The Dernogalizer

February 6, 2010

Nike Continues to Lead Corporations on Environmentalism

Filed under: Energy/Climate,National Politics — Matt Dernoga @ 3:41 pm
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I’ve already documented Nike’s previous steps such as lobbying for aggressive climate legislation, and leaving the Chamber of Commerce Board over its poor positions on climate change.  Now, Nike is taking it one step further, and abandoning buying carbon offsets and RECS(renewable energy certificates) in favor of actual emissions reductions.  You can check out the news of this in the NY Times blog here, as well as Nike’s new report on corporate responsibility, which highlights the progress the company has made, and identifying areas where it needs to improve.

From the NY Times:

“In an introduction to the report, Mark Parker, Nike’s president and chief executive, said the company had “finally figured out” it could use its knack for design and innovation to bring about environmental, labor and social change.

“We opened the aperture of our lens and discovered our potential to have a positive influence on waste reduction, climate change, managing natural resources, renewable energy and factory conditions,” he said.

Among other achievements, the report noted that in the fiscal year 2009, Nike reduced its overall greenhouse gas emissions across its supply chain to 2007 levels. It also says a program begun in 2008 to improve energy efficiency at manufacturing facilities reduced carbon emissions by 6 percent, even though production at the factories increased by 9 percent.

But Nike also reported that it had stopped purchasing carbon offsets to counter emissions generated by employee air travel and that it was moving away from buying renewable energy certificates to compensate for use of fossil-fuel generated electricity at its own facilities — practices it considered temporary and difficult to verify.

Offsets have come under scrutiny of late, and some question whether renewable energy certificates – which are supposed to stimulate the creation of new renewable energy projects – are simply a payment to a project that would have occurred anyway.

“Rather than purchase renewable energy certificates to achieve climate neutrality, which have become increasingly controversial,” the report stated, “we believe it is more meaningful to invest in energy efficiency and in distributed energy projects that reduce our reliance on grid energy and help stabilize energy costs for the long term.”

As for air travel, in place of buying offsets, the company is investing heavily in teleconferencing technologies that will decrease the need for travel and save money.

“We have begun using these technologies across the business and have seen not only reduced travel but also better product quality, and quicker and better decision making,” said Kate Meyers, a Nike spokeswoman.

Along with other companies, Nike is advocating for climate energy legislationthat will reward large-scale investments in carbon reduction. The company argues that “the lack of a market price for carbon has limited its ability to access and deploy clean energy across our operations.”

September 30, 2009

Nike leaves Chamber of Commerce Board!

Filed under: Energy/Climate,National Politics — Matt Dernoga @ 12:24 pm
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The Chamber of Commerce has been fighting the regulation of carbon dioxide for a long time, and has been very intense in its opposition this year because of pending Federal legislation. Wonkroom has a great history lesson of all the shenanigans of the Chamber, most recent of which was calling for a “Scopes Monkey Trial” on global warming.

Many large businesses that sit on the Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors have taken issue with the Chamber’s inability to represent their views on climate legislation. As a result, Excelon, PNM Resources, PG & E have left the Chamber.  Duke Energy and Alstom left coal front lobby group ACCCE, after their controversies.  Johnson&Johnson wrote an angry letter to the Chamber.  But one of the strongest advocates for climate action, Nike, was still on the board of directors of the Chamber. Nike is a member of Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP), a business coalition that supports federal clean energy and climate policy. As GetEnergySmart lamented, Nike just couldn’t “do it”. Well, on the day the Senate climate bill is being released, Nike Did It.  Now, as EnviroKnow says, when will Nike leave for good?

Which begs the question. Will the Chamber of Commerce have anyone in it by the end of the year if it keeps advocating for the destruction of civilization?  Nike’s statement below.

“Nike believes US businesses must advocate for aggressive climate change legislation and that the United States needs to move rapidly into a sustainable economy to remain competitive and ensure continued economic growth.

As we’ve stated, we fundamentally disagree with the US Chamber of Commerce on the issue of climate change and their recent action challenging the EPA is inconsistent with our view that climate change is an issue in need of urgent action.

We believe businesses and their representative associations need to take an active role to invest in sustainable business practices and innovative solutions.

It is important that US companies be represented by a strong and effective Chamber that reflects the interests of all its members on multiple issues. We believe that on the issue of climate change the Chamber has not represented the diversity of perspective held by the board of directors.

