Companies across the country are tackling climate change in their individual portfolios—reducing their carbon footprints by harnessing cost-effective investments in energy efficiency and clean energy. These companies are taking actions all across our nation, driving major investment in low-carbon energy resources at the local level through individual projects and investments.
These leading companies want well designed national-scale policy that complements their own efforts to mitigate climate change. The Clean Power Plan, America’s first-ever limits on carbon pollution from power plants, is a crucial opportunity to align national policy with this increasing demand for low-carbon energy. The rule provides investment certainty, while incorporating a flexible framework that ensures that its pollution reduction targets can be met in the most cost-effective manner available.
That’s why major innovators like Google, Microsoft, and Apple—companies that employ tens of thousands of Americans across the country—are reducing their contributions to carbon pollution and supporting the Clean Power Plan. As a Google official put it, with the Clean Power Plan it’s possible to drive “innovation and growth while tackling climate change.”
There is robust demand for clean energy solutions
Each year, EDF Climate Corps works with approximately 100 large organizations to lower energy costs and reduce carbon footprints through strategic energy management. Since 2008, we have deployed over 700 Climate Corps fellows to leading organizations to build the business case for investment in energy efficiency and clean energy, identifying cost effective ways for companies to save money while mitigating climate change.
A recent analysis of our work demonstrates several interesting trends in emissions management, many of which can be advanced by implementation of the Clean Power Plan. We are seeing companies embrace energy efficiency and deploy it at scale. Companies are taking responsibility for their environmental impact and are investing in broad solutions. For example, the report describes how Comcast identified ways to cost effectively eliminate more than 6,000 metric tons of annual carbon pollution by scaling its investments in energy efficiency over three years.
More and more corporations are also demonstrating a significant interest in zero-carbon energy. Over 80 companies, including General Motors, P&G and Walmart, have made bold and public commitments to use 100% renewable energy in their operations.
Mainstream companies are embracing the economic opportunity and societal imperative to clean up their emissions profiles, and are willing to invest in zero-carbon energy resources. In fact, in 2015, one in three Climate Corps host organizations worked with a fellow to build the business case for investment in clean energy.
Leading companies are taking individual action and supporting national scale policy solutions
By greening the nation’s power supply, we can mitigate climate change by harnessing a transition and an evolution that has already begun.
But companies are increasingly recognizing that they need to do even more than just mitigate their own pollution and procure clean energy to supply their needs. They need to advocate for smart policies too.
This is why over 100 companies, including DuPont, General Mills and Starbucks have urged “swift implementation of the Clean Power Plan” and why Google, Apple, Amazon, Adobe and others are standing up to defend the Clean Power Plan in court.
The Clean Power Plan establishes common sense national targets for reducing carbon pollution
The Clean Power Plan is an important component of a cost-effective, strategic approach to tackling climate change. It will complement and harness individual efforts to address climate change by companies across the country.
But don’t take my word for it—major businesses that are supporting the Clean Power Plan said so themselves.
Take Google, Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft. In their amicus brief filed in support of the Clean Power Plan, they noted:
By limiting emissions of carbon dioxide from existing fossil fuel-fired power plants, the Plan will help address climate change by reinforcing current trends that are making renewable energy supplies more robust, more reliable, and more affordable. Tech Amici welcome these developments. (Tech Amici brief at 2-3.)
Or IKEA, Mars, Adobe, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. In their submission in support of the Clean Power Plan, they noted:
The Amici Companies have a salient interest in the development of sound policy and economically responsible environmental regulations because, as electricity consumers and purchasers, planning strategically and financially for their energy resources needs is critical to business success. (Consumer Brands Amici brief at 3.)
The way forward
Through public commitments to clean energy and through their collaborations with EDF, we know that major companies want access to clean, affordable, low-carbon energy.
It’s time we tackle climate change with federal climate policy that reflects and harnesses these powerful trends.