BusinessGreen asks Whitbread's head of energy and environment, why the climate change talks will be crucial for the future of the hotelier
BusinessGreen is asking key green business leaders about their personal views on the importance of the climate change talks due to take place in the French capital at the end of this year.
This week we spoke to Chris George, head of energy and environment at Whitbread.
BusinessGreen: What do you hope to see achieved in Paris?
Chris George: I hope that ambitious but achievable targets are set to ensure a greener future. Leaders must use the summit to consider the ways in which they can continue to support businesses that are working towards their own sustainability targets as well, and ensure that a strategy is in place to meet all environmental goals.
What do you think will be agreed?
At this stage it is difficult to suggest what agreements will be made this year. However, as the EU has already committed to reducing emissions by 40 per cent, compared to 1990 levels, by 2030 and the US has committed to a reduction of 26 to 28 per cent compared to 2005 levels, by 2025 I think other countries will follow suit and commit to equivalent targets in order to reduce global emissions. It will be great to see global leaders pushing their targets in line with businesses who are working towards a greener planet.
How would a Paris deal impact your business?
Whitbread is already committed to improving its environmental impact and so any deal at Paris would only encourage us further in our aims. It will be great for businesses, such as Whitbread, to be supported on a global level and for us to see that our own targets are part of a wider agenda internationally. Working with other organisations is key to ensuring that together we meet our goals and create a more environmentally conscious society.
Do you think green businesses are making themselves heard?
Green businesses are becoming an increasingly prominent voice, as organisations understand both the environmental and financial benefits that a sustainable agenda can bring. It is always important that green businesses, such as Whitbread, make clear their environmental aims and the work they are doing to ensure such aims are achieved. This will encourage other businesses to become more environmentally conscious as collectively our voice becomes stronger. Additionally, as businesses become greener, we are pushing governments to follow in our footsteps. By highlighting what can be achieved on an individual business level, we can work together towards a macro goal.
In 240 characters what would your message be to the lead negotiators?
Set ambitious but achievable targets that support businesses and encourage a greener future.
Are you going to the Paris summit and how are you getting there?
Whitbread won't be attending the Paris Climate Summit this year however I'm sure that many of the organisations we hold membership in will be representing our interests during the summit.
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