Sustainable Growth Coalition testifies on business case for clean energy and climate at Minnesota Senate and House committees

On Thursday, Jan. 14, members of the Sustainable Growth Coalition testified about their organization’s commitments to climate and clean energy and the resulting benefits with legislators of the Minnesota House Energy and Climate Finance and Policy Division and the Minnesota Senate Energy and Utilities Finance and Policy Committee. Sustainable Growth Coalition members are committed to increasing the visibility, growth, and impact of the circular economy including a healthy climate and clean energy future.

I began each presentation with a brief overview of the Coalition’s leadership and vision and showcasing the value of cross-sector collaboration to advance clean, renewable energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the benefits they result in such as jobs, meeting the needs of customers, economic development and healthy communities. I was joined by Dr. Gayle Schueller, Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer at 3M; Emilio Tenuta, Sr. Vice President & Chief Sustainability Officer at Ecolab; and Dan Schibel, Global Sustainability Manager at Aveda. A primary benefit of the business case for sustainability, especially as it pertains to climate, is risk reduction – as well as cost reduction; corporate climate goals manage to those risks, based on preferences of their customers and investors. Because of this strong business case for sustainability, we know that our companies are helping with economic investment and recovery as we work through Covid-19 impacts and adapt due to the global pandemic. More on this is in our economic development-focused guiding principles.

Our panelists offered a few reflections:

  • Dr. Gayle SchuellerVice President and Chief Sustainability Officer, 3M, “I welcomed the opportunity to speak with legislators again this year, as they consider legislation that will be crucial to advance clean energy initiatives and a more sustainable future. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a wakeup call for us all to do more in terms of protecting the health of our planet and its people. As a global science company with products and customers across many industries and markets, 3M has the opportunity to generate significant impact around the world. We’re proud of the progress we’ve made toward our 2025 Sustainability Goals—organized around Science for Circular, Science for Climate and Science for Community—and aim to continue raising the bar, from the commitment to transition our global operations to 100 percent renewable electricity by 2050 to our Sustainability Value Commitment that requires every new product to advance the greater good. We look forward to continued growth through our crucial partnerships, like the Sustainable Growth Coalition, which has provided vital connections to like-minded local companies and organizations.”
  • Emilio TenutaSenior Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer, Ecolab, “2020 has highlighted the urgency of finding new ways to work together to solve issues, which is why I was excited to share Ecolab’s new 2030 Impact Goals with Minnesota legislators. This next generation of sustainability goals focuses on making a positive impact within our company and communities, in partnership with our customers. By 2030, Ecolab will help customers conserve 300 billion gallons water, move towards carbon neutrality, provide high-quality and safe food while reducing foodborne illnesses, and help provide safe medical care and reduce infections. Internally, Ecolab will also lead by achieving a positive water impact, halve carbon emissions and pursue renewable energy, and advance diversity and inclusion practices. Ecolab’s collaboration with the Sustainable Growth Coalition is part of our collective efforts to advance meaningful solutions and drive the business case for corporate sustainability and a more resilient, circular economy.”
  • Dan SchibelGlobal Sustainability Manager, Aveda, “Aveda and the Estée Lauder Companies would like to thank the Senate Energy and Utilities Finance and Policy Committee for the opportunity to speak about this important topic. Clean energy, and solar farms in particular, have been cited as one of the top 10 ways to reverse global warming and we are thrilled to share that our array – launched in June 2020 — has already had positive impacts on the local economy and in the reduction of emissions. We are thrilled to play a part in Minnesota’s journey toward carbon-free energy and look forward to working closely with the Sustainable Growth Coalition to create a more sustainable future.”

The Sustainable Growth Coalition supports policies that advance our mission; allow member organizations to focus on innovation; and achieving clean energy, water, and materials goals leading to a circular economy. Our membership understands that developing a circular economy begins with an understanding that each organization is connected to another—including the energy. As customer and supplier, these organizations form a complex network and identify challenges and create solutions together. Sustainable Growth Coalition members are driven by customer, investor, and employee preferences to strengthen our economy, to improve equitable outcomes for communities, and to ensure that businesses grow, hire, and lead while remaining competitive.

The Sustainable Growth Coalition and its members are committed driving solutions to complex, global challenges including climate change, systemic racism, and societal inequities. We value the invitation to share our story with Minnesota policy makers and others across the region.