Greenhouse Gas Emissions

As You Sow filed shareholder resolutions and engaged with electric power companies Portland General Electric and IDACORP to move them to reduce their reliance on coal. Burning coal emits significant greenhouse gases which play a large role in climate change as well as heavy metals such as mercury and other toxins into the atmosphere. We requested the companies reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and replace coal with renewable energy resources.

In 2010, we engaged Portland General Electric on adopting quantitative goals for reducing total GHG emissions though increased renewable energy sources and a proposal for closing their Boardman plan by 2020. We re-filed in 2011.

In 2009, As You Sow filed a shareholder resolution at IDACORP (Idaho Power’s parent company) that won a 51% majority vote calling on IDACORP to establish greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals and to report on its plans to meet them. This was the first environmental or climate resolution to ever receive a majority vote!

The company quickly responded to the majority shareholder vote and within months IDACORP’s board approved guidelines that establish a goal to reduce the carbon dioxide emission intensity of Idaho Power’s utility operations. The company committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 10-15% by 2013, announced its first wind energy projects, began a solar generation feasibility study, and received stimulus bill money for a Smart Grid project. The company has also improved its transparency by increasing disclosure in its 10-K report, submitted detailed information to the Carbon Disclosure Project, provided new GHG reduction scenarios for Idaho’s Integrated Resource Plan, and is creating an external advisory board on climate change issues.

Our leadership on the IDACORP initiative won As You Sow the 2009 Climate Change Business Journal NGO Activist Achievement Award. Additionally, Associate Director Michael Passoff, who spearheaded the campaign, was named among the 100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics by Ethisphere Magazine.