The US has chosen not to re-sign the Paris Climate agreement at the recent G7 summit. Yes, the fight to stop global warming took a hit with this maneuver. But we and our clients are already looking ahead without hesitation. Business leaders, city leaders, and citizens still have the power to stop global warming, and to show the world that the US position on climate change is not defined by this moment.
Paladino has been in this business since before sustainability was a business. We have learned (and our clients have proven) that the greatest challenges can be overcome through commitment and action.
The Trump administration’s reason for backing out of the Paris accord is that it is re-working US environmental policies to give state governments more control, and to allow individual building owners to independently create and maintain their own sustainability demands and goals.
Ironically, this comes as the top states and cities in the US were demanding that the US stay in the Accord.
And this is good news – because it means that those states and cities that historically depended on federal oversight may not be so dependent any longer. And their focus on sustainability is not wavering. Even before Trump’s announcement was made, the 71 American mayors signed an open letter to the president declaring their support for the Paris Accord. They are joined by corporate leaders who are similarly championing sustainability and the fight against climate change and prefer that the US had re-signed COP21.
So historically, without federal regulatory oversight, states and private industry were far less motivated to create or uphold policies related to lower carbon emissions and reduced energy consumption. But we have seen first-hand that the trend is toward sustainability, and this event won’t reverse that trend.
So I am just as energized today as I was yesterday. When the sun comes up, it means that it’s time to get to work. I don’t mean making signs for the next climate march or calling elected representatives (although, go for it). I mean that we have to redouble our efforts to educate our colleagues, customers, partners, and families on the reality of climate change and the need for global policies and action. And keep showing them the amazing outcomes that sustainable, resilient, and healthy design has for businesses and their customers.
Now, more than ever, we need to tell our great stories – showcase the increased revenue, reduced costs, optimized productivity, and powerful community engagement that is all made possible by green design.
Sustainability literally means that something was designed to endure – and everyone wants an enduring economy, marketplace, and ecology. So it’s up to us to show those corporate leaders who haven’t made their own commitments how smart it is to be green.
Paladino has long made the case that building sustainably is not only good for the planet but for the bottom line. It pays huge dividends in employee happiness and productivity, energy savings, customer respect, and more. We need to tell that story and offer up proof to engage the naysayers and write the next great chapter in American innovation.
It’s time for companies that advocate for responsible design and environmental action to speak up and encourage other businesses to do the same. Luckily, you’re in good company. Many leading US companies have stepped up to the plate, of their own accord, to take responsibility for their impact on the planet and to make their environmental footprint as light as possible.
Consider joining companies like Jacobs Engineering, Starbucks, Karcher North America, Marriot International, Haworth, KNOLL, Masco Corporation, AvalonBay Communities, Digital Realty, Host Hotel Resort, Ironman Mountain, and Weyerhaeuser in signing the Paris Pledge for Action.
Join companies like Forest City Realty Trust, Vornado, FRIT, Hertz, DivcoWest, and Expedia in tracking and reporting on your carbon emissions.
And if you are a consumer or investor, give your money to companies that are doing their part to stop global warming.
Does your company have a story to tell? I’d love to hear it!
- Article on US involvement with Paris Climate Agreement: https://www.theverge.com/2017/5/28/15706558/g7-summit-without-us-commitment-paris-agreement-donald-trump
- NAZCA Data and Companies who signed USGCA Pledge: http://climateaction.unfccc.int/
- Paladino perspective on sustainable impacts: http://www.paladinoandco.com/the-trump-energy-policy-impact-on-developers-and-building-owners-blog/#.WS8UdusrK01
- Paladino perspective on sustainable endeavors: http://www.paladinoandco.com/federal-environmental-oversight-is-good-for-business-blog/#.WS8TO-srK01
- More information on the Paris Climate Agreement: http://unfccc.int/paris_agreement/items/9485.php