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Clinton Global Initiative: Partnership Targets 20% Fleet Emissions Reduction, Wal-Mart Joins Clean By Design

Donlen, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and GreenDriver are partnering on a on a multi-year Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action to cut commercial fleet emissions 20 percent in five years. By working together, the organizations expect to reduce fuel expenditures, petroleum consumption, and global climate change emissions.

Under the commitment pledge, “Commercial Fleet 20% GHG Emissions Reduction,” Donlen, a North American fleet leasing and management company, will work with clients and other companies to baseline fleet emissions and create actionable emissions reduction plans to increase fuel efficiency, reduce miles traveled, use low-carbon fuels, and deploy technologically advanced vehicles.

EDF’s role will be to validate Donlen’s data collection process, reduction strategies, and methodology. Donlen will also use GreenDriver online training and behavior management programs to help commercial and government fleets reduce their CO2 emissions and fuel costs by focusing on the greatest variable in a vehicle’s fuel efficiency: the driver.

Donlen, EDF, and GreenDriver are asking their clients, large commercial fleets, and other fleet management companies, suppliers, and vendors to join in their effort. With nearly three million vehicles in U.S. corporate fleets, the organizations estimate that industry-wide participation could eliminate more than 10 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

“The transportation industry is responsible for 28 percent of the overall greenhouse gas emissions in the United States,” said Gary Rappeport, Donlen CEO. “As a leader in the fleet management industry, it’s important that Donlen takes the initiative to help reduce commercial fleet GHG on a broader scale. The Clinton Global Initiative offers us the perfect venue to address this critically important issue, and we’re proud to collaborate with EDF to be part of the larger work of CGI.”

In addition to the fleet emissions commitment, the 2010 Clinton Global Initiative kicked off yesterday in New York with a series of pledges to help millions of people in Haiti, Pakistan and the U.S. Gulf Coast, including a $1-billion commitment from Google, reports Financial Times.

Procter & Gamble’s chief executive also pledged to save one life every hour by donating 2 billion water purification packets every year to developing countries, extending the company’s children’s safe drinking water program.

“In the previous decade, insurance payments [for natural disasters] were three times what they had been in any previous decade, warning that the number of disasters will accelerate with the changing of the climate,” said Bill Clinton, the former U.S. president, reports Financial Times.

A key theme of the panel discussion, moderated by Clinton, was collaboration between corporations, governments and non-profits, reports Financial Times. Panelists included Google chief executive Eric Schmidt, Bob McDonald, chief executive of Procter & Gamble, Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Gates Foundation and Finnish president Tarja Halonen.

Other pledges include eBay founder’s Pierre Omidyar’s $55 million to promote government transparency globally and mobile technology in developing countries, reports San Jose Mercury News, and NRG Energy’s pledge of $1 million to install solar power for water pumps, schools and street lighting in Boucan Carre, Haiti, according to Bloomberg

Clinton said the global initiative will total more than $63 billion in pledges by the end of this session, reports Bloomberg.

Wal-Mart and H&M, two of the world’s largest clothing retailers, together with Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), have committed to working with their Chinese textile suppliers to reduce water, energy, and chemical use in their supply chains. Wal-Mart announced its work with NRDC’s Clean by Design project at the Clinton Global Initiative. H&M made its announcement in September.

NRDC says if 100 small- to medium-sized textile mills implement the organization’s recommended improvements, China would save more than 16 million metric tons of water annually, enough to provide 12.4 million people drinking water for a year. These practices can also eliminate nearly 1 million metric tons of CO2 annually.

Also announced at the global initiative meeting, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was tapped to lead the C40 Climate Leadership group, a part of the Clinton Climate Initiative, aimed at helping cities reduce carbon emissions and slow climate change, reports WNYC News. His two year term starts in November.

C40, a group of 40 of the world’s largest cities, helps cities drive and measure progress toward the goal of reducing carbon emissions 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. Houston is the first C40 city in the U.S. to announce a comprehensive retrofit program, signing a contract in April worth $23 million to retrofit 19 city buildings to increase their energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.

Bloomberg said in the article: “While global warming clearly requires action at the national and international levels, those of us in city government have a responsibility to act boldly and quickly to address these problems.”

Bloomberg also said that cities consume 75 percent of the world’s energy and produce 80 percent of the world’s green house gasses, and the PlaNYC program has reduced the city’s emissions by 9 percent since 2007.

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