A business guide to US EPA climate partnership programs
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), warming of the climate system is unequivocal. Greenhouse gases (GHGs) are at their highest levels in at least 400,000 years. Climate change is increasingly a priority for consumers and investors. Ultimately, businesses must respond to the priorities of their consumers and investors, as represented by their purchase and investment decisions. The Business Opportunity: Energy represents a major cost but also a major opportunity for American business. American businesses and consumers are realizing that getting the most out of their energy dollars just makes sense. By making smart energy choices, millions of household and business energy consumers save billions of dollars each year. In 2006 alone, with the help of EPA’s ENERGY STAR® program, Americans saved $14 billion on their energy bills while preventing the GHG emissions equivalent to 25 million vehicles. Companies can benefit in two ways:
1) By addressing climate impacts in their own operations and driving waste out of manufacturing, transport, and delivery functions.
2) Carving out a share of the growing market in more efficient, cleaner products and services.
The Value of EPA Partnership Programs
Many signs suggest the business community is beginning to confront the climate issue on a wide scale. There are now more than 13,000 firms and other organizations participating in climate-related EPA Partnership Programs. Through participation, these organizations have invested in energy efficiency, clean energy supply, and other climate-friendly technologies,1 reaping value such as:
• Substantial energy cost savings.
• Improved operating efficiencies.
• Improved risk management.
• Expanded market opportunities.
• Improved job satisfaction, employee recruiting, and worker productivity.
• Enhanced brand and corporate reputation.
EPA Partnership Programs also offer partners a wide variety of valuable services and resources to reduce GHG emissions.