Business sees green in energy savings
July 20, 2007 - MONICA HATCHER
In the effort to clean the atmosphere of toxic
carbon pollution, business leaders meeting Friday
at the Summit on Global Climate Change seemed to
agree that going green means more of the green stuff
in the future.
''What's good for the environment is good for
business,'' said Lorraine Bolsinger, a vice president
with GE, who spoke along with business representatives
on two panels at the summit that ends later Friday.
Her sentiment was echoed by directors from some
of the country's top corporations and investment
interests, such as Wal-Mart and Lehman Brothers,
who touted the financial savings that come with
implementing energy efficiency and recycling programs.
They also discussed policy initiatives that would
lead to increased conservation efforts and innovation.
The recognition that long-term growth and profitability
will come from creating more environmentally friendly
companies represents a sea change in thinking in
the business community, some said. Until recently,
efforts to reduce energy consumption were seen as
costly and offering few rewards.
Ed Crenshaw, president of Publix, said his company
had reduced electrical usage in its stores by 7
percent since 2002, saving enough energy to power
44,000 single-family homes. He also said Publix
had recycled more than 209,000 tons of cardboard
and 7,600 tons of plastic.
''We've made millions from that,'' Crenshaw said.