Aspen Skiing Company’s Matthew Hamilton, Director of Sustainability, recently traveled to Washington D.C. to lobby on Capitol Hill, asking Congress to address the damaging and accelerating impacts of climate change. Hamilton traveled with BICEP (Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy) an advocacy coalition of businesses including forward thinking companies such as Ben & Jerry’s, Burton Snowboards, Nike, Starbucks, VF Corp., and Mars.
“Aspen Skiing Company recognizes that recycling, energy efficiency, and buying local/organic food can only go so far,” says Hamilton. “To ensure our business operates in the long term – while supporting the thousands of additional jobs present in our region that are driven by our tourism based economy – we must take every opportunity to share our story with our elected officials.”
The group of 17 business leaders traveled to Washington D.C. on the heels of a new UN report detailing climate change and met with Senators on both sides of the aisle to discuss climate-related impacts on businesses. Hamilton and his BICEP colleagues discussed the need for stronger policy action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support clean energy choices.
“Aspen Skiing has long been at the leading edge among winter sport companies calling for systemic climate policy that will transition the US to a clean energy economy,” said Anne Kelly, director of policy at Ceres/BICEP. “Civic engagement by companies like Aspen is crucial for changing the conversation in Washington and stimulating bold action on climate change.”
BICEP businesses specifically called on Congress to pass a tax extenders package that would renew expired tax credits for clean energy and energy efficiency for two years. They also urged passage of the Master Limited Partnership (MLP) Parity Act, which calls for extending the popular MLP finance mechanism to renewable energy, to level the playing field with fossil fuel sources.
All companies who participated on this trip are signatories to the Climate Declaration, a corporate call-to-action that urges federal and state policymakers to seize the economic opportunity of addressing climate change. Launched on April 10, 2013 by 33 founding companies and Ceres, a nonprofit sustainability advocacy organization, and its business network BICEP, the Climate Declaration has more than 750 companies and thousands of individual signatories nationwide. The newest companies to sign the declaration include: the San Diego Port Authority, Sprint, SunPower and Disney.