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Corporate Responsibility in Action

Cleaner Fuels Key to a Greener Future

Created: 11 Jan 2013
Anne Kelly's picture
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While Symantec’s corporate mission is cyber-security, its survival depends on broader measures of safety – including the long term welfare of its employees and customers. That’s a major reason why Symantec stands tall with 23 other major U.S. firms, including Nike, Starbucks and eBay, with (BICEP) Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy coalition* of companies supporting meaningful federal policy on climate and energy.

Yet with federal progress largely stalled on Capitol Hill, it is the states that have been leading the way on greening our energy and transportation systems. An historic example is California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). Enacted in 2007, it’s a performance-based strategy to shift our fuel mix to low-carbon sources. It requires a modest ten percent reduction in carbon by 2020. And since it doesn’t mandate a specific technology or fuel, it drives innovation in the free-market, a boon to both the environment and the economy.

Oregon enacted its own fuel-standard law three years ago and other states are planning to follow.  The European Union and British Columbia have adopted similar legislation. Yet today these pioneering laws are under attack from the oil industry. The petroleum lobby claims the Clean Fuel Standard in Oregon is too costly, despite independent analysis showing that it’s not only affordable, but can be met with existing technologies, including natural gas, biofuels and electricity.

For Symantec and other forward-thinking firms that are paying attention to the US energy crisis, national security means reducing our dependence on oil and exposure to price volatility, protecting Americans from air and water pollution and avoiding the worst impacts climate change. It also means guarding America’s global economic leadership, at a time when clean-energy technologies have become a $260 billion market. Any one of these reasons alone would be sufficient to support innovative state policies such as the California and Oregon clean fuel standards.   Together, they make an airtight case.

Anne L. Kelly is Director of BICEP (Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy) at Ceres.

* BICEP members include Annie’s Inc, Anvil Knitwear, Aspen Skiing Company, Avon Products, Ben & Jerry’s, CA Technologies, Clif Bar, eBay, Eileen Fisher, Gap Inc, Jones Lang LaSalle, KB Home, Levi Strauss & Co., Limited Brands, New Belgium Brewing, Nike, The North Face, Outdoor Industry Association, Portland Trail Blazers, Seventh Generation, Starbucks, Stonyfield Farm, Symantec, and Timberland.