Friday, December 21, 2007

The Climate Group

In recent years, numerous business groups have sprung up, organized around tackling climate change (e.g. CERES, The Carbon Trust, Carbon Disclosure Project, US Climate Action Partnership, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, etc).

Having worked for CEO-driven social change non-profits in the past, I know these groups can be hit-or-miss affairs. Sometimes they serve solely as industry-boosting PR platforms, or old boy networks and are a waste of time. But if these groups can engage relevant and committed employees below the C-level at the member companies (while encouraging at least some CEO participation), I’ve found that they can accomplish a great deal – sharing ideas and best practices, building and fostering industry-wide networks and leaders, publicizing important industry-related milestones, etc. These business groups can have an especially significant impact if they address and help solve the lack of industry-standard “metrics” and/or industry-wide measurement platforms that are commonly missing in new or emerging industries.

So I wanted to quickly highlight a small bit of news from one of the good ones:

Four prominent corporations joined the ranks of The Climate Group this week to promote pragmatic climate change policy and demonstrate that companies can slash emissions but still make money. Goldman Sachs, Dow Chemical, Bloomberg L.P. and Florida Power and Light bring the organization's total membership to 44. The group was formed in 2004.
A press release with additional information can be found here.

I read The Climate Group’s report “In The Black” this summer, and found it insightful and useful. They've recently posted an executive summary that's a little more friendly. Their “Carbon Down Profits Up” series is also effective, especially as it focuses on the measurement challenge for companies involved in climate change. Finally, you may want to check out their “Viewpoint” section, which has a number of interviews with CEOs and thought-leaders in this space.

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