what was, at the time, the largest groundmounted solar array east of the Rocky Mountains in New Jersey. Since then, it has expanded that system and installed an additional solar array at an adjacent facility. In 2010, these two facilities generated 864,667 kWh of green power and saved approximately one million pounds of CO2 emissions from being released. 
  • American Water is due to complete two capital projects in 2011 that will expand its solar capacity by approximately 240 kW. In addition, American Water has plans to expand its solar capacity in 2012 and 2013 by almost 2 megawatts (MW).
  • American Water has been a purchaser of green power for some years. One hundred percent of the 1,400,000 kWh of energy used annually at our Yardley, Pennsylvania plant comes from wind power. In 2009, this green wind energy supply saved 1.6 million pounds of CO2 emissions from being released into the atmosphere.

Bank of America

  • Bank of America Corp.'s Bank of America Merrill Lynch unit announced in June 2011 that it will provide $1.4 billion in loans for a four-year, $2.6 billion project to place solar panels on rooftops in 28 states. The project, led by NRG Energy Inc. and  ProLogis Inc, is designed to generate about 733 megawatts of energy, enough to serve more than 100,000 homes. The installations will be built on facilities owned by ProLogis, a warehouse operator, and co-owned by NRG. 
  • Bank of America's Brighter Planet™ Affinity Banking offers credit and debit cards that help customers finance community-based renewable energy projects. More than 150,000 Bank of America Brighter Planet customers have helped fund the construction of 19 community renewable energy projects in the U.S., preventing the release of more than 200 million pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as of June 2010.


  • Dominion’s renewable assets in Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, Indiana and Illinois include wind, hydro, and wood biomass.
  • When completed and operating at full power, combined output from clean energy is expected to exceed 1,600 megawatts– enough to supply more than 400,000 typical households.
  • In 2010, hydroelectric power provided almost half (46 percent) of the company's in-service renewable energy capacity. Wind power accounted for about 41 percent of the total, with the remaining 13 percent coming from wood biomass.
  • Dominion is seeking regulatory approval of a pilot solar distributed generation program for our electric customers. Distributed generation refers to power that is generated and used on-site as opposed to power produced at a large, centrally located facility and transmitted long distances via the power grid to homes and businesses. This program would consist of utility-owned solar installations on leased roof space, as well as special pricing incentives to encourage customer-owned solar installations.
  • Offshore wind is potentially one of the largest sources of carbon-free, renewable energy in Virginia, with near-term resource availability of approximately 2,000 MW and potentially up to 3,000 MW. In 2010, the Virginia Offshore Wind Development Authority was created to facilitate the commercial development of this renewable resource.  Dominion is currently assessing the potential of Virginia’s offshore wind resources and announced an offshore transmission line feasibility study in March 2011. Dominion Virginia Power is planning to respond to the federal government’s call for interest in building electricity-generating wind turbines in the Atlantic Ocean off the Virginia coast. The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has identified approximately 113,000 acres about 24 miles off the coast of Virginia that could be developed for electricity-generating wind turbines. Dominion plans to formally express interest in developing the offshore parcels.
  • In April 2011, Dominion announced plans to convert three small coal-burning power stations to biomass (using mostly wood waste), which, pending regulatory approvals, would add 153 megawatts of renewable energy to its Virginia generating fleet when they are scheduled to begin operations in 2013. The fuel conversion would result in reduced nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and particulate emissions.

Dow Chemical Company

  • Dow will use electricity produced from natural gas created by the landfill in the City of Midland, Michigan to power its hometown facilities. This economically-viable source of clean energy will save an estimated 12,000 tons of GHG emissions annually and provide approximately 25 percent of the energy needs for Dow’s Headquarters.
  • Dow's AIRSTONE™ Systems for Wind Energy is a family of products, based on proven technology and chemistry, with performance characteristics well suited for use in the fabrication of wind blades. They include systems for infusion, hand wet layup, tooling and adhesives. Multiple product grades allow customers to tailor their final products based on specific market and environmental conditions.
  • The DOW POWERHOUSE™ Solar Shingle is developed as a Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) product and is tough, flexible and thin enough to serve as roof shingles for homes. Not only do these shingles generate power, but they shield homes from the elements.
  •  Dow is working to incorporate alternative energy into its operations. At Dow's Pittsburg, California facility, the company has installed a solar energy farm capable of generating 210 kW, which is enough energy to power 175 homes and offsets approximately 440 million pounds of CO2 per year.
  • Dow and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are jointly developing and evaluating a process that will convert biomass to ethanol, as well as other chemical building blocks. A mixed alcohol catalyst from Dow is seen as the key to unlocking the potential for this promising, renewable energy resource. The process will use non-food ingredients, like the leaves from a corn plant or wood wastes, and convert the bio-based material through a gasification process to synthesis gas. Dow’s technology helps convert the synthesis gas into a mixture of alcohols including ethanol that can be used as transportation fuels or chemical building blocks.
  • Dow's chemistry is essential to three 50-megawatt solar units in Spain. Using DOWTHERM™ A – a mix of specialized heat transfer fluids – to help convert heat energy into electricity, the plants will generate 150 megawatts of clean energy, enough to power 90,000 homes and save 450,000 tons of CO2 per year.

DTE Energy

  • DTE Energy is partnering with the U.S. DOE, the State of Michigan, and the City of Southfield to develop, build, and operate a pilot project that will create hydrogen gas from tap water and use that gas in stationary fuel cell generators and to refuel fuel cell vehicles. DTE Energy’s Hydrogen Technology Park, a $3 million, five-year pilot project, will be capable of delivering about 100,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year.
  • DTE Biomass Energy operates 29 landfill gas recovery projects at sites across the United States. Methane recovered from these projects is converted into pipeline-quality gas, steam, or electricity. DTE Biomass landfill projects have captured the equivalent of more than 25 million metric tons of CO2.
  • In 1996, Detroit Edison introduced the SolarCurrents® program and became the first utility in the nation to provide customers with solar power through the grid from a central facility.
  • DTE Energy’s Detroit Edison has promoted geothermal technology in its service area, where nearly 4,000 residential units and two-dozen commercial businesses have geothermal systems.

Duke Energy

  • Duke Energy seeks to scale up to 3,000 MW of wind, solar and biomass by 2020.


