hide message

What do you think about our communications?

Our website received over 2 million visits last year. We delivered briefings, analysis and met with hundreds of local groups across the world.

We want to understand our audiences better and ensure that our communications, content and products are meeting your needs and driving impact. We would be very grateful if you could input into a quick survey on our communications activities.

Please take 2 minutes to complete a short survey

Thank you

Go to survey hide message

Members of US business org IECA disagree with its stance against Paris Agreement

President Trump's withdrawal from the Paris Agreement has faced significant criticism from the business community. In advance of the decision, over one thousand companies publicly declared their support for the Paris Agreement and following the decision, a coalition of US economic, education, and local government leaders representing cities and states that contribute $6.2 trillion to the U.S. economy committed to continue supporting climate action to meet the Paris commitment. 

Despite this widespread support from the business and investor community, the Industrial Energy Consumers of America (IECA) sent a letter to the White House in opposition to the Paris Agreement, saying it did so on behalf of its members.

In its blog posts, "Groups Misled Trump on Economic Case Against Paris Agreement" and "Companies Defend Paris Deal Because of Its Economic Benefits", the National Resources Defense Council states that with this letter in opposition to the Paris Agreement, the IECA is "grossly and intentionally exaggerating opposition [by]...falsely leveraging the voice of member companies," many of whom "claim to embrace sustainability." 

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited several companies named in these blog posts to respond:

In its response, Eastman stated that it "supports the continued participation of the United States in the Paris Accord and did not approve the IECA letter...[IECA's] action is so at odds with Eastman's position that we cannot reconcile continued participation in IECA with our commitment to sustinability. As such, this week we discontinued our IECA membership." Dow, Kimberly-Clark, Owens Corning, International Paper, SABIC, and WestRock also stated that the IECA's letter opposing the agreement does not represent their views. 

Full responses by Alcoa, Dow, Eastman, International Paper, Kimberly-Clark, Owens Corning, SABIC, WestRock, and Weyerhaeuser are available via the links above and in the section below. Business & Human Rights Resource Centre also invited Koch Industries/Koch Foundation and Nucor to respond to NRDC's criticisms of their support for IECA's position against the Paris Agreement. They have not yet responded; we will indicate here whether they do.

We welcome responses from any other companies named in the NRDC blog post. To submit a response, please email Christen Dobson at [email protected].  

Get RSS feed of these results

All components of this story

Company response
19 July 2017

Alcoa response re conflict between IECA membership and its sustainability policies

Author: Alcoa

Alcoa belongs to numerous business-focused organizations, including some that have divergent views on public policy issues. As a recognized leader in sustainability, our goals are documented and shared via an annual sustainability report. We continue to work on system-wide goals to further improve our environmental footprint, including the reduction of greenhouse gas.

Download the full document here

Company response
14 July 2017

Dow response re conflict between IECA membership and its sustainability policies

Author: Dow

In response, Dow stated that “IECA does not represent Dow on this issue” and provided a link to its statement about the Paris Agreement: Dow is the leading materials science company in the world and innovates and manufactures many low carbon technologies that enable reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and create jobs and economic value in the United States. While we are disappointed in the decision to withdraw the United States from its commitments in the Paris Climate Agreement, we understand there are always many potential solutions to challenges and are eager to work toward alternative solutions. We will continue to collaborate with President Trump as well as other businesses, NGOs and academics to continue to advocate for smart policies that enable the reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions and ensure that global markets stay open to American exports and innovation.

Download the full document here

Company response
14 July 2017

Kimberly-Clark response re conflict between IECA membership and its sustainability policies

Author: Kimberly-Clark

The Industrial Energy Consumers of America (IECA) does not speak for Kimberly-Clark on environmental or climate issues. Kimberly-Clark believes that action must be taken to address climate change and we support the direction of the Paris Agreement's objectives regarding this important issue... Energy and Climate management is a key priority called out in our Sustainability 2022 strategy. We also support the UN Sustainable Development Goals and have used them in our most recent Sustainability Report to validate our key priorities...Last year, we announced a goal of a 20% reduction in absolute greenhouse gases by 2022. We are well on our way to achieving that goal.

