Major U.S. Businesses and Investors Urge Biden Administration and Congress to Support an Infrastructure Package to Build a Sustainable Future

May 12, 2021 11:05 AM ET
Press Release

Businesses with combined annual revenue of $1.5 trillion participate in LEAD on Climate 2021, the third annual large-scale lawmaker education and advocacy day bringing together U.S. businesses and investors to call for ambitious climate policy action. 

May 12, 2021 /3BL Media/ - On May 12, CEOs and representatives from more than 80 of the largest U.S. businesses and investors, including Amazon, Best Buy, Boston Trust Walden, DSM North America, Danone North America, Dow Inc., Gap, Inc., Hannon Armstrong, HP Inc., JLL, LafargeHolcim, Levi Strauss and Co., Nestlé, Novozymes, McDonald’s, New Belgium Brewing, New York State Common Retirement Fund, Mars, Inc., PepsiCo, PSEG, Salesforce, Seventh Generation, Siemens, and Uber, will call on the Biden administration and a bipartisan group of federal lawmakers to support a robust infrastructure package that will address the climate crisis and advance environmental justice.

The participating businesses and investors collectively represent all 50 states, combined annual revenues of more than $1.4 trillion, $341 billion in assets under management, and more than three million U.S. employees. They are calling for ambitious climate policy action that will build a more resilient, equitable and inclusive net-zero emissions future. Together, the group spans across the U.S. economy, including retailers, manufacturers, healthcare services, food and beverage companies, outdoors industries, technology companies and energy providers. 

See the full list of participating businesses.

“The businesses and investors that are working the Hill today understand the urgency of  climate policy action and the vital need to reduce emissions, keep the U.S. competitive, and protect the health and well-being of communities across the country,” said Anne Kelly, vice president for government affairs at Ceres. “With a comprehensive, climate-sensitive infrastructure plan, we can build back a stronger, more equitable and inclusive economy and ensure that those who are most affected by climate change stand to benefit from the transition to a clean energy future.”  

“Capricorn Investment Group is proud to join Ceres and the many businesses and investors calling for rapid climate action as part of LEAD on Climate,” said Henry McLoughlin, Capricorn Investment Group. “We take our climate obligations very seriously, and we believe that the transition to business and investment practices aligned with the Paris agreement will drive rapid growth, investment returns and an unprecedented wave of green jobs in the decade ahead. We’ve made the commitment to reach net zero emissions across our investment portfolios by the end of this year, the earliest net zero target date in the investment industry, and we hope that policymakers will also increase their ambition and drive rapid decarbonization across our economy.”

“At Hannon Armstrong, our vision is that every investment should improve our climate future,” said Jeff Eckel, chairman and chief executive officer of Hannon Armstrong. “We are proud to stand with the increasing number of American businesses and investors that share our commitment to this climate positive approach—and we urge Congress to meet the moment by enacting a bold suite of policies that will reduce carbon emissions and further accelerate the development of sustainable infrastructure. In doing so, we can create new jobs and industries that will power the country for the next 100 years.”

"Climate change is the greatest challenge of our time, and one that will require ambitious action from both government and business,” said Meg Villarreal, Policy and Public Affairs at Nestlé. “That's why Nestlé is investing more than $3 billion globally to accelerate our work on climate, and why we join our peers today in calling for federal climate policy solutions that will put the U.S. on a path to net-zero emissions and build a more resilient economy."  

"As the world’s largest industrial biotechnology company, last year we enabled savings of 49 million tons of CO2 in global transport—equivalent to taking approximately 20 million cars off the road,” says Brian Brazeau, Novozymes’ President for North America. “We support the Biden administration’s approach to challenge the U.S. and the world on increased ambition in combating climate change—and while we are eager to see the details of how we are going to commit to getting to this goal, we like that what we are seeing so far is holistic, science-based, and pro-innovation!”

“It’s imperative that our country’s recovery from this challenging time addresses the interlocking crises of climate change, racial injustice, public health and economic inequity,” said Joey Bergstein, CEO of Seventh Generation. “We owe it to future generations to take this moment to ensure there’s an equitable transition to a clean energy economy—securing jobs, justice and opportunity for all.”

