Originally endorsed by 33 businesses and launched a few weeks ago, the Climate Declaration has now been signed by a total 40 businesses that collectively provide approximately 550,000 US jobs and generate a combined annual revenue of approximately $611 billion.
The campaign is organized by sustainable business advocacy group Ceres and its Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy, or BICEP, coalition. GM’s participation was announced today at the Ceres Conference in San Francisco. Signers of the declaration are calling for policymakers to address climate change by promoting clean energy, boosting efficiency and limiting carbon emissions.
According to Gallup and Yale University polls, respectively, a majority of Americans believe climate change is occurring and that corporations, as well as government officials, should be doing more to address the issue. In March, GM CEO Dan Akerson called on President Obama to appoint a Blue Ribbon Commission to develop a 30-year policy framework for energy security.
GM’s environmental commitment has been recognized recently by the American Carbon Registry’s Corporate Excellence Award for demonstrated commitment to reducing its carbon footprint and mitigating climate impact and by an EPA ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award for Sustained Excellence, the organization’s highest recognition for corporate energy management. GM has worked with Ceres for more than two decades to refine its sustainability strategies and performance.
Worldwide, GM is dedicated to energy efficiency and is working toward a goal of reducing energy intensity from its facilities 20% by 2020. GM has 54 facilities that meet the voluntary ENERGY STAR Challenge for Industry, which requires facilities to reduce energy intensity by 10% within five years. The GM facilities cut energy intensity by an average of 26% within just two to three years, saving the company $90 million in energy costs.
It also is the leading automotive user of solar power in the United States and hosts two of the five largest rooftop solar arrays in the world. GM’s goal is to promote the use of 125 megawatts of renewable energy by 2020.
Beyond building more fuel-efficient vehicles, GM is investing up to $40 million in the Chevrolet Carbon Reduction Initiative, in which Chevy helps financially in community-based carbon-reduction projects throughout the United States with a goal of reducing up to 8 million metric tons of CO2 emissions.