Lessons on Resilience Collaboration

Posted on: March 12th, 2018 by Center for Climate and Energy Solutions


Climate impacts are and will continue to be felt throughout supply chains, across economic sectors, and across town and state lines, posing different challenges for businesses, communities and non-profits. To take advantage of the opportunity to share best practices and lessons learned, climate professionals from those sectors met at the 2018 Climate Leadership Conference to participate in a track of discussions and workshops dedicated to the climate resilience.

Some of the stories, lessons, and needs discussed at the conference offer distinct perspectives on those best practices:

  1. Even companies and communities that are just getting started in preparing for climate change are not starting from scratch. They’re using the resources and lessons from previous risk mitigation, sustainability and other efforts and capitalizing on existing partnerships between the public and private sector. For instance, Mars Inc. described their next step as connecting the company’s existing risk mitigation and sustainability departments for a cross-functional exchange to incorporate climate change into risk management.
  2. Resilience or adaptation should not be a new department, silo, or standalone plan. Mars Inc.’s example also highlights the importance of treating climate change differently than other challenges. Because impacts cut across business operations, resilience should be threaded through existing plans for emergencies, risk management, and facility-siting, among others. PG&E shared that it has changed its mission and values to encompass resilience, and is working to bring that consideration and focus through all of its work, instead of creating a separate climate resilience unit.
  3. Sustainability and resilience often complement each other, but addressing conflicts between the two objectives can be challenging. For example, careful water usage can build more resilience to drought. In other instances, tension between the two objectives can arise. Choosing only environmentally or socially responsible suppliers can narrow a supply base, with the potential result of making some components of a supply chain more vulnerable to local climate impacts.
  4. Economic resilience looks different for every city. Meg Arnold, Managing Director of the economic development non-profit, Valley Vision, shared an analysis of Sacramento, California, where small businesses are key to both employment and economic production. There are about 60,000 businesses operating in the Sacramento metropolitan area, and nearly half of private sector jobs are with small businesses, which are also especially vulnerable to climate impacts and other disruptions. To help address this cascading economic vulnerability, Valley Vision found that outreach to small businesses should focus on short-term risk and provide pro-bono consulting. Companies also know that their resilience is defined by that of the city and of their employees. United Technologies is working to understand it’s exposure and vulnerability to extreme weather by analyzing flood risks posed to its employees at home.
  5. Resilience efforts must include the most vulnerable: A panel on collaborative resilience planning for local economies discussed the opportunity to advance social equity and elevate the importance of climate resilience for communities. This effort is critical because underserved populations are disproportionately impacted by climate change. In a plenary session, an audience member asked Mustafa Santiago Ali, the Senior Vice President of Climate, Environment, Justice & Community Revitalization for the Hip Hop Caucus how communities beginning to write climate action plans can also accomplish their equity goals. Ali told the audience, “It has always been about honoring the voice of communities and getting them engaged in the process early… make sure that there are continual education and check-ins to make sure that you’re moving in the right direction.”

    These stories are encouraging, but the conference also showed that there is unfinished work for companies and communities to fully understand climate risk, decide which proactive actions to take, and share lessons with those facing similar challenges and barriers. C2ES looks forward to hosting some of this future learning and conversation through city workshops, research on resilience strategies, and by supporting of the Department of Energy Partnership for Resilience, which is advancing adoption of resilience best practices and facilitating peer-to-peer learning and information sharing among electric utilities.

Author: Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

Eighteen U.S. Businesses and Cities Honored at the Climate Leadership Awards

Posted on: March 1st, 2018 by Climate Leadership Conference


2018 Winners Show Economy-wide Climate Action in Diverse Sectors

DENVER – The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) and The Climate Registry (TCR), in partnership with Headline Sponsor, Bloomberg Philanthropies, today announced the recipients of the 2018 Climate Leadership Awards. The Awards, which take place during the annual Climate Leadership Conference, showcase and recognize voluntary action to reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs) and address climate change.

This year’s awardees represent a wide array of sectors, including manufacturing, technology, local government, financial services, and consumer goods.

