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Swedish business leaders champion green path to profits



The BLICC is calling for an ambitious climate agreement from the COP 15, and is striving to make companies recognise that environmentally friendly actions can also be profitable.

The Swedish Business Leaders’ Initiative on Climate Change (BLICC) is encouraging companies in Sweden to address their climate impact. Founded in 2000, BLICC is a network of companies from a variety of sectors. The initiative provides a platform for members to showcase best practices, and exchange ideas with companies from other sectors.

“Companies can sometimes find it hard to speak about their efforts to address climate change without it appearing as a public relations exercise,” believes BLICC Project Director Nina Ekelund. “Through BLICC they can come together with other business and share opinions about how best to address climate impacts.”

At present BLICC has 18 members, including companies such as Axfood, Coco-Cola Beverages Sweden and Fortrum.

Since 2007, through its ‘Climate Declaration’, BLICC has urged all Swedish companies to audit their climate impact. By basing their calculations on the ‘The Greenhouse Gas Protocol’ standard, BLICC members draft a systematic climate inventory, which helps to identify direct and indirect emissions sources.

According to the Sixth BLICC Report (2009), the initiative recognises that climate change mitigation can only succeed if all parts of society, including business, make the necessary contribution.

On average the companies involved in BLICC have reduced their climate impact by 26% over a three-year period. “We have found that if a company follows the initiative’s advice and carries out an audit on its climate impact, it can discover the major emission sources and then prioritise its actions to rectify the situation,” says Ekelund. “These energy-efficiency measures are also proving to be profitable for the companies.”

BLICC is striving to share it key message with the Swedish business community that earning money and fighting climate change are not mutually exclusive.

Ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 15) later in 2009, Ekelund adds: “BLICC wants to use the time leading up to the COP 15 in Copenhagen to promote three important messages: that companies have the capacity to reduce their own climate impacts; that the tools to facilitate this reduction are already in place; and finally such a move is profitable.”

A seminar hosted by BLICC in July 2009 featuring Dr Rajendra Pachauri, the Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), will be followed by another in October as part of the Swedish Presidency of the EU.

This second event will provide the members of the Initiative with the perfect opportunity to engage with energy ministers from across Europe. “It will allow us to send a signal to the ministers that Swedish business wants an ambitious climate agreement that leads to an eco-efficient economy.”

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