Today, 24 companies with a substantial footprint in California, including Ben & Jerry’s, eBay, Gap, Levi Strauss, The North Face and Sungevity, announced their support for SB-350, the “Golden State’s Standard 50-50-50,” that sets new benchmarks for increasing renewable energy and energy efficiency, and decreasing petroleum use by 2030. Their support was communicated in a letter sent to the bill’s author, Senate President pro Tempore, Kevin de León.
Most of companies are members of BICEP (Business for Innovative Climate & Clean Energy Policy) or signatories of the California Climate Declaration, both projects of Ceres, a nonprofit sustainability group mobilizing business leadership on global sustainability challenges.
The letter states:
“With 2020 rapidly approaching, and the impacts of climate change ever more clear here in California, it is prudent and timely to take the next steps to advance a clean energy economy and create jobs. Our support is firmly grounded in economic reality. We know that tackling climate change is one of America’s greatest economic opportunities of the 21st century and we applaud the California State Legislature for taking steps to help the state seize that opportunity.”
See the full letter and complete list of signatories here.
Many of the signatory companies have set their own renewable energy and energy-efficiency goals, milestones that will be more achievable with enactment of SB-350. Autodesk, for example has decreased its carbon footprint 38 percent since 2009 through a combination of housing its operations in LEED-certified buildings, adoption of solar photo voltaic panels, and increasing the energy efficiency of its data servers.
“We are proud to be headquartered in California, which is a global leader in addressing climate change," says Anna Walker, Senior Director for Global Policy and Advocacy for Levi Strauss & Co. "SB 32 and SB-350 will not only help our state advance its climate change goals — which are critical to the long-term prosperity of California businesses, residents and the environment — they will also help our state continue to do one of the things it does best: innovate."
“As a health care provider with 33 hospitals throughout California, Dignity Health believes that our health is inextricably connected to the health of our planet,” said Rachelle Reyes Wenger, Dignity Health Director of Public Policy & Community Advocacy. “Left unchecked, climate change will harm the safety and well-being of communities, cause damage to our facilities, disrupt supply chains, jeopardize food and water resources and add overall uncertainty to the marketplace. At Dignity Health, we’re doing what we can to monitor and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, but our efforts alone are not enough. We need sensible policies to spur innovation and meaningful action throughout the state.”
In April, 31 companies, including Levi Strauss, eBay, Gap Inc., and Eagle Creek, announced their support for SB 32 (Pavley) in a letter to Senator Bob Wieckowski, Chair of the Senate’s Environmental Quality Committee. SB 32 expands California’s landmark climate and clean energy law, AB 32, to 2050 by setting a target of 80 percent reduction in carbon emissions below 1990 levels by 2050. SB 350 serves as a pathway to achieve the goals set in SB 32.
"These companies recognize that both SB 350 and SB 32 are vital next steps in California’s leading-edge plan to cut global warming pollution and accelerate low-carbon technologies at the pace and scale called for by climate scientists," said Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres.
California — ever the leader in US sustainability — recently became the US leader in renewable energy generation, with more than 5 percent of its annual utility-scale electricity generation from utility-scale solar power. The Golden State has achieved this by promoting solar power through a series of state policies, including a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) that requires electricity providers to obtain 33 percent of the power they sell from eligible renewable sources by 2020. Last year, California obtained 22 percent of its electricity from non-hydropower renewables including wind, solar and biomass.