Therefore, we have decided to resign our board of directors position. We will continue our membership to advocate for climate change legislation inside the committee structure and believe that we can better influence policy by being part of the conversation. Moving forward we will continue to evaluate our membership.”

**Update 10/7/09**  Apple has also quit

March 22, 2010

Best Buy distances itself from Chamber of Commerce climate positions

Filed under: Energy/Climate — Matt Dernoga @ 12:47 pm
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Best Buy is the latest in many companies to take a position on climate change contrary to that of the Chamber of Commerce.

Statement: Best Buy position on U.S. Chamber of Commerce climate-related activities

MINNEAPOLIS, March 18, 2010 – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is a membership organization with varied business stakeholders and interests. Those interests among industry don’t always align; on the issue of climate change legislation and regulatory actions, we have certainly seen this to be the case.

Best Buy has stated that we are supportive of comprehensive climate change legislation and working to move toward a low carbon economy. With regard to the Chamber’s climate initiatives, the Chamber has not spoken for Best Buy on these issues. We have shared our views with the Chamber and will continue to do so.

Best Buy’s commitment to sustainability aligns with global interests in addressing climate change. Best Buy is an innovator in offering our customers products and services that enable them to live more sustainably. At the same time, Best Buy is addressing our own carbon footprint resulting in a positive impact on the economic, environmental and societal well-being of the planet.

Best Buy takes a leadership role through membership and partnership with the numerous organizations working to advance legislation that address climate change, promote sustainability, advance energy efficiency and promote economic opportunity and green jobs. These include:

•       Alliance to Save Energy
•       Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP)
•       The Keystone Group
•       The Sustainability Consortium
•       EPEAT, the Department of Energy (DOE), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

For further information about our policy on addressing climate change and solutions for a low-carbon economy, click here.

About Best Buy Co., Inc.
With operations in the United States, Canada, Europe, China and Mexico, Best Buy is a multinational retailer of technology and entertainment products and services with a commitment to growth and innovation. The Best Buy family of brands and partnerships collectively generates more than $45 billion in annual revenue and includes brands such as Best Buy, Audiovisions, The Carphone Warehouse, Future Shop, Geek Squad, Jiangsu Five Star, Magnolia Audio Video, Napster, Pacific Sales, The Phone House, and Speakeasy. Approximately 155,000 employees apply their talents to help bring the benefits of these brands to life for customers through retail locations, multiple call centers and Web sites, in-home solutions, product delivery and activities in its communities. Community partnership is central to the way business is done at Best Buy. In fiscal 2009, Best Buy donated a combined $33.4 million to improve the vitality of the communities where its employees and customers live and work. For more information about Best Buy, visit

October 20, 2009

U.S. Chamber of Commerce got Punked!

Filed under: Energy/Climate,National Politics — Matt Dernoga @ 1:41 am
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The group Yes Men performed one of the best actions and media hits I have ever seen.  They held a fake press conference over a fake press release about the embattled climate denying US Chamber of Commerce doing a 180 reversal on it’s opposition to climate legislation by throwing its weight in full support.

Reporter Kate Sheppard has all parts of the story at Mother Jones, and was featured on the Rachel Maddow show Monday night giving insight into the entire prank pulled by Yes Men.  Below are three great videos, one is the fake press conference which got interrupted by the actual(and angry) US Chamber of Commerce.  The other two are Fox News and CNBC reporting it on their news channels.

May 25, 2009

Getting Down to Business

Filed under: Energy/Climate — Matt Dernoga @ 12:18 am
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I’ve made some posts before about major businesses getting involved in pushing for strong action on global warming.  There have also been a few other posts on progress made by Microsoft and Wal-Mart.  I think that proactive businesses are a very key component of US and international action on climate change.  A lot of corporations have larger revenues than many countries, are very much involved in the political process, and have the resources to influence negotiations that non-profits do not.  Unfortunately in the past few decades, too many corporations have used these resources to stall action.  If some of them can be engaged and convinced to support global action, that makes the struggle for a treaty easier.  Much of the global economy is powered by consumerism, but if the producers are doing more to ensure that the supply chain has a smaller environmental impact, that makes a big difference.  I just came across an article about Al Gore and UN Chief Ban Ki-Moon meeting in Copenhagen with over 500 business leaders about the need for them to be proactive in the process of negotiating a global climate treaty.  I think it’s a very good thing that these leaders are becoming involved in the process for the right reasons I outlined above.  Hopefully as we move closer towards Copenhagen I’ll have more news like this with greater steps being taken in the right direction by all parties involved.  Notable excerpts below.