  • DuPont and several other companies are partnering with World Resources Institute (WRI) to build markets for renewable energy. Convened in 2000, WRI’s Green Power Market Development Group seeks to develop corporate markets for 1,000 MW of new, cost-competitive green power by 2010.
  • DuPont announced in June 2005 DuPont™ Generation IV membrane electrode assemblies (MEA) technology for fuel cells requires significantly less catalyst loading compared with the previous generation, while still delivering approximately 20 percent higher power density and well over two times improvement in durability and reliability, leading to more cost-effective fuel cell systems.
  • DuPont leads the Integrated Corn-Based BioRefinery (ICBR) project – a U.S. Department of Energy-funded research program. As part of the ICBR, DuPont, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and other companies will develop the world's first integrated pilot-scale "biorefinery" that will make use of the entire corn plant—including the stalks, husks, and leaves—to make electricity, biofuels, and an array of biomaterials. For example, in 2003 DuPont received the President’s Green Chemistry Award for the development of bio-PDO, a raw material for its Sorona fiber.
  • DuPont is a leading supplier of materials for photovoltaic cells, and provides numerous materials for windmills as well.


  • Entergy, along with Nike, Environmental Resources Trust, and Global Green, has started the Solar Schools Initiative in New Orleans to help revitalize New Orleans with newly constructed solar-powered schools and homes. This initiative combined with a newly adopted net metering rule will help facilitate investments in distributed renewable energy in New Orleans that will reduce customers' bills and provide direct CO2 reductions on the Entergy system. Four public schools in Orleans parish have been selected for the project. The installation of the solar equipment began in the summer of 2009, with the most recent project completed in May of 2010.


  • Selling wind energy in Pennsylvania
    • PECO WIND is a new environmentally friendly power option provided by PECO and leading wind energy marketer Community Energy, Inc., of Wayne, Pa. PECO launched the product in May 2004, and almost 10,000 customers had enrolled by the end of the year. In aggregate, they will purchase more than 28 million kWh of wind-generated electricity annually. The environmental benefit is the same as planting about two million trees or not driving 25 million miles.
    • PECO WIND has become one of the largest and fastest growing green power programs in the country, according to DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The customer enrollments place PECO WIND among the top 10 utility green energy programs when compared with NREL’s 2004 ranking of similar programs. Announcement of a new list is expected during the spring of 2005.
    • PECO WIND, the first wind energy product offered by a utility in Pennsylvania, is available to PECO’s residential and business customers in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia and York counties. Customers may elect to purchase wind energy either for their entire electric load or in increments of 100-kWh blocks up to 100 percent of their total load. For more information or to sign up, please call 1.866.WIND.321 or visit
  • ComEd’s renewable energy portfolio
    • ComEd purchases electricity generated from landfill methane gas at 22 sites across northern Illinois and wind energy from the 51 MW Mendota Hills project and the 54 MW Crescent Ridge project. In 2004, Chicago passed the 1-MW milestone for installed photovoltaic systems with the completion of the Exelon Pavilions in Millennium Park that integrates photovoltaic into the building’s exterior walls – a first-of-its-kind system.
    • ComEd’s achievements in developing renewable energy resources continued to earn honors in 2004. ComEd received the Solar Electric Power Association’s Business Achievement Award, and ComEd also received an Illinois Governor’s Pollution Prevention Award for Continuous Improvement.
    • By the end of 2004, Chicago had more than 50 photovoltaic installations, totaling 1.2 MW. They include systems on ComEd’s Chicago South facility, several universities, affordable single-family housing units and the new Cook County Domestic Violence Court House – at 110 kW, the largest single system in the city to date. The Chicago solar systems represent 86 percent of the solar electric output in ComEd’s service territory and 71 percent of the total solar electric output in Illinois, contributing significantly to the state’s ranking in the top five.
    • For more on ComEd’s photovoltaic installations, click here.
  • Exelon’s Wind Generation Portfolio
    • Exelon Generation has long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) with four wind generation projects in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, providing a total wind capacity of 153 MW. The installed capacity associated with these contracts easily makes Exelon the largest wholesale wind marketer east of the Mississippi.
    • The original rationale for Generation entering into its PPAs several years ago was the belief that the primary demand for wind would be to supply renewable energy credits to competitive retail suppliers and, with the approval of a wind block rider, through PECO. As the market developed, however, retail choice has not been a growing market. Instead, we discovered a demand for wind energy among large institutions such as universities and government agencies.
    • And now the market has again shifted with increased focus on compliance demand associated with RPS laws in Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. New RPS requirements are considered in other states in the future. Consequently, we see a tightening of renewable supply and demand in PJM Interconnection by 2006-2007. Our marketing and sales strategy will accordingly shift somewhat to compliance demand. To expand our renewable portfolio, we will pursue additional generation projects in PJM.
  • Emissions performance that beats industry averages
    • Generating electricity with fossil fuels produces a variety of air emissions and greenhouse gases. Exelon Generation’s air emissions per unit of energy produced are very low compared to the industry across all major emissions, as measured against the year 2002 U.S. electric utility average (EUA).
    • Nuclear generation constitutes the majority of our generating capacity and is the main driver behind Exelon’s low emission rates, as this technology relies on nuclear fission rather than combustion of fossil fuels as its primary source of energy to generate electric power. Other contributions come from Exelon Power’s non-emitting Conowingo Hydroelectric Station, additional generating capacity achieved from Exelon’s nuclear and hydroelectric uprate and efficiency programs and a continuation in 2004 of industry-leading capacity factors at Exelon’s nuclear units.
  • Eddystone optimization project reducing pollution and improving cash flow
    • For many years, Eddystone unit 2’s deteriorating performance on collection of dry ash resulted in significantly increased air emissions, load limitations and high costs for wet ash processing. In 2003, Eddystone unit 2 began replacing or upgrading its electrostatic precipitators (ESP) at an expected cost of $10–20 million. Rather than accepting this cost, the project team conducted a detailed study of the possible root causes of poor ESP performance. The team members mapped the fuel utilization process from coal delivery to flue gas leaving the stack, collecting and analyzing more than 10,000 data points.
    • The findings confirmed that dust loading leaving the ESPs was extremely high but also showed that, surprisingly, the ash collection issues were mostly due to two interrelated causes far upstream in the process. Flue gas flow was found to be 50 percent over design, and nearly 3 percent of all coal was being sent up the stack as particulate emissions. The team reframed the project to fix these root causes at a cost of less than half of the original concept. Benefits include reduced air pollution, substantial fuel savings, decreased capital and maintenance costs and additional revenue from fully utilizing the unit’s capacity. Together, these benefits increased the unit’s cash flow by more than $2 million annually.
    • The project installation was completed in May 2004 with zero lost-time accidents. On September 13, 2004, the project team received Exelon’s first-ever Chairman’s Environmental Award for Environmental Performance Improvement and Operational Excellence.
  • Financing clean energy in Pennsylvania
    • The Sustainable Development Fund (SDF)( finances Pennsylvania companies and projects that involve renewable energy, advanced clean energy and energy efficiency technologies. Funded by PECO settlement agreements, SDF is managed by The Reinvestment Fund, a regional nonprofit based in Philadelphia. In addition to providing the environmental benefits of clean energy, SDF helps PECO diversify its power generation options.
    • In 2004, SDF approved $4.25 million in production incentives for two wind projects that will add 50 MW of generating capacity in 2005. The incentives are expected to leverage approximately $60 million in private investment. SDF also provided $4.7 million in lease financing in 2003 and 2004 for four energy conservation projects and leveraged $2.8 million from private banks for purchasing participation in these transactions. In 2004, SDF’s Pennsylvania Advanced Industrial Technology (PA-AIT) Fund invested $670,000 in three early-stage renewable and clean energy companies. The SDF solar photovoltaic grant program grew to 83 systems and 308 kW of capacity, including PECO’s eight solar affordable housing units in Philadelphia. SDF also approved a new round of television and radio spots to encourage support for the PECO WIND product.

