Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO)

Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO)

The Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO) is a new membership organization that will: Advance the professional knowledge, skills and experience of those dedicated to managing and implementing response to challenges and opportunities relating to climate change and energy issues; Provide a forum for the exchange and enhancement of best practices, industry standards, and innovation in the area of corporate response to climate change; Educate the public and policymakers regarding such issues; and Assist in developing, promoting and implementing best practices and standards in the private and public sectors regarding climate change and energy issues.

Company details

1900 K Street NW , Washington , District of Columbia 20006 USA
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Business Type:
Professional association
Industry Type:
Air and Climate
Market Focus:
Globally (various continents)
Year Founded:

ACCO's Board of Directors has adopted new vision and mission statements for the organization.

ACCO defines, develops and supports the functions, resources and communities necessary for effective organizational leadership in addressing climate-related risks and opportunities.

ACCO enables all organizations to be more sustainable by building enterprise capacity and empowering leadership to respond to climate change.

With the support of members, partners and sponsors, ACCO is advancing climate officers in the public and private sectors by:

  • Connecting members to peers, thought leaders and decision makers across sectors;
  • Synthesizing original and third party research findings to produce reports published in our Knowledge Center;
  • Producing a suite of industry leading education and training events, including the GreenGov Symposium, Climate Strategies Forum and ACCO’s Climate Change Leadership Series; and
  • Helping organizations develop best practices for climate-related response strategies and identifying opportunities for collaboration with other experts and interested parties.

ACCO services climate change professionals worldwide from sectors including:

  • Public & private corporations;
  • Municipal, state, regional & Federal governmental organizations;
  • Colleges & universities; and
  • Non-profit organizations.

ACCO is a professional development organization that endeavors to advance the knowledge of professionals involved in climate change mitigation and provides a forum for the exchange of ideas.


  • Professionals from more than 100 leading organizations have participated formally in ACCO as members, partners or advisors;
  • Advisory board consists of more than 15 thought leaders with significant credibility as climate change professionals in any sector;
  • Partner to the White House Council on Environmental Quality on producing the GreenGov Symposium
  • Partner to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in producing the EPA's Climate Leadership Awards
  • First professional society dedicated to bringing together climate professionals across all sectors, including government, academia and the non-profit community

Noteworthy Activities

  • Climate Change Leadership Series — Since 2009, ACCO has produced workshops, conferences, roundtables and scenario planning exercises designed to advance the knowledge and skills of those dedicated to developing and directing climate change strategies in the public and private sectors. More than 4,000 climate change professionals in industry, government and NGOs have participated in the ACCO Climate Change Leadership Series.
  • GreenGov Symposium — Co-Sponsored by The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and ACCO, the Symposium provides an educational experience for stakeholders to discuss the performance goals set by President Obama’s Executive Order on Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy and Economic Performance. At the 2011 Symposium, more than 1,200 leaders from Federal, state and local government, non-profit and academic communities, and the private sector came together to help shape a sustainable future. The program featured nearly 350 speakers across more than 80 program sessions, 9 breakout tracks, and more than 40 exhibitors.
  • Climate Leadership Awards — ACCO is partnering with U.S. EPA, The Climate Registry and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) to incentivize, recognize and highlight actions that go beyond business as usual in the management and reduction of GHG emissions both in internal operations and throughout the supply chain.
  • Climate Leadership Conference (CLC)— ACCO partners with the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions and The Climate Registry to produce this annual program, for which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is the headline sponsor.  The CLC brings together leaders from business, government and academic institutions, and the non-profit community interested in exchanging ideas and information on how to address climate change while simultaneously running their operations more competitively and sustainably.
  • Research, Data Synthesis & Publications — ACCO members and staff conduct research projects, synthesize findings and produce publications that provide opportunities for members to learn from and shape best practices on a broad range of climate-related strategies and issues. These research reports, benchmark studies and white papers provide prospective authors and underwriters the opportunity to be recognized as thought leaders related to service offerings or targeted subject matter.  Visit the knowledge center for more information on these resources -- all abstracts are publicly available; comprehensive reports are available to ACCO members.

Founded in 2008, ACCO was established based on the recognition that a professional development organization was needed to educate and train executives across sectors on climate related risks and opportunities.  The organization was conceived by board members Peter Gillon, Peter Gray and Daniel Kreeger.  After conducting its first formation meeting in January 2009 in Washington, DC, ACCO was officially incorporated on January 14, 2009 in the District of Columbia.

