Tag Archive for: Environmental Responsibility

Corporate America is Leaning Toward Environmental Responsibility

Since the beginning of the movement toward climate activism, many changes affecting big corporations have been triggered by legislation and science. Environmental scientists continually uncover new complications caused by climate change, and while President Obama continues to call for regulatory changes—namely to cut carbon emissions—Congress has put these efforts on hold by working to overturn many of his requests to implement tougher restrictions.

This standstill may lead one to believe that efforts toward reaching a more environmentally-friendly future are stalled, yet that is not the case. In fact, corporate America is beginning to get ahead of these debates by reducing their emissions with or without the passing of Obama’s regulatory measures.

According to a study conducted by Calvert Investment, Ceres, David Gardiner & Associates, and the World Wildlife Fund, 43 percent of Fortune 500 companies have independently set goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, become more energy efficient, or secure greener energy to fuel their business- and many of these businesses report saving large sums of money due to their efforts.

Former governor of New Jersey and former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Christine Todd Whitman stated, “These companies make it their mission to reduce their carbon footprint because it is making good business sense.”

However, what about the other 57 percent of the Fortune 500? For many, they are trapped by subsidies which are making fossil-fuel power sources cheaper, allowing them to focus on other needs within the corporation.

There is no denying that a decision by U.S. and state policymakers would push even more companies to more sustainable measures; however, the power of the public and shareholders should not go unnoticed. Many companies are creating benchmarks per the request of these shareholders who push the companies to lessen their environmental impact.

Even if environmental legislation remains unspecified, it is clear that big corporations are beginning to move toward environmental responsibility regardless.  Though tougher restrictions on emissions may push more corporations toward solutions faster, the trend has already begun, and continues to spread. Corporate America is blazing the trail, proving that being environmentally responsible and fiscally sound can happen simultaneously.

China and U.S. Sign Climate Change Deals

This past Tuesday, the United States and China signed eight partnership pacts in an effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions. These pacts involve multiple companies and research bodies and bring the world’s two largest carbon emitters into closer agreement on climate policy.

One memoranda of understanding (MOUs) calls for the sharing of information on clean coal power generation technology between Huaneng Clean Energy Research Institute in China and the Summit Power Group based in Washington. Huaneng is expected to share information with Summit as they begin to initiate a similar project in Texas in the near future. In turn, Summit will share information and technology for recovering oil from captured carbon.

According to Laura Miller, who currently manages Texas Clean Energy Project, “We will be sharing expertise, years of development experience and non-proprietary technology on both projects, all while making giant steps forward for the world’s environment.”

While some pacts were signed by both nations, negotiators on each side recognize the need for more communication between the two in order to come to an agreement in areas of technological cooperation, as well as domestic and international policies, among others. In a recent interview, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry stated that the two sides remained committed to continuing the “close dialogue” of negotiations on climate change.

China and the U.S. coming to agreement would majorly impact climate change policy across the globe. Both nations also confirm the need for policy decisions implementing aid for developing countries in controlling their emissions in order to create a significant global impact.

These ongoing discussions and changes in climate policy place an emphasis on the need for accurate emissions data collection and reporting. The implementation of new policy and regulations could also lead to an increased demand for emissions data processing and analysis, to which cloud-based, big data management technologies are now available to supply.