Companies are planning for Climate Risks

Photo by Ellie Ramm

Emilie Mazzacurati, founder and CEO at Four Twenty Seven, Inc., spoke at a C2ES-sponsored workshop on corporate climate resilience at the 2015 Climate Leadership Conference.

Many businesses are moving beyond identifying the potential risks posed by climate change impacts and are taking the next step: developing solutions.

More intense heat waves, rising sea levels, and heavier rainfall could lower crop yields and labor productivity, increase energy costs, damage property, and disrupt operations.

None of these impacts are good for business.

More than 80 individuals from companies, cities, and nonprofits shared their climate resilience ideas and experiences at a C2ES-sponsored workshop, “Emerging Best Practices for Identifying Climate Risk and Increasing Resilience,” at the 2015 Climate Leadership Conference in Washington.


Climate Leadership Award Winners Announced

Media Advisory

February 24, 2015

Climate Leadership Award Winners Announced

WASHINGTON – Sixteen organizations and one individual are being honored today with Climate Leadership Awards for their accomplishments in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and driving climate action.

The awards are given by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Center for Corporate Climate Leadership, in collaboration with the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, the Association of Climate Change Officers and The Climate Registry. Awardees will be honored this evening at the Climate Leadership Conference in Arlington, VA.

The awardees come from a wide array of sectors, from finance and manufacturing to retail and local government. Recipients have demonstrated leadership in managing and reducing emissions, investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy, and preparing for the impacts of climate change.

Information on the award winners is at:

Following is EPA's press release:

Jennifer Colaizzi
(202) 564-7776

February 24, 2015

UPS, Bank of America, SC Johnson among 16 Organizations across the U.S. Recognized for Climate Action

EPA also recognizes Chevrolet Clean Energy Campus Campaign, San Diego Regional Climate Collaborative in new Innovative Partnerships Category

WASHINGTON – From an innovative partnership enabling colleges to sell carbon credits to fund clean energy projects on campuses to some of the country’s leading corporations setting and exceeding aggressive emission reduction goals, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Leadership Award winners announced today are demonstrating that innovative actions to combat climate change are smart business decisions. Sixteen organizations and one individual representing a wide array of industries from finance and manufacturing to retail and technology show exemplary corporate, organizational, and individual leadership in response to climate change.

“I am proud to recognize our Climate Leadership Award winners for their actions to reduce the harmful carbon pollution that’s fueling climate change,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “Our winners are demonstrating that a healthy environment and a strong economy go hand in hand. These organizations are providing the leadership, commitment, and solutions needed to cut greenhouse gas emissions and meet head on the challenge of a changing climate.”  

EPA’s Center for Corporate Climate Leadership, in partnership with the Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO), the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), and The Climate Registry (TCR), announced the fourth annual Climate Leadership Award winners.

The 2015 Climate Leadership Award recipients are:

  • Innovative Partnerships Certificate (new category): This award recognizes organizations working collaboratively on leading edge climate initiatives with established objectives to measurably address greenhouse gas reduction goals and/or adaptation and resilience activities. This year’s recipients include:

o   ChevroletClean Energy Campus Campaign (Detroit, Mich.): The Chevrolet Campus Clean Energy Campaign marks the first time college campuses have been able to use carbon performance methodologies to earn revenue via GHG reductions that result from on-campus efficiency and clean energy. The Campaign set a 100 percent absolute GHG reduction goal through 2014 (2012 base year).

o   San Diego Regional Climate Collaborative (San Diego, Calif.): The Climate Collaborative supports members in setting and meeting GHG reduction targets via trainings and information on GHG inventory and monitoring tools; sharing climate action plan templates; supporting local governments in developing climate action plans; developing capacity for local governments to implement measures in their climate action plans; and more.