General Electric

  • GE tracks the CO2 emissions that are avoided by its installed base of wind turbines. In 2009, the installed base of wind turbines globally was estimated to be 37.5 million MT CO2 annually.
  • GE’s next generation wind turbine is a 4-megawatt machine designed specifically for offshore deployment. As the largest wind turbine in GE’s fleet, it incorporates advanced, direct-drive train and control technologies that eliminate the need for gearboxes — which can be the single most costly failure in a turbine located in harsh ocean conditions. 
  • GE's FlexEfficiency Combined Cycle Power Plant is GE's latest innovation in gas turbine technology, engineered to deliver cleaner, more efficient energy onto the power grid and into our homes. The first product in GE’s new FlexEfficiency portfolio, the FlexEfficiency 50 plant will enable the integration of more renewable resources onto the power grid by combining efficiency and flexibility to rapidly ramp up when the wind is not blowing or the sun is not shining, and to efficiently ramp down when they are available.

General Motors

  • Four GM manufacturing facilities in the US currently use landfill gas as a source of energy. Currently, landfill gas use is 14% of the energy consumed at the Fort Wayne, IN plant; 16% if the Toledo, OH transmission plant; 18% at the Shreveport, LA assembly plant, and 58% at the newly renovated Orion, MI assembly plant.
  • GM has two of the largest automative rooftop solar power installations in the US at two facilities in California. GM also has the world's largest rooftop solar installation at its Zarazoga, Spain car assembly plant.


  • HP increased its use if renewable energy more than fivefold between 2006 and 2007, from 11 million kWh to 61 million kWh.
  • HP expanded the use of telepresence solutions to help reduce the need for business travel. It evaluates the purpose of employee travel and discourage unnecessary travel, especially for internal purposes


  • IBM and several other companies are partnering with World Resources Institute (WRI) to build markets for renewable energy. Convened in 2000, WRI’s Green Power Market Development Group seeks to develop corporate markets for 1,000 MW of new, cost-competitive green power by 2010.
  • IBM met approximately 11.3 percent of its energy consumption needs with renewable energy sources including wind, solar photovoltaics, and biomass in 2009.


  • In February 2011, Intel announced that it would increase its REC purchase for 2011 to 2.5 billion kWh—equivalent to approximately 85% of its projected 2011 U.S. energy use—a 75% increase over our 2010 purchase. According to the EPA, its purchase commitment—which includes a portfolio of wind, solar, small hydroelectric, geothermal, and biomass sources—has the equivalent environmental impact of eliminating the carbon dioxide emissions from the annual electricity use of nearly 218,000 average American homes or nearly 202 million gallons of gasoline consumed
  • In 2010, Intel partnered with third parties to complete nine solar electric installations at Intel locations in Arizona, California, New Mexico, Oregon, and Israel—collectively generating more than 3.8 million kWh per year of clean solar energy.

NRG Energy

  • NRG sees solar power as a national development opportunity and is building a robust multi-technology portfolio to lead the industry in delivering the benefits of this zero-emission renewable power source. NRG has made great strides in the past year in both expanding and deepening the solar portfolio. Through the combination of acquisitions in 2010 and new projects in both utility scale and distributed solar, NRG is now the nation’s largest developer of solar power with some 2,000 MW under development.

  • Reliant Energy, a subsidiary of NRG Energy, is the largest supplier of electricity to business and industry, and the second largest residential provider in Texas. NRG’s largest retail provider also supplies more electricity from renewable sources than any other Texas retailer. Texas customers have the option to choose up to 100% renewable energy from Texas wind generation. 

  • NRG owns interests in four wind farms in Texas—Elbow Creek, Langford, Sherbino and South Trent—totaling about 450 MW, which were all developed or acquired in the last three years. NRG is pursuing offshore wind projects off the coasts of Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey through our NRG Bluewater Wind subsidiary, which the Company acquired in 2009.

  • Green Mountain Energy Company, a subsidiary of NRG Energy, offers cleaner electricity and carbon offset products to residential and business customers nationwide. Acquired by NRG in 2010, Green Mountain serves about 400,000 retail electricity customers in Texas and New York City, and maintains a partnership with Portland General Electric in Oregon to run one of the nation’s leading green pricing programs. The company has also maintained a commitment to 100% carbon neutrality since 2004 and publicly reports its carbon footprint annually. Green Mountain has helped its customers avoid more than 11.3 billion pounds of carbon dioxide emissions and helped spur the development of more than 50 new wind and solar facilities across the nation since 1997.

