Business Leaders on Sustainability and Climate Change

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Washington, D.C. – In anticipation of the final carbon emissions standards included in the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan, business leaders from across the country met at the White House yesterday to brief senior Administration officials on how climate change affects local businesses.

At the briefing organized by the White House Business Council and Business Forward, the discussion focused on President Obama’s agenda to curb climate change, efforts to mitigate the effects of increasingly frequent severe weather, and ways the government can help spur investments that will bring new energy products to market.

The senior Administration officials present, including Brian Deese, senior advisor to the president, urged that America needs to lead on climate change and clean energy. Together, the group spoke about strategies to help their states develop implementation plans to meet the standards outlined in the Clean Power Plan.

Many of the business executives in attendance lead companies that produce tools that help other businesses become more sustainable. Others are involved in research efforts to develop solutions that will help reduce carbon emissions and conserve energy.

“As the founder and CEO of a firm that helps other businesses and individuals reduce their carbon emissions while reducing costs, I see firsthand every day that adopting energy efficient strategies can be a win-win,” said Greg Puschnigg of BOSS Controls LLC, in Pittsburgh, Pa.

“My company, Lightsense Technology, provides the most advanced infrared sensing technologies, which helps conserve energy and control pollution,” said Gordon Davidson, chairman of Lightsense Technology in Washington, DC. “Current policy directly benefits the growth of start-up companies like ours, which creates jobs and encourages sustainable practices.”

“I work with business leaders throughout Colorado to help them become more energy efficient. I encourage them to use what they need, not what they can,” said Andrew Wildenberg, President of e3 Power in Denver. “This helps companies both save money and create jobs. I was glad to have the opportunity to learn more about the Administration’s efforts to curb climate change today.”

“At its core, My MilkCrate serves to promote and help grow businesses that are doing it right; those that are committed to running their business sustainably with the triple bottom line in mind. It’s imperative that we have business owners like these at the discussion table,” said Morgan Berman, CEO and Co-founder of My MilkCrate, a free app to help people live sustainably. “By facilitating the connection between these businesses, and government initiatives that support sustainable development, we can shift the needle.”

“The Clean Power Plan recognizes that solar power and energy storage are changing the century-old way we make electricity. No longer does power only come from large power plants over long wires,” said William Gathright, the CEO of Tumalow Energy Storage in McLean, Va. “Going forward, government and businesses need to collaborate on regulations that address the way America’s electrical grid will work into the future.”

“The nation that leads in developing clean energy will lead the next economic boom, and I want that country to be the United States. Action on climate change is the first step toward making that happen,” Deep Patel, Founder and CEO of GigaWatt, Inc., a solar energy company in Placentia, Calif. “It was great to learn more about federal programs to help bring new technology to market today.”

“Some countries where river runoff is likely to increase, because of climate change, have the ability to adapt quickly by adding hydrokinetic turbines downstream of existing dams to put the extra flow to good use,” said Trey Taylor, Co-founder and Director of Verdant Power, Inc. in New York, NY. “This opportunity will increase the sales of my company’s hydrokinetic turbine systems and the number of manufacturing and service jobs in the United States.”

“Lucid is excited about the market transformation as signaled by President Obama’s actions on climate and the Clean Power Plan in order to enable businesses to optimize energy costs, comfort and productivity in their buildings,” said Sitar Mody, Senior Director at Lucid, an integrated building management software company in Oakland, Calif.

The meeting itself was closed to press, but participants may discuss their perspectives with media. If you would like to speak with a local business leader about the event, please contact Rachel Harvey at RHarvey@BusinessFWD.org or 202-470-1318.

About Business Forward

With the help of more than 50 of the world’s most respected companies, Business Forward is making it easier for tens of thousands of business leaders from across America to advise Washington on how to create jobs and accelerate our economy. Business Forward is active in more than 100 cities and works with more than 450 senior Administration officials, Members of Congress, governors, and mayors.

To date, the organization has also brought more than 3,000 business leaders to the White House to brief the President’s economic advisors. Business leaders who have participated in these briefings have seen their suggestions implemented in the Affordable Care Act, the Jobs Act, three trade agreements, and every one of the President’s budgets. Many have also shared their recommendations with their representatives in Congress and through op-eds and interviews with local media. Ninety-eight out of 100 business leaders who have participated in a Business Forward briefing would be interested in participating in another one. For more information please visit www.BusinessFWD.org.

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