  • Organizational Leadership Award: Bank of America (Charlotte, N.C.) is being honored with this award for not only completing its own comprehensive greenhouse gas inventory and setting an aggressive emissions reduction goal, but also exemplifying extraordinary leadership in its internal response to climate change through engagement of its peers, competitors, partners, and supply chain, and addressing climate risk in its enterprise strategies. Bank of America issued the first corporate green bond to fund energy efficiency projects in 2013. Bank of America is setting an absolute global greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goal of 15 percent from 2010 levels through 2015. This goal builds on a previous total reduction of 18 percent of its U.S. GHG emissions from 2004-2009.
  • Excellence in Greenhouse Gas Management (Goal Achievement Award): The following organizations are being honored for publicly reporting and verifying organization-wide greenhouse gas inventories and achieving publicly-set aggressive greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals:
    • The City and County of San Francisco;
    • The Clorox Company (Oakland, Calif.);
    • DPR Construction (Redwood City, Calif.);
    • SC Johnson (Racine, Wis.);
    • Sprint (Overland Park, Kan.); and
    • UPS (Atlanta).
  • Individual Leadership Award: Mayor Bill Finch, City of Bridgeport, Conn., is being recognized for demonstrating extraordinary leadership in driving meaningful climate action within the Greater Bridgeport community and throughout the City’s operations. The Mayor is implementing an emission reduction goal for the city of 10 percent below 2007 levels by 2020.
  • Excellence in Greenhouse Gas Management (Goal Setting Certificate): The following organizations are being honored for publicly reporting and verifying organization-wide greenhouse gas inventories and publicly setting aggressive greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals:
    • Brown-Forman Corporation (Louisville, Ky.);
    • California Department of Water Resources;
    • Capital One Financial Corporation (McLean, Va.);
    • CH2M HILL (Englewood, Colo.);
    • The Clorox Company (Oakland, Calif.);
    • EMC Corporation (Hopkinton, Mass.);
    • The Hartford (Hartford, Conn.); and
    • Tiffany & Co. (New York).

“After the hottest year globally on record, action on climate change is more urgent than ever,” said Elliot Diringer, executive vice president of C2ES. “We applaud the CLA winners for demonstrating the many paths forward to a low-carbon future, and hope others follow their example.”

“The Climate Registry is honored to recognize an impressive group of climate champions for their dedication to and leadership in addressing climate change in their operations,” said David Rosenheim, executive director of TCR. “This year’s deserving award winners are leading the way in reducing carbon pollution through greater transparency and consistent data, demonstrating the path to a more sustainable future.”

“Climate change presents immense challenges across an incredible array of sectors, geographic regions and job functions," said Daniel Kreeger, executive director of the Association of Climate Change Officers. "The 2015 Climate Leadership Award winners have shown that incorporating climate into decision making is critical to their organizational success and are raising the bar on climate action."

The awards were presented at the 2015 Climate Leadership Conference in Arlington, Va.

EPA's Center for Corporate Climate Leadership establishes norms of climate leadership by encouraging organizations with emerging climate objectives to identify and achieve cost-effective GHG emission reductions, while helping more advanced organizations drive innovations in reducing their greenhouse gas impacts in their supply chains and beyond. The Center provides technical tools, guidance, educational resources, and opportunities for information sharing and peer exchange among organizations interested in reducing the environmental impacts associated with climate change.

More information about the 2015 Climate Leadership Award winners:

More information about EPA’s Center for Corporate Climate Leadership:

6 rules for happy climate partnerships

One city, company, state or nation can’t solve our climate and energy challenges overnight. Meaningful progress requires a variety of approaches by multiple actors, and that’s why partnerships are critical.

The benefits, indeed, the necessity of partnering and collaborating on climate action is increasingly being recognized.

The MIT 2014 Sustainability Report notes that “a growing number of companies are turning to collaborations — with suppliers, NGOs, industry alliances, governments, even competitors — to become more sustainable.” Collaborating with non-traditional partners was the focus of this month’s National Association of Clean Water Agencies’ (NACWA) Winter Conference, where C2ES President Bob Perciasepe touted the benefits of water and energy utility partnerships. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will recognize the importance of innovative partnerships for the first time in the upcoming 2015 Climate Leadership Awards to be announced Feb. 24 in Washington D.C.

