WBCSD Hails White House Announcement on Energy Efficiency as Important Step Forward

GENEVA, Feb. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The announcement by President Obama to improve energy efficiency in commercial buildings is a much-needed step toward reducing energy consumption and saving American consumers' money, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) said today.

The Better Buildings Initiative, launched by the White House today, will ensure buildings use energy more efficiently and effectively, saving businesses and consumers billions of dollars in the coming decades, the WBCSD said.

The initiative tracks closely with work done by the WBCSD in this area. Last year, the WBCSD launched a major research report titled "Transforming the Market: Energy Efficiency in Buildings" that found energy use in buildings could be cut 60 percent by 2050 through simple actions.  That report was the result of a four-year research project, and was the most rigorous study ever conducted on the subject.

"This initiative by the White House shows serious action on President Obama's commitment to clean energy, a central part of his recent State of the Union address," said Bjorn Stigson, President of the WBCSD. "Energy efficiency has long been called the 'low-hanging fruit' of clean energy, and this new program demonstrates that the United States is serious about continuing to be a major player in the global green race."

The Better Building Initiative includes tax incentives to drive retrofitting buildings and incentives for local and state governments to adapt building codes. It will not only ensure the long-term savings of implementing these new measures but also will guarantee an immediate return on the short-term investment by companies to become more energy efficient.

Throughout its history the WBCSD has been instrumental in creating models for businesses and societies to succeed in a more resource-constrained world. As part of this effort, the WBCSD created the Energy Efficiency in Buildings (EEB) project which was co-chaired by United Technologies Corp. and Lafarge. One of the outcomes of that project was the Energy Efficiency in Buildings Manifesto, a document that calls on companies to improve the energy performance of their buildings. To date, more than 100 organizations have signed on to the EEB Manifesto and committed their companies to tackling the issue of becoming more energy efficient in their own buildings.

About the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)

The WBCSD is a CEO-led, global coalition of some 200 companies advocating for progress on sustainable development. Its mission is to be a catalyst for innovation and sustainable growth in a world where resources are increasingly limited. The Council provides a platform for companies to share experiences and best practices on sustainable development issues and advocate for their implementation, working with governments, non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations. The membership has annual revenues of USD 7 trillion, spans more than 35 countries and represents 20 major industrial sectors. The Council also benefits from a network of 60 national and regional business councils and partner organizations, a majority of which are based in developing countries.

www.wbcsd.org

SOURCE World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)



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