Climate change has continued to become a central focus of business leaders worldwide. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released its proposed new emissions target for power plants, calling on emissions reductions of 30% (from 2005 levels) by 2030. US President Obama emphasized the reality and importance of climate change in his State of the Union address. And a recent report Risky Business highlights climate change risks for businesses, as well as the costs faced if we continue with business as usual. The report, authored by Former U.S. Treasury Secretary and Goldman Sachs CEO Hank Paulson, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and hedge-fund manager/philanthropist Thomas Steyer states “our findings show that, if we continue on our current path, many regions of the US face the prospect of serious economic effects from climate change.”
On July 15th, Symantec once again emphasized its commitment to combatting climate change and supporting climate change policy. Alongside over 70 businesses including eBay, Adidas, Moda Health, NIKE, and more, Symantec signed the Oregon Business Climate Declaration calling for state action on climate change.
The declaration states:
“There is a clear and present need for action on climate to protect our region’s natural assets, its vibrant communities and its growing economy. We business leaders of the Pacific Northwest endorse the Climate Declaration because we support using energy efficiently, investing in cleaner fuels, advancing renewable energy, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Starting today, right here, the Pacific Northwest can lead the way. We can create a healthy climate and a strong, more resilient economy, by fostering innovation, advancing public health, spurring economic development through job creation and speeding technological advancement throughout our region.”
The declaration was highlighted by various media outlets including the Portland Business Journal in an article titled “Which Oregon companies have joined the latest fight against climate change?”.
At Symantec, we are convinced that a strong, international coalition of governments, businesses, and civil society organizations is required to effectively address climate challenges. We therefore encourage others to follow the lead of the Climate Declaration signatories and sign the Declaration – whether at the national and/or state level - to acknowledge the importance of climate change impacts on our business and society, and show your support for developing innovative solutions that protect our planet while enabling continued economic growth.
The Oregon Climate Declaration is a companion to the national Climate Declaration launched in 2013 by CERES and BICEP, and also supported by Symantec. To read more about our commitment to climate change visit this article highlighting the one-year anniversary of the national Climate Declaration, as well as our Corporate Responsibility Report that outlines our environmental strategy and approach to mitigating our impacts on climate change.
Cecily Joseph is Symantec’s Vice President of Corporate Responsibility and Chief Diversity Officer.