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Corporations and Climate Change

The environment appears to have found an ally from an unlikely source. Due to the inaction and delays in Congress pertaining to environmental policy, and the lack of attention paid to the environment in the current presidential campaign, corporations have taken action to combat climate change and aid the environment.

The interesting part is the clear, identified and admitted ulterior motives corporations have for implementing responsible energy policies.

It is a wise fiscal decision to commit to a large initial expenditure with the guarantee of not only a return, but also a profit, whether it is selling energy back to the utility company, cheaper overhead costs, tax credits, etc.

It makes perfect sense for corporations to implement renewable energy programs, and fortunately, there is a large benefit for the environment as a result.

As this year’s Republican National Convention was being prepared and gearing up, General Electric teamed up with Urban Green Energy, a renewable energy firm, and announced plans to build a wind-powered electric vehicle charger. The chargers are independent and not connected to an energy grid, and the two firms plan to install stations at universities and malls across the United States and Australia.

Wal-Mart is another example of a company that is embracing renewable energy systems. 75 percent of Wal-Mart stores in California use solar panels to power the building, and intends to continue to install solar panels across the country. Further, Wal-Mart has 10,000 stores worldwide, and if they were to install solar panels on each store, it would have a huge impact on the environment.

Additionally, Proctor & Gamble, Coca-Cola, Ford, and Best Buy have set rigorous carbon footprint standards, and Nissan, Mitsubishi, Ford, and General Motors are increasing electric car production and performance.

When all is said and done, corporations are learning that profits and the environment aren’t mutually exclusive, and can successfully co-exist. In this case, it doesn’t really matter what their intentions are either, because there isn’t a “winner” or “loser” in the decision. Perhaps Congress should learn a lesson from corporations, instead of just taking their money.

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