I met Suzuki in 1999 when his foundation gave away almost 900 copies of my book Cool Companies to leading Canadians. Here’s the story from their newsletter, “Finding Solutions“:
Using energy efficiency to heat up the economy and turn down the earth’s temperature was the focus of a Foundation press conference in Toronto during September.
David Suzuki announced that the Foundation, along with Enbridge Consumers Gas, Union Gas, and the Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance, will give away almost 900 copies of the book “Cool Companies” by Dr. Joseph Romm. The book details almost 100 case studies of companies that cut energy use and reduced waste, while increasing profits, productivity and employee morale.
“Romm’s hopeful message soundly refutes those who argue tackling climate change will hurt the economy,” Suzuki said.
In fact, Romm’s book shows that energy efficiency investments top the NYSE composite as a low risk, high return investment.
Romm, who also attended the event, is a former director of the billion-dollar Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy. He defines “Cool Companies” as ones that slash harmful greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent while reducing their energy bills and increasing productivity.
“Cool Companies” was sent to Canadians with the power to put its ideas in action – all federal and provincial ministers, CEOs of Canada’s top 500 companies, and mayors of our largest 100 cities. “Even if only two or three CEOs read this and say, ‘My god, if we do this, we’ll have a competitive edge,’ then it’s been effective,” Suzuki said.
The announcement was made at the Toronto Dominion Centre, where North America’s largest lighting retrofit began this fall. These and other energy efficiency measures will mean $5 million in annual savings for owner Cadillac Fairview, and will reduce greenhouse gas emissions equal to the amount absorbed each year by 10 million trees. The event was featured on CBC Newsworld, Report on Business cable, CFTR news, and in the Toronto Star and other publications.
It even made it into his autobiography.
The important thing is that, as Suzuki says, we are now past the carrying capacity of the planet, and yet it still remains the case that any company can dramatically reduce their greenhouse gas emissions at a net profit today — see “Energy efficiency, the low hanging fruit that grows back.”