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Nike, North Face, eBay, IKEA, Levi's Among Companies Urging Congress for Climate Regulation

As President Obama prepares to unveil his budget for the coming year, 33 multinational companies, including eBay, IKEA, L’Oréal, Nike and Limited Brands, have signed a “Climate Declaration” urging federal policymakers to take action on climate change. By taking part in the declaration, the companies are asserting that a bold response to the climate challenge is one of the greatest American economic opportunities of the 21st century.

Signatories of the Climate Declaration are among the country’s best-known consumer brands, including EMC Corporation, Jones Lang LaSalle, the North Face, the Portland Trail Blazers, Timberland and Unilever, among others. Through an ongoing campaign organized by Ceres and its BICEP (Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy) coalition, other leading businesses and individuals will be encouraged to sign the Declaration and join the call to action.

“The signers of the Climate Declaration have a clear message for Washington: Act on climate change. We are, and it’s good for our businesses,” said Anne Kelly, Director of BICEP. “The cost of inaction is too high. Policymakers should see climate change policy for what it is: an economic opportunity.”

Together, the companies provide approximately 475,000 U.S. jobs and generate a combined annual revenue of approximately $450 billion. Extreme weather events such as Hurricane Sandy have affected the operations of several signatories and exposed the U.S.’ economic vulnerability to climate change.

“From droughts that affect cotton crops to Hurricane Sandy, which caused extensive damage to our operations, climate affects all aspects of our business,” said Eileen Fisher, CEO of New York-based apparel firm Eileen Fisher, which suffered severe damage and business interruption during the 2012 storm. “As a socially and environmentally responsible company, we are trying to affect positive change, but business can't do it alone. We need the support of strong climate legislation.”

The signatories are calling for Congress to address climate change by promoting clean energy, boosting efficiency and limiting carbon emissions — strategies that these businesses already employ within their own operations.

“Businesses understand that planning for a successful future takes investment today. One of the most important things Congress can do to grow our economy and protect our planet is to pass smart climate change legislation this year. Our workforce, supply chain and consumers are counting on us to lead the way,” said Anna Walker, Director, Government Affairs and Public Policy at Levi Strauss & Co.

BICEP members have supported several climate-driven policies, including historic automotive fuel economy standards signed into law in 2012 and the extension of the Production Tax Credit for wind power. Innovation within the transportation, electric power sectors and IT sectors, among others, will be essential to meeting the climate challenge.

The Climate Declaration comes on the heels of the President’s renewed commitment to combat the threat of climate change and a recent study from Ceres, Calvert Investments and WWF indicating that a strong majority of Fortune 100 companies have set renewable energy or greenhouse gas reduction goals. Recent polls conducted by Gallup and Yale University, respectively, indicate that a majority of Americans believe climate change is happening and that corporations, as well as government officials, should be doing more to address the issue.


Jennifer Elks is Managing Editor at Sustainable Brands. She is a writer, editor and foodie who is passionate about improving food systems, closing loops and creating more livable cities. She loves cooking, wine, cooking with wine, correcting spelling errors in… [Read more about Jennifer Elks]


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