Boston, MA -- More than 350 American small businesses from 47 states and the District of Columbia have signed the Climate Declaration, a statement calling on U.S. policymakers to capture the American economic opportunities of addressing climate change.
The announcement comes during Small Business Week in Washington, D.C., where dozens of small business leaders will meet with lawmakers to discuss the economic impacts and opportunities of climate change with the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) and BICEP (Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy), which launched the Climate Declaration campaign earlier this year.
These small business leaders join more than 150 other companies, including General Motors Co., Unilever, IKEA, Stonyfield Farm and more than 100 ski areas, in asserting, “Tackling climate change is one of America’s greatest economic opportunities of the 21st century … There must be a coordinated effort to combat climate change—with America taking the lead here at home.”
Small businesses contribute approximately $11.7 billion to the U.S. economy, employ approximately 60 million Americans and yet are highly vulnerable to extreme weather and other impacts of climate change. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the U.S. Small Business Administration approved more than 34,000 disaster loan applications for a total of $2.2 billion in aid. The storm prompted the third largest total of small business disaster lending in U.S. history, and the 2013 wildfire and hurricane seasons are already well underway, threatening businesses from coast to coast.
“Small business owners are flexible and adaptable to changing economic conditions, but not to disastrous weather and climate. Our livelihoods could be easily wiped away by a storm like Sandy,” said Susan Labandibar, President of Tech Networks, a Boston-based IT services firm. “We signed the Declaration and are here in Washington to remind members of Congress that responding to this problem—rather than wishing it away—is the course of action that will lead to a better economic outlook for American businesses.”
The signatories of the Climate Declaration include businesses spanning a variety of industries, including the financial services, hospitality, consulting, architecture, food service, agriculture and technology sectors. A full list of signatories follows below.
“Most small businesses do not benefit from either the sources or the disastrous effects of climate change. On the contrary, they see tackling climate change as key to the future prosperity of their companies and communities,” said Richard Eidlin, Director of Public Policy for ASBC. “It is time for Washington to address the climate challenge by making investments in clean and efficient energy systems that will create jobs, reduce carbon emissions and drive the future of the American economy.”
“We are proud to have the support of so many small business leaders and the ASBC, who believe that tackling climate change is an American economic opportunity,” said Anne Kelly, director of BICEP. “Many of these businesses are pillars of their communities; still more are important suppliers to other Climate Declaration signatories. The voice of the business community is strong on climate action, and it’s time for policymakers to respond.”
Over the course of an ongoing campaign organized by Ceres and BICEP, other businesses, as well as individuals, are encouraged to sign the Declaration and join the call to action. For more information about the Climate Declaration, please visit www.climatedeclaration.us.
Ceres is an advocate for sustainability leadership. Ceres mobilizes a powerful coalition of investors, companies and public interest groups to accelerate and expand the adoption of sustainable business practices and solutions to build a healthy global economy. Ceres also directs the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), a network of 100 institutional investors with collective assets totaling more than $11 trillion. For more information, visit http://www.ceres.org
About the American Sustainable Business Council
The American Sustainable Business Council and its member organizations represent more than 165,000 businesses nationwide, and more than 300,000 entrepreneurs, executives, managers, and investors. The council includes chambers of commerce, trade associations, and groups representing small business, investors, microenterprise, social enterprise, green and sustainable business, local living economy, and women and minority business leaders. ASBC informs and engages policy makers and the public about the need and opportunities for building a vibrant and sustainable economy. For more information, visit www.asbcouncil.org