“Leaders of businesses and communities across the country are leading the way to a more sustainable future in the absence of leadership in Washington. The winners of this year’s awards have each shown a deep commitment to addressing both the risks created by climate change impacts and the opportunities of a clean energy economy,” said C2ES President Bob Perciasepe. “We’re also grateful to Bloomberg Philanthropies and all of our sponsors for their support that allowed us to continue to recognize the work of these climate leaders.”

“Congratulations to this year’s Climate Leadership Award winners, who we hope will inspire and galvanize others to take up the mantle of climate action,” said Ann McCabe, Interim Executive Director of The Climate Registry. “When it comes to climate change and the transition to a clean economy, these winning individuals and organizations prove many U.S. leaders have the will to do it – and the ideas and solutions to succeed.”

"The Climate Leadership Award winners show that fighting climate change and growing the economy go hand in hand,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies. “Their efforts are creating jobs around the country, saving lives by cleaning the air people breathe, and sending a strong message to the rest of the world: America will continue to lead the way on climate change, no matter what happens in Washington."

Organizational Leadership Award
  • Citigroup: Committed $100 billion over 10 years to lend, invest in, and facilitate activities to reduce climate change impacts; offering outspoken support for the Paris Agreement and other efforts to advance a sustainable, low carbon economy, and through the Citi Foundation is funding the Financing Sustainable Cities Initiative to help cities develop business models for sustainability.
  • Baxter Healthcare Corp (Honorable Mention): Engaging internal and external experts and stakeholders to implement energy conservation measures to meet a voluntary 2020 goal to reduce GHG emissions by 10% and energy use by 15% indexed to revenue, and pursuing greater sustainability throughout its supply and value chain.
  • Allergan (Honorable Mention): Developed a data- and employee-driven global energy program to lead site-specific energy efficiency efforts and meet goals of reducing corporate GHG emissions and energy consumption by 20% by 2020.
Individual Leadership Award
  • Gerard M Anderson, CEO, DTE Energy: Led the development of DTE Energy’s goal to reduce GHG emissions 80% by 2050, based on a decarbonization pathway for DTE Energy’s generation, and implemented DTE Energy’s Force for Growth sustainability strategy.
Innovative Partnership Certificate
  • Goldman Sachs: Invested in the Living Lab partnership to educate and implement new technology solutions for energy efficient buildings. This work was done in partnership with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Building Energy Exchange.
  • National Grid: Spearheaded Methane Leak Detection and Quantification Technology Collaboration to evaluate several methane emission technologies and develop methodology to enable utilities to design pipeline replacement projects that are efficient, both environmentally and economically.
  • Utah Climate Action Network: Created a partnership between government, research institutions, non-profits/foundations, faith-based organizations, the private sector, and individuals; providing a hyperlocal program and platform for organizations to connect on climate-related activities.
Excellence in Greenhouse Gas Management/Goal Achievement Award
  • California Department of Water Resources: Met a goal for absolute reduction in GHG emissions, achieving a 69% reduction during the goal period.
  • California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS): Exceeded a goal of reducing absolute GHG emissions reductions of 10% by 2015, actually achieved a 76% reduction during the goal period.
  • Comerica Inc.: Set an absolute GHG reduction goal of 20% from 2012 to 2020, achieving the goal four years early in 2016 helped by improvements in data center and building management systems and energy efficiency of existing construction.
  • IBM: Exceeded 2% per year absolute GHG emissions reduction, achieved an absolute reduction goal of 35% from 2005 to 2020, and contracted to purchase 783,000 MWh of renewable electricity.
  • The Hartford: Exceeded an absolute GHG reduction goal of 20% from 2013 through 2018 by achieving it in 2016
Excellence in Greenhouse Gas Management/Goal Setting Certificate
  • Biogen: Set an absolute GHG reduction goal of 35% by 2030 and signed onto the RE100 initiative committing to source 100% of its electricity globally from renewable resources.
  • CA Technologies: Already having met a goal to reduce GHG emissions 35%, CA Technologies has set an absolute GHG reduction goal of 40% from 2015 to 2030.
  • Kimberly-Clark Corporation: Set an absolute GHG reduction goal of 20% from 2005 to 2022 after already meeting and exceeding a 5% reduction goal in 2015.
  • Raytheon Corporation: After already achieving three GHG reduction goals, Raytheon set an absolute GHG reduction goal of 12% from 2015 to 2020 as well as commitments to reduce certain GHG chemicals in manufacturing.
  • SC Johnson: Having previously met GHG reduction goals for factories and manufacturing sites through strategies that include wind power investments, SC Johnson has set an absolute reduction goal of 15% from 2015 to 2020.
  • United Technologies: Set an absolute GHG reduction goal of 15% from 2015 to 2020 after having previously met a 12% reduction goal in 2010 and continuing a 3% annual reduction goal from 2011-2015.
  • The Hartford: Set a new goal to reduce absolute emissions by a minimum of 2.1% annually from 2015 to 2027, resulting in at least a 25.7% reduction over that time period. Since the inception of the Climate Leadership Awards and Conference in 2012, more than 115 recipients have been recognized for leadership in addressing climate change.

