Environmental Protection

Companies Say They Will Report, Reduce Emissions without Regulation

Over three quarters of the organizations surveyed by The Climate Registry said their future carbon management and reduction plans are not contingent on mandatory regulation. Instead, over 80 percent of the organizations indicated their primary driver is to be a sustainable organization, and almost 70 percent hope to save money through increasing their energy efficiency.

“Accountability is a core principle at Kodak that we apply to all our actions – including our emissions to the environment,“ said Charles Ruffing, director of Health, Safety, Environment and Sustainability at Eastman Kodak Company.”

The Climate Registry, North America’s leading voluntary greenhouse gas (GHG) registry, issued its survey to gauge how its members are planning for the future in light of regulatory uncertainty. The group has more than 400 members, who use the registry’s standards to calculate and publicly report their carbon footprints. Members include Walmart, Ford Motor Company, Eastman Kodak, SaskTel, Virgin America, United States Postal Service, Levi Strauss, Amtrak, Red Bull, the University of California school system, Salt Lake City, and Flight Centre Canada.

According to the survey findings, 8 out of 10 organizations expect that rising energy costs will have moderate to significant impact on their business operations over the next few years. Almost 6 out of 10 indicated they expect to be under added consumer pressure to be green.

The survey was issued at the same time as the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued its guidance on climate-related “material” risks.

“We believe that there are many benefits associated with measuring and reducing our carbon footprint,” said Greg Dixon, President of Flight Centre Canada. “Understanding where the carbon is in our operations will help us manage the future costs of carbon and respond to climate-related disclosure requirements. And just as important to us, we want to be able to demonstrate to our customers and the community that we’re operating in a sustainable way.”

Eight-five percent of respondents defined corporate environmental leadership in 2010 as not only reporting and verifying your carbon emissions inventory but also reducing your emissions. Well over half anticipate reducing their emissions in the next two to five years, with less than 20 percent of these indicating that their reduction goals are contingent on mandatory regulation.

The survey highlights:

  • 78 percent of the organizations indicated that they are subject to regulation under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Mandatory Reporting Rule or Environment Canada’s GHG Emissions Reporting program, but 82 percent said that their future carbon management or reduction plans are not contingent upon regulation.
  • Almost half of survey participants indicated they had already established a carbon reduction goal, and 65 percent indicated that their short-term goals include a carbon emissions reduction plan.

The survey of The Registry’s 400 Members was completed in mid February 2010.

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