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Puma, Microsoft Call For Forest Protection To Combat Climate Change at REDD+ Talks

Corporate leaders and experts on global warming and climate change policy came together on Earth Day in Sausalito, California for REDD+ Talks, an inaugural event focused on how emissions from deforestation contributes to global warming and how this will affect the business world.

REDD+ stands for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation, a United Nations initiative using market and financial incentives to help halt deforestation. Companies such as Microsoft, Allianz and Puma have advocated the initiative as an immediate and proven solution to address the negative effects of climate change.

“We need to go further than just having CSR,” said Puma’s General Manager Martyn Bowen at last week’s event, “We need to go further than just doing less bad. We need to start doing more good.”

Protecting threatened forests under a REDD+ program generates carbon credits, which can be used by companies to offset their unavoidable emissions and pay for the cost to keep a forest standing.

Microsoft’s Senior Director of Environmental Sustainability, TJ DiCaprio, outlined the company's emission reduction goals and put REDD in context:

“We’ve put a price on carbon. We have an internal carbon fee. Each of our 14 business divisions across 110 countries is now charged an additional fee that’s associated with the carbon emissions from energy consumption and business air travel. … We are taking action in our own way to demonstrate environmental responsibility and ask other organizations to do the same thing.”

With policymakers slow to implement legislation to help curb greenhouse gases and regulate major emitting businesses, climate change experts are calling for businesses to take care of the emissions they create. While some 7 billion tons of carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere annually, deforestation accounts for nearly 20 percent of all emissions that cause global warming.

Wildlife Works, the first company to successfully develop a REDD+ project that achieved verification under the voluntary carbon market’s most rigorous standards, originated REDD+ Talks to garner support for the program from U.S. corporations.

CSRwire co-sponsored the event with Code REDD, a nonprofit, REDD+ industry association that represents REDD+ project developers around the world.

Mike Hower is Marketing Communications Manager at Carbon Lighthouse. With a background on both sides of the communications podium — as a journalist and strategic communicator — he is committed to helping organizations address climate change through sustainability innovation. Previously,… [Read more about Mike Hower]

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