Ten companies and organizations, two partnerships, and three individuals today will receive 2017 Climate Leadership Awards for their accomplishments in reducing greenhouses gas emissions and addressing climate change.
The awards, now in their sixth year, are a partnership program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, and The Climate Registry. The awards are being presented this evening at the 2017 Climate Leadership Conference in Chicago.
This year’s awardees represent a wide array of industries including finance, consumer products, retail, aviation, and technology, plus federal and local government.
Awardees have demonstrated leadership in setting and achieving goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by improving energy efficiency, expanding use of clean energy, and working with partners, suppliers, and employees.
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Six of the 2017 awardees were also recognized in past years: Bank of America, Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, Gap, IBM, Lockheed Martin, and the U.S. Postal Service.
“Business and community leaders understand both the risks of climate impacts and the opportunities of a clean energy economy” said Bob Perciasepe, president of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES). “This year’s Climate Leadership Award winners are helping lead the way to a more sustainable future. We hope their accomplishments will spur others to examine their practices and follow their example.”
“The Climate Registry applauds the 2017 Climate Leadership Award winners for their outstanding dedication to reducing their carbon footprint,” said David Rosenheim, executive director of The Climate Registry. “These organizations and individuals are part of an incredibly important group of leaders who are accelerating the shift to a more sustainable future. We hope that their ability to bring about change will inspire and empower others to act.”
The 2017 Climate Leadership Award recipients are:
Organizational Leadership Award
- Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW Airport, Texas)
The airport buys energy credits for 100 percent of its energy use, generates on-site solar energy, and uses compressed natural gas and hybrid-electric ground vehicles.
- The Goldman Sachs Group (New York, N.Y.)
Goldman Sachs achieved carbon neutrality across operations and business travel in 2015 and has pledged to maintain it through energy efficiency and renewable energy. It also invested nearly $12 billion in the clean energy sector in 2015, and has deployed more than $65 billion since 2006.
IBM (Armonk, N.Y.) - Corporate Member
IBM is reducing its emissions through energy efficiency, renewable energy, and an enterprise-wide IT system to analyze energy and water use. It requires suppliers to have an Environmental Management System, inventory their energy use and emissions, establish reduction plans, and publicly report their results.
- Lockheed Martin Corporation (Bethesda, Md.)
The company reduced greenhouse gas emissions 23 percent from 2010 to 2015 and has a reduction goal of 35 percent by 2020 through efficiency and renewable energy projects. It has conducted supplier sustainability assessments for 166 of its suppliers.
Procter & Gamble (Cincinnati, Ohio) - Corporate Member
P&G has reduced truck transportation 25 percent and is increasing its use of renewables to work toward its goal of reducing its global greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent from 2010 to 2020. Its employees have taken steps that have contributed to $20 million in local energy savings.
Supply Chain Leadership Award
- Clif Bar & Company (Emeryville, Calif.)
The company, which powers its facilities with 100 percent green electricity, is one quarter of the way toward its 2020 goal of having 50 supply chain facilities source at least half of the electricity used on Clif Bar’s behalf with green power. Clif Bar offers suppliers free consulting on renewable energy procurement and finance.
- United States Postal Service (Washington, D.C.)
USPS recognizes suppliers with green business practices and requires potential suppliers to submit a detailed sustainability plan. It seeks to increase water and energy efficiency, encourage the use of alternative fuels, and buy environmentally-preferred products.
Individual Leadership Award
- Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, California State Assembly (Sacramento, Calif.)
Assemblymember Garcia engaged his district and other low-income and inland communities on the challenges and issues associated with addressing climate change. By bridging the gap between environmental justice, business, faith, labor, and other stakeholder communities, he has ensured state climate activities will provide more benefits to and investments in low-income communities.
- Dr. Jairo Garcia, Director Climate Policies and Renewables, City of Atlanta
Dr. Garcia develops and oversees municipal and citywide sustainability initiatives to reduce emissions through energy and water consumption, renewables, waste management, and urban agriculture. His efforts have led to regular reporting of greenhouse gas emissions and the installation of solar PV panels in 24 city-owned facilities. After leading the development of the city’s unanimously adopted climate action plan, he is working on a city resilience plan.
- Ms. Sophia Mendelsohn, Director of Sustainability, JetBlue Airways (Long Island City, N.Y.)
Ms. Mendelsohn helped conceive, negotiate, and execute a 10-year binding agreement for 330 million gallons of renewable jet fuel, one of the largest biofuel purchase agreements in aviation history. She has worked with JetBlue’s crewmembers to identify opportunities for emissions reductions by taking steps such as transitioning ground support equipment to electric vehicles and adjusting airplane idling time.
Innovative Partnership Certificate
- Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge (Atlanta, Ga.)
The challenge is a large-scale energy efficiency program working with more than 570 local buildings totaling over 110 million square feet. The challenge has reduced energy consumption 17 percent and water consumption 20 percent from 2009 levels. The challenge, which has produced a guide for cities considering similar voluntary programs, has created or sustained 273 jobs and added $25.9 million to Atlanta’s gross regional product.
- San Mateo County Regionally Integrated Climate Action Planning Suite (RICAPS) Initiative (San Mateo, Calif.)
This county-wide collaboration among government agencies aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 15 percent by 2020 and 40 percent by 2030 from a 2005 baseline. All member jurisdictions are drafting or have adopted climate action plans. County-wide energy use has been reduced by 26.5 million kWh annually since 2009. The program inventories emissions and provides support and advice on energy efficiency projects, small business outreach, building codes, EV charging, sustainable purchasing, water conservation, and more.
Excellence in Greenhouse Gas Management/Goal Achievement Award
Bank of America (Charlotte, N.C.) - Corporate Member
Through thousands of energy efficiency projects, Bank of America has reduced greenhouse gas emissions from its global operations 37 percent from 2010 through 2015, more than twice its goal. By installing LED lighting and occupancy sensors, decommissioning unneeded equipment, and optimizing HVAC controls, the company reduced emissions and saved more than $140 million since 2010.
- The Goldman Sachs Group (New York, N.Y.)
In 2015, the company achieved carbon neutrality across its operations and business travel and has pledged to maintain it. Goldman Sachs reached its goal through renewable energy and energy efficiency measures and by supporting emissions reduction projects. Its energy-efficient building system upgrades resulted in significant energy and cost savings.
Excellence in Greenhouse Gas Management/Goal Setting Certificate
Bank of America (Charlotte, N.C.) - Corporate Member
Bank of America, which has twice set and exceeded emissions reduction goals, has set a new goal to cut emissions from its global operations in half from 2010 levels by 2020 through increased energy efficiency at buildings and data centers. The company also set goals to purchase 100 percent renewable electricity, reduce energy use 40 percent, and maintain at least 20 percent LEED-certified space by 2020.
- Gap Inc. (San Francisco, Calif.)
Gap Inc., which has twice set and exceeded emissions reduction goals, has set a new target to cut emissions in half from 2015 levels by the end of 2020. Gap plans to expand its energy usage tracking and efficiency initiatives in lighting and HVAC and explore on-site solar at its distribution centers.
- NRG Energy (Princeton, N.J.)
NRG Energy has set a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for U.S. operations 50 percent between 2014 and 2030, and 90 percent by 2050. NRG plans to enhance power plant performance, capture and store carbon emissions from fossil-fired power plants; retrofit coal-fired power plants to accept natural gas; and deploy new renewable energy generation.
Get more information on this year’s Climate Leadership Award winners.