4 MN companies pledge to fight climate change with White House initiative

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Four major Minnesota companies have pledged to join a White House initiative to combat climate change.

Best Buy, General Mills and Target are some of the 81 businesses that signed the pledge Monday as part of the White House's Act on Climate Initiative, according to a White House factsheet.

Cargill joined back in July when the White House launched the American Business Act on Climate Pledge. The company was among 13 that initially signed, Mashable reports.

Each company also lays our specific goals.

Best Buy

Richfield-based Best Buy pledges to:

  • Reduce carbon emissions by 45 percent by 2020 from operational reductions and renewable sourcing;
  • Provide energy-efficient products to help customers minimize their carbon footprints;
  • Work with industry partners to promote more sustainable electronics – from manufacturing the products all the way to "end-of-life solutions."

Already, Best Buy says it reduced carbon emissions within its operations by 26 percent in 2014, and helped customers lessen their carbon footprint through the Energy Star certified products sold in its stores nationwide.

Cargill

Over the next five years, as part of the White House pledge, Cargill says it will:

Cargill, based in Minnetonka, says it's had comprehensive climate goals for a decade by working to build sustainable supply chains and decrease deforestation, among other efforts to address climate concerns.

General Mills

In August, Golden Valley-based General Mills announced an "ambitious" plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 28 percent over the next 10 years across all its operations – “from farm to fork to landfill.”

That goal is among the various plans the company announced when it joined the White House's pledge on climate change this week. General Mills also plans to:

  • Sustainably source 100 percent of its top 10 ingredients by 2020;
  • Eliminate deforestation from the production of agricultural commodities by 2020;
  • Plus more initiatives.

Target

Target's been working to reduce emissions throughout the company since 2010, and through various programs it has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 9 percent, the company says.

By signing the White House's pledge, Target will:

  • Increase renewable energy by increasing the number of solar rooftop panels by 2,000 percent at 500 stores and distribution centers by 2020;
  • Achieve Energy Star certification in 80 percent of its buildings by 2020;
  • Reduce energy use intensity-per-square foot by 10 percent by 2020;
  • Reduce water use by 10 percent per square foot by 2020;
  • Divert 70 percent of landfill waste through reuse or recycling by 2020.

More on the pledge

The pledge shows a company's support for action on climate change, and voices their hope for a strong outcome at the COP21 Paris climate negotiations later this year.

With joining the pledge, the companies also announced specific plans on how they plan to reduce emissions and increase low-carbon investments, among other actions that will help tackle climate change, the White House notes.

President Barack Obama met with some of the companies Monday, praising their commitments to taking action against climate change.

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