President Obama Launches the American Business Act on Climate Pledge with 13 Supporting Companies Including Apple
Today at the White House, Secretary of State John Kerry and senior White House officials will host 13 of the largest companies from across the American economy who are standing with the Obama Administration to launch the American Business Act on Climate Pledge: Alcoa, Apple, Bank of America, Berkshire Hathaway Energy, Cargill, Coca-Cola, General Motors, Goldman Sachs, Google, Microsoft, PepsiCo, UPS, and Walmart. The companies making pledges as part of today's launch represent more than $1.3 trillion in revenue in 2014 and a combined market capitalization of at least $2.5 trillion.
The impacts of climate change are already being felt worldwide. Nineteen of the 20 hottest years on record occurred in the past two decades. Countries and communities around the world are already being affected by deeper, more persistent droughts, pounded by more severe weather, inundated by bigger storm surges, and imperiled by more frequent and dangerous wildfires. Rising temperatures can lead to more smog, longer allergy seasons, and an increased incidence of extreme-weather-related injuries, all of which imperil public health, particularly for vulnerable populations like children, the elderly, the sick, the poor, and some communities of color. No corner of the planet and no sector of the global economy will remain unaffected by climate change in the years ahead.
Climate change is a global challenge that demands a global response, and President Obama is committed to leading the fight. The President's Climate Action Plan, when fully implemented, will cut nearly 6 billion tons of carbon pollution through 2030, an amount equivalent to taking all the cars in the United States off the road for more than 4 years. And while the United States is leading on the international stage and the federal government is doing its part to combat climate change, hundreds of private companies, local governments, and foundations have stepped up to increase energy efficiency, boost low-carbon investing, and make solar energy more accessible to low-income Americans.
Below are the three top technology companies listed in the announcement today and their contributions.
Apple, already running all of its U.S. operations on 100% renewable energy, will bring an estimated 280 megawatts of clean power generation online by the end of 2016 through investments in Arizona, California, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon and Sichuan Province, China.
Since 2011, Apple has reduced carbon emissions from its global corporate facilities, data centers and retail stores by 48%. See Apple's Environmental Responsibility webpage for more Details.
Google pledges to:
Renewable energy: Google is committed to powering our operations with 100% renewable energy. We have purchased 1.1 gigawatts of renewable energy to power our data centers, and we commit to tripling our purchases of renewable energy by 2025. We believe that by directly investing in renewable energy projects, we can help accelerate the shift to zero-carbon power and create a better future for everyone. We commit to continuing our $2 billion/2.5 gigawatts cumulative investments in transformative global clean energy projects, including major investments by 2025 in emerging markets, where there is both great need and great potential.
Transportation: Google shuttles and corporate electric vehicles result in net annual savings of 29,000+ metric tons of CO2, equivalent to taking 5,700 cars off the road or avoiding 87M vehicle miles every year. In our Bay Area headquarters we commit to reducing single occupancy vehicle commuting to 36%, a 10% reduction from today, by transitioning our employees to shuttles, carpool, public transit, biking, and walking.
Water Usage: Google is committed to reducing our water consumption, particularly in the drought-ridden Western United States, through the use of recycled water irrigation, drought tolerant plants, less turf grass, fixture replacements and employee awareness efforts. After exceeding our 20% energy, water and waste reduction goals in 2014 associated with the California Best Buildings Challenge, we are now targeting a 30% reduction in potable water use by our Bay Area headquarters in 2015 from our 2013 baseline.
Products and Platforms: Google's products help drive carbon mitigation efforts and inform climate science. Our Google Earth Engine geospatial analysis platform makes more than 40 years of satellite imagery available online so scientists and researchers can analyze real-time changes to the Earth's surface. Through the Climate Data Initiative, we provided one petabyte of cloud storage for data and climate/weather models, plus 50 million hours of high-performance cloud computing. We commit to continuing to develop products and platforms that can help reduce emissions and bring the power of cloud computing to climate science.
At Microsoft, we're committed to driving environmentally sustainable business practices and catalyzing technology innovations that help people and organizations around the world to realize a sustainable future. Microsoft pledges to:
Maintain carbon neutral operations for our datacenters, offices, labs, manufacturing facilities, and business air travel.
Purchase 100% renewable energy for the operations of our datacenters, offices, labs, and manufacturing facilities.
Offset 100% of emissions from business air travel through supporting carbon offset projects that also drive social benefits in emerging nations.