Formation Meetings
With the support of McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, ACCO hosted two formation meetings in January/February 2009 in Washington, DC and San Francisco.  The meetings were attended by more than 50 multinational companies, providing ACCO with a core group of stakeholders many of whom became ACCO's first charter members.

EPA Climate Protection Award Winner Roundtable
Upon completion of the February 2009 formation meeting, ACCO was asked to host EPA's first-ever Climate Protection Award Winner Roundtable.  The Roundtable represented the first time that EPA had invited all Climate Protection Award winners past and present to participate in a series of discussions addressing policy, best practices, technological challenges and climate-related markets.  The event, which was headlined by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) and Governor Howard Dean, served as a critical launch pad to ACCO's development and established ACCO as an organization recognized for bringing together thought and action leaders from industry, government, academia and the non-profit community.

Charter Members
ACCO's first organizational members were its charter membership group.  These companies provided senior executives to serve on ACCO's Board of Directors.  The charter membership group included:

  • Bayer Corporation
  • BNA (now Bloomberg BNA)
  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Deloitte
  • El Paso Corporation
  • FedEx Corporation
  • J.D. Power and Associates
  • Microsoft
  • SAIC
  • SAP
  • St. Thomas University
  • School of Law
  • Waste Management
  • WGL Holdings, Inc.
  • WSP Environment & Energy

This group of charter members provided the initial funding source that enabled ACCO to develop its infrastructure and service offerings.

2010 ACCO Climate Leadership Awards and EPA Climate Leadership Awards
After launching CCLS, ACCO announced its first annual Climate Leadership Awards Gala and Summit.  The awards program was designed to recognize organizations in industry, government, and the non-profit community who exemplified leadership in addressing climate change.  The awards program served as a legacy to the EPA's Climate Protection Awards Program, which had gone unfunded in 2010 after a decade of activity.

In 2011, ACCO partnered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, The Climate Registry, the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (formerly Pew Center on Global Climate Change) to establish the EPA's Climate Leadership Awards.  This program rolled up former programs produced by EPA and ACCO into an annual program that launched in 2011 and recognized excellence in greenhouse gas management, supply chain leadership and exemplary organizational and individual leadership.

GreenGov Symposium and Partnership with the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ)
The GreenGov Symposium was established to bring together leaders from government, the private sector, non-profits and academia to identify opportunities to create jobs, grow clean energy industries, and curb pollution by incorporating sustainable practices into the Federal Government’s operations. President Obama had signed Executive Order 13514 in October 2009, directing Federal agencies to meet aggressive energy, water, and waste reduction targets, reduce their greenhouse gas pollution, and leverage Federal purchasing power to curb waste, save taxpayer dollars, and support the growth of a 21st century clean energy economy.  GreenGov marked an annual program designed to support continued implementation of the executive order.

In Spring 2011, CEQ engaged ACCO to be its partner in producing the 2011 GreenGov Symposium.  The events was attended by more than 1,200 environmental sustainability professionals and government officials.  In early 2012, ACCO and CEQ entered into a 3-year agreement (renewable in 1-year increments) to continue producing the GreenGov Symposium as partners.

Climate change professionals play key roles in bringing about a critical transformation to operations and governance in the public and private sectors.  ACCO, the premier community of practice and professional association for individuals addressing climate change in their occupations, is comprised of a rich and diverse blend of professionals encompassing a wide variety of sectors and professional functions. 

Strategic Directions

  • Strengthen ACCO as the standard bearer for climate preparedness professional development and training.
  • Establish a network of institutions providing education and training activities accredited by ACCO.
  • Further position ACCO as the convening body best suited to be responsive to the needs of its individual and organizational members increasingly addressing climate change and its related implications.
  • Develop tools, resources, templates and best practices to further advance the effectiveness of climate action.
  • Advance the acceptance of the need for a climate change professional occupation, as well as the integration of climate change competencies into other critical professional functions.

Key Values

  • Commitment to professional mentoring;
  • Responsiveness to the needs of our membership;
  • Inclusiveness;
  • Bringing harmonization to terminology, solutions and practices;
  • Integrity guided by ethical standards; and
  • Catalyzing a marketplace that requires climate related competencies to inform decision making and professional practice.