  • NRG Energy Inc. and ProLogis Inc. said announced in June 2011 they are embarking on a four-year, $2.6 billion project to place solar panels on rooftops in 28 states, one of the most ambitious clean-energy projects in recent years. The project is designed to generate about 733 megawatts of energy, enough to serve more than 100,000 homes. The installations will be built on facilities owned by ProLogis, a warehouse operator, and co-owned by NRG. 
  • NRG owns the largest PV solar project in California, the 21 megawatt (MW) power plant in Blythe, Calif. NRG is also the lead investor, along with Google and Brightsource, of the 392 MW Ivanpah project currently being developed in southeastern California’s Mojave Desert.
  • NRG is developing and has fully permitted a project that will convert its Montville plant in Uncasville, Conn., from heavy fuel oil and natural gas to open-loop biomass as feedstock. When compete, the station will use forestry residues, tree trimmings and clean, recycled wood to produce 40 MW of carbon-neutral electric power.
  • In 2009, NRG launched a pilot project at the Big Cajun II plant in New Roads, La., to evaluate local conditions for growing dedicated energy crops near the site (closed-loop biomass). NRG created a test farm on 20 acres of land at the plant site, which is being managed by a local farmer. Harvested into bales like hay, energy grasses are dried and shredded before being fed into the combustion chamber. Since the carbon emitted from the grasses was previously absorbed from the atmosphere during the growing season, combusting the above-ground biomass is nearly carbon neutral ...l. 

PG&E Corporation

  • In 2009, PG&E's retail customers purchased 79,624 GWh of electricity. Of that amount, 28,114 GWh were generated by PG&E's own natural gas, hydroelectric and nuclear facilities, as well as small amounts of fuel oil, diesel and solar energy
  • The CPUC approved PG&E's new solar PV program, which, once complete, will generate up to 500 MW of clean energy, enough to meet the needs of about 150,000 homes. The program will include up to 250 MW of PG&E-owned solar PV generation and an additional 250 MW to be built and owned by independent developers. One of the largest undertakings of its kind in the country, the five-year program is expected to deliver more than 1,000 GWh of electricity annually once fully operational—approximately 1.3 percent of PG&E's annual electric demand. Te first PV solar projects will be operational in 2011.

Rio Tinto

  • Rio Tinto obtained sixty seven per cent of the electricity in 2010 from low carbon sources, mainly hydroelectricity
  • Rio Tinto and BP formed a jointly-owned company in 2007 called Hydrogen Energy. The joint venture develops technologies and businesses that reduce carbon emissions and accelerate the deployment of hydrogen-fuelled electric power plants. These ‘decarbonised’ energy projects are based on the conversion of fossil fuel feedstocks such as coal, petroleum coke (a refinery by-product) or natural gas, to hydrogen and CO2 gases, with 90 per cent of the CO2 being captured and sent for permanent storage in geological formations deep beneath the earth’s surface. By using hydrogen as a fuel, virtually no GHG emissions are produced and the main by-product is water. Each of the component technologies is already proven but they need to be combined and integrated to a very large scale.
  • Rio Tinto is a founding member of the FutureGen Alliance, a public-private partnership to design, build, and operate the world's first coal-fueled, near-zero emissions power plant. The commercial-scale plant will prove the technical and economic feasibility of producing low-cost electricity and hydrogen from coal while nearly eliminating emissions. It will also support testing and commercialization of technologies focused on generating clean power, capturing and permanently storing carbon dioxide (CO2), and producing hydrogen. It is expected that the chosen site will be announced this year and be up and running in 2012. 
  • Kennecott Energy Company (a Rio Tinto subsidiary) is a member of a consortium that is proposing to enter into an agreement with the U.S. DOE on FutureGen. FutureGen is a $1 billion project that may lead to the world’s first nearly emission-free hydrogen and electricity production plant from coal, while capturing and disposing of CO2 in geologic formations.
  • Rio Tinto’s energy product group invests in a number of commercial enterprises and collaborative programs to develop and commercialize new technologies aimed at improving the environmental performance of coal. This includes Pegasus Technologies, a company that uses neural networks to optimize the operation of coal-fired electricity generators, minimizing their fuel requirements and reducing the emission of major pollutants.

Royal Dutch/Shell

  • Royal Dutch/Shell’s Shell Renewables was established to pursue commercial opportunities in solar, wind, and other renewable energy technologies. By 2007, the Group expects to invest $500 million to $1 billion, subject to ongoing economic review, in further developing these business areas. The key objective for the solar business is to grow in line with the market, which is currently growing at around 25 percent a year. In the wind business, Shell is focusing on developing and operating wind farms, and selling "green" electricity.
  • Royal Dutch/Shell purchased an equity stake in Iogen Energy Corporation in 2002, a world-leading bioethanol technology company. The investment will enable the Canadian-based company to develop more rapidly the world's first commercial-scale biomass to ethanol plant. Iogen utilizes existing agricultural residues such as wheat, oat, and barley straw in its bioethanol process.


  • Toyota is committed to supporting renewable energy development and expanding the use in its sales and logistics operations. Its Parts Distribution Center in Caldwell, New Jersey has a solar photovoltaic system on its roof that is owned by a third party. This array generates 1.8 million kilowatt-hours of energy making it available for the local grid. Toyota’s Parts Center in Ontario, California still performs to expectations and provides 58 percent of the warehouse’s energy needs. Toyota also purchased two years of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) for its regional Training Centers in Phoenix, Arizona, and Rancho Cucamonga, California. To meet its energy needs, the Lexus Training Center in Dallas, Texas, buys 100 percent renewable wind power from a green power utility.


  • As of 2008, TransAlta currently has 15 hydro plants, 13 of which are in Alberta. These include two storage reservoirs in the North Saskatchewan River Basin, and six storage reservoirs and three run-of-river hydro developments in the Bow River Basin.
  • TransAlta is expanding its portfolio of renewable energy through its investment in Vision Quest WindElectric, Canada’s leading developer of wind power. With TransAlta’s investments, Vision Quest has expanded its wind energy portfolio by 400 percent, and expects to continue to grow.
  • TransAlta has invested approximately $5 million to build a full-scale demonstration facility for its new clean coal technology. Partnering with two levels of government, equipment providers, and other energy companies, TransAlta hopes to complete the facility by 2010. The technology could reduce the GHG emissions of typical coal plants by up to 80 percent.
  • TransAlta is the first in Calgary to service its corporate headquarters through wind-generated electricity. TransAlta also signed a 10-year contract with Vision Quest to supply about eight million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually.


