The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) and The Climate Registry (TCR), in partnership with headline sponsor Bloomberg Philanthropies and America is All In, today announced the recipients of the 2021 Climate Leadership Awards. This year’s awardees represent a wide array of sectors, including technology, transportation, state and local government, financial services, pharmaceuticals, utilities, and consumer goods.
This marks the tenth anniversary of the awards, which were founded by U.S. EPA (this year’s Government Partner) and take place during the annual Climate Leadership Conference. The Awards recognize exemplary corporate, organizational, and individual leadership in reducing carbon pollution and addressing climate change. In a first-ever virtual showcase later today (3:30PM ET // 12:30 PM PT), C2ES and TCR are presenting a total of 24 awards to 12 organizations, six partnerships, and six individuals.
“Congratulations to all the 2021 Climate Leadership Award winners for their outstanding achievements,” said Amy Holm, Executive Director of The Climate Registry. “At a time when the world urgently needs more climate action and ambition – and with just a few weeks to go before a critical UN climate conference — these organizations and individuals demonstrate what is possible.”
“Being a climate leader and advocate for ambitious action means taking the steps today that set up opportunity for the future,” said Nathaniel Keohane, President of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES). “The Climate Leadership Awards recognize only those that aim high and have plans in place to achieve their goals. These companies, organizations, and individuals have shown exactly that kind of foresight and set an example among its peers.”
The 2021 Climate Leadership Award recipients are:
Organizational Leadership Award:
- Entergy Corporation: Committed to reduce 50% of Scope 1 emission rate from 2000 to 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions for Scope 1, 2, and some Scope 3 categories by 2050; invested in efficient natural gas, nuclear generation, and renewable energy capacity; partnered with stakeholders to help other sectors electrify operations and reduce carbon emissions; and invested in grid modernization and community resilience.
- Microsoft Corporation: Set a goal to reduce Scope 1, 2, and relevant Scope 3 emissions by more than 50% from 2017 to 2030, and a negative emissions commitment to remove all the carbon emitted since the company’s founding in 1975 by 2050; established an internal carbon fee to cover all Scope 3 emissions; procured 100% green power for all operations where available; invested in carbon reduction, capture, and removal technologies through the Climate Innovation Fund; and launched an external supplier engagement program to reduce Scope 3 emissions.
- United Airlines: Committed to reduce 100% of Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions from 2019 to 2050 without relying on carbon offsets; invested millions in the construction of the world’s largest direct air capture facility; and integrating sustainable aviation fuel into everyday use.
Individual Leadership Award:
- Leo Denault, Entergy Corporation: Released Entergy’s first climate report in 2019 with new emissions reduction targets; announced goal to reach net-zero emissions from Scope 1, 2, and some Scope 3 categories by 2050; organized Gulf Coast Carbon Collaborative to reduce cross-sector greenhouse gas emissions; invested in climate Gulf Coast resilience measures; created KeyString Labs innovation center to develop scalable climate solutions; advocated for market-based federal legislation to incentivize economy-wide emissions reductions; and co-developed new renewable energy facilities.
- Paula Gold Williams, CPS Energy: Committed to reducing net emissions by 80% by 2040 with a Flexible Path strategy, created the FlexPOWER Bundle to add up to 900 MW of solar energy, 50 MW of energy storage, and 500 MW of firming capacity and met and exceeded the goal of saving 771 MW through award-winning energy efficiency and conservation program.
- Keith Kerman, NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services: Developed the NYC Clean Fleet Plan to reduce emissions 50% by 2025 and 80% by 2035 fromthe largest municipal fleet in the United States; implemented more than $20 million in resilience investments after Hurricane Sandy; led the expansion of electric vehicles and EV chargers, biofuels, renewable diesel, and fleet efficiency; educated stakeholders about benefits of sustainable fleets.
- Celine Ramstein, World Bank: Co-founded an initiative to improve internal sustainability at World Bank; created an official working group to push institutional change and climate commitments; coordinated a carbon pricing analytical program and influential carbon pricing report; and led collaborations between the United States and Europe on environmental issues including the Green New Deal.
- Michel Vounatsos, Biogen: Joined Business Ambition for 1.5 as the first U.S. biotech company aiming to achieve zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions; reduced Biogen’s operational emissions through renewable energy purchasing and fleet electrification; partnered with Harvard and industry groups to highlight the links between climate, health, and equity; and spearheaded the $250 million Healthy Climate, Healthy Lives initiative.
- Dawn Weisz, MCE: Founded MCE as California’s first Community Choice Aggregation program; supported local renewable energy development, green jobs, and energy equity; launched programs to help customers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while saving money; expanded MCE’s energy resilience efforts.
