In June, the Environmental Protection Agency announced a commonsense plan to reduce industrial carbon pollution, called the Clean Power Plan. Now, over six months later, the proposal’s comment period has ended, leaving the government to decide whether or not the EPA’s proposals will be instituted or denied. In response, 223 companies sent a letter to the EPA, the Obama Administration, and the majority and minority leaders of the Senate and House, announcing their support for the Clean Power Plan’s mission.
Coordinated by Ceres, a nonprofit organization which advocates for sustainability leadership, the letter was signed by companies representing a number of industries, including clothing manufacturers, beer and chocolate producers, and property management companies. Many of the companies have drawn attention in the past for their personal sustainability initiatives, such as setting goals to use renewable energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from their factories. Importantly, the participants included a number of industry heavyweights like IKEA and Nestlé, demonstrating the support the Clean Power Plan has gathered over the last several months.
Although the letter was designed to be sent by energy users, not energy providers, a number of somewhat unexpected organizations supported the letter and the Clean Energy Plan itself. For example, many people from New York and Massachusetts would likely be surprised to learn that National Grid, an electric company located in the Northeastern United States, made a number of statements supporting the actions. In contrast, the inclusion of property management companies like JLL, an international real estate management and investment company, will likely surprise very few people familiar with the industry: property management companies are often able to help their clients reduce their energy usage by as much as 50% by making simple, affordable upgrades.
“From a property management standpoint it is not just about saving money for the investors but providing homes that are more cost effective for the tenants,” says Joe Ord, President, Amoso Properties. “Simple things like providing LED lighting can have a very positive impact on monthly energy bills.”
The EPA’s Clean Power Plan is the U.S.’s first comprehensive attempt to reduce carbon pollution caused by existing power plants, which experts estimate is the largest source of global warming pollution in the country. If enacted, the EPA estimates that it could reduce power plant emissions 30% by 2030. The agency is expected to announce a final ruling in June 2015.