  • Weyerhaeuser met 75 percent of its operations’ energy needs in 2008 through the use of renewable and carbon-neutral biomass fuels such as wood residuals and other organic byproducts
  • Weyerhaeuser pulp and paper mills supply 70% and wood products facilities supply more than 50% of their own energy needs through biomass fuels.  Weyerhaeuser is also involved in the commercialization of gasification technology that significantly increases the amount of heat and electrical energy obtainable from biomass.
  • Weyerhaeuser employs cogeneration (also known as “combined heat and power” or CHP) in a number of its pulp and paper mills.  Its containerboard mill in Albany, OR, received EPA’s 2005 Energy Star CHP Award in recognition of its accomplishments in reducing energy and carbon emissions.

Waste Management Practices

Waste Management Solutions

The following is a brief overview of waste management solutions undertaken by members of C2ES's Business Environmental Leadership Council (BELC).

For more information on each of these companies efforts to address climate change, please see the Businesses Leading The Way section of this Web site.


Air Products and Chemicals

  • Air Products has successfully reduced the amount of hazardous waste generated per pound of product by more than 50%; and reduced air emissions by 60% from chemicals facilities that it acquired since 1997.
  • Air Products and Chemicals entered into an agreement with a neighboring company to provide the waste stream from one of its dimethylformamide plants for use as a fuel source for that company.  This arrangement reduces the neighboring facility’s energy demand and lowers the amount of CO2-forming volatile organic compounds flared by the Air Products facility.
  • Air Products and Chemicals has numerous operations that recover hydrogen molecules and other waste gases from the industrial processes of other companies. Hydrogen recovery reduces the amount of natural gas that would otherwise be needed to produce hydrogen.
  • Air Products also uses landfill gas to fuel a boiler at one of its operations in Cincinnati, Ohio.
  • Air Products and Chemicals’ Hometown, Pennsylvania plant received the Governor’s award for Environmental Excellence for the second time in three years for reducing raw material usage, energy usage and waste generation. Among the achievements were a 1.43 million kWh reduction in electricity usage, and 200,000 miles per year reduction in transport miles associated with raw material deliveries and waste transportation.


  • Alcoa encourages aluminum recycling by sponsoring recycling programs, operating the Alcoa Recycling Company, supporting research on recycling and alloy separation, and purchasing large amounts of scrap.  Aluminum produced from recycled metal requires only 5 percent of the energy required to produce the metal from bauxite ore.
  • Alcoa sponsors life-cycle analyses on a number of products, including automotive components, beverage cans, aluminum wheels, and building components, to determine where processes and product designs could be improved.

American Water

  • A large number of products purchased by American Water are produced utilizing recycled materials. With respect to infrastructural items, all iron castings, whether ductile or other, are manufactured by melting ferrous scrap mixes, depending on availability and pricing. Such items would include ductile iron pipe and fittings, hydrants, valve bodies, curb and valve box castings, and iron lids.
  • A number of American Water's treatment chemicals utilize recycled material in their production. These include the ferrous and ferric salts (ferric sulfate and ferric chloride) which are manufactured using ferrous scrap. The remaining chemicals are produced using virgin materials. For 2010, treatment chemicals produced from recycled material and used by our regulated business, accounted for 11 percent of the treatment chemical purchases across American Water.

Cummins Inc.

  • Cummins’ ReCon program facilitates the reuse and recycling of Cummins diesel and gasoline engines and components.  Through the program, Cummins remanufactured 25,000 engines and over 1,000,000 diesel components in the year 2000.  Each year, ReCon plants also generate approximately 3,000 tons of scrap metal for recycling each year.
  • Through a voluntary recycling program, employees at Cummins’ San Luis Potosi facility were able to save the equivalent of over 9000 seven-year-old trees and over 2 million kwh of electricity.


  • Daimler seeks to increase the total volume of all parts and components of Mercedes-Benz passenger car production series that have been approved for the use of renewable or recycled raw materials by 25 percent respectively by 2015, compared to the volume for 2010

Delta Air Lines, Inc.

  • Delta generated 3. 2 million pounds of non-hazardous waste in 2010, of which 58.4 percent was recycled including oil, batteries, lamps and antifreeze.

  • Delta's in-flight recycling program successfully recycled approximately 1,108,000 pounds of material in 2010 and donated $35,797 through Delta’s Force for Global Good to Habitat for Humanity.

  • Through Delta’s aircraft carpet recycling partnership with Mohawk Aviation Carpet, in 2010, Delta recycled approximately 147,500 pounds of carpet. 

  • In 2010, the Delta's Employee Recycling Center recycled approximately 1,198,000 pounds of material, including 9, 320 pounds of aluminum cans, 23, 200 pounds of plastics, 147, 340 pounds of mixed paper, 617,000 pounds of cardboard, 385,520 pounds of office paper, 6,120 pounds of comingled material and 9,100 pounds of tin cans.


  • Dominion strives to minimize the amount of hazardous and non-hazardous waste it creates in its facilities and operations, and to handle and dispose it responsibly in compliance with all applicable regulations. The company also actively seek sopportunities to recycle and reuse waste materials whenever possible.

  • In 2010, Dominion recycled 2.7 billion pounds of coal combustion byproducts, 476 million pounds of gypsum, 39 million pounds of biomass combustion products, 20 million pounds of oils and fluids for reclamation and recovery, 26 million pounds of scrap metals, 2.5 million pounds of paper, cardboard, plastic and glass, as well as 50,865 pounds of e-waste.

  • Within its gas transmission facilities, Dominion's recycling of surplus steel pipes, valves, flanges and other materials is generating more than $1.3 million in cash and more than $3.1 million in additional savings resulting from the reuse of idle surplus assets.

Dow Chemical Company
  • Dow's Benelux site in Terneuzen, the Netherlands has found an innovative way to transform waste into a viable form of energy savings. Terneuzen's municipal household waste water is being channeled via a special pipeline to Dow's production facility, where it is then purified and used to generate steam and feed Dow's manufacturing plants, getting a second and third life at Dow. Dow previously used water from the nearby river that needed to be desalinated; but can now use less energy and fewer chemicals to purify the household waste water, and consequently emit less carbon dioxide.

DTE Energy

  • DTE Energy uses modern electrostatic precipitators (ESPs) to capture all of the fly ash produced by its plants for reuse, recycling, or landfill. It aims to recycle 50 - 55 percent of the fly ash.

