Why U.S. climate leaders are moving their most effective energy strategies from behind the curtain to center stage
As the world’s leaders gather in Paris to come up with plans to combat climate change, Better Buildings partners are actively solving climate problems in their own communities and pushing themselves to stay ahead of the global pack. By already working amongst 250 leading organizations in the U.S. to accelerate improvements to how the nation’s buildings, homes, and plants use energy, they are showcasing – to the world - what it takes to set ambitious goals, and how to put climate saving words into action, to conserve the most energy, and secure a lasting and sustainable community impact.
The goal for the Better Buildings Initiative is simple: save a lot of energy (20 percent in ten years) and share a lot of success (hundreds of solutions that can be replicated). We’ve homed in on the solutions that work best to achieve deep energy savings quickly, and piloted and shared innovative solutions from sector to sector, to accelerate even more energy savings.
As a result of the efforts of the Better Buildings Challenge, last year we saw 94 trillion Btus of energy saved, equivalent to $840 million saved and 5.8 million tons of CO2 emissions avoided. Since energy savings numbers program-wide can be somewhat hard to picture, here are a number of specific energy efficiency stories from some of our partners:
- Best Buy recently exceeded their Better Buildings Challenge goal ahead of schedule, achieving a 32 percent energy reduction from its 2008 baseline—possible through aggressive and persistent action across its energy systems and portfolio of stores. Now, they’ve set a new commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 45 percent by 2020, through the American Business Act Pledge on Climate Change.
- Legrand NA is working on providing solutions that enable high performance sustainable buildings, and has pledged to reduce energy intensity across 14 U.S. sites by 25% within ten years. They exceeded their goal in 2012, with a 28% reduction. They’ve also set a water intensity reduction goal of 25%.
- Volvo Group North America was one of the only 11 companies in the program to meet its Better Plants energy reduction goal early, reducing energy consumption in eight manufacturing facilities by 26.8%, compared to a 2009 baseline.
A list of current Better Buildings Challenge and Better Plants partners who have signed onto the American Business Act on Climate Pledge, are listed below.
Better Buildings Challenge
- Bank of America
- Best Buy
- General Mills
- General Motors
- Johnson Controls
- Legrand NA
- MGM Resorts International
- Schneider Electric
- United Technologies
- Volvo Group North America
Better Plants program
- DSM North America
- Ingersoll Rand
- International Paper
- Johnson & Johnson
- Procter & Gamble
In total, 154 companies have signed on to this pledge to demonstrate their support for action on climate change (see the full list here). This represents operations in all 50 U.S. states and more than $4.2 trillion in annual revenue. We look forward to building upon the momentum of this announcement and COP21, by welcoming new partners from American leadership at all levels, and sharing new energy solutions with our large and growing Better Buildings community.