Bloomberg Philanthropies Signs on as Headline Sponsor of 2018 Climate Leadership Conference

Posted on: November 28th, 2017 by Climate Leadership Conference


US Climate Alliance Joins as Government Partner as States, Cities and Businesses Step Up on Climate Action

WASHINGTON – The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) and The Climate Registry (TCR) are pleased to announce that Bloomberg Philanthropies will serve as headline sponsor of the 2018 Climate Leadership Conference. Bloomberg Philanthropies is stepping in to fill the void left by long-time sponsor, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which announced in August that it was discontinuing its support. At the conference, Bloomberg Philanthropies will work with climate leaders to advance America’s Pledge, an initiative co-chaired by Michael R. Bloomberg and California Governor Jerry Brown that aggregates, quantifies and showcases the potential of non-federal climate action in the United States.

The U.S. Climate Alliance, a bi-partisan coalition of states that is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement, has also announced that it will be supporting the Climate Leadership Conference as the Government Partner.

“The EPA may no longer be in the business of recognizing American climate leadership, but across the country there are state officials, mayors and businesses who are driving the climate agenda forward,” said Dan Firger of Bloomberg Philanthropies. “We are pleased to sponsor this year’s Climate Leadership Conference to showcase the best of what’s possible when government and business come together to achieve America’s Pledge on climate change.” "States and local communities throughout the U.S. are proving that climate action can improve our health and quality of life, and can even save money,” said Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper. “Colorado is proud to host this year’s Climate Leadership Conference where innovation and success is honored. It is through collaboration and forward thinking that we will be able to address the immense challenges of a changing climate."

Now in its seventh year and co-hosted by C2ES and TCR, the Climate Leadership Conference and accompanying Climate Leadership Awards brings together over 400 climate, energy, and sustainability thought leaders from the public and private sectors. This year’s conference and awards will be held February 28 – March 2nd at the Four Seasons Hotel in Denver, Colorado. Bloomberg Philanthropies’ support ensures that cities, states, and companies will retain an important platform for collectively moving the nation toward meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement.

“We are seeing a new wave of actors from beyond Washington step into the leadership void,” said C2ES President Bob Perciasepe. “America’s Pledge and Bloomberg Philanthropies are playing an indispensable role in convening business and local leaders. Their support means that the Climate Leadership Conference will continue to bring together thought leaders from the public and private sectors to address climate change through policy, business, and technology solutions.”

“We don’t have time to lose in the fight against climate change, and supporting and recognizing the actions of U.S. business and government leaders will ensure we continue to make progress,” said Ann McCabe, Interim Executive Director of The Climate Registry. “We are grateful to Bloomberg Philanthropies for their support of the 2018 Climate Leadership Conference, and are pleased to welcome the U.S. Climate Alliance as our Government Partner.”