Duke Energy

  • Duke Energy Increase the percentage of solid waste that is recycled from 52 percent in 2008 to 62 percent by 2012. (This goal excludes Duke Energy International and
    Duke Energy Generation Services.)


  • The DuPont-Solae plant in Memphis, Tenn. uses landfill gas as a replacement for natural gas to fuel boilers and other plant equipment, replacing more than 90% of the natural gas used by the site’s boilers.  The U.S. EPA has calculated that area greenhouse gas emissions have been reduced by an equivalent of the removal of 70,000 cars from the road or planting 95,000 acres of forest.


  • Entergy recycles over 70 percent of its power plant waste ash. The majority of the ash is utilized in the production of concrete. This reduces the volume of material sent to landfills and reduces the energy requirements and CO2 emissions associated with the processing of materials traditionally used to produce concrete.
  • Entergy has funded a project in the eastern United States that will collect coal mine methane vented from abandoned mines and convert it to pipeline-quality gas or use it as fuel to generate electricity. The project will reduce GHG emissions by 400,000 metric tons of CO2e through 2005.


  • Landfill Gas to Energy
    • Exelon continues to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions by supporting landfill gas to energy recovery. Utilizing landfill methane to generate electricity produces less environmental impact than burning fossil fuels, and has the added benefit of capturing an energy source that otherwise would have gone to waste. Carbon dioxide (CO2) from landfill methane gas is considered biogenic, or part of the natural carbon cycle. Contrast this with the CO2 from the burning of fossil fuel, which is considered anthropogenic, or arising from human activity. Thus, when the landfill gas displaces fossil fuel, it helps reduce human-caused greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere.
    • Exelon Power is in the final year of a two-year project to convert an oil-fired plant designed in 1950 into a 21st Century, clean operating, reliable and efficient generating station through the use of improved technology and production methods.   As a result of this project, the two-unit 60 MW Fairless Hills Generating Station will be the second-largest landfill gas generating station in the U.S.; a substantial renewable energy project able to consume 100% of the landfill gas that Waste Management produces at their nearby GROWS and Tulleytown landfills; and a significant contributor to Exelon’s greenhouse gas reduction target through its consumption of landfill gas that would otherwise have been flared.
    • Exelon Power also operates the 6 MW Pennsbury plant in southeastern Pennsylvania that utilizes landfill gas to generate electric power. Exelon Power was awarded a 1997 Governor's Environmental Excellence Award for its landfill gas projects.
    • In addition, ComEd purchases electricity generated from landfill methane gas at 22 sites across northern Illinois.   To date, Exelon landfill gas initiatives have avoided over 21 million CO2-equivalent tons of emissions.
  • Coal combustion product reuse
    • Exelon continues its commitment to reuse the byproducts of coal combustion at our fossil generating stations – fly ash, bottom ash, basin ash and flue gas desulfurization products – and prevent them from consuming valuable local landfill capacity. We use these materials for applications that include restoration of land contours at coal mine reclamation sites, anti-skid agents for icy roads, production of fertilizer products and waste-stabilization media.
    • In 2004, we continued our commitment to reuse the large volume of products that result from burning coal. The first year that 100 percent of the fly ash, bottom ash, and basin ash and scrubber products were kept out of local landfills was 2002. That accomplishment included more than 137,000 tons of ash materials and just over 21,600 tons of byproducts from the SO2 scrubbing process. Greater demand for power in 2003 increased that challenge to 175,700 tons of ash products and 28,800 tons of scrubber byproducts, and the challenge was met.
    • By the end of 2004, Exelon produced more than 153,700 tons of ash products, along with approximately 34,500 tons of scrubber byproducts. Again, our goal to reuse 100 percent of these products was met.
  • Measuring the value of recycling programs
    • Exelon maintains recycling programs to collect and reuse a wide range of materials. These programs provide measurable value by the reduction of waste and waste disposal costs, as well as through the sale of recycled material.
    • A corporate team that includes members from each Exelon company tracks the current recycling programs and identifies opportunities for additional cost savings through waste minimization and new recycling programs. The team’s work led to the establishment of a corporate wide initiative to increase the recycling of municipal waste and reduce generation of hazardous waste, thereby creating additional cost savings.
    • During 2004, Exelon generated nearly $4 million in operational savings through material recycling.

General Motors

  • GM has reduced non-recycled waste by 49% globally (a reducion of 31% on a per vehicle produced basis) just in the last five years, 2005 - 2009. GM's worldwide facilities combined recycle 90% of the waste they generate.
  • As of December 2010, GM has 76 facilities that have achived zero landfill status by recycling, reusing, or converting to energy, all wastes from daily operations.
  • When designing new vehicles, GM uses recycled and bio-based materials from renewable resources whenever economically and technically possible. Recycled materials in GM's products come from a variety of origins – from things like old pop bottles, blue jeans and nylon carpet, to used tires and recycled vehicle bumpers. GM is beginning to explore some opportunities to use recycled waste products from GM's own manufacturing facilities in parts for new vehicles. 
  • Today, GM vehicles are at least 85 percent recyclable and 95 percent recoverable (by weight). GM works directly with the vehicle dismantling industry to help make sure that the majority of material in GM's vehicles is salvaged and can be recycled or reused in new vehicles or other consumer products.
  • Mobile Fluid Recovery, Inc., a Birmingham, Ala.-based absorbent materials recycler today received the General Motors Environmental Excellence Award for providing unique recycling ideas and collaborating on projects like turning oil-soaked booms from the Gulf of Mexico into Chevrolet Volt components. 


  • HP designs its products with recyclability in mind.  It operates end-of-life recycling programs for its hardware products in sixteen countries and offers toner cartridge recycling programs internationally to ninety percent of the cartridge market. 