“Siemens supports bold action on climate, and we stand ready to work with the Administration, Congress, and state and community leaders to ensure the U.S. is a leader in the new green economy,” said Barbara Humpton, president and CEO of Siemens USA. “The tools and technologies are available now to drive transformative change in ways that will not only protect the planet and produce cleaner air but create jobs, address equity and fuel our economic recovery.”

Building off last month’s powerful call to action from more than 400 business and investor voices for an ambitious national climate target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, LEAD on Climate 2021 comes as Congress considers an infrastructure package that has the potential to be one of the biggest investment opportunities in the clean energy future. In virtual meetings with officials from the Biden administration and members of the U.S. House and Senate on both sides of the aisle, participants will make the case for an infrastructure package that will put the U.S. on the path to net-zero emissions, invest in sustainable infrastructure, create good-paying jobs, and deliver justice to communities most harmed by climate pollution. 

Specifically, businesses will call on lawmakers to:

  • Build back better, seeking to create a more just and resilient economy that addresses the urgent threat of climate change.
  • Ensure that investments in infrastructure prioritize emissions reductions, good-paying clean energy jobs, and environmental justice to secure a sustainable future for all. 
  • Enact policies to mitigate climate risk and meet the federal climate target of cutting emissions by at least 50% below 2005 levels by 2030, on the path to net-zero emissions by 2050. 

Many of the firms will have members of their C-Suite participate, including nutrition, health, and materials company DSM; commercial real estate company JLL; cement company Lafarge Holcim; American clothing company Levi Strauss & Co.; New Belgium Brewery; energy company PSEG, and automation company Siemens Corporation, among others, to signify their high level of support for prioritizing climate policy action at the federal level in order to rapidly reduce emissions at the pace and scale necessary to mitigate the impacts of our warming world on communities, businesses and economies in the U.S. and around the globe. 

In May 2020, more than 330 businesses, ranging in size from small- and medium-sized enterprises to large multinational corporations, came together for a virtual advocacy day to call on Congress to build back a more resilient, sustainable economy from COVID-19. The year before that, Ceres, along with its partners, organized, LEAD on Carbon Pricing, bringing more than 75 businesses to Capitol Hill to call for a price on carbon. It was the largest business gathering to advocate for climate legislation in more than a decade. 

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Note to editor: 

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, DSM’s Hugh Welsh, Hannon Armstrong’s Jeff Eckel, JLL’s Richard Batten, LafargeHolcim’s Jamie Gentoso, Levi Strauss & Co.’s Liz O’Neill, New Belgium Brewing’s Steve Fechheimer, PSEG’s Ralph Izzo, and Siemens Corporation’s Barbara Humpton participated in a virtual roundtable and media briefing ahead of LEAD on Climate 2021 on Tuesday, May 11. 

Click here to watch the full recording of the roundtable and media briefing.

About LEAD on Climate 2021

LEAD on Climate 2021 is a large-scale mobilization of U.S. and multinational companies and investors to call on U.S. congressional lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to support infrastructure legislation that prioritizes climate solutions. It has been organized by the sustainability nonprofit organization Ceres and other partner organizations. In 2020, more than 330 businesses, ranging in size from small- and medium-sized enterprises to large multinational corporations, came together for a virtual advocacy day to call on Congress to build back a more resilient, sustainable economy from COVID-19. The year before that, Ceres and its partners organized, LEAD on Carbon Pricing, bringing  more than 75 businesses to Capitol Hill to call for a price on carbon. It was the largest business gathering to advocate for climate legislation in more than a decade. 

About Ceres

Ceres is a nonprofit organization working with the most influential capital market leaders to solve the world’s greatest sustainability challenges. Through our powerful networks and global collaborations of investors, companies and nonprofits, we drive action and inspire equitable market-based and policy solutions throughout the economy to build a just and sustainable future. For more information, visit ceres.org and follow @CeresNews.