Key companies launch partnership on climate resilience

By bgrossmancohen

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Washington, DC – A number of companies, including Calvert Investments, Entergy, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc., Levi Strauss & Co., and Swiss Re, praised today’s release of the Administration’s Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force report voicing strong support for the report’s emphasis on building resilience in communities, in the US and around the world, who are vulnerable to extreme weather events and rising temperatures. 

The companies also announced the launch of their new effort, the Partnership for Resilience and Environmental Preparedness (PREP), formed to promote responsible business practices and strong policies and programs that help businesses and vulnerable communities prepare for and respond to climate change. PREP signals a growing recognition among companies that the risks communities on the front lines of climate change face are also business risks

“A meaningful discussion on climate change cannot stop at mitigation,” said J. Wayne Leonard, CEO of Entergy Corporation, an integrated energy company operating primarily in the Gulf South. “The solutions must also include adapting to and resilience against its most negative consequences. Today’s report recognizes that the livelihoods of people living in coastal communities, the sustainability of rich natural resources that support our economy and the security of residential, commercial and industrial assets are at great risk if we don’t devise and implement plans to protect against, and recover from, the adverse effects associated with climate change.”

“From cotton to coffee, we have already seen the impact that climate change is having on our global supply chains, but we’re now discovering more about the impacts on the communities our supply chains depend on,” said Amy Leonard, Senior Vice President of Product Development, Levi Strauss & Co.

Businesses are also just beginning to identify growth opportunities as the demand for adaptation products and services increases in response to a changing climate. For example, increasing water scarcity will necessitate improved and more efficient irrigation technologies. A recent survey by the UN Global Compact, a private sector alliance, found that 86 percent of companies see a business opportunity in investing in adaptation technologies and services.

“Investing in smart adaptation solutions is a major step towards building a climate resilient society,” said Mark Way, Senior Vice President for Sustainability and Political Risk Management at Swiss Re, a global reinsurance firm with offices in the US. “By partnering together, companies and communities can utilize their collective resources to tackle climate risk and improve resiliency for the betterment of society as a whole.”

Today’s report released by the Administration outlines the government’s progress in coordinating across agencies and at different levels of government – local, state, tribal and federal – towards building resilient communities and ecosystems in the face of a changing climate.  The report highlights efforts to build resilience to a range of climate change impacts in the US, as well as ongoing efforts to support adaptation needs in vulnerable communities in developing countries.

“Investing in climate preparedness can create American jobs at home and spur exports abroad,” said Bennett Freeman, Senior Vice President for Sustainability Research and Policy at Calvert Investments. “We support efforts by the Administration to prepare for and respond to climate change impacts in vulnerable communities.”

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The Partnership for Resilience and Environmental Preparedness (PREP) is a one-year pilot partnership formed to address the risks and opportunities that climate change impacts pose to businesses and the communities on which they depend. Members include Calvert Investments, Entergy, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc., Levi Strauss and Co., and Swiss Re. BSR and Ceres are also partners. Oxfam America serves as PREP’s secretariat. For more information, see oxfamamerica.org/prep