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Businesses Pledge to Fight Climate Change

August 10th, 2015

Businesses Pledge to Fight Climate Change

Written by Alessandra Price

It has become concerning to many individuals and businesses alike, that climate change is occurring.  We are experiencing extreme heat waves lasting weeks rather than days, and realizing too much change will cause an increase in complications including in our health and the value of energy, water and other resources.  It’s been proven that burning fewer fossil fuels will decrease respiratory problems, walking and biking will reduce pollution  . . . All things we know, but when will it become more of a priority?

Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt thinks the time is now, he explains, “Reaching a strong deal in Paris is an absolute and urgent necessity. The data is clear and the science is beyond dispute: a warming planet poses enormous threats to society.” Google has been “carbon neutral” since 2007 and has actively been making an effort, committing more than $2 billion to clean energy projects (NBC).

There’s no denying that large companies have quite a bit of power in this country, President Barack Obama has set an ambitious, yet inspiring goal, taking advantage of America’s private economic market. As of July 27th, 13 of the best-known companies are standing with The Obama Administration to launch the American Business Act on Climate Pledge with efforts to reduce carbon emissions. Some of the companies include:  Apple, Google, Microsoft, Walmart and Bank of America (White House).  They have pledged a total of $140 billion towards the effort.  The goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2015; some companies have made it their individual goal of reducing emissions as much as 50 percent (NBC).

The push towards green practices can even be seen locally in Western New York.  A local group called the Western New York Sustainable Business Round Table formed to assist local companies with their sustainability initiatives. Working together to bring about a more central resource of tools and advisers, promoting a healthy community by making decisions that are best for the people, profit and the planet. Other companies have been striving towards sustainability before the WNYSBR formed. An example is Edwards Vacuum, in Sanborn, NY.  We had a chance to walk through their facility and see how they constantly are finding ways to save energy, from energy efficient LED lighting, to reusing packaging materials. The company has several programs in place for employees to reuse and recycle products.  Edwards Vacuum is a great example of a company embracing environmental responsibility. They’re maximizing abatement of greenhouse gasses, reducing power usage, and reducing packaging. Edwards Vacuum supplies abatement products to its customers in the semiconductor industry, which significantly reduce the harmful release of production by-products into the environment and operate using close to 50% less energy than previous models. Creating a win-win solution for their customers. (see more at https://www.edwardsvacuum.com/Environment/).

Nationally, and locally, businesses are realizing the necessity of becoming environmentally responsible.  Whether it’s due to the rising temperatures of climate change, gaining a competitive advantage or just for the pure good feeling of doing something beneficial for the planet we all share. Innovation in the sustainability space will leave businesses, individuals, and the earth we live in a better place.

 

Sources: 

https://www.edwardsvacuum.com/Environment/#sthash.H0nmhvPY.dpuf

https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/07/27/fact-sheet-white-house-launches-american-business-act-climate-pledge

http://www.nbcnews.com/science/environment/google-apple-microsoft-join-business-pledge-fight-climate-change-n399296

http://www.mckinsey.com/client_service/sustainability/latest_thinking/reducing_us_greenhouse_gas_emissions