[Ceres] A dozen Massachusetts companies and investors representing some of the Commonwealth’s largest employers will gather on Beacon Hill today to meet with lawmakers about their corporate sustainability goals and how these initiatives make businesses more competitive and drive economic growth.
The participating institutions include: Eastern Bank, Legal Seafood, MilliporeSigma, Partners Healthcare, and Schneider Electric, among others. These companies have set notable sustainability, clean energy, and energy efficiency goals and invested in innovative programs and projects to achieve these goals.
“Major Fortune 500 companies, including some right here in Massachusetts, are investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency because it makes smart business sense,” said Anne Kelly, senior director of policy and the BICEP Network at Ceres, a sustainability nonprofit organization that works with the most influential investors and companies.
Among the companies on Beacon Hill today, Eastern Bank has achieved 100 percent renewable energy sourcing for all of its eligible branches and corporate offices. The company has also provided $185 million in financing to fund 17 solar farms, which produce enough energy to provide power for 13,300 homes in Massachusetts alone.
In addition, Schneider Electric has committed to sourcing 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030 through both onsite projects and offsite renewable energy procurement.The healthcare sector is also leading in clean energy commitments. Partners HealthCare has reduced overall energy consumption by 26 percent and is sourcing 80 percent renewable electricity across all of the hospitals and facilities within their system.
"Many hospitals in the Commonwealth have made major investments in both onsite and offsite renewable development projects to reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions,” said Bill Ravanesi, Boston regional director at Health Care Without Harm. “These investments greatly benefit health outcomes in the Commonwealth through improvements to air quality and reduced frequency and intensity of climate impacts.”
Ceres, Environmental League of Massachusetts, and Health Care Without Harm will join the company leaders in meetings with lawmakers, helping to amplify the business case for increased clean energy policies.
The Commonwealth’s current policies have helped develop a robust clean energy sector, high-paying jobs and increased capital investments. In 2008, the state legislature passed the Global Warming Solutions Act, which mandates that the Commonwealth reduce greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, and 80 percent by 2050. Massachusetts has more work to do to meet the legally-required 2050 mandate.
“There is an urgent need to increase the amount of renewable energy in Massachusetts. The more renewable energy sources we have on the grid, the stronger and more resilient it will be,” said Eric Wilkinson, general counsel and director of energy policy at the Environmental League of Massachusetts.
Ceres is a sustainability nonprofit organization working with the most influential investors and companies to build leadership and drive solutions throughout the economy. For more information, visit www.ceres.org and follow @CeresNews.
About The Environmental League of Massachusetts
The Environmental League of Massachusetts (ELM) is a nonprofit educational and advocacy organization committed to combating climate change and protecting our land, water and public health. For more information, visit www.environmentalleague.org.
About Health Care Without Harm
Health Care Without Harm works to transform health care worldwide so that it reduces its environmental footprint, and becomes a community anchor for sustainability and a leader in the global movement for environmental health and justice. For more information, visit www.noharm.org.