  • Holcim is working within existing material specification standards to replace cement clinker with mineral components such as fly ash, a waste material from coal-burning electric utilities, and slag, a waste by-product of steel manufacturing.  Each ton of clinker eliminated avoids one ton of CO2 emissions that would have resulted from its manufacture.  By 2010, Holcim had decreased the share of Ordinary Portland Cement to 23% of its product portfolio and increased the share of composite cements to 77%


  • Comparing only the weight of the recycled fraction of these commercial resins to the total weight of plastics (virgin and recycled) purchased through IBM’s corporate contracts in 2009, 13.2 percent of the total weight was recycled plastic versus the corporate goal of 5 percent recyclate.
  • IBM improved its product packaging by developing 100-percent recycled thermoformed  nestable cushions for various products across its server brands and retail store systems. When these products are shipped inbound, up to 10 times the typical quantity can be carried on a 40-foot truck. In addition, the 100-percent recycled polyethylene materials of which they are made are reusable. Using these cushions, in 2009 IBM reused an estimated  metric tons of polyethylene plastic and saved approximately $1.9 million in materials and transportation costs
  • In 2009, IBM’s PELM (product end-of-life management) operations worldwide processed approximately 41,400 metric tons of end-of-life products and product waste. These PELM operations reused or recycled 95.8 percent of the total amount processed and sent only 0.5 percent to landfills or to incineration facilities for treatment, versus IBM’s corporate goal of minimizing its combined landfill and incineration rate to no more than 3 percent.
  • Over the past 5 years, IBM’s total hazardous waste has decreased by 75.7 percent, and has decreased by 94 percent since 1987.


  • Intel recycled 59 percent of its hazardous waste generated worldwide and 73 percent of its solid waste generated worldwide in 2003.
  • Additionally, paper with 30 percent recycled content was purchased for all its U.S. copiers and printers.

Johnson Controls

  • Johnson Controls seeks to reduce waste intesity by 20 percent from 2008 levels by 2018. In 2008, we sent 1.98 metric tons of waste to landfill or for incineration per million U.S. dollars revenue. 

NRG Energy

  • NRG Energy pursues opportunities to reduce waste through the beneficial reuse of fly ash (residue generated through the combustion of fossil fuels). At several locations, such as Big Cajun II in Louisiana, Indian River in Delaware and WA Parish in Texas, NRG provides fly ash for use as structural fill in road construction.
  • NRG Energy's Encina facility in California and our Oswego facility in New York provide their employees with resources to recycle household electronic equipment at no cost to the employees. They organized site collection programs to encourage the recycling of electronic waste.
  • NRG Energy is in the early stages of developing plasma gasification projects with the Atlantic County Utilities Authority of New Jersey and at Port St. Lucie County, Fla., landfills that will convert municipal solid waste to energy.

PG&E Corporation

  • PG&E seeks to increase waste diversion rate by 10% at offices and service yards from 2010 - 2014


  • Toyota has reduced the amount of hazardous waste going to landfills from its plants by 40 percent since 2000 and its non-hazardous waste by 11 percent.
  • In 2003, Toyota implemented a nationwide, web-based waste tracking system to better collect and analyze waste-related data to enable further reductions throughout Toyota’s North American manufacturing and distribution operations.
  • Toyota is also increasing the use of reusable packaging in shipments to distributors. 


  • TransAlta, along with Ontario Power Generation, has contributed to carbon emissions reductions of over 20,000 metric tons by selling flyash to regional concrete and cement producers..


  • In 2008, Whirlpool Corporation’s manufacturing facilities worldwide produced 385,086 metric tonnes of waste.  Of this, nearly 90 percent was recycled. This represents a 4 percent reduction in overall waste generated per unit between 2004 and 2008.
  • Weyerhaeuser collected for recycling more than 6.7 million tons of paper in 2004, approximately 13% of the paper recovered in the U.S. and enough to fill more than 130,000 freight cars.  Typical recyclables include old corrugated containers, office wastepaper, old newspapers and printing papers.  More than 4 million tons of the recycled material Weyerhaeuser collects is used in its mills to make new paper. The rest is sold to customers around the world.  Recycled fiber comprises about 35 percent of the content of new Weyerhaeuser paper, as averaged across all grades of paper produced by the company.
  • Every Weyerhaeuser manufacturing facility that generates residuals and/or solid waste has developed strategies and implemented programs to manage, eliminate or reduce the production of solid wastes.  Weyerhaeuser beneficially reuses residuals in making its own products, ships them off site for use in the making of other products or converts them to energy.

Capital Cycles and the Timing of Climate Change Policy

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Capital Cycles and the Timing of Climate Change Policy

Prepared for the Pew Center on Global Climate Change
October 2002

Robert J. Lempert, Steven W. Popper, and Susan A. Resetar, RAND
Stuart L. Hart, Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Press Release

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Eileen Claussen, President, Pew Center on Global Climate Change

Patterns of capital investment by businesses can have a major impact on the success and cost-effectiveness of climate change policies. Due to the high cost of new capital, firms often are reluctant to retire old facilities and equipment. Thus, capital investment decisions made today are likely to have long-term implications for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Because businesses consider a range of factors when making capital stock decisions, policy-makers need to understand and focus on these factors in order to craft effective climate change policies.

The Pew Center commissioned this report to gain an understanding of the actual patterns of capital investment and retirement, or “capital cycles.” Authors Robert Lempert, Steven Popper, and Susan Resetar of RAND, with Stuart Hart of the Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC-Chapel Hill combine analysis of the literature on investment patterns with in-depth interviews of top decision-makers in leading U.S. firms. Their work provides important insights into the differing patterns of capital investment across firms and sectors, and what factors spur those investments.

The authors found that capital has no fixed cycle. In reality, external market conditions often drive a firm’s decision whether to invest or disinvest in large pieces of physical capital stock, and a firm often invests in new capital only to capture new markets. In the absence of policy or market incentives, expected equipment lifetimes and the availability of more efficient technologies are not significant drivers of capital stock decisions. With regular maintenance, capital stock often lasts decades longer than its rated lifetime, and the availability of new technology rarely influences the rate at which firms retire older, more polluting plants.

The authors suggest certain policies that can stimulate more rapid turnover of existing capital stock. These include putting in place early and consistent incentives that would assist in the retirement of old, inefficient capital stock; making certain that policies do not discourage capital retirement; and pursuing policies that shape long-term patterns of capital investment. For example, piecemeal regulatory treatment of pollutants rather than a comprehensive approach could lead to stranded investments in equipment (e.g., if new conventional air pollutant standards are put in place in advance of carbon dioxide controls at power plants). The authors also note that even a modest carbon price could stimulate investment in new capital equipment. Ultimately, any well-crafted policy to address climate change must consider and harness market factors and policies that drive capital investment patterns.

The authors and the Pew Center wish to acknowledge members of the Center’s Business Environmental Leadership Council, as well as Byron Swift, Ev Ehrlich, Mark Bernstein, Debra Knopman, Alan Sanstad, and David Victor for their advice and comments on previous drafts of this report. We also thank the individuals who gave their time in interviews with the project team.

