The Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business (“Center”) at the Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business is launching on October 21, 2021 the Drawdown Georgia Business Compact (“Compact”), an inclusive and collaborative initiative focused on galvanizing climate action in Georgia. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Atlanta Gas Light, Autodesk, Better Earth, Cox Enterprises, Delta Air Lines, Eversheds Sutherland, Goodr, Google, Interface, Norfolk Southern, Southwire, The Coca-Cola Company, TK Elevator, UPS, and YKK Corporation of America are founding members of the Compact.
The Compact’s mission is to leverage the collective impact of Georgia’s business community to achieve net zero carbon emissions in the state by 2050 through a just, competitive, and sustainable transition. In support of this mission, companies commit to supporting Georgia’s transition to net-zero carbon emissions, participating in at least one collaborative initiative that advances this goal, reporting annually on activities, and contributing funds to sustain the Compact.
“Georgia’s business community is distinguished by many companies who are in the lead, taking meaningful steps to reduce their carbon footprint, while others may be earlier on in this journey,” said Beril Toktay, faculty director of the Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business.
The Compact will build on this momentum by offering a platform for shared activities that support existing carbon reduction goals, inspire new ambitions, and facilitate state-wide engagement across industry sectors and supply chains.
“The opportunities for collaboration through this Compact will create synergies that will amplify our efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of Cox and other large companies across Georgia,” said Ira Pearl, vice president of Environmental Sustainability at Cox Enterprises.
In October 2020, Drawdown Georgia released its road map of high-impact climate solutions developed through a multi-university research collaboration.
“This research is helping to fill important voids with a fact-based, solution-oriented focus in a state that is anticipated to experience among the most severe climate change impacts to its economy, public health, and infrastructure,” said Marilyn Brown, Regents’ and Brook Byers Professor of Sustainable Systems in the Georgia Tech School of Public Policy, who leads the research effort.
The Center launched the Compact to help Georgia businesses activate and scale those solutions and provide a forum for addressing “beyond carbon” aspects, including equity, public health, environmental quality, and economic opportunity.
“In a world where there are many climate compacts, the Drawdown Georgia Business Compact is distinguished by its relationship to a specific set of research-based climate solutions that have the best potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state over the next decade,” said John Lanier, executive director of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation and a founder of Drawdown Georgia. “The Compact will create a community of practice where cross-sector collaboration, collective learning, peer-to-peer collaboration, and mentoring of smaller companies all combine to accelerate Georgia’s path to Drawdown.”
Moving forward, the Compact seeks to expand its engagement with businesses and like-minded organizations representing Georgia’s diverse economy while building on the growing climate action leadership of companies in the state.
“The Compact offers a tangible demonstration of collective impact and how the intersection between business, technology, and sustainability can advance solutions that positively impact Georgia companies and society more broadly,” shared Maryam Alavi, dean of the Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business. “We are inspired by the leadership and ambition displayed by the founding participants and look forward to welcoming additional companies in the coming months.”
Members of the public attended the virtual launch event for the Drawdown Georgia Business Compact, “Climate Action and Business Leadership in Georgia,” on Thursday, October 21, 2021, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. ET.
About Drawdown Georgia
Drawdown Georgia was born from a multi-university research project whose initial phase of work was completed in December 2020. This research was funded by the Ray C. Anderson Foundation and led by Georgia Tech, with researchers from Emory University, Georgia State University, and University of Georgia. The project identified and evaluated the twenty highest impact solutions for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Georgia over the next decade while also incorporating the “beyond carbon” dimensions. Research continues on these solutions—in the creation of a state-wide dashboard and in support of solution activation.