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16 Organizations Recognized as U.S. Climate Action Leaders


With 2014 acknowledged as the hottest year on record, U.S.-based organizations are taking substantive measures to address climate change. They're taking innovative steps to lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and reduce the resource-intensity of their operations, including selling carbon credits to fund clean energy projects on U.S. university and college campuses, and realizing more ambitious GHG emissions and pollution reduction targets.

In order to help achieve the goals set out in President Barack Obama's National Climate Action Plan, the Environmental Protection Agency in 2012 launched the Center for Corporate Climate Leadership. Every year, the EPA recognizes climate action leaders among U.S. businesses, organizations and individuals by awarding Climate Leadership Awards.

On Feb. 24, the EPA announced the 2015 Climate Leadership Award winners, honoring “16 organizations and one individual representing a wide array of industries from finance and manufacturing to retail and technology” that have demonstrated “exemplary corporate, organizational and individual leadership in response to climate change,” EPA states in a press release.

National recognition for U.S. climate action leadership

Actions to mitigate and adapt to climate change are successfully reducing GHG emissions. U.S. organizations, moreover, are finding that taking climate change action benefits their financial bottom lines, the EPA highlights. EPA Climate Leadership Award winners “are demonstrating that innovative actions to combat climate change are smart business decisions,” the federal environmental agency states.

“I am proud to recognize our Climate Leadership Award winners for their actions to reduce the harmful carbon pollution that’s fueling climate change,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy was quoted as saying. “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 manages the Climate Leadership Awards process in partnership with the Association of Climate Change Officers, the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions and The Climate Registry (TCR).

2015 Climate Leadership Award winners

The winners of the inaugural Climate Leadership Award for the Innovative Partnerships Certificate are:

  • Chevrolet for its Clean Energy Campus Campaign, which for the first time enables colleges to use carbon performance methodologies to earn revenue via GHG reductions that result from on-campus efficiency and clean energy;

  • The San Diego Regional Climate Collaborative, which supports members in setting and meeting GHG reduction targets via training and information on GHG inventory and monitoring tools, as well as sharing climate action plan templates and supporting local governments to create and implement climate action plans;

Bank of America garnered the 2015 Climate Leadership's Organizational Leadership Award for completing its GHG inventory and setting an aggressive emissions reduction goal. BoA also exhibited “extraordinary leadership in its internal response to climate change through engagement of its peers, competitors, partners and supply chain,” EPA notes, as well as in “addressing climate risk in its enterprise strategies.”

The only individual to earn a 2015 Climate Leadership Awared, Mayor Bill Finch of Bridgeport, Connecticut, was presented the Individual Leadership Award “for demonstrating extraordinary leadership in driving meaningful climate action within the Greater Bridgeport community and throughout the city's operations.” Under Mayor Finch's leadership, Bridgeport has set a goal to reduce the city's GHG emissions to 10 percent below 2007 levels by 2020.

The city and county of San Francisco, Clorox Co., DPR Construction, SC Johnson, Sprint and UPS won 2015 Climate Leadership Awards for Excellence in Greenhouse Gas Management (Goal Achievement Award).

*Image credits: 1) EPA Climate Leadership Awards; 2) Chevrolet Clean Energy Campus Campaign

Andrew Burger headshotAndrew Burger

An experienced, independent journalist, editor and researcher, Andrew has crisscrossed the globe while reporting on sustainability, corporate social responsibility, social and environmental entrepreneurship, renewable energy, energy efficiency and clean technology. He studied geology at CU, Boulder, has an MBA in finance from Pace University, and completed a certificate program in international governance for biodiversity at UN University in Japan.

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