NY Comptroller Makes Climate Change Plans With Two Companies

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Two companies have reached an agreement to address climate change, the NY comptroller recently announced. According to the office of New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, the state has reached agreements with Under Armour and Dollar General to address climate change, stem carbon emissions, and boost energy efficiency.

The Baltimore Sun reports that New York’s investment power was used to persuade the companies to adopt new policies that would address climate change. DiNapoli oversees the state’s pension investments.

Under Armour, a Baltimore-based athletic apparel manufacturer, will craft its climate change strategy for implementation by next year. The company has specific goals to increase its energy efficiency, increase renewable energy use, and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Since, according to the Fashion and Apparel Industry Report, the industry is expected to bring in revenues of $712.9 billion by 2022, companies like Under Armour clearly have plenty of opportunities for increased energy efficiency.

Under Armour outlined its climate change plans after New York pension fund investors raised questions. The nation’s third-largest public pension plan, The New York State Common Retirement Fund, planned to propose that stockholders request a report on the company’s climate change strategies at Under Armour’s annual meeting in May.

Insted of waiting, Under Armour agreed to give DiNapoli, the fund’s trustee, a status update within the next year.

“Under Armour aims for a strategic climate change approach that addresses our material impact and meets external stakeholder expectations,” said Michael Levine, the vice president of sustainability at Under Armour.

Human activities have caused global temperatures to rise 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit above typical temperatures. This may not sound like much, but that small increase has caused many changes in Earth’s climate. These changes include heat waves, heavier rains, heavier snow showers, and a greater risk for drought.

One activity, in particular, that’s having a major impact on the climate is plowing and agriculture. Compared to a goose’s damage to turf grass, cutting down trees and tearing up soil releases enormous amounts of carbon dioxide. Growing food accounts for a quarter of the climate change issue.

“There is no solution to climate change that doesn’t dramatically reduce the land use demands and greenhouse emissions of agriculture,” said Tim Searchinger from the World Resources Institute.

Searchinger and his colleagues recently released a report laying out a road map to reduce land use demands including wasting less food and reducing greenhouse emissions from fertilizer. Texas alone has over 60 different types of soil.

Climate change has also been affecting businesses. Approximately one out of every 10 companies going public say that climate change is a potential risk to their business. In the second quarter of 2016, up to 25,227 U.S. companies filed for bankruptcy.

To fight back against climate change, footwear manufacturer Nike made a public commitment to change over to 100% renewable energy. The New York pension fund asked for Under Armour’s sustainability report after Nike made the announcement.

DiNapoli made a similar request to Dollar General because the company currently operates many stores in rural communities where there have been lower levels of renewable energy use. Dollar General announced that it would be finalizing its inaugural report on its environmental efforts. The report will be posted on Dollar General’s website.

Under Armor reports that its sustainability efforts include making shirts using a brand of fiber that’s made from recycled plastic bottles, using 3D virtual prototypes, and increasing recycled polyester for certain products by 15% by 2020.