“Climate-change heavyweights U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon and Nobel prize winner Al Gore urged more than 500 business leaders on Sunday to lend their corporate muscle to reaching a global deal on reducing greenhouse gases.”

“The three-day World Business Summit on Climate Change is a precursor to the negotiations to determine what will succeed the Kyoto climate treaty that expires in 2012.”

“Xie Zhenhua, vice chairman of China’s national development and reform commission, pledged to play “a positive and a constructive” role to reach a global climate treaty, and already is putting in place its climate plan for 2015 and beyond.”

**Update 5/27/09** At the end of the conference the CEO’s declared their support for a global treaty with specific targets.  Also, here is Ban Ki-Moon’s speech.

May 6, 2009

Washington Post Climate Column

Filed under: Energy/Climate — Matt Dernoga @ 12:43 am
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I’ve been blogging about the Markey-Waxman climate bill that’s in Congress quite a bit.  Since this is the most important piece of legislation in quite a long time, I plan on continuing to provide updates and commentary for as long as it’s being debated.  Today there was a great op-ed by two people dealing more in the economics and business of climate change than the science.  They talk about why passing a climate bill will not be the kind of burden on businesses that opponents make it out to be.  Here is the link.  Notable excerpts are posted below.

“The real cost of carbon emissions is far from zero. Each new scientific report brings proof of a changing climate that promises to disrupt agricultural patterns, set off a scramble for dwindling resources, raise sea levels, propel population shifts and require massive emergency spending as we try to react to the growing crises. These are the costs of inaction.”

“Ultimately, households and businesses care more about their total energy bill than costs per gallon or per kilowatt hour. Gas at $4 per gallon is cheaper in a car that gets 40 miles per gallon than $3-a-gallon gas in a clunker that gets 20 mpg. American entrepreneurial and research genius can move us to far greater energy efficiency quickly, using mostly existing technologies, when a carbon price rewards the effort.”

The cost of inaction is high and could be catastrophic. But, contrary to claims, the cost of switching to cleaner energy and dramatically lower emissions will spur competitive gains, cost far less and come much more quickly once we have set our goals, adjusted our incentives and corrected the market’s false signals.”

Kristen Sheeran is executive director of the Economics for Equity and the Environment Network, a nationwide group of economists focused on environmental policy. Mindy Lubber is president of Ceres, a national coalition of investors, environmentalists and public interest groups working with companies to address sustainability challenges.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            *Update*  Here is an article about some of these businesses including Nike threatening the Chamber of Commerce to stop opposing climate legislation.    

March 29, 2009

Flexing their BICEP

Filed under: Climate Change — Matt Dernoga @ 1:36 pm
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I came across a host of big business companies which have formed a coalition, and put together a climate action platform stronger than anything the US has on the table, and up to par if not stronger than what many environmental groups are proposing. The name of the coalition is Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy. Notable members are Nike, eBay, Gap, and Starbucks. Their website is HERE. Their general platform is very sound, with 8 key principles.

-Set short- and long-term greenhouse gas reduction targets
-Stimulate green job growth
-Adopt national renewable portfolio standard
-Capture vast energy efficiency opportunities
-Boost investment in renewable energy, energy efficiency and carbon capture and storage technologies
-Establish cap-and-trade system with 100% auction of carbon allowances
-Encourage transportation for clean energy economy
-Limit construction of new coal plants to those that capture and store CO2

In addition, BICEP has recently proposed their priorities for a climate change bill. These include cutting emissions 25% below 1990 levels by 2020, and 80% below 1990 levels by 2050 by creating an economy-wide cap-and-trade with a 100% auction of the pollution permits. By comparison, President Obama’s target for 2020 is just to get greenhouse emissions back down to 1990 levels.

They have a number of resounding statements on their website. This is one of my favorites which I think should be shown to anyone who thinks climate policy is somehow environmental versus economy.

“”Members of Congress need to hear that acting on climate is not bad for our economy, but is an important piece of jump-starting our economy, which we sorely need.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         **Update 5/20/09**  Republicans vs Big Business?

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