The StartupNation Blog Trends, tips and real-life anecdotes from industry experts

Hey, Green Business, is regulation a good idea?

·         How does environmental regulation affect your small businesses?

o    Additional taxes?

o    Ability to get loans? Credit?

o    Required compliance to unnecissary rules?

·         Are self governing goal setting more effective? How have you been able to get out in front of the economic or environmental climates by

o    Aligning with government initiatives?

o    Joining groups that develop strategies for long term positive change?

 

Given the emphasis on catastrophe in the media, I’d love to hear from some real small businesses what the real experience is with credit, lending, etc. Is it really as bad as people say?

 

Because “green” has been on the top of everyone’s minds of late, several governing bodies, certification boards and initiatives have popped up and it can be confusing to sort them all out and determine which ones you should look into.

 

This post provides an overview of The Climate Leaders Program Guide.  The EPA’s Climate Leaders challenges businesses to develop a comprehensive greenhouse gas emissions inventory for their activities and to set aggressive, long-term emissions reduction goals. Compared to the expected rate of improvement in their industry sector, partners in Climate Leaders will prevent a total of 125 billion pounds of carbon dioxide emissions — equivalent to the emissions from about 3 million automobiles in a year — through commitments announced to date.

 

Partner companies report emissions of the six major greenhouse gases from all major on-site emissions of greenhouse gases and emissions related to the electricity they purchase. Companies may also report emissions and reductions from a number of other activities including investments in offset projects. The Climate Leaders Protocol is based on an existing protocol developed by the World Resources Institute and World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

 

After partners complete their greenhouse gas inventory, the EPA works closely with them to develop a customized emissions reduction target. These targets must be aggressive long-term targets that exceed business-as-usual performance for the partner’s industry sector.

 

Overview

EPA’s Climate Leaders is an industry-government partnership that works with companies to develop long-term comprehensive climate change strategies. Partners set a corporate-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goal and inventory their emissions to measure progress. By reporting inventory data to EPA, Partners create a lasting record of their accomplishments. Partners also identify themselves as corporate environmental leaders and strategically position themselves as climate policy continues to unfold.

 

By becoming a Climate Leader, your company can:

o    Be identified as an environmental leader

o    Increase energy efficiency and reduce energy costs

o    Create a lasting record of accomplishments

o    Receive technical assistance to complete a GHG inventory

o    Improve management of GHG emissions and their associated risks

o    Become a well-informed player in the climate change policy discussion

 

Program Basics

Partners commit to:

·         Develop a corporate-wide GHG inventory including all emission sources of the six major gases (CO2, CH4, N2O, HFCs, PFCs, SF6) using the Climate Leaders GHG Inventory Protocol

·         Set an aggressive corporate-wide GHG emissions reduction goal to be achieved over the next 5 to 10 years

·         Develop a corporate GHG inventory management plan

·         Report annual inventory data and document progress towards their reduction goal

·         Publicize their participation, reduction goal, and accomplishments achieved through the program

 

In return, EPA provides:

Recognition

·         National press events

·         Public service announcements in major business and consumer publications

·         Speaking engagements at industry conferences

·         Articles in trade publications

·         Case studies highlighting Partner achievements

·         Full page corporate profile on the Climate Leaders Web site

 

Credibility

·         A credible, transparent GHG reporting mechanism

·         Assurance that Partners have created a high-quality GHG management process

 

About the Author: Christine Haskell

Christine is a Senior Program Manager at Microsoft with several years experience in the .com industry. She recently started social venture labs, an idea incubator for those leading small mission-driven businesses or organizations looking to create relationships, share ideas and [...]