What isClimate Week NycSEPTEMBER 18-24, 2017
Climate Week NYC gathered the most influential leaders from business, states and cities in September to share why and how they are embracing the opportunities of the clean economy. Climate Week NYC 2017 celebrated the scale of global climate action and how we ensure jobs and prosperity for all.Learn More
NEW YORK: Community members have “a joint responsibility to take more action” on climate change, says Jenny Bofinger-Schuster, Sustainability Director, Siemens AG, in a Climate TV interview filmed at Climate Week NYC in September.
Siemens, the global engineering and technology giant, was a key participant at the iconic summit, which is hosted annually by The Climate Group, and focused on how climate action is spurring innovation, jobs and prosperity for all.
The summit, which saw over 140 events take place across New York City from 18-24 September, showcased the leadership of forward-thinking businesses and governments in tackling climate change while grasping its opportunities.
“It’s important that we take that action together,” underlines Jenny Bofinger-Schuster. “We need the governments, we need the private sector, we need states, we need cities and many, many more. Climate Week NYC is the perfect location to bring all these people together, who must work as multipliers, who have to win over others to drive action.”
Innovation is at the core of Siemens’ values, and is reflected in the sustainability initiatives of the company’s “Strategy Program Vision 2020”, which aims to make the company carbon neutral by 2030.
To date, half of Siemens’ sites in Germany use 100% green energy, which has reduced emissions by more than 400,000 tons of CO2 in the first year – with expected annual savings of more than US$24 million from 2020 onwards.
“It’s our role to provide the technology and the innovation also to other businesses, so that they become more efficient,” says Jenny Bofinger-Schuster. “It’s our role to be a leader in this battle against climate change – to show that it works, that there is a positive business case, that there are great opportunities for doing this; but also to give the right technologies, the right solutions, also the right vision on what they can do.”
Siemens wants to achieve carbon neutrality through a host of initiatives such as a dedicated energy efficiency program, using decentralized energy systems, reducing emissions from its vehicle fleet and powering part of its production facilities and buildings through green energy. The company also plans to invest about US$120 million in energy efficiency projects by 2020, and is expecting to reduce its emissions by an annual 80,000 metric tons.
In addition to its 2030 carbon neutral commitment, the company is also helping its customers to follow this pathway. “We are helping our customers to improve their operations, so that they can become carbon neutral too,” concludes Jenny Bofinger-Schuster. “In the last year, our customers saved 500 million tons of CO2 emissions by using our environmental portfolio.”
- Read this blog from Dr. Roland Busch, Chief Technology Officer and Member of the Managing Board, Siemens AG, on the joint responsibility of businesses, communities and cities to take action on climate change
NEW YORK: The energy market is fast moving towards renewable energy – making it easier for companies to transition towards 100% renewables, says Diane Holdorf, CSO, Kellogg Company.
“In 2017, when we went out to the market to look to purchase renewable energy for our facilities or to bring more renewable energy on-site, it was very challenging,” she says in a Climate TV interview filmed at Climate Week NYC in September, when the company joined RE100.
“We were able to do it in a few selected states for our operations – for example, we were able to bring renewable energy into our plant in New Jersey. However, as we looked for other options, they’re still challenging.
“This year, we’ve already been able to move 20% of our global energy purchase to renewable energy coming into our plants, in Europe primarily as well as in North America. That shift by the utility companies is going to be game-changing for the Kellogg company as well as others who are buying off those grids as well.”
Kellogg has committed to achieve 100% renewable electricity by 2050 as part of RE100, the initiative brought to you by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, as part of the We Mean Business coalition, to help leading businesses to go 100% renewable and transform the global energy market.
Having already achieved 20% renewable electricity through contracts with local utilities in Europe and the US that are bringing more renewables to local grids, the company has an interim target for reaching 40% by 2020.
