Washington businesses: Innovation demands climate action
October 27, 2014

Growing up in the South, whenever my grandmother was particularly astonished, she’d exclaim, “Well, I declare!” Her classic southern grandma accent stretched the last word out to at least three syllables. Well, over 100 Washington companies have today declared their strong support for climate action to curb carbon pollution and grow the economy. Not that I’m astonished, but it’s definitely something worth talkin’ about.

An expanding group of Washington companies, united under the banner of Northwest Business for Climate Action, is leading a statewide effort to demonstrate our business community’s strong support for taking action to address global warming. Today they released the Washington Business Climate Declaration as a rolling call to action, urging the public, policymakers and other business leaders to seize the opportunity to advance Washington’s economic and energy security by tackling climate change.

The declaration, endorsed by more than 100 companies so far, shows consensus on the need for climate action from a cross-section of Washington’s business community. Companies participating in today's include Virginia Mason, Microsoft, REI, Saltchuk, and many more who demonstrate the depth and breadth of Washington companies that are demanding climate action.

The declaration states:“There is a clear and present need for action on climate change to protect our region’s natural assets, its vibrant communities and its growing economy. We business leaders of the Pacific Northwest endorse the Climate Declaration because we support using energy efficiently, investing in cleaner fuels, advancing renewable energy, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

Sign your business onto the Washington Business Climate Declaration here. Any company headquartered or with business operations in Washington is welcome to sign.

Today's climate declaration announcement included some familiar names and voices from our Business Leaders for Climate Solutions network.

“In the face of the increasing challenges presented by climate change, Washington State’s innovative spirit creates opportunity to help develop solutions and help to preserve our outstanding quality of life,” said Rob Bernard, Chief Environmental and Cities Strategist at Microsoft Corporation.

“The Chamber sees climate change as a significant risk to our economy and unique quality of life, but it also poses an opportunity. Our region’s businesses have designed products and services that have improved lives around the planet and they are uniquely positioned to provide solutions to our global climate and energy challenges. We support putting our businesses in a position to be the first mover on this globally opportunity," said Maud Daudon, President and CEO of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber.

As a leader in the clean energy economy, you can play a part in spreading the news! Help amplify this declaration and spread the word, using the hashtag #ClimateDeclarationWA on your favorite social media! And of course, don’t forget to sign on to the Washington Business Climate Declaration.

Many of the companies standing behind this declaration are new to climate advocacy and are not clean energy companies. Some of those newer voices include:

“The scientific evidence shows that climate change is real and has significant health impacts," said Gary Kaplan, MD, CEO and Chairman of Virginia Mason. "We all need to take action to respond to climate change in order to protect the health of future generations.” 

"Here in Washington we have natural beauty all around. Our members' lives are better because they can enjoy the outdoors," said Jerry Stritzke, REI President and CEO. "That's a constant reminder of why business and government just have to work together on climate change. It's real and it can't be ignored, so we are here to listen and take part in the dialogue about what should be done."

“We are proud to join companies across Washington in signing the Climate Declaration,” said Mark Tabbutt, Chairman of Saltchuk, whose subsidiaries Foss Maritime and Totem Ocean Trailer Express have also signed the Declaration.  “We have made substantial investments in clean technology and alternative fuels that have set new standards in reducing carbon emissions and improving air quality in the marine transportation industry.”

This effort builds off of a similar effort in Oregon that has seen over 225 Oregon-based businesses sign on to the Oregon Business Climate Declaration. Both declarations are companions to the Climate Declaration launched in 2013 by Ceres, a nonprofit sustainability advocacy organization, and its business network, Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy. The Climate Declaration has more than 1,000 signatories nationwide. See the nationwide list here.


Connect with Climate Solutions

Author Bio

Chris Bast

Business Partnerships Manager, Climate Solutions

As the Business Partnerships Manager for Climate Solutions, Chris brings program management, communications, and policy support to the organization’s corporate engagement initiatives. In addition to building relationships with the business community, Chris is also responsible for building and maintaining strategic partnerships with other organizations and associations working to move the clean economy forward. Prior to joining Climate Solutions, he worked in a variety of political and government roles for Governor Tim Kaine of Virginia including managing the Governor’s Renew Virginia initiative to support energy efficiency and promote clean energy and sustainability.

Chris is also a Truman National Security Project Partner and on the Board of Directors for Northwest SEED. The Truman National Security Project unites next-generation veteran, political, and policy leaders to develop and advance strong, smart and principled solutions to the global challenges Americans now face. Northwest SEED empowers community scale clean energy to help communities achieve their sustainability and economic development goals.

Chris received a BA in Political Science from James Madison University in Virginia and a Masters in Public Administration from Seattle University.

Give for a brighter future

Did you enjoy this article?