February 12, 2007

Climate Saver companies on track to cut 10 million tons of CO2 by 2010, says WWF

Twelve major corporations in World Wildlife Fund (WWF)'s Climate Savers Program are on course to eliminate at least ten million tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually by 2010. If 1,300 more large companies join them, this would fulfil the current climate targets of the Kyoto Protocol, says WWF.

In a joint statement, released during a two-day conference in Paris between the 12 Climate Saver companies and WWF, the companies confirmed that the solutions to climate change exist. "As members of the WWF Climate Savers Program, we have gained significant experience in past years and learned that we can reduce the climate change footprint of our companies and grow as businesses at the same time."

WWF's Climate Savers Program consists of agreements between the environmental organization and major corporations, including leading multinationals, for innovative emission reductions. Participating companies include Johnson & Johnson, IBM, Nike, Polaroid, Collins, Xanterra (United States), Catalyst (Canada), Sagawa, Sony (Japan), Lafarge (France), Tetra Pak (Sweden) and Novo Nordisk (Denmark). All twelve Climate Saver companies have pledged to considerably reduce their absolute carbon emissions. Most found that reducing emissions makes business sense.

"Fighting climate change can provide business opportunities and spur innovation and jobs in all parts of the world," said program director Hans Verolme. "The Climate Savers companies show that sustainable development is not an academic concept but something that can be tackled with a profit - for nature, for society, but also for the companies themselves."

"Catalyst joined WWF's Climate Savers initiative because we believe collective action is the best way to address the risk of global warming," said Lyn Brown, vice-president, corporate affairs and social responsibility, for the only Canadian Climate Savers company so far. "There is simply no excuse to do nothing. We can show cost-effective strategies exist and we are implementing them now to make steady reductions in our own greenhouse gas emissions."

Catalyst, the world's largest directory paper producer, pledged to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions 70% by 2010 compared to 1990 levels through lower energy use, switching from fossil fuels to renewable biomass, and better equipment and water efficiency.

Sportswear manufacturer Nike received an award at the February 1-2 Climate Savers conference for having reached its CO2 reduction target. "Participation in Climate Savers enabled us to get an early start on an issue that has major consequences for business and society," said Sarah Severn, the company's director, corporate responsibility horizons. "We have found that constraints can lead to tremendous innovation and despite growth in our owned and managed operations we have become more efficient with our energy use. Our next steps will be partnering with suppliers to further reduce our manufacturing and logistics climate footprint."

"Lafarge made its Climate Savers commitment back in 2001 to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions," says Bruno Lafont, CEO of Lafarge, a world leader in building materials. "Since then, we have worked hard to extend this initiative within the cement sector and we are pleased that a number of other major cement players have decided to commit themselves as well."

To meet the Kyoto reduction target, it has been determined that the 35 industrialized countries named in the Protocol's Annex B need to achieve a reduction of 5% of global emissions from 1990 levels (calculated at 22 billion tons of carbon dioxide), a total of 1.1 billion tons of CO2. WWF reports that reductions by the 12 Climate Savers companies have reached 10 million tons of CO2, an average of 833,333 tons per company. To achieve the 1.1 billion-ton total reduction on that average base, 1,320 large companies would have to make similar efforts, says WWF.

More information on WWF's Global Climate Change Program is available on the WWF Web site, www.panda.org/climate.

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