Nearly 400 people gathered in New York City last week for Courage to Lead, WRI’s biennial award and fundraising event. The luncheon raised almost $700,000 in unrestricted funding and honored two business leaders, WRI Board chairman Jim Harmon and Citi Foundation president Pamela Flaherty.
But we don’t host this event just to raise money. We see it as a way to bring together leaders from business, government, and philanthropy; explore innovative solutions; and inspire our hundreds of attendees.
India’s GHG Program is an industry-led voluntary framework aiming to help Indian companies monitor progress towards measurement and management of GHG emissions using tools and methodologies from WRI’s GHG Protocol.
JP Morgan, one of the world’s leading investment banks with 8,000 clients in more than 100 countries, has adopted new environmental policies based in significant part on WRI advice. JP Morgan will account for greenhouse gas emissions associated with their lending portfolio. The bank will work with clients to develop financing solutions to fund development of lower carbon-emitting technology solutions and investments in greenhouse gas reductions. The bank will lead efforts with other financial institutions advocating for the U.S. government’s adoption of a market-based national policy on greenhouse gas emission reductions.
The financial implications of environmental opportunities and risk need to be understood by financial institutions and investors, and reflected in the world’s capital markets. Our collaboration with Merrill Lynch, one of the world’s leading financial management and advisory companies, has resulted in their report, “Energy Security and Climate Change: Investing in the Clean Car Revolution.” Merrill Lynch uses this report to advise clients about investments in the auto industry. WRI’s work with Merrill Lynch advances our efforts to involve the financial sector in addressing climate change.
WRI’s partnership with General Electric is one example of harnessing the power of business to solve environmental challenges. This year, GE launched “Ecomagination”, a climate strategy based on product development and operational performance goals. GE plans to double its revenue from energy-efficient and other green products while reducing its corporate greenhouse emissions by 2010. Working with WRI, as a member of our corporate working group on climate, GE made the business decision that it can find opportunity in selling technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. When an iconic company like GE makes confronting global climate change a major element of its business strategy, other corporate leaders take heed.