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.
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.”
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
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.