Business Partnership For Climate Change

Publish date: 
Thursday, March 1, 2007

Business Partnership For Climate Change

(March 1, 2007)

To Serve As Worldwide Model For New Economically Friendly Solutions

SAN FRANCISCO – The United Nations Global Compact, the City of San Francisco, the Bay Area Council and a wide array of Bay Area businesses have joined together in a unique partnership designed to provide meaningful actions that businesses around the world can take to combat global warming.

The program, called Business Council on Climate Change (BC3), will give Bay Area businesses a forum to share best practices to reduce greenhouse gasses in both large and small businesses. But more importantly, BC3 will create a model for climate action in the commercial and public sectors that the United Nations Global Compact will seek to place in companies and cities worldwide. BC3 launched officially on Thursday, March 1 with a symposium at San Francisco's City Hall attended by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, top regional business leaders, and representatives of the United Nations.

"Local actions can have a positive effect on the entire planet," observed San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. "The Bay Area is fortunate to have a visionary business community that is willing to get out in front of a daunting issue like global warming, and we are honored that the United Nations Global Compact will be working to bring this message to other communities and companies around the world."

BC3 member companies pledge to address greenhouse emissions throughout their operations and corporate cultures, and agree to follow the BC3's five Principles for Climate Leadership: Internal Implementation, Community Leadership, Advocacy and Dialogue, Collective Action, Transparency and Disclosure. BC3 provides expert information from Climate professionals to help member businesses achieve greenhouse gas reductions, which these businesses in turn share with other, similar businesses that join subsequently. BC3 operates with the support of local government; however, it asks the businesses themselves to be leaders in addressing environmental issues within their own professional communities.

"Voluntary initiatives such as the Business Council on Climate Change will be crucial in bringing about progressive and robust action on the global climate crisis," said Georg Kell, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact. "At the same time, it is important to keep in mind that voluntary action cannot be a substitute for effective regulation rather, it informs and complements regulation."

"The Bay Area Council has been an environmental leader for decades, but this may be one of our most ambitious projects ever," said Jim Wunderman, President and CRO of the Bay Area Council. "We, and our business community members, are proud to help focus the region's entrepreneurial spirit and ingenuity on an issue so critical to our economic future."

The United Nations Global Compact will showcase the BC3 initiative and the core Principles on Climate Leadership at its Leaders Summit on 5-6 July 2007 in Geneva, Switzerland an event that will draw nearly 1000 business and government leaders as well as representatives of civil society from around the world. Addressing climate change will be a priority topic at the Leaders Summit.

BC3 founding members comprise a diverse range of companies, including: 3 Phases Energy; AccessFlow; ARUP; CH2M Hill; Clif Bar; EcoAdvantage Network; Food from the Park; Gap Inc.; Gensler; Google; Green Impact; Green Squared Consulting; Hallisey & Johnson; HOK; New Resource Bank; Organic Architect; PG&E; Ponderosa Homes; Shaklee; SMWM Architecture; Solutions; Swinerton; Waldeck's; Webcor; Wendel, Rosen, Black and Dean; and William McDonough + Partners.

For additional information on the Business Council on Climate Change, contact: Andrew Michael at the Bay Area Council, 415-946-8707 or Jennifer Kass, San Francisco Department of the Environment, 415-355-3762.