Executive Summary

One important source of climate-altering greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is the capital equipment that supports the world’s economic activity. Capital stock, such as electricity generation plants, factories, and transportation infrastructure, is expensive and once built can last for decades. Such capital also presents important and conflicting constraints on policy-makers attempting to reduce society’s GHG emissions. On the one hand, attempts to reduce emissions too quickly may create a drag on the economy if they force the premature retirement of capital. On the other hand, delaying reductions may raise the cost of future actions because the facilities built today can still be polluting decades from now.

This report aims to help policy-makers navigate between these conflicting tensions by providing an understanding of the actual patterns of capital investment and capital retirement and the key factors that affect these patterns. “Capital cycles” have been studied extensively in the empirical and theoretical literature. Nonetheless, the topic remains poorly understood in the debates over climate change policy. In part, there are few good summaries available of the voluminous and complex literature. In addition, the differing patterns of capital investment across firms and sectors can have important implications for climate change policy. Such heterogeneity is not well-captured by the existing theoretical and empirical literature.

This report begins with a brief overview of the existing theoretical and empirical literature on capital cycles. It then turns to its main focus—the results of a small number of in-depth interviews with key decisionmakers in some leading U.S. firms. In the course of the study, nine interviews, designed to illuminate the key factors that influence firms’ capital investment decisions, were conducted with firms in five economic sectors. The firms interviewed are mostly members of the Center’s Business Environmental Leadership Council (BELC). Based on the information gathered during the interviews, this report closes with some observations regarding the implications for the timing of climate change policy.

This is a small study with limited scope. Nonetheless, several consistent and clear findings emerged from the firm interviews:

Capital has no fixed cycle. Despite the name, there is no fixed capital cycle. Rather, external market conditions are the most significant influence on a firm’s decision to invest in or decommission large pieces of physical capital stock. In particular, firms strive to invest in new capital only when necessary to capture new markets. Firms most commonly retire capital when there is no longer a market for the products they produce and when maintenance costs of older plants become too large.

Capital investments may have long-term implications. Today’s capital investment decisions can have implications that extend for decades. Capital stock is expensive, and firms often have little economic incentive to retire existing plants. The environmental performance of capital stock is not fixed over time and can improve as a firm makes minor and major upgrades. Nonetheless, there are limits to such upgrades, so that investment decisions made today may shape U.S. GHG emissions well into the 21st century.

Equipment lifetime and more efficient technology are not significant drivers in the absence of policy or market incentives. It is often assumed that the engineering and nominal service lifetimes of physical equipment are important determinants of the timing of capital investment. The phrase “capital cycle” derives at least in part from the notion that capital equipment in each sector has some fixed lifetime, which drives the industry’s capital investment decisions. This study finds that the physical lifetime of equipment does drive patterns of routine maintenance in different economic sectors, but it appears to be a less significant driver of plant retirement or for investment in new facilities. With regular maintenance, capital stock can often last decades longer than its rated lifetime.

In addition, discussions of climate change policy often highlight the potential of new technology to enable low-cost reductions in GHG emissions. This study finds that however beneficial such technology may be, it will likely have little influence on the rate at which firms retire older, more polluting plants in the absence of policies promoting technology or requiring emissions reductions. New process technology, that is, technology that improves the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of a factory or power plant, requires performance improvements of an exceptional magnitude to induce a firm to retire existing equipment whose capital costs have already been paid. Firms do adopt new process technology, but only when other factors, particularly changes in demand for their products or regulatory requirements and other government policies, drive them to invest in new capital stock.

Firms focus investment towards key corporate goals. Although manifested differently across firms and economic sectors, all the firms we interviewed followed the same basic decisionmaking process for capital investment. Each year a firm’s leadership allocates the funds available for capital investment—first to must-do investments, then to discretionary investments. The former are required to maintain equipment and to meet required health, safety, and environmental standards. The latter are prioritized according to their ability to address key corporate goals. In particular, firms’ capital investment is often driven by the desire to capture new markets. Uncertainty was a recurring theme in all our interviews. Capital investment decision processes are shaped by the desire to reduce the potential regret due to adverse or unforeseen events over the long lifetime of capital stock.

These results are based on interviews with a small number of firms and are by no means definitive. Nonetheless, they suggest that climate policy should combine modest, near-term efforts to reduce emissions and more aggressive efforts to shape capital investment decisions over the long term. In particular:

The long lifetime of much capital stock may slow the rate at which the United States can obtain significant GHG emission reductions. Firms are often reluctant to retire capital and attempts to force them to do so on a short-term timetable can be costly. Sporadic and unpredictable waves of capital investment make it more difficult for climate policy to guarantee low-cost achievement of fixed targets and timetables for GHG emissions reductions. Reductions may be more rapid during periods of significant capital turnover and less rapid otherwise.

Policy-makers should consider early and consistent incentives for firms to reduce GHGs. Incentives ranging from early action credits to emissions trading can take advantage of those rare times when firms make major investments in new capital. Relatively low-cost opportunities for GHG emissions reductions are often available during such periods of investment. This analysis suggests that introducing a relatively low carbon price could serve as a consistent incentive to reduce GHG emissions.

Policy-makers should avoid regulations and other rules that discourage capital retirement. The retirement of older facilities often provides the opportunity for low-cost deployment of new, emissions-reducing technologies. The grandfathering provisions of the Clean Air Act and other environmental regulations may delay the retirement of older plants by exempting them from the environmental regulations governing new plants. At the same time, regulations governing some pollutants may provide an opportunity to address GHGs simultaneously while these investments are being made.

Policy-makers should pursue policies that shape long-term patterns of capital investment. While policy may only make small perturbations in near-term decisions regarding the composition of U.S. capital stock, over the long term, policy may significantly shape the market forces and opportunities perceived by firms. Government-sponsored research and development on new, emissionsreducing technologies and policies such as a cap-and-trade program may have a profound effect on the direction of long-term investments in new capital stock. Overall, the dynamics of capital investment and retirement suggest that policy-makers can set ambitious long-term climate goals, but should allow firms a great deal of flexibility in the timing with which they will respond to them.

Robert J. Lempert
Steven W. Popper
Stuart L. Hart
Susan A. Resetar
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