Successful partnerships on climate and energy challenges, like successful relationships, take work. So in honor of Valentine’s Day, we offer the following six rules for strong partnerships:

Taking action on climate change is good business strategy

A new C2ES report highlights lessons useful for companies and policymakers as more states and countries consider carbon pricing to spur innovative technologies and cut emissions at the lowest possible cost.

The report, written for the World Bank’s Partnership for Market Readiness (PMR), examines how three companies — Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Rio Tinto, and Royal Dutch Shell -- prepared for carbon pricing programs.

The PMR shares this type of information with developing countries to help them create their own market-based policies. We were pleased to partner with the PMR to explore how a few of the companies in our Business Environmental Leadership Council prepared for carbon pricing and we thank the companies for sharing their expertise.

The lessons they shared fall into two categories – what business can learn from other companies operating in carbon markets and what governments considering market-based climate policy can learn from business.

Preparing for Carbon Pricing: Case Studies from Company Experience: Royal Dutch Shell, Rio Tinto, and Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Preparing for Carbon Pricing: Case Studies from Company Experience: Royal Dutch Shell, Rio Tinto, and Pacific Gas and Electric Company

January 2015

Download the report (PDF)

This report was prepared for the PMR Secretariat by Janet Peace, Tim Juliani, Anthony Mansell, and Jason Ye (Center for Climate and Energy Solutions—C2ES), with input and supervision from Pierre Guigon and Sarah Moyer (PMR Secretariat).

This report examines how three companies -- Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Rio Tinto, and Royal Dutch Shell -- prepared for carbon pricing programs in the U.S. and around the globe, their experiences under carbon pricing programs, and lessons learned.

Partnership for Market Readiness, World Bank, Washington, DC. License: Creative Commons Attribution CC BY 3.0 IGO


Anthony Mansell
Janet Peace
Jason Ye
Timothy Juliani

C2ES Events at the Climate Leadership Conference

Promoted in Energy Efficiency section: 
Emerging Best Practices for Identifying Climate Risk and Increasing Resilience8:30 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.Climate Solutions: The Role of Innovative Partnerships10:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Hear from Leaders in Climate and Energy Innovation

Leaders from business, government, academia and nonprofits will share best practices to address climate change through policy and business solutions at the 2015 Climate Leadership Conference Feb. 23-25, 2015, in Washington, DC.

The Climate Leadership Conference is hosted by The Climate Registry, the Association of Climate Change Officers, and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES). The Environmental Protection Agency is the headline sponsor.

C2ES is hosting two workshops at the conference.

Conference registration is required to attend the workshops. Register Here

Emerging Best Practices for Identifying Climate Risk and Increasing Resilience

Monday, February 23, 8:30 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

This workshop will be a knowledge exchange seminar built around discussions on climate-related risks and opportunities for private sector businesses. Discussions will explore strategies companies are using to prioritize and plan; data and tools they use to understand their vulnerabilities and opportunities; key barriers that impede resilience planning; and the partnerships that allow companies to interact with public sector decision-makers that are also building resilience.

Conference Registration Required. Register Here


Chris Benjamin, Director, Corporate Sustainability, PG&E

Robert Kopp, Associate Professor, Rutgers University

Emilie Mazzacurati, Founder and CEO, Four Twenty Seven, Inc.


Janet Peace,Vice President, Markets and Business Strategy, C2ES

Joe Casola, Program Director, Science and Impacts, C2ES


Climate Solutions: The Role of Innovative Partnerships

Monday, February 23, 10:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

This workshop examines ways organizations are working collaboratively on leading-edge climate initiatives, such as greenhouse gas reduction goals and adaptation strategies that go above and beyond the business-as-usual approaches. We know that cross-sector collaboration makes more of an impact than what might be achieved alone. The session will showcase transformational partnerships that produce robust results, innovative solutions and scalability. Participants will be invited to share their own perspectives and explore where new partnerships may be needed.

