WASHINGTON, DC, March 27, 2009 –Some of the world’s most iconic global corporations came together in the nation’s capital to announce they’ve significantly cut their greenhouse gas emissions.
The companies, all partners in World Wildlife Fund’s Climate Savers Program, announced an estimated 50 million tons of voluntary emissions reductions by 2010 since the program’s inception in 1999. The reduction is the equivalent to the annual emissions of Switzerland and was estimated by Ecofys, an energy consulting firm. Senior executives from a dozen of the companies will be briefing policymakers on Capitol Hill today to deliver the message that climate protection and profitability can go hand-in-hand. While these successes are impactful, comprehensive climate policies are critical at both national and international levels to address the scale and urgency of the climate crisis.
The list of WWF Climate Savers companies includes The Coca-Cola Company, Catalyst, The Collins Companies, Elopak, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Hewlett-Packard, Lafarge, Johnson & Johnson, JohnsonDiversey, Nike, Nokia, Nokia Siemens Networks, Novo Nordisk, Polaroid, Sagawa Express, Sofidel Group, Sony, Spitsbergen Travel, Tetra Pak, Xanterra Parks and Resorts.
"These 21 Climate Savers companies have proven that greenhouse gas reductions and strong economic performance is not an either/or proposition,” said WWF President and CEO Carter Roberts. “This is a critical moment to communicate this message to policymakers because voluntary action will not be enough to achieve the carbon dioxide reductions needed to protect the planet from the ravages of climate change. A global challenge like this calls for both domestic legislation and a strong international treaty.”
“Environmental protection and sustainable business performance are inextricably linked,” said Muhtar Kent, President and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company. “Governments, NGOs and businesses have unique roles, but we must work more closely together to address climate change. A key part of our role is to drive the Coca-Cola system to achieve and surpass the targets we have established in partnership with WWF and Climate Savers."
The Climate Savers companies are taking their message to Capitol Hill today at a briefing hosted by the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
By participating in Climate Savers, companies work with WWF to develop a climate action plan that includes absolute emission reduction targets and steps to meet their goals. Independent technical experts monitor and verify compliance. Overall, the companies say these efforts are resulting in greater operational efficiency and significant cost reductions.
As Climate Savers marked its 10-year anniversary, some member companies, such as Lafarge and Johnson & Johnson are currently surpassing their targets. WWF also announced that Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and Elopak would become the newest members, with both companies setting ambitious emissions targets:
- Fairmont Hotels & Resorts signed an agreement with WWF to cut its emissions by 20 percent below its 2006 levels by 2013.
- Elopak, a leading beverage packaging company with customers in 100 countries, will reduce CO2 emissions 15% from 2008 levels by 2011.
As an additional effort, WWF officials said it will organize a contingent of Climate Savers companies to attend upcoming international climate talks in Copenhagen in support of a treaty. Many Climate Savers companies have previously offered public support for a declaration calling for action to limit the global average temperature increase to a maximum of 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels, and have affirmed an Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change report’s conclusion that global emissions must be reduced to half of 2000 levels by the middle of the 21st century. The companies also declared that they would widen the scope of reduction activities by partnering with other businesses and champion best practice by sharing their methods with more sectors and in more regions around the world.
Ecofys has been the verifier for various emission inventories of WWF Climate Savers companies.