As President Barack Obama unveils his budget for the coming year, 33 major U.S. companies, including the Aspen Skiing Company, signed a “climate declaration,” urging federal policymakers to take action on climate change.
SkiCo joins some of the country’s best-known consumer brands, including eBay Inc., Starbucks, Nike and Limited Brands, EMC Corporation, IKEA, Jones Lang LaSalle, L’Oréal, the North Face, the Portland Trail Blazers, Timberland and others that say "a bold response to the climate challenge is one of the greatest American economic opportunities of the 21st century."
“Businesses understand that planning for a successful future takes investment today. One of the most important things Congress can do to grow our economy and protect our planet is to pass smart climate change legislation this year. Our workforce, supply chain and consumers are counting on us to lead the way,” said Anna Walker, director of government affairs and public policy at Levi Strauss & Co.
Together, the climate declaration signatories say they provide approximately 475,000 U.S. jobs and generate a combined annual revenue of approximately $450 billion. Extreme weather events like Hurricane Sandy have affected several climate declaration signatories and exposed the United States’ economic vulnerability to climate change, they say.
The signatories are calling for Congress to introduce and pass laws that promote clean energy, boost efficiency and limit carbon emissions.
“From droughts that affect cotton crops to Hurricane Sandy, which caused extensive damage to our operations, climate affects all aspects of our business,” said Eileen Fisher, CEO of New York-based apparel firm Eileen Fisher, which suffered severe damage and business interruption during the 2012 storm. “As a socially and environmentally responsible company, we are trying to affect positive change, but business can't do it alone. We need the support of strong climate legislation.”
Recent polls conducted by Gallup and Yale University, respectively, indicate that a majority of Americans believe climate change is happening and that corporations, as well as government officials, should be doing more to address the issue.
The Aspen Skiing Co. has been a leader in climate politics. It recently partnered with the Elk Creek coal mine, Holy Cross Energy, and Vessels Coal Gas on a $5.5 million investment to capture waste methane vented from a coal mine in nearby Somerset to generate carbon negative electricity. It was also the first company in the ski industry to purchase wind power and it has implemented a long list of environmentally conscious initiatives.