Download the full document here

Company response
14 July 2017

Weyerhaeuser response re conflict between IECA membership and its sustainability policies

Author: Weyerhaeuser

Weyerhaeuser is no longer a member of The Industrial Energy Consumers of America and as such, was not involved with this letter. We are proud of our company's commitment to sustainability.

Download the full document here

Company response
13 July 2017

WestRock response re conflict between IECA membership and its sustainability policies

Author: WestRock

WestRock is committed to operating our manufacturing facilities in an environmentally responsible manner, and we have established voluntary targets for reducing our carbon emissions and improving our energy-efficiency. As a leading recycler and manufacturer of sustainable packaging, environmental responsibility is central to our business operations. IECA's statement on the Paris Accord does not accurately reflect the views of our company, and we remain steadfast in our commitment to achieve our carbon and other sustainability goals by 2025.

Download the full document here

Article
5 July 2017

Groups Misled Trump on Economic Case Against Paris Agreement

Author: Han Chen, NRDC

The Industrial Energy Consumers of America sent a letter to Trump on May 15, expressing their support for withdrawal from Paris. In their letter, they claimed to represent large member companies with over $1 trillion in annual sales.... [yet] many of the companies IECA claims to be speaking on behalf of, like Dow, Alcoa, Corning and LafargeHolcim, publicly issued statements in support of the Paris Agreement—completely contradicting the stance of the IECA letter...Supporting a withdrawal from this global agreement would contradict many members’ own sustainability goals and emphasis on climate action. Still, many IECA members have yet to address the letter and their alleged support for Trump withdrawing from the Paris Agreement...Even Fortune 500 companies like Dow, Alcoa, Kimberly-Clark, Weyerhaeuser, and Westrock have yet to speak out on this issue. For these companies to keep portraying themselves as environmental stewards and climate leaders—they cannot be funding and providing credibility to an organization such as IECA... First, it is time for companies to clarify whether they are in agreement with IECA that the US should withdraw from the Paris Agreement and international climate action. Second, companies should follow the example set by Eastman and re-evaluate their membership in this association.

[refers to Abbot Laboratories, Ag Processing Inc, Agrium, Air Products and Chemicals, Air America Liquide LP, Airgas Inc, Archer Daniels Midland Company, Ascend Performance Materials, Ash Grove Cement, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, CalPortland, Carpenter Technology Corporation, Cascade Steel Rolling Mills Inc, Celanese Corporation, CF Industries, Cliffs Natural Resources Inc, Corning, Deere & Company, Domtar, Evonik Corporation, FCA US LLC, FMC Corporation, Formosa Plastics Corporation, Gerdau, Guardian Industries Corporation, Incitec Pivot, Johns Manville, LafargeHolcim, Lehigh Hanson Inc, Linde Inc, LyndellBasell, Marathon Refining, MillerCoors, National Gypsum Company, Olin Corporation, Owens-Illinois Inc, Rain Cll Carbon, Riceland Foods Inc, TimkenSteel Corporation, USG Corporation, Verso Corporation, US Steel Corporation]

Read the full post here

Article
13 June 2017

Paris climate accord divides industrial trade group

Author: Dino Grandoni, Washington Post (US)

The Eastman Chemical Company -- one of the largest chemical manufacturers in the United States, which like many U.S. firms supported the Paris climate accord -- discontinued membership in one of the few trade groups that publicly pressed the Trump administration to pull out of the landmark climate deal. Leading up to President Trump's announcement in June, hundreds of businesses publicly pledged support of the Paris accord. But more discreetly, the Industrial Energy Consumers of America told the White House that Paris disadvantaged U.S. manufacturers..."While we valued the IECA's work in areas unrelated to climate change, the organization's action is so at odds with Eastman's position that we also cannot reconcile continued participation in IECA with our commitment to sustainability...As such, this week we discontinued our IECA membership." David A. Golden, a senior vice president and chief legal and sustainability officer at Eastman, wrote to the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre....[which] queried Eastman and other IECA members about their Paris stance following IECA's lobbying effort...Eastman's decision to leave the trade association highlights the rift that has developed in the American business community over Trump's decision to exit the Paris accord...Owens Corning [also] distanced itself from the trade group after the Paris decision, [as did International Paper]. SABIC...also said that it "did not review or approve" the IECA letter sent directly to President Trump. [refers to Alphabet, Apple, Eastman, Gap, International Paper, Levi-Strauss, Owens Corning, SABIC, Shell, Unilever, Walmart]

