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June 19, 2007


Marc Gunther

I'm skeptical about this idea, as you know, if it depends on getting consumers to change their purchasing behavior.
On the other hand, Climate Counts and the publicity it generates may by itself be enough to persuade a few more companies to pay attention to climate change issues. I know from my first-hand experience inside Time Warner that the company is now starting to take GHG emissions reporting and reductions seriously (in part because of News Corp.'s promise to become climate neutral). Having a well-publicized metric to watch will only spur futher action.
So, Joel, best of luck with this!

Mark McElroy

Joel, you said the Climate Counts scheme is "the first time big companies have been rated consistently on climate using a comprehensive, consistent, and credible set of metrics." This is not true. As you know, I think, we introduced a Global Warming Footprint method last year that measures corporate emissions against a CO2 stabilization plan developed by climatologists including Tom Wiglet at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, CO. Thus, our approach holds companies quantitatively accountable to a credible plan for not just lowering emissions, but lowering by an amount sufficient to achieve safe CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere by 2150. I note that there is no such standard of performance in the Climate Counts scheme. Ben & Jerry's has used our method and is about to publish the results in their 2006 sustainability report. Our calculator is now posted online for free public use, along with some sample calculations, on our website at www.sustainableinnovation.org.



genie Faulkner

Almost every time I want more information and click on the entry to provide it, I get a "this site is unavailable, or the like" and cannot go further. What?!!

Dave Stangis

Thanks Joel and Mark. There are limitations to every ranking, but I appreciate you taking the carrot approach. It got my attention and now I can review your methodology and look internally to check to see that all my "i"s are dotted and "t"s are crossed with regard to Climate Counts. I use every external ranking and rating as a managment tool - shouldn't all companies??

Bob Langert

I commend this effort because we need to make the consumer as informed as possible so they can act upon these types of values in their everyday purchasing world. Beyond what a company can do directly, there ought to be a better way to "rate" how a company works with its supply chain. For example, preserving our forests are very, very important. Some 20% of global warming is from forest destruction. I think you will find one of our efforts interesting. McDonald's has worked with Greenpeace on preserving the Amazon rainforest involving soy farming. Link:

Alan Pong

I am not surprised at all at the findings. I have been in the energy management industry since 1989. Eventhough people are now a bit aware as to the climate impacts of our poor energy usage very few companies really do much toward energy efficiency. What shocks me is how ignorant the industry has become.

What I mean is that now there has been a basic rebranding of green buildings to LEED certified. I have re-engineered buildings to the lowest energy metrics such as getting the Cypress Semiconductor headquarters down to a mere 11 kilowatt hours per square feet per year compared to what EPA Energy star award level of 17 kilowatt hours per square feet per year. I calculated that we eliminated over 400 automobiles off the road each year forever by the improvements we made to the relatively small set of 5 buildings for Cypress Semiconductor. It is not the automobiles wasting the most carbon it is the commercial buildings and plants.

I am all for green buildings and LEEDS but the ironic thing is most LEED buildings are NOT energy efficient. There is no requirement of a true metric or benchmark required. If they really wanted to practice what they preach then the basic LEED requirement would be EPA Energy start first then the other green levels could be gold, etc.

The other complete ignorance in the press is that we need more new technology. I consistently find that 95% of the commercial facilities I visit are at least 20% wasteful and the average is typically 40-50% wasteful. At FSI we typically bring facilities below EPA energy star levels reducing their usage by 40-50% and do so guaranteed at their utility meter for under a two year payback. I've done multiple projects for people like Cypress Semiconductor and General Electric but for the most part the industry talks green and energy reduction but does very little. If commercial facilities brought their consumption to EPA energy star levels by energy efficiency we would meet the worldwide goals of carbon with no new technology at all.

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