29 North Carolina Companies and Investors Urge Gov. McCrory's Timely Implementation of EPA's Clean Power Plan

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29 North Carolina Companies and Investors Urge Gov. McCrory's Timely Implementation of EPA's Clean Power Plan

Letter stresses clean energy solutions as the most cost-effective way to drive business investment and generate jobs in transition to a low-carbon economy
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.@PatMcCroryNC Biz & investors in #NC support #carbon standards. Make #EPA #CleanPowerPlan a priority: http://bit.ly/1Mu780u #ActOnClimate
Friday, July 31, 2015 - 11:30am

CONTENT: Press Release

BOSTON, Jul 31, 2015 /3BL Media/ - Today, 29 businesses and investors with a significant presence in North Carolina issued a letter to Governor Patrick McCrory offering strong support for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan for existing power plants, and encouraging the state’s “timely finalization” of its implementation plan. The letter was coordinated by the nonprofit sustainability advocacy organization, Ceres.

“Our support is firmly grounded in economic reality,” states the letter. “Clean energy solutions are cost effective and innovative ways to drive investment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Increasingly, businesses rely on renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions to cut costs and improve corporate performance.”

The EPA Clean Power Plan is the nation’s first comprehensive effort to reduce carbon pollution from existing electric power plants—the single largest source of global warming pollution in the U.S. The plan sets unique emissions reduction targets for each state to achieve by 2030 and allows the states flexible approaches to meeting the reductions in their implementation plans, such as through deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency.

“At Trillium Asset Management, we know that moving rapidly to a clean energy economy represents both effective policy as well as a pragmatic way to boost the corporate bottom line," said Brianna Murphy, Vice President of Shareholder Advocacy, Trillium Asset Management. "We urge North Carolina to follow the lead of the many corporations that have invested in clean energy—and our own clients, for whom we manage over $2.2 billion—by enthusiastically embracing the EPA's Clean Power Plan."

The letter follows a trend in which a growing number of businesses are increasingly relying on renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions to cut their costs and boost their competitiveness. A 2014 study co-authored by Ceres, Calvert Investments and the World Wildlife Fund found that 60 percent of Fortune 100 companies have set their own clean energy targets and have saved more than $1 billion a year in the process.

“North Carolina's abundance of clean energy resources was one of the reasons New Belgium chose to locate here,” said Jenn Vervier, Director of Strategy and Sustainability at New Belgium Brewing.  “The Clean Power Plan presents an opportunity for the state to continue that leadership, and we support efforts by Gov. McCrory to develop a robust state implementation plan.”

In recent years, North Carolina has made significant progress reducing greenhouse gases through its Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standards (REPS) law, with nearly 7 percent of the state's energy coming from renewable sources in 2014. With a shift away from coal and towards cleaner energy sources, North Carolina reduced its carbon emissions by around 24 percent between 2008 and 2013, and is well positioned to make additional reductions proposed in the Clean Power Plan. Clean energy development has brought thousands of jobs to North Carolina and billions of dollars in cumulative capital investment, with nearly 23,000 full-time equivalent jobs and $4.8 billion in revenue in 2014.

"Having access to more renewable energy choices helps us manage our energy related costs as best we can, while also reducing our environmental impact," said Letitia Webster, senior director of global sustainability at VF Corporation, which is headquartered in Greensboro, N.C. "As a proud member of the North Carolina business community, we strongly encourage our state's political leaders to embrace the EPA's Clean Power Plan and the transition to a clean energy economy with policies such as the Energy Freedom Act and the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards."

The businesses listed below emphasize that there is no tradeoff between continued economic growth and cutting carbon pollution, and strongly encourage Gov. McCrory to ensure North Carolina's timely finalization and implementation of the state's carbon pollution reduction plans.

“As you develop your implementation plan we hope you will include the building blocks of renewable energy and energy efficiency, which will allow you to mitigate the risks of climate change and the volatility of fossil fuel prices,” they state.

Signatories to the letter include: Arjuna Capital; Asean Corporation (Stalkmarket brands); Auralites Inc.; Buena; Calvert Investments; Carolina Biodiesel, LLC; EILEEN FISHER, Inc.; Electric Vehicle Institute; Fiberactive Organics, LLC; Greenway Transit Services, LLC; Gypsy Divers; ipsy; Joyce Moore Financial Services/Whole Earth Investments; MAR and UNE Provinces of the Society of Jesus; Mars Incorporated; New Belgium Brewing; PLC Repair; Presbyterian Church (U.S.A); Schneider Electric; Seventh Generation; Shimar Recycling, Inc.; Staples, Inc.; Sungevity; Swan Creek Energy; Trillium Asset Management; Unitarian Universalist Association; VF Corporation; Walkabout Farm; and Wespath Investment Management.

To download the full text of the letter, please click here.

Bold indicates companies with >$100M in annual revenue and investors with >$2B in assets under management.

About Ceres
Ceres is a nonprofit organization mobilizing business and investor leadership on climate change, water scarcity and other sustainability challenges. Ceres directs the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), a network of institutional investors with collective assets totaling more than $13 trillion. Ceres also directs Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy (BICEP), an advocacy coalition of dozens of companies committed to working with policymakers to pass meaningful energy and climate legislation. For more information, visit www.ceres.org or follow on Twitter @CeresNews



Meg Wilcox
+1 (617) 319-6457
Mark Sokolove
+1 (424) 208-3558
Keywords: Environment & Climate Change | CERES | EPA Clean Power Plan | Energy | Environmental Policy | Environmental Politics | North Carolina

CONTENT: Press Release