Read the full post here

Article
12 June 2017

IECA claims to represent companies that oppose Paris agreement

Author: Han Chen, NRDC

"Companies Defend Paris Deal Because of its Economic Benefits", Published on 1 June 2017

The Industrial Energy Consumers of America (IECA) purports to represent companies worth over $1 trillion in sales who reject the Paris Agreement...Based on the 2015 listing of members, the IECA is...intentionally exaggerating the opposition to the Paris Agreement and falsely leveraging the voice of member companies... Several companies [listed as members] have publicly declared support for the Paris Agreement…[and]…companies that claim to embrace sustainability such as Eastman Chemical cannot claim social responsibility if they are also calling for withdrawal from the Paris Agreement and undermining America’s effort to reduce emissions through their membership in IECA. The International Paper Company signed the ABA Climate Pledge supporting a Paris deal, Owens Corning signed the Low Carbon USA letter supporting Paris, and SABIC has publicly touted their participation at the Paris COP21 venue...These companies must either come clean about their position on the Paris Agreement or extricate themselves from anti-climate groups such as the IECA. [Refers to Alcoa, Corning, Dow, Eastman, LafargeHolcim, International Paper, Koch Foundation, Koch Industries, Nucor, Owens Corning, SABIC]  

Read the full post here

Company response
11 June 2017

International Paper response

Author: International Paper

IP's vision is to be among the most successful, sustainable and responsible companies in the world. To pursue this vision, we remain committed to continuously reducing our environmental footprint—not only by reducing greenhouse gas and other air emissions—but also through responsible forestry and water stewardship practices.

"Nothing changes for us; we are continuing on our current sustainability path. We don't agree with all decisions made by elected officials, but we believe that it's best to continue to engage with the administration to work constructively toward the best possible outcomes." – Mark Sutton, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

We generate nearly 75% percent of the energy used in our global mill system using renewable, carbon-neutral biomass and manufacturing residuals, which allows us to minimize the use of fossil fuels and to ensure healthy and productive forest ecosystems for generations to come...Through 2016, we have reduced GHG emissions by 19%, or 3.2 million tons of CO2 annually. We have reduced other air emissions by 23%, and we recently set a new goal of a 30% reduction in other air emissions by 2020. We have also increased purchased energy efficiency by 6.4%, or 14 trillion BTU annually.

We were not involved in the development of the [IECA] letter and do not agree with the organization's decision to send it. We participate in IECA mainly to access the organization's vast reservoir of energy data and reports.

Download the full document here

Company response
11 June 2017

SABIC Response

Author: SABIC

To be clear about our participation at the Paris COP21 venue, as noted in our Sustainability Reports and other communications, SABIC showcased our portfolio of initiatives and products that enable greenhouse gas and energy reductions as part of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) pavilion.

As reported in the NRDC post, SABIC is a member of IECA. We receive energy-related information from the organization and attend some of their meetings. We did not review or approve the May 15, 2017 letter IECA sent to President Trump in regard to the Paris Agreement. SABIC supports the global effort to protect natural capital and we are taking actions that reduce climate impacts. We have set aggressive greenhouse gas reduction targets and are well along the path to our goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 25 percent by 2025 compared to our 2010 baseline. An example of the extent of our efforts is the recent start-up of a natural gas cogeneration facility that is connected with our largest manufacturing site in the Americas in Mt. Vernon, Indiana. This facility eliminates the use of coal for energy, and is expected to reduce the greenhouse gas footprint of the site by 33 percent from our 2010 baseline.

Download the full document here