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UN Global Compact Launches Climate Initiative in San Francisco

Submitted by: United Nations Global Compact

Categories: Environment, Corporate Social Responsibility

Posted: Mar 01, 2007 – 01:41 PM EST

 

"Principles on Climate Leadership" a Model for Business Everywhere

Mar. 01 /CSRwire/ - SAN FRANCISCO CA- March 1, 2007 —The United Nations Global Compact, the City of San Francisco, the Bay Area Council and a wide array of Bay Area businesses today launched a unique partnership designed to provide meaningful actions that businesses and cities around the world can take to combat global warming.

The initiative – the Principles on Climate Leadership – will give Bay Area businesses a strategic framework to address climate change as well as a forum to share best practices to reduce greenhouse gasses in both large and small companies. In addition, the initiative will create a model for climate action in the commercial and public sectors that the United Nations Global Compact will seek to place in companies and cities around the world.

More the 20 companies from a variety of sectors – including Gap Inc., Gensler, Google, PG&E and Shaklee – officially endorsed the Principles and, in relation, announced the Business Council on Climate Change ("BC3") at a special event in San Francisco – the city that gave birth to the United Nations with the signing of the UN Charter in 1945.

The event was attended by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and regional leaders from business, government and civil society.

"Voluntary initiatives such as the BC3 and the Principles on Climate Leadership will be crucial in bringing about progressive and robust action on the global climate crisis," said Georg Kell, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact. "At the same time, it is important to keep in mind that voluntary action cannot be a substitute for effective regulation – rather, it informs and complements regulation."

The launch of the initiative follows by only several months the passage of AB 32 by the State of California, the nation’s most aggressive climate legislation.

"Local actions can have a positive effect on the entire planet," observed San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. "The Bay Area is fortunate to have a visionary business community that is willing to get out in front of a daunting issue like global warming, and we are honored that the United Nations Global Compact will be working to bring this message to other communities and companies around the world."

BC3 member companies pledge to address greenhouse emissions throughout their operations and corporate cultures, and agree to follow the BC3’s five Principles on Climate Leadership: Internal Implementation, Community Leadership, Advocacy and Dialogue, Collective Action, Transparency and Disclosure.

"The Bay Area Council has been an environmental leader for decades, but this may be one of our most ambitious projects ever," said Jim Wunderman, President of the Bay Area Council, the area's largest business association. "We, and our business community members, are proud to help focus the region’s entrepreneurial spirit and ingenuity on an issue so critical to our economic future."

The United Nations Global Compact will showcase the BC3 initiative and the core Principles of Climate Leadership at its Leaders Summit on 5-6 July 2007 in Geneva, Switzerland – an event that will draw nearly 1000 business and government leaders as well as representatives of civil society from around the world. Addressing climate change will be a priority topic at the Leaders Summit.

Founding members of the BC3 comprise a diverse range of companies, including: 3 Phases Energy; AccessFlow; ARUP; CH2M Hill; Clif Bar; EcoAdvantage Network; Food from the Park; Gap Inc.; Gensler; Google; Green Impact; Green Squared Consulting; Hallisey & Johnson; HOK; New Resource Bank; Organic Architect; PG&E; Ponderosa Homes; Shaklee; SMWM Architecture; Solutions; Swinerton; Waldeck's; Webcor; Wendel, Rosen, Black and Dean; and William McDonough + Partners.

For further information, please contact Matthias Stausberg, UN Global Compact, stausberg@un.org; or 917-367-3423.

Editor’s Note: The Principles on Climate Leadership follow.

PRINCIPLES ON CLIMATE LEADERSHIP

The Business Council on Climate Change (BC3) believes that the climate crisis offers corporate leaders an unprecedented opportunity to shift practices to realize economic growth, environmental sustainability, and social well-being. Our mission is to capitalize on the Bay Area’s entrepreneurial culture to create a thriving economy, while at the same time contributing to public dialogue and positive action on climate change. Therefore, we commit to the following principles:

PRINCIPLE ONE: INTERNAL IMPLEMENTATION

We acknowledge our responsibility to reduce our impact on climate change and adopt practices within our company’s operations to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to a climate-friendly San Francisco Bay Area economy.
Potential Actions include:

  • Conduct an assessment of greenhouse gas emissions from operations.

  • Set a company-wide greenhouse gas emission reduction goal.

  • Develop and implement a greenhouse gas reduction plan as appropriate to each company.

  • Monitor and verify progress towards achieving reduction goal.

  • Become a certified Bay Area Green Business.

    PRINCIPLE TWO: COMMUNITY LEADERS

    We will be active leaders in the San Francisco Bay Area community to help combat climate change.
    Potential Actions include:

  • Provide transportation alternative incentives for employees (public transit / bicycle commuting / carpooling / car share / low emission vehicles).

  • Provide educational materials to employees on how to reduce residential greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Work with supply chain partners and, where appropriate, with clients and customers to reduce indirect impacts of products and services.

  • Incorporate and showcase “green building” strategies.

  • Institutionalize corporate policy to offset company travel emissions through carbon credits.

    PRINCIPLE THREE: ADVOCACY AND DIALOGUE

    We will advocate and dialogue with policymakers to develop the best business solution through, for example, supporting the Bay Area Council’s advocacy platform on climate change.
    Potential Actions include:

  • Collaborate with local and state governments to identify policies and incentives for businesses to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Make public statements—individually and collectively—on the importance of preparing for and minimizing climate change.

  • Actively engage sources of capital to invest in clean tech and climate-friendly businesses.

  • Sponsor events that raise awareness about climate change in the corporate and/or residential sectors.

    Support appropriate legislation to address climate change.

    PRINCIPLE FOUR: COLLECTIVE ACTION

    Through the Business Council on Climate Change, we will collaborate and share best practices with other participating San Francisco Bay Area companies to help solve the problem of climate change.
    Potential Actions include:

  • Partner with BC3 members to leverage our impact with public agencies, customers, residents and community organizations.

  • Provide input on regulatory proceedings at the state and local level (e.g.: California Public Utilities Commission and regional air district).

  • Support international initiatives such as the UN Global Compact.

    PRINCIPLE FIVE: TRANSPARENCY AND DISCLOSURE

    We will each report regularly on our activities and progress towards reducing our climate footprint.
    Potential Actions include:

  • Disclose actions and results in annual reports.

  • Participate in the BC3 Learning Forum.

  • Share best practices and lessons learned with other members of BC3 and the public.

  • For more information, please contact:

    Matthias Stausberg UN Global Compact
    Phone: +1-917-367-3423
    Gavin Power UN Global Compact
    Phone: +1-917-679-8144

    For more from this organization:

    United Nations Global Compact

     

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