Diane Holdorf explains that businesses need the support of policymakers to continue to increase their commitment to clean energy: “We want the types of utilities that are greening their grid,” she says, “and we want the states and the countries who are providing the incentive and policy framework to enable that to continue to move at pace as well.”
Kellogg will reduce its direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 65%, and is also committed to reducing energy and GHG emissions in its plants by an additional 15% – per metric ton of food produced – based on the 2015 level.
The company is also committed to fostering sustainable agriculture, helping its farmers and suppliers to adapt and be more resilient to climate change. This pledge is particularly important today, in recognition of World Food Day, since Kellogg wants to create thee billion “better days” by 2025 as part of its global Breakfasts for Better Days commitments.
The company is donating food to people in need, while at the same time supporting 500,000 farmers with Climate Smart Agriculture practices and committing to 45,000 employee volunteer days.
These innovative practices reflect the company’s commitment to the transition toward a more sustainable, low carbon world: “We know that innovation is going to have a huge role to play in enabling our commitment to get to 100% renewable energy by 2050,” says Diane Holdorf.
However, the transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy must accelerate if we want to avoid the worst effects of climate change. While solar and wind power are soaring alongside the global adoption of electric vehicles, there are concerns about energy security and the inherent intermittency of many renewable sources.
“One of the things we are hoping to bring in sooner than later is battery storage capability,” concludes Diane Holdorf. “One may not think that has a role to play in manufacturing and operations, but we would love to bring battery storage to replace some of the generators we have in our site, be able to store solar power we can bring in for longer off of roof space: those types of innovations and the jobs that are behind them are going to make a really big difference for us, as we continue to find ways to achieve our goals.”
NEW YORK: Tackling climate change while improving the built environment is “an amazing opportunity from a business standpoint,” says Diane Hoskins, Co-CEO, Gensler, in a Climate TV interview filmed at Climate Week NYC in September.
Gensler, a global architecture, design and planning firm, focuses on green design and construction, and has topped the leader-board of the top 100 green building design firms for the last two years. The firm has also committed to the “2030 challenge” – the American Institute of Architecture’s goal that every project is designed to reach net-zero for energy and water consumption by 2030.
“At Gensler, we’ve really committed to counting and measuring our CO2 impact every year,” says Diane Hoskins, “and we’re launching our ‘Impact by Design’ report in conjunction with Climate Week NYC.
“We’re thrilled that our design work has saved 11 million megatons of CO2 from the environment, and we are looking forward to increasing that impact year over year to reach the 2030 goals.”
The report underlines how the building sector is the largest energy consumption sector in the world, accounting for 35% of the global consumption – and nearly 48% in the US – followed by industry at 31% and 30% for transportation.
Gensler’s work on designing more energy efficient buildings saves the equivalent of 3.2 years’ worth of carbon emissions from an average coal power plant – the same as taking 2.34 million passenger vehicles off the road for one year. That’s also enough power to provide 1.6 million homes with electricity for one year or the equivalent carbon sequestration from 10 million acres of US forest.
“We can do this, we can make an impact on this challenge of CO2,” says Diane Hoskins in the Climate TV interview. “Just like we saw in the 1930s with the Dust Bowl, we were able to find new ways of farming – and now the US is the largest producer of food in the world.”
The firm works with communities to improve well-being and protect the environment through its selection of materials, enhancing water supply and reducing energy demand. “As we see in our markets, when we all get on board there’s enormous potential for business,” says Diane Hoskins.
At Climate Week NYC, Gensler’s Co-CEO also spoke on the “Building sector as a driver of innovation, jobs and prosperity” panel at the ‘Building Ambition to 2050’ event, underlining the incredible responsibility and opportunity of the building industry in reducing emissions.
“Climate Week NYC is so important this year because it’s really starting to address some of the key building blocks of how we begin to attack the issue of CO2,” she concluded. “And I’m really excited for our firm to be part of this conversation: as building industry, we’re an important part of that strategy.”