By Bill Somplatsky-Jarman. Photos by Carol Somplatsky-Jarman.
On Saturday, the two of us headed for the Saxo Grammaticus Room at the Bella Center where four business leaders recounted their experiences in moving their companies toward sustainability, and more climate-friendly practices at a seminar (called Side Event in UN parlance). Sponsored by the U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) and Ceres’ Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP), the seminar featured Nike, The North Face, Sempra Energy and Johnson Controls.
All four companies, active in reducing their greenhouse gas emissions, came to Copenhagen to lend their voices to the need for the U.S. to pass comprehensive energy and climate change legislation, and for the world to achieve an ambitious, post-2012 international agreement.
Moderator Beth Daley, the Boston Globe’s environmental reporter, elicited amazing stories of current practices. Hannah Jones, Vice President for Sustainable Business and Innovation at Nike, described significant reductions that have already been achieved simply by working on energy efficiency in the nearly 1,000 factories in 52 countries that produce Nike shoes and gear. Letitia Webster, Director of Corporate Sustainability and Strategic Marketing at The North Face, noted how valuable the process of developing a corporate sustainability report had been to the company. It helped identify their carbon footprint, and ways to measure and reduce emissions.