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More Companies Make Link Between Climate Change and Increased Profit

Date
14 February 2007

More companies, cities and regional governments than ever are managing to reduce their carbon footprints while strengthening operational performance, shows a new edition of the report Carbon Down Profits Up released today. In many cases these organisations have made significant cost savings as a result of their actions.

As in previous years, this third edition of Carbon Down Profits Up highlights leadership in the area of climate change and points to the action, innovation and concrete results from those organisations that have done most to cut their carbon emissions. Amongst the headline findings are that:

  • The 137 leading corporations, cities and states selected for coverage in the report are drawn from 20 countries and have reduced carbon emissions by an average of 14%. This is nearly three times the percentage cut required of participating economies under the Kyoto Protocol.
  • The 27 corporations reporting on the cost savings from their actions reduced emissions further, by an average of approximately 18%
  • The five highest achievers - Catalyst Paper Corp., DuPont, AstraZeneca and the governments of Seattle (US) and Woking (UK) - each report cutting operational emissions by over 60%.
  • Greater energy efficiency, sourcing of renewable energy and better waste management were the most frequently implemented measures within the organisations. Ninety-two per cent of those in the report pursued energy efficiency gains in particular, saving both the climate and money.
  • Successful cities and regions reported saving US$64bn of taxpayer money through carbon reduction.

Steve Howard, CEO of The Climate Group said: "While efforts to cut carbon emissions across the economy are still far from commensurate with the scale of the problem, the evidence presented here clearly points to the fact that cutting emissions can make economic sense. The path to a low carbon future represents both responsibility and opportunity."

For further information contact:
Alison Lucas, Communications Director
Direct: +44 (0)1483 719 408, Cell +44 (0)7786 546 724, alucas@theclimategroup.or

Callum Grieve, Head of Communications, North America
Direct: +1 212 545 5428, Cell: +1 914 552 4956, cgrieve@theclimategroup.org

Rupert Posner, Australia Director and Head of Communications Asia Pacific
Direct: +61 3 9617 4329, Cell: +61 438 989 420, rposner@theclimategroup.org

NOTES TO EDITORS

1. The Climate Group is an independent, nonprofit organisation dedicated to advancing business and government leadership on climate change. We are based in the UK, the USA and Australia and we operate internationally. The organisation was founded in 2004 by a diverse group of companies, governments and supporters who saw the opportunity to create new momentum in the international effort to stop global warming.

We promote the development and sharing of expertise on how business and government can lead the way towards a low carbon economy whilst boosting profitability and competitiveness. The Climate Group is a publicly supported 501(c)(3) nonprofit in the USA and holds equivalent charitable status in the United Kingdom (registered charity no. 1102909) and Australia (registration pending).

2. The third edition of the report Carbon Down Profits Up is supported by Garfield Weston Foundation, DOEN Foundation (Stichting DOEN) and Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

3. Carbon, or greenhouse gas, emissions are measured in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). Companies and governments typically track their carbon reductions in comparison to a historical starting point or "baseline". Many organisations choose a baseline of their emissions in 1990 since this is the baseline used for the Kyoto protocol. Others however use more recent baselines reflecting the points at which internal data became available.

4. All 137 organisations in Carbon Down Profits Up report significant emissions reductions in comparison to their baseline years (the average reduction being 14% against baseline). Organisations featured have been selected using publicly reported information and The Climate Group's own research. Not all organisations report on the financial implications of their activities, but those companies that do report cost savings typically achieved greater reductions (average 18%).

5. The small group of organisations that has achieved a greater than 60% reduction in carbon emissions since 1990 includes:

  • Catalyst Paper Corp., a Canadian-based forest products company that has cut emissions by 71% between 1990 and 2005, predominantly through switching to greater use of wood waste (which has zero net emissions of CO2 when burned) for its power.
  • Chemicals giant DuPont which has reduced 60% between 1990 and 2005, predominantly through phasing out the use of powerful greenhouse gases in its manufacturing processes;
  • Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has achieved 63% reductions between1990 and 2005, mainly through the elimination of the use of chlorofluorocarbons - a powerful industrial greenhouse gas - in its pressurised inhalers for asthma sufferers. Other measures include improved energy efficiency in its plants and the use of CHP (combined heat and power).
  • The city government of Seattle (US) cut its corporate CO2 emissions by 60% between 1990 and 2002 by constructing  energy efficient green buildings and using alternative fuels in its transport fleet. The city also has an ambitious recycling plan and the municipal electricity company is the first to have net zero greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The local government of Woking (UK) has reduced corporate carbon emissions by 79% since its 1991/2 financial year through a range of innovative renewable and green energy solutions including installing combined heat and power plants, fuel cell technology and solar photovoltaic panels.

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