By Franck Ardourel, @usedigital

The climate change debate continues to raise concerns among individuals, communities, and organizations in California, and a number of questions remain unanswered especially in counties seriously impacted by drought. But, the following article from Kate Galbraith provides very interesting comments about where the state of California stands with regard to climate change.

As the article states, climate change is a dangerous matter that is not taken seriously enough and there is no doubt that individuals and organizations together MUST work hand-in-hand to maintain California’s status as a global leader in fighting climate change. It’s imperative, in order to achieve the “greener” goals and “deep emission cuts”, that everyone at every level focus on sustainability, energy efficiency, and resource productivity.

That said, with so many organizations focusing on sustainability, I personally think that California will meet the new targets in gas emissions, water savings, therm and Kwh reductions, and will pave the way for other states and global nations to participate. The State is continually looking for energy efficiency and has already established ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goals, and regulators have crafted a broad array of rules to meet them. Here are some of the most important programs that have been established for combating climate change – source:

  1. California electricity providers will have to obtain 33% of their energy from renewable sources by 2020. According to the CPUC, major utilities in California are already above 20%.
  2. The Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) program, which was approved in 2007, requires reduction of carbon intensity of gasoline and other fuels in the state by 10% by 2020.
  3. In 2013, a program born out of AB 32 gives large polluters a target for greenhouse gas emissions reductions and allows them to buy permission to pollute through an auction process. In 2015, transportation fuels were added to the program, which covers 85% of California’s emissions.
  4. The building standard rules drafted in 2013 seek to double the energy efficiency in buildings. The most recent one requires that residential buildings use 25% less energy than prior rules. SB 350 is currently under consideration in the legislature.

View from Marine One on California Drought

The good news is that organizations have access to a variety of education and training programs to accelerate their sustainability and business impact. For example, they can work closely with California utility providers for support in integrating sustainable practices into organizational culture to reduce costs and generate increased profit.

At REV we offer the Sustainability Circle® education and training program designed to help organizations engage employees and embed sustainability behaviors and actions for more long-term and impactful reductions in CO2 emissions, water, energy and waste costs.

Because we adamantly believe organizations must act in concert to achieve our State’s ambitious climate goals, the program is designed to bring together a cohort group of businesses who learn as a community. We’ve seen what happens when organizations gather together to learn, create rich relationships, and share ideas. This stimulates new thinking, illuminates opportunities, engages employees and motivates action for better outcomes.

For Shaklee, already a leader in sustainability, being the first company to obtain climate neutral certification, the Sustainability Circle experience inspired them to look deeper into their operations, resulting in a water consumption reduction of 3.03 million gallons over a 10-month period.

In the case of Hunter Industries, the increased engagement within the company helped propel their long-term sustainability efforts, while encouraging action via short-term immediate gains of over $36K per year within the first 6 months. A typical Sustainability Circle averages $150,000 to $500,000 in projected annual recurring cost savings per participating company.

At REV, we BELIEVE that business must be a force for positive change and that together as a community we can meet, and even exceed our GHG reduction goals and be a leader in the fight to curb climate change.

To find out how you can learn and be inspired by other organizations in your area that are joining in Sustainability Circles, contact us. If your company is located in San Jose or San Francisco, you can also sign up to join the PG&E sponsored Step Up and Power Down program. More information can be found here.