Conference Registration Required. Register Here


Keith Canfield, Director, Corporate Sustainability Programs, Clinton Climate Initiative

Laura Engeman, Manager, San Diego Regional Climate Collaborative

David Tulauskas, Director, Sustainability, General Motors Company


Katie Mandes, Vice President, Community Engagement, C2ES


Resolve to make an impact at work in 2015

If your New Year’s resolution is to make a difference, why not start at work?

A majority of us say we’d be more satisfied if we had a job where we could make a social or environmental impact on the world. A recent study shows Millennials especially see businesses as potential partners in helping them make the world a better place.

No matter your title or department, or if it’s just you working in your home office, you can help make your workplace a little greener and reduce the emissions that are contributing to climate change.

Here are 8 steps to consider giving a try:

Photo by Ellie Ramm

Cafeteria composting and recycling are great ways to cut food waste at work. 

Finding the 'Secret Sauce' to define and motivate your target audience

Most people can agree that being efficient consumers of energy is a good thing. And yet encouraging energy efficiency can be challenging, in part because the potential audience can be huge and diverse, and in part because making a change, even if it saves you money, typically requires effort.

That’s why it’s essential to find the people who are most likely to give energy-efficiency programs a try. Intelligent use of customer data can help target and inform a receptive audience. Members of this audience will then be encouraged to take action with some motivation.

I recently moderated a panel at the Behavior Energy and Climate Conference in Washington, D.C., where three experts discussed innovative ways to strategically target energy-efficiency programs, address factors that make people hesitant to join, and then scale the program.

How we engaged employees, strengthened community ties, and made the world a little greener

Nearly 2,000 Alcoa employees, their families, and members of their communities learned how to save energy, save money, and help the environment at green fairs over the past three months.

These fairs, organized by the C2ES Make an Impact program in partnership with Alcoa and the Alcoa Foundation, are an example of an evolving approach to corporate social responsibility and employee engagement.

Building awareness of environmental challenges is important, but it isn’t enough. A new approach, bringing together several engagement strategies, aims to build a work force that is both knowledgeable and active in local organizations. The goal is to create stronger relationships among a company, its employees, and community stakeholders, a win-win-win.

Employees, community members and even two mayors came to Alcoa Green Fairs to meet with local businesses and groups providing sustainability solutions. The events took place on weekends or during work breaks in Fullerton and Torrance, Calif.; Hampton, Va.; and Warrick, Ind. Participants could ask questions and get tips about recycling, saving energy and water, and making choices to promote sustainability.

Hands-on activities made it fun. For example, at each fair, we challenged people to see how much physical energy is needed to turn a hand crank (pictured at left) and produce enough power to light an old-fashioned incandescent bulb compared with a modern, efficient compact fluorescent bulb, which requires 75 percent less energy.

The team from Virginia Naturally challenged Hampton fair-goers to guess how long it takes for different types of litter to decompose, driving home the importance of recycling. California employees answered trivia questions from Heal the Bay about storm water management and water conservation.

The fairs informed employees and strengthened Alcoa’s connections to its local communities. More than 50 organizations participated, paving the way for future partnerships and employee volunteer opportunities that will improve the sustainability of each community.

Companies are part of the equation to address climate change

While the focus in New York this week has been on world leaders pledging to act on climate change, business leaders also stepped up to be part of the climate solution.

In recent years, many companies have acknowledged the risks of climate change and worked to improve their energy efficiency and sustainability. This week, companies announced new efforts to fund clean energy, reduce carbon emissions, and support a price on carbon.

For example, Bank of America announced an initiative to spur at least $10 billion of new investment in clean energy projects. Hewlett Packard announced plans to reduce emissions intensity of its product portfolio by 40 percent from 2010 levels by 2020.

Many companies joined together to take a stand:

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