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Published: Thursday, 9/19/2013 - Updated: 12 months ago

OC joins call for climate action

Toledo firm to join 650 othersin U.S. seeking policy change

BY TOM HENRY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Toledo-based Owens Corning today is expected to become part of a corporate-led initiative which calls upon federal policymakers to take climate change more seriously.

“Climate change is a serious challenge, but it creates enormous opportunities to reduce energy consumption across our economy, which will benefit consumers, corporate bottom lines, and the climate,” said Frank O’Brien-Bernini, OC’s vice president and chief sustainability officer.

Owens Corning is one of the world’s top producers of energy-efficient building materials and composite systems. The company is to become one of more than 650 to sign onto an industry-led document called a Climate Declaration, joining General Motors, Unilever, Levi Strauss & Co., and others. Other high-profile businesses, including Microsoft, are to be part of today’s signing with Owens Corning.

“By signing the Climate Declaration, Owens Corning is committing to work with businesses and policymakers to enact meaningful energy and climate policies that will benefit our economy. A key legislative priority right now is getting the bipartisan Shaheen-Portman energy-efficiency bill passed,” Mr. O’Brien-Bernini said.

The bill attempts to strengthen building codes for homes and commercial buildings while encouraging more efficiency in the manufacturing and supply chain. It also would require more energy savings from federally owned facilities.

According to the blog Climate Progress, the bill is backed by more than 200 organizations, including the U.S Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers. The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy has ranked the United States ninth in energy efficiency out of 12 of the largest economies, according to the blog.

Owens Corning and others are lending their support to the document days before New York becomes the setting for a major climate symposium.

Those who follow the issue also are waiting for this fall’s release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s fifth climate science assessment. The panel, a U.N. body comprising 1,500 of the world’s top climatologists, won a Nobel Prize for its earlier work on climate change.

The Climate Declaration initiative has been coordinated by Ceres and its business network, Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy.

Ceres is a national coalition of investors, environmental organizations, and public-interest groups.

Owens Corning has reduced its greenhouse-gas intensity footprint by 12 percent, more than halfway to its 20 percent reduction goal by 2020, according to Ceres.

Contact Tom Henry at:

thenry@theblade.com

or 419-724-6079.



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