Can Corporate Sustainability & Economic Growth Coexist?
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BOSTON, Feb. 24 /CSRwire/ - As the U.S. Senate considers a final push on climate legislation, BICEP - Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy - released a statement today urging Congress to move quickly to enact strong climate and energy legislation.
"U.S. businesses now more than ever believe it is time for Congress to pass strong climate and energy legislation," say BICEP's 16 large consumer companies in the statement. "We, and American generations to come, can't afford to be left behind as the global clean energy economy - an opportunity worth trillions of dollars - takes hold." (Full statement appears below.)
"Symantec supports energy and climate change legislation as an integral step to make our economy more energy efficient and sustainable," said Enrique Salem, president and CEO, Symantec Corporation. "The U.S. business community is united in large numbers on this issue. Continued partnership between Washington and the U.S. business community is vital to develop clean energy policies that are aligned with our environmental strategy and our marketplace demands."
"We can greatly reduce the environmental impact of buildings, which are responsible for 39 percent of carbon emissions in the U.S., by unlocking the full potential for energy efficiency. Corporations and building owners are making some progress with low-cost strategies, but to make the jump to the next level we need to see greater investment in clean energy technologies and more financially viable options for retrofitting buildings," said Lauralee Martin, Chief Operating and Financial Officer, Jones Lang LaSalle.
The statement comes as BICEP companies welcome a new consumer giant, Best Buy, into their fold, and as the cross-country Race for American Jobs and Clean Energy Leadership touches down in Denver, Colorado. Sponsored by We Can Lead, a partnership between BICEP and the Clean Economy Network, the race launched at Nike headquarters on February 16 and will make additional stops in Ohio, New Hampshire and Washington D.C. over the next three weeks.
"At Best Buy we're committed to building sustainable business practices and helping our customers realize ways to live more sustainable lives," says Laura Bishop, Best Buy's Senior Director of Government Relations. "We are honored to join BICEP in their efforts to advance legislation addressing climate change and promoting a clean energy economy."
Despite some recent headlines, U.S. businesses now more than ever believe it is time for Congress to pass strong climate and energy legislation. This month alone has seen 200 business leaders from 20 states visit Washington DC in a collective push for a comprehensive bill. It has seen CEOs from Shell Oil, Duke Energy, NRG Energy and others making their own Capitol Hill push for climate action. It has seen the launch of a business-led campaign, one that we at BICEP are part of -- We Can Lead's four-week, coast-to-coast "Race for American Jobs and Clean Energy Leadership," which touches down today in Denver. All this as the Senate shows encouraging and very positive progress on several explicitly bipartisan versions of such legislation.
Facts like these make it mystifying to us when we hear that climate and energy legislation in the Senate is somehow stalled or lacks business support.
The truth couldn't be more different. Thousands of American businesses of every shape, size and economic sector demonstrably continue to stand by this message: America needs the jobs a clean energy transition will bring. We need energy independence for our long-term national security. We need to build a new economy and new American businesses based on cleaner energy - before other nations sprint ahead to grab that opportunity and all those new markets. And we need to concretely address global warming pollution before we and our children face high costs dealing with its impacts.
America can't afford to get this choice wrong. We can no longer indulge in distracting arguments about a strongly settled and exceptionally well-researched scientific consensus calling on us to act. We, and American generations to come, can't afford to be left behind as the global clean energy economy - an opportunity worth trillions of dollars - takes hold.
So let's keep this effort on track, not be distracted by the actions of skeptics and protectors of the status quo, and move forward with passage of this vital legislation soon. We win on every front if we act. We lose on many fronts if we don't.
BICEP members include Levi Strauss & Co., Nike, Starbucks, Sun Microsystems, The Timberland Co., Ben & Jerry's, eBay, Eileen Fisher, Gap Inc., Stonyfield Farm, Symantec, Clif Bar & Company, Seventh Generation, Aspen Skiing Company and Jones Lang LaSalle. BICEP is coordinated by Ceres, a leading coalition of investors, environmental and public interest organizations working with companies to address sustainability challenges such as climate change. For more information, please visit www.ceres.org/bicep.
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