LEAD On a Clean Economy Brings Companies and Investors to Capitol Hill With United Call To Bolster America’s Clean Energy Momentum

Major business and financial institutions will urge congressional lawmakers and the Biden administration to invest in America with policies that further capitalize on the economic opportunity of clean energy and resilient agriculture
May 16, 2023 12:01 PM ET
Campaign: Policy
Worker in Apple Warehouse

May 16, 2023 /3BL Media/ - Dozens of large companies and investors are taking to Capitol Hill this week to participate in LEAD on a Clean Economy 2023, a two-day advocacy event that will bring business leaders into direct meetings with members of Congress and the Biden administration. Participants will urge policymakers to invest in America by taking action that further establishes the U.S. as a global leader in advanced manufacturing supply chains, clean energy deployment, and resilient agriculture practices.

The fifth annual LEAD (Lawmaker Education and Advocacy Day) event will take place May 17-18, with 59 participating companies, 12 investors, and five trade groups scheduled for 60 meetings with members of Congress from both parties, as well as federal administration officials.

Participants include representatives from Adobe, Best Buy, Boyne Resorts, CommonSpirit Health, Diageo, Enel North America, Holcim US, HP, JLL, Microsoft, National Grid, Nestlé, Netflix, Oatly, PepsiCo, PSEG, Salesforce, Siemens, Starbucks, U.S. Steel, Workday, and many more companies from sectors across the economy.

A full list of participating companies and investors is available here.

“As the national leader in sustainable building solutions, Holcim US is eager to work with municipalities and contractors to help them capitalize on the Inflation Reduction Act’s much-needed investment in green infrastructure,” said Michael LeMonds, Holcim US Vice President, ESG and Chief Sustainability Officer. “Today we encouraged the federal policymakers at LEAD on a Clean Economy 2023 to expand upon this momentum by continuing to support action that will invest in manufacturing jobs and climate solutions.”

"As a long-time investor in the energy transition, HASI recognizes the power of strong public policy and private sector collaboration. We are witnessing historic growth and momentum in the clean energy sector following the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act last year, but we must continue working to fully realize these economic gains and ensure our decarbonization trajectory is sound,” said Susan Nickey, Chief Client Officer of HASI. “One of the most crucial policies that require attention is energy permitting. It plays a vital role in expediting the development of a robust transmission infrastructure, which is essential to harnessing America's abundant domestic clean energy sources. We are proud to join with business leaders once again at LEAD on a Clean Economy 2023 to call upon Congress to unite on a bipartisan basis and enact the necessary reforms required to modernize our electricity grid effectively.”

“These transformational investments in infrastructure and industry are powerful tools to help us shape a more sustainable, resilient, and equitable future,” said Barbara Humpton, President & CEO, Siemens USA. “Our technology at Siemens supports the backbone of the economy and we're proud to be working with local, state, and national partners to help strengthen power grids, modernize manufacturing, decarbonize buildings, and build a national EV charging network."

“As the largest craft brewer in the U.S., New Belgium has been investing in climate resilience for several decades. We are committed to further efforts in our operations and our supply chain – but at this point can only do so much on our own,” said Steve Fechheimer, CEO, New Belgium Brewing. “Federal investments are poised to incentivize our growers’ transition to more profitable low carbon practices, accelerate the transition to clean trucks, improve rural economies, and preserve the American tradition of brewing and drinking beer. That’s why we are excited to share our support for federal action at LEAD on a Clean Economy 2023.”

LEAD on a Clean Economy 2023 participants collectively generate more than $1 trillion in annual revenue and employ more than 1.7 million people. Many of them participated in last year’s LEAD event to encourage lawmakers to support the clean energy, clean transportation, clean industry, environmental justice, resilient agriculture, and conservation investments that ultimately comprised the Inflation Reduction Act.

This year, participants will urge policymakers to ensure the U.S. fully capitalizes on the opportunity presented by the Inflation Reduction Act, other state and federal policies, and the ongoing surge of private sector clean energy investment. In particular, they will call for bipartisan solutions that:

  • Maximize return on investment to create U.S. manufacturing jobs and build an advanced, clean economy;
  • Reform permitting processes to responsibly accelerate deployment of clean energy infrastructure;
  • Craft a Farm Bill that invests in all U.S. farmers, ranchers, and land.

The meetings come at an opportune time for federal policymaking. The Biden administration is still implementing landmark legislation from the last Congress that is unlocking U.S. clean energy manufacturing investments, including the Inflation Reduction Act, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and the CHIPS and Science Act. Lawmakers are considering additional legislation to strengthen U.S. competitiveness such as a border adjustment or foreign pollution fee based on carbon emissions for heavy industrial products made in countries with weaker environmental standards. Meanwhile, multiple proposals related to energy permitting and transmission reform are pending in Congress, and negotiations over the 2023 Farm Bill reauthorization are well underway.

“The U.S. has seen a wave of private investment in clean energy manufacturing and deployment, with jobs and other economic benefits that are being felt across the country — in red states and blue states alike,” said Zach Friedman, director of federal policy, Ