310 Businesses and Investors Support U.S. Federal Climate Target in Open Letter to President Biden

Signatories represent over $3 trillion in annual revenue and over $1 trillion in assets under management
Apr 13, 2021 10:05 AM ET
Press Release

April 13, 2021 /3BL Media/ - 310 businesses and investors with a footprint in the U.S. signed an open letter to President Biden indicating their support for the Biden administration’s commitment to climate action, and for setting a federal climate target to reduce emissions. The letter was organized and published by the We Mean Business coalition and Ceres today. 

An excerpt from the letter states, “To restore the standing of the U.S. as a global leader, we need to address the climate crisis at the pace and scale it demands. Specifically, the U.S. must adopt an emissions reduction target that will place the country on a credible pathway to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. We, therefore, call on you to adopt the ambitious and attainable target of cutting GHG emissions by at least 50% below 2005 levels by 2030.” 

The letter demonstrates the U.S. business and investor communities’ strong support for a highly ambitious 2030 emissions reduction target, or Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) pursuant to the Paris Agreement, in pursuit of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050. Latest climate modeling shows that at least halving emissions by 2030 is achievable, and provides strong economic benefits.The Biden administration is expected to announce its NDC prior to the Leaders Summit on Climate

Business signatories of the letter collectively represent over $3 trillion in annual revenue and employ nearly 6 million U.S. workers across all 50 states. They range in size from small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to large multinational corporations, and represent a number of industries. 

Business signatories include Apple; Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, Inc.; BT Americas; Boston Consulting Group; Burton; the Coca-Cola Company; Danone North America; DSM North America; Edison International; Etsy; Facebook; Gap Inc.; General Electric; Google; H&M; Hewlett Packard Enterprise; HP Inc.; IKEA Retail U.S.; Impossible Foods Inc.; Interface; JLL; Johnson & Johnson; Keap Candles; Kellogg Company; LafargeHolcim; Levi Strauss & Co.; Lyft, Inc.; MARS; Mastercard; McDonald’s Corporation; Microsoft; National Grid; Natura & Co; New Belgium Brewing; Nestlé; Nike; Novozymes North America; Ørsted North America; Ralph Lauren Corporation; Salesforce; SAP SE; Schneider Electric; Seventh Generation; Siemens; Solvay; Starbucks; Stonyfield Organic; Tiffany & Co; Unilever; Verizon; VF Corporation; and Walmart, among others. 

Investor signatories of the letter collectively represent more than $1 trillion in assets under management and include CalSTRS, the New York State Comptroller, the New York City Comptroller and the California State Controller’s Office, among others.

“The U.S. business community is committed to doing its part to reduce emissions because it is good for the economy and helps us build back better. Companies want to work with the Biden administration toward a better future for all,” said María Mendiluce, CEO of the We Mean Business coalition. “I applaud businesses and investors for raising their voices in support of at least halving U.S. emissions by 2030. This is what the climate crisis requires, and will strengthen the country’s competitiveness and create more good jobs.” 

“A strong national emissions reduction target is just what we need to catalyze a net-zero emissions future and build back a more equitable and inclusive economy,” said Anne Kelly, vice president of government relations at Ceres. “Businesses of all sizes recognize that reducing emissions is vital to keeping the U.S. competitive, and protecting the health and well-being of people and the planet. By setting a strong target, the Biden administration can ensure the U.S. is ready to return to its role as a global climate leader and spur further action from the private sector."

This open letter was generously supported by the effort of the We Mean Business coalition partners, which include BSRCDPCeresThe B TeamThe Climate GroupThe Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, and supporting partners, including America Is All InE2, the Environmental Defense FundThe Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Fund

About We Mean Business 

We Mean Business is a global coalition of nonprofit organizations working with the world’s most influential businesses to take action on climate change. The coalition brings together seven organizations: BSRCDPCeresThe B TeamThe Climate GroupThe Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Together we catalyze business action to drive policy ambition and accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon economy. Find out more at wemeanbusinesscoaltion.org.

About Ceres 

Ceres is a nonprofit organization working with the most influential capital market leaders to solve the world’s greatest sustainability challenges. Through our powerful networks and global collaborations of investors, companies and nonprofits, we drive action and inspire equitable market-based and policy solutions throughout the economy to build a just and sustainable future. For more information, visit ceres.org and follow @CeresNews.

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EDF: Recapturing U.S. climate leadership with a bold new commitment to the Paris Agreement 

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ADDITIONAL QUOTES

Fred Krupp, President, Environmental Defense Fund:
“Strong support from so many U.S. business leaders demonstrates now is the time to set an ambitious, achievable goal of cutting U.S. emissions by at least 50% by 2030. Bold action from the U.S. is critical to put the world on a path to net zero emissions, accelerating American innovation and protecting frontline communities from the worst impacts of climate change.”

Hugh Welsh, President and General Counsel, DSM North America:
"DSM believes that robust climate policy is essential to safeguarding public health and building a strong, resilient economy. We are working to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 because it's the right thing to do and because it makes business sense. However, business needs bold action from the federal government—including at least a 50% by 2030 emissions reduction target—to help us meet this goal and build an inclusive clean energy future for all."

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli:
"Climate change remains one of the most pressing risks to public health and the economy. As we continue to witness its devastating impact and strive to achieve a net-zero economy, it is urgent that we set a new bold greenhouse gas emissions reduction target. This is essential for the United States' leadership mitigating the climate crisis, and is critical to protecting the investments of the New York State Common Retirement Fund.”
 
