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Climate Savers Workshop: Day 2 Highlights

It’s day 2 in Mexico City and today the Climate Savers workshop is ending early to make way for the Business Summit “Power of Power”.  In addition to the roughly 30 Climate Savers company reps and WWF staff from around the world, we’re joined by additional company decision makers (Sustainability VPs, Environment Directors) as well as Mexican ministers and dignitaries.

Seth Kursman of Resolute Forest Products talks about the challenges of carbon reduction projects  © WWF-Canada

Seth Kursman of Resolute Forest Products talks about the challenges of carbon reduction projects
© WWF-Canada

Leading organizations across diverse sectors including transport, energy, packaging, hospitality, beverages, IT, pulp and paper and aluminium are here. Seth Kursman from Canadian forestry company Resolute Forest Products is speaking on a panel this afternoon about best practices on sustainable energy management alongside reps from SKF (a Swedish bearings manufacturer), Coca-Cola and Volvo.

Seth speaks about Resolute’s Climate Savers targets and the challenges the company faces to secure capital for carbon reduction projects – something many in the room can relate to. He notes that Resolute is lucky to have strong senior-level commitment to decreasing carbon emissions as a key component of the “three-legged stool” model of sustainability, which addresses economic, social and environmental considerations.

Also happening this afternoon is the announcement that 5 US companies have renewed their Climate Savers targets to include deeper commitments to operations and supply chain emissions reductions and targets for renewable energy. These 5 companies – Catalyst Paper, Johnson and Johnson, National Geographic, Coca-Cola and Hewlett-Packard – are together responsible for over a quarter of the emissions cut through the Climate Savers program since 1999!

Matt Banks from WWF-US introduces The 3% Solution

Matt Banks from WWF-US introduces The 3% Solution © WWF-Canada

WWF-US also presented its recent report, The 3% Solution: Driving Profits Through Carbon Reductions. I can see that business summit attendees are excited by the report’s findings that by cutting carbon emissions by 3% annually, US companies can unlock significant cost savings (up to $190 billion in 2020) and achieve the carbon reductions scientists say are needed to help curb climate change.

After a 12-hour day I’m tired but optimistic. In this room today we had multi-national companies with highly complicated value chains sharing stories and challenging each other to reach deeper levels of emission reductions and pave the way for others. Even though some Climate Savers companies are competitors or operate in vastly different sectors, this group reminds me of a team; we all want each other to succeed.