Climate Savers Show How to Grow Businesses While Cutting GHGs

Climate Savers Show How to Grow Businesses While Cutting GHGs

Twenty-one of some the world’s best known companies intend to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by a collective 50 million tons by 2010.

Their names include Sony, HP, Polaroid, Coca-Cola. Tetra Pak, Nike and JohnsonDiversey, among others. They are members of the World Wildlife Fund’s Climate Savers program, and they paid a visit to Washington, D.C. Friday to showcase their efforts and deliver a message to lawmakers: Companies can reduce emissions without sacrificing growth or the bottom line.

Energy efficiency efforts at Johnson and Johnson over the last decade, for example, have generated roughly $50 million in annualized savings; its emissions reduction initiatives produce an 17 percent average internal rate of return. Its Climate Savers commitment involves a 7 percent emissions reduction below 1990 levels by 2010.

Catalyst committed to reducing emissions 70 percent below 1990 levels by 2010; by 2008, emissions had dropped 72 percent. Between 2002 and 2005, the company saved $5 million in energy costs. Reducing fossil fuel use 46 percent also generated $13 million in savings.

Tetra Pak, a food processing and packaging company based in Sweden, has been able to hold energy consumption to 2002 levels despite the fact that its packaging production has grown 32 percent since then.

The company surpassed its 2010 goal of reducing emissions 10 percent below 2005 levels last year. “Although we have reached a 12 percent reduction, we still have two years to go,” said Mario Abreu, director of recycling and supply chain support, adding the challenge for the company will involve keeping emissions flat or declining while the company continues growing.

WWF helps companies devise an action plan and emissions reductions are verified by a third party. Members must also follow WWF green power purchasing and additionality guidelines, Abreu said, but one of the biggest benefits of the membership involves employees.

“We’ve been able to leverage internally because we want to have Tetra Pak employees looking for improvements,” Abreu said. “Even for our own employees, it gives them the additional motivation that they know what they are doing is recognized by a leading NGO.”

Climate Savers companies also include The Collins Cos., Lafarge, Nokia, Nokia Siemens Networks, Novo Nordisk, Sagawa Express, Sofidel Group, Spitsbergen Travel and Xanterra Parks and Resorts.

Fairmont Hotels and Resorts and Elopak are the group’s newest members: Fairmont plans to reduce emissions 20 percent below 2006 levels by 2013, while Elopak will shave emissions 15 percent below 2008 levels by 2011.