Fifty-three of the Fortune 100 companies that report on their greenhouse gas reduction targets have collectively saved $1.1 billion annually, while cutting down their carbon emissions by over 58 million metric tons – the equivalent of retiring 15 coal-fired power plants each year. That’s the bottom line of a new study published by Ceres, WWF, Calvert Investments, and David Gardiner & Associates that finds corporate America’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions are also helping to improve its bottom line.
The study found that 60 percent of Fortune 100 companies have set targets for renewable energy or greenhouse gas reductions. Low carbon corporate strategies are now becoming the norm across much of corporate America. The report also said that 85 percent of these companies whose targets ended in 2012 met their goals. 80 percent of the companies have gone ahead to set higher targets or still have other ongoing targets in place.
The companies that have reported the biggest improvements to their bottom line include UPS, which saved more than $200 million a year, Cisco Systems, $151 million, PepsiCo, $120 million, United Continental, $104 million, and General Motors, which saved $73 million. These are some of the largest companies in the world that are demonstrating that investments in clean energy produce tangible financial returns.
As the number of companies that commit to low carbon policies continues to rise, the scale of savings is likely to accelerate. For instance, Walmart expects to save $1 billion annually as a result of its renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives. Dell also estimates that improvements to the efficiency of its products will save consumers over $1 billion each year.
The study, however, points out that progress in the area of low carbon investments is mixed when it comes to smaller companies. Only 30 percent of the companies among the Fortune 250 to Fortune 500 have set targets in at least one of the three categories: reducing GHG emissions, improving energy efficiency, and procuring more renewable energy. Anne Kelly, director of public policy at Ceres, also emphasized on the responsibility of the states to create conducive policy environment to encourage companies to make low carbon investments.
Source: Business Green
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