Corporate Climate Engine Followed By Coal Cars

Back in January Jeff posted on the commitment made by Abbott Labs, a large, US-headquartered company, to green its corporate fleet. Nice move Abbott. Half way through 2007, the overall corporate stage setting changed dramatically, with prominent climate skeptics increasingly ignored by the media. Even better news: more US corporations started strutting their green stuff, some even hiring VP's of Sustainability, and the like, to lead the way on climate policy and green design.

Continuing with our example of this trend:- Abbott Labs as described in a recent press release, has finished greening its fleet to "carbon neutrality" and is taking on new green challenges:- "ABBOTT PARK, Ill. - July 11, 2007 — Abbott, the global health care company, announced today that it is the first FORTUNE 500 company to go "carbon neutral" with its entire U.S. fleet of company sales vehicles. At an environmental summit today in Chicago, Abbott also unveiled its new Global Energy Policy and announced the installation of a large, 500-kilowatt hour solar power system to produce electricity for parts of a manufacturing plant in southern California." Details below.

Abbott's new Global Energy Policy outlines several commitments the company is making to further improve its impact on the environment, including goals to:

# Achieve a 12 percent reduction in overall electric energy purchased by 2011.*

# Achieve a 30 percent reduction in overall CO2 emissions by 2011.*

# Invest in renewable energy capital projects, or energy sourcing, that produce no CO2 emissions at major manufacturing locations by 2011;* and

# Eliminate 12 percent of combined fuel oil/coal consumption by switching to cleaner fuels by 2011.*

*Normalized by sales

All looking good. But, as we pointed out in another recent post, the corporate climate engine can also appear to be getting pulled backward by a string of coal cars. Engineer to caboose, what track are we on? How to explain Abbott Lab's name on the list of members of an industry lobby group set up specifically to oppose Federal limits on carbon dioxide emissions? Did they really think no one would see their name on the IECA membership roster? Chugga chugga

Image credit:: coal cars, Concept Systems, Inc.

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