Excellence in Greenhouse Gas Management (Goal Achievement Award):
- Bank of America: Reduced global Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 56% from 2010 to 2020, exceeding a goal of 50%, and achieving carbon neutrality through carbon offsets.
- Kimberly-Clark Corporation: Reduced global Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 34.6% from 2005 to 2019, putting them on target to achieve their 2022 target of 40% reduction one year early.
- Pitney Bowes, Inc.: Reduced global Scope 1 and 2 emissions nearly 13% from 2015 to 2020, exceeding a goal of 8%.
- Wells Fargo: Reduced Scope 1, 2, and 3 (business travel) emissions by 59% from 2008 to 2020, exceeding a goal of 45%.
Excellence in Greenhouse Gas Management (Goal Setting Certificate):
- BMO Harris Bank: Set a goal to reduce 15% of Scope 1, 2, and 3 (waste and business travel) emissions from 2016 to 2021.
- CSX Corporation: Set a goal to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions intensity by 37.3% from 2014 to 2029, equivalent to an absolute emissions reduction of 2.5% annually.
- ICF: Set targets to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 22.5% from 2018 to 2025 and reduce intensity of Scope 3 (employee commuting, business travel, and purchased goods and services) emissions by 30% from 2018 to 2025.
- NRG Energy: Set a goal to reduce 50% of Scope 1, 2, and 3 (business travel) emissions from 2014 to 2025 and to achieve net-zero by 2050.
Innovative Partnership Certificate:
- Chicago Regional Climate Action Planning Partnership: The partnership of municipalities through the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus engaged communities and municipal stakeholders in the development of a regional Climate Action Plan, with technical assistance from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, University of Illinois, Argonne National Laboratory, and US Climate Resilience Toolkit team; supported municipal-level climate mitigation and adaptation planning.
- Los Angeles 100% Renewable Energy Study (LA100): Performed by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power in partnership with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Los Angeles renewable energy study’s goal is to determine the investments needed for Los Angeles to achieve a 100% renewable energy portfolio. The partnership is informed by input from local stakeholders and committed to increasing community participation and educating residents.
- MCE: Developed the model for community choice aggregators in California to advocate for clean energy, green jobs, and local control; partnered with community organizations, renewable energy developers, and workforce development agencies to expand a local clean energy economy and advance energy equity and environmental justice.
- Teaching Climate Change in California (California Department of Water Resources and the Water Education Foundation): Coordinated workshops to empower teachers to integrate climate science concepts, observed and projected impacts of climate change, and mitigation and adaptation actions into the classroom; reached approximately 125,000 students through 523 educators attending workshops since 2014.
- United States Climate Alliance: Convened 25 bipartisan state governors committed to supporting the Paris Agreement and pursuing aggressive climate action toward its goals; demonstrated that coordinated climate leadership and economic growth go hand-in-hand; and published recommendations to Congress and the federal government for national climate action based on the Alliance states’ track record of driving economic growth while cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
- Volvo LIGHTS Project: Developed a comprehensive approach to ensuring wide scale success of medium- and heavy-duty truck electrification, including vehicle charging, workforce development, demonstration projects, and community outreach; and created a blueprint for other cities to follow for introducing zero-emission, battery-electric trucks. The partnership includes Volvo Group North America, South Coast Air Quality Management District, NFI Industries, Dependable Highway Express, TEC Equipment, the Port of Long Beach, the Port of Los Angeles, Southern California Edison, CALSTART, UC Riverside Center for Environmental Research and Technology, Reach Out, Rio Hondo College, San Bernardino Valley College, and Greenlots.
Supply Chain Leadership Award:
- Mastercard: Set a goal of reducing 20% of Scope 3 emissions from 2016 to 2025, and worked with 75 percent of suppliers to report their emissions to the Carbon Disclosure Project and undertake their own climate initiatives.
About the Climate Leadership Conference: For over ten years, the Climate Leadership Conference has addressed climate change by bringing leading practitioners and decision makes together to accelerate policy, innovation, and business solutions. Presented by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) and The Climate Registry (TCR), the conference includes the Climate Leadership Awards. The 2021 event is being held virtually October 13-15, and is part of a series that includes additional webinars and workshops throughout the fall.
About The Climate Registry: The Climate Registry (TCR) is a non-profit organization governed by U.S. states and Canadian provinces and territories. TCR empowers our generation to reduce its carbon footprint by designing and operating innovative carbon measurement, reporting, verification and recognition programs. TCR also spearheads innovative new projects such as the Water-Energy Nexus Registry and the Net-zero Portal. Find out more at www.theclimateregistry.org and follow on Twitter @theclimatereg.
About C2ES: The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to forge practical solutions to climate change. Our mission is to advance strong policy and action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Visit our website to learn more at c2es.org, or follow us on Twitter at @C2ES_org.