New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer:
"The U.S. must lead the world in sustainable solutions for our planet and for our future. We need to take action to build a cleaner, greener economy with the urgency that the crisis demands. I'm proud to join with Ceres and these investors to call for cutting emissions by at least 50% below 2005 levels by 2030. As we recover and rebuild from this pandemic, we have an opportunity to invest in clean jobs, sustainable infrastructure and energy efficiency. Let's lead the charge to stand up for our cities, our people and the only Earth we have because the future is on the side of big ideas in sustainability — not big polluters."
 
Katie Fallon, Executive Vice President and Chief Global Impact Officer, McDonald’s:
“At McDonald’s we are committed to being a part of the solution and using our scale and reach to tackle climate change. We have a responsibility to the nearly 40,000 communities we serve to protect the planet and build a more resilient and equitable future.  Now is the time to be bold, and that is why McDonald’s fully supports the United States setting a target that reduces emissions by at least 50% by 2030 as a way to catalyze the necessary investments to ensure a better tomorrow.”
 
Sri Shivananda, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, PayPal:
“At PayPal, we are committed to managing our environmental impact and taking action to address climate change so we may advance our mission to drive financial health and inclusion for all. We have set science-based targets for our greenhouse gas emissions and pledged to reach net-zero emissions by 2040. We are proud to support ambitious U.S. climate policy and join alongside many other leading organizations in support of a robust Nationally Determined Contribution.”
 
Barry Parkin, Chief Procurement and Sustainability Officer, Mars, Incorporated:
“Bold leadership and action is critical in changing the trajectory on climate change. As the U.S. rebuilds from the pandemic, it’s vital that more sustainable, inclusive and equitable economies are put at the heart of recovery plans. We need to act now—the path to a resilient and sustainable future is a massive challenge, but the power is in our hands.”  
 
Jeffrey Hogue, Chief Sustainability Officer, Levi Strauss & Co.:
“The urgency could not be clearer: Climate change poses an existential threat to society and to business. Addressing the climate crisis requires rapid action at an economy-wide scale. That’s why we are calling on the U.S. to commit to science-based greenhouse emissions reductions of at least 50% by 2030.”

Brian Tippens, Chief Sustainability Officer, Hewlett Packard Enterprise: 
"As business leaders, we recognize that climate action is a path to job creation, economic growth, improved public health and enhanced innovation. We must transition to low-carbon business models to compete in the post-pandemic economy, and implore the U.S. Administration to accelerate the country’s net-zero transition.”

Erin Meezan, Chief Sustainability Officer, Interface:
“Since January 2021, the White House has shown a renewed focus on climate action, which is more critical than ever as we continue to experience the impact of global warming. To bolster these efforts and address climate change at the urgent pace it requires, it’s critical the U.S. adopts a bold 2030 target to begin a countrywide effort toward a green economy. At Interface, we understand the importance of widespread, moonshot ambitions to drive action. We announced net-zero success in 2019 and have set our sights even higher to become a carbon negative enterprise by 2040.”
 
Molly Fogarty, Senior Vice President of Government and Corporate Affairs, Nestlé:
"To have a real impact on climate change, we all need to do our part. That's why Nestlé supports the U.S. setting a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by 2030, and why we are committed to reaching net zero emissions by 2050 across our businesses and supply chain in the U.S. and around the globe. We look forward to collaborating with the White House to advance ambitious climate solutions that will build a more resilient economy, create jobs and help us leave the world better than we found it.”  

Chris Adamo, Vice President, Federal and Industry Affairs, Danone North America:
“We need urgent action and business transformation. The public and private sectors, however, must work together towards this common goal. At Danone North America we believe in using our business as a force for good and as a food and agriculture company, we’re uniquely positioned to meet this challenge. Climate action is good for our business, our farming partners and our communities. We look forward to partnering with government and likeminded organizations to find solutions that combat the problem and create positive impacts for all people’s quality of life.”

Alpa Sutaria, Vice President, General Manager, Sustainability, Coca-Cola North America:  
“The Coca-Cola Company stands ready to work with the U.S. administration to implement its ambitious climate agenda and advocate for climate policies that are bold, inclusive and comprehensive and support business growth. The impacts of climate change are already being felt by communities and businesses across the world. In the fight against this global challenge for our planet this decade will be a crucial one, therefore collective, ambitious and positive climate action is necessary. We acknowledge that we have a responsibility to contribute solutions by both reducing our own emissions and building resilience by helping the business and communities to adapt to climate change. We are ready and willing to do our part.”

Chelsea Mozen, Director of Impact & Sustainability, Etsy:
“Climate change remains an ever-present threat to our environment and humanity globally, and we are bound and determined to do everything within our power to drive reductions in Etsy’s footprint. That’s why we committed to an ambitious goal to reach Net Zero carbon emissions by 2030. We want to encourage the Biden administration to set a similar timeline for the attainable goal of cutting U.S. GHG emissions by at least 50% below 2005 levels by 2030.”

Stephane Bilodeau, Eng., PhD, FEC, Founder and Chairman, Smart Phases Inc. (dba Novacab):
"The business benefits of climate action are clear. Companies that not only align their business strategies with climate science but also quickly integrate low carbon solutions are best-placed to thrive as the global economy transitions to a required net-zero future."