Apple, Google, and other tech companies lead the way in fighting climate change

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Flickr/Mikael Miettinen
Going green is all the rage in corporate America these days, especially with stakeholders expressing a deeper interest in supporting companies with green, sustainable practices. And now, tech giants Google, Microsoft, and Apple have joined the White House to launch the American Business Act on Climate Pledge, along with 10 other behemoths of business: Alcoa, Bank of America, Berkshire Hathaway Energy, Cargill, Coca-Cola, General Motors, Goldman Sachs, PepsiCo, UPS, and Walmart. With more than $1.3 trillion in combined revenue last year and a total “market capitalization of at least $2.5 trillion,” if this group puts their money where their mouths are, there might be some serious movement in the climate change community in the very near future.

At least, this is the hope of Secretary of State John Kerry and other members of the Obama administration, who have brought together the aforementioned heavy hitters to draw attention to the climate crisis, reinforce their own commitment to taking action against the issue, and ultimately, set an example for their peers. Unfortunately, there appear to be few truly actionable steps being taken today (especially among companies that are already considered “green” to the casual observer), but still, the message behind the movement is growing louder and clearer.

According to the White House’s fact sheet regarding the pledge, signatories agree to “voice support for a strong Paris outcome,” referring to the fast approaching U.N. Climate Change Conference to be held in Paris in November. In a blog post announcing its involvement, Google reiterated its support for the Paris conference, saying, “Reaching a strong deal in Paris is an absolute and urgent necessity. The data is clear and the science is beyond dispute: a warming planet poses enormous threats to society.”

Moreover, pledge takers are expected to demonstrate “an ongoing commitment to climate action,” with companies agreeing to “significant new pledges to reduce their emissions, increase low-carbon investments, deploy more clean energy, and take other actions to build more sustainable businesses.”

In a blog post of its own, Microsoft has promised to “maintain carbon neutral operations for our emissions from all our operations — including datacenters, offices, labs, manufacturing — through efficiency, green power, and offset, produce and purchase 100 percent green power for all of our operation, and offset 100 percent of emissions from fuel combustion, business air travel, and other sources through supporting carbon offset projects that also drive social benefits.”

Given the enormous impact these 13 companies have already had on the financial landscape of the country (and the world at large), it seems fair to say that a public renewal of its commitment towards a greener future can only aid in the fight against global warming.

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