Sally Jewell, the CEO of REI – recently nominated by President Obama for Interior Secretary, has long been a proponent for government incentives for companies who work to combat global warming and to reduce America’s carbon footprint.
During a speech in October 2011 at the University of Denver, Jewell explained her journey behind her goal of making her outdoor equipment company “planet neutral by 2020.”
Although Jewell highlighted the multiple efforts she pioneered within her company to reduce their global carbon footprint, she insisted that the effort had to be a “team sport” for businesses to play with elected officials.
“Government does play a role in helping incent businesses to do things that do make sense for the planet,” she said, adding that she wasn’t sure what the audience thought about climate change, carbon taxes, and cap-and-trade.
“I will tell you this,” she said. “None of us are paying for the consequences of our use of carbon and I think until some sort of mechanism is put in place that recognizes the consequences of that its going to be very hard for us to become climate neutral but I think we have an opportunity to do that if we just get smart about how some of those polices are applied and do it really on a worldwide basis.”
During her speech, Jewell referred to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill reminding the audience that any Americans who used petroleum products were responsible.
“We all use petroleum products in one form or another. We all own this spill as far as I am concerned, I do as well, as I would submit that almost all of you do,” she said. “Perhaps some of you don’t use any hydrocarbons, I’d like to know how, in the world that we live in.”