DEVAL L. PATRICK
TIMOTHY P. MURRAY
Bob Keough (EEA)
Governor Patrick Issues Clean Energy Challenge to Businesses
Leading Companies Compete to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions; Municipal, Residential Challenges to Follow
BOSTON– Friday, November 21, 2008 – Governor Deval Patrick has issued a challenge to businesses to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent over the next three years, and a core group of leading Massachusetts businesses has already accepted that challenge.
The Governor’s Clean Energy Challenge, an initiative developed by the New England Clean Energy Council and the Massachusetts High Technology Council in cooperation with the state’s electric and natural gas utilities, will offer recognition to participants who meet or exceed the 10 percent reduction target
“I offer the Challenge to everyone to do their part to dramatically reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency measures, innovative energy technology products, and the use of renewable sources,” said Governor Patrick, who announced the Challenge at the New England Clean Energy Council 1st Annual Green Tie Gala in Boston last night. “As in any competition, there will be recognition for extraordinary accomplishment and leadership. But this is a contest in which everyone who participates will be a winner.”
Millipore and Pfizer are two companies that have accepted the Governor’s Challenge already. The Challenge is a voluntary program, designed to inspire action by businesses, municipalities, and residents to reduce their energy consumption, put renewable energy to work, and combat global climate change.
“Millipore is pleased to take the Governor up on his challenge of reducing greenhouse emissions because it is important to our company and the environment,” said Millipore President & CEO Martin Madaus. “We appreciate the Governor’s leadership in positioning Massachusetts and its employers ahead of the curve when it comes to the adoption of clean energy technologies and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. This is a critical program for the Commonwealth’s environmental and economic health, but also for the quality of life of its 6 million residents.”
Other companies that are considering participating in the Challenge and serving as mentors to other companies are members of Massachusetts High Tech Council’s Sustainable Energy Program,a component of the technology trade group’s 10-year-old energy aggregation program, which includes forward-thinking energy consumers like Boston Scientific and Varian Semiconductor. Participants will work with utilities NSTAR, National Grid, and Western Massachusetts Electric.
“The Governor’s Challenge is a great example of how employers and government can work together in a collaborative way to address the challenge of energy independence and climate change,” said Massachusetts High Technology President Christopher R. Anderson. “We are happy to offer the experience and heft of the High Technology Council’s innovative energy delivery program to help meet our shared goals for carbon emissions reduction. Energy diversity and carbon reduction are not just important for the environment, but also are critical to the economic competitiveness of global technology companies.”
Governor Patrick signed a package of clean energy bills this year, putting Massachusetts on the forefront of energy reform and environmental protection – the Green Communities Act, the Green Jobs Act, the Clean Energy Biofuels Act, the Oceans Act, and the Global Warming Solutions Act – all demonstrating that Massachusetts is leaving the fossil fuel era and blazing a trail to a clean energy future.
“Massachusetts is in position to lead the way toward a clean energy future for the Commonwealth, the nation, and the world, and to capitalize on it in terms of innovation, entrepreneurship, and jobs,” said Nick d’Arbeloff, executive director of the New England Clean Energy Council. “The Governor’s Clean Energy Challenge is a way to focus attention and effort on both the environmental imperative and the economic opportunity.”
Initially directed toward companies, the Governor’s Clean Energy Challenge will be extended to municipalities through the Green Communities Program of incentives and technical assistance to local governments created by the Green Communities Act, and, ultimately, residential consumers. The Challenge will begin signing up participants formally in January, with the first Challenge “class” expected to number 25 large organizations and up to 100 smaller organizations across the state.
“The Governor’s Clean Energy Challenge is for everyone,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Ian Bowles. “We can all do our part in the fight against global climate change and reap the benefits in lower energy costs at the same time.”