Marking the end of the comment period on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, 223 companies have announced their support for EPA’s proposed carbon standard for electric power plants, including IKEA, Mars Inc., VF Corporation, Novelis, Levi Strauss, Unilever and Nestlé. Their support was communicated in a letter sent to the EPA, the Obama Administration, and Senate and House majority and minority leaders, coordinated by nonprofit sustainability advocacy organization, Ceres (see the full letter and complete list of companies signing on).
"As businesses concerned about the immediate and long-term implications of climate change, we strongly support the principles behind the draft Carbon Pollution Standard for existing power plants,” states the letter, signed by a broad array of manufacturers, technology firms, apparel makers and consumer brand companies. "The proposed Carbon Pollution Standard represents a critical step in moving our country towards a clean energy economy."
"EPA’s Clean Power Plan makes sense for this country," said Dan Probst, Chairman of Energy and Sustainability Services at Jones Lange LaSalle (JLL), a global real estate management and investment firm headquartered in Illinois. "Achieving the proposed carbon reductions from existing power plants through energy efficiency retrofits of existing buildings will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and our impact on the planet, reduce costs for both power companies and consumers, and help drive the economy by creating jobs."
"As the world’s largest food and beverage company, Nestlé places a great deal of importance on environmental responsibility," commented Tim Brown, president and CEO of Nestlé Waters North America. "We focus on efficiency and incorporation of renewable energy, just as the Clean Power Plan does. Supporting policies that reduce carbon pollution is aligned with our mission to create long-term value for our consumers, society and our shareholders."
"Delivering technologically advanced, low-carbon solutions is not only good business, it’s a source of competitive advantage for Novelis and our customers," added John Gardner, VP and Chief Sustainability Officer at Novelis, Inc, the world’s largest manufacturer of rolled aluminum, and the global leader in aluminum recycling. "The principles of the EPA Clean Power Plan are an important step in providing greater energy choices and in helping the U.S. achieve the emissions reductions we need to maintain healthy economic growth."
"These companies recognize that the EPA’s power plant rule is a critical step in mitigating climate risks and accelerating low-carbon technologies that hold enormous economic promise," said Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres**.**
Many of the signatory companies have set their own renewable energy and energy-efficiency goals – milestones that will be more achievable with enactment of the EPA carbon rule. IKEA, for example, has set a goal to use 100 percent renewable energy for its global facilities by 2020. And JLL, which manages more than 3 billion square feet of building space globally, has helped its commercial real estate clients reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 12 million metric tons while saving them $2.5 billion in energy costs over the past seven years.
The EPA Clean Power Plan is the nation’s first comprehensive effort to reduce carbon pollution from existing electric power plants — the single largest source of global warming pollution in the U.S. EPA estimates it will reduce carbon emissions from power plants by 30 percent by 2030, from a 2005 baseline. The public comment period for the proposed standard closed on December 1, 2014. EPA is expected to announce a final rule in June 2015.
The 223 companies signing the letter are also signatories to Ceres’ Climate Declaration, a business-led call to action that urges federal and state policymakers to seize the economic opportunity of addressing climate change.
The sign-on letter was open to energy users only, not energy providers. However some of the nation’s largest electric power utilities also support the rule, and in the last few weeks alone, energy giants NRG Energy and E.ON have announced plans to focus on renewable power.
"We continue to support the EPA’s efforts to reduce emissions through sensible and practical regulation," said Tom King, US President of National Grid, which provides electricity in New York, Massachusetts and other Northeast states. "The Obama Administration and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy have done a terrific job crafting regulations that promote environmental and human health through a host of clean energy options. We look forward to working together to reduce emissions from the energy sector and create a cleaner energy future."
In total, more than 270 companies and investors have expressed their support for the Clean Power Plan. In June 2014, 49 investors, managing $800 billion in assets, sent letters of support to the Obama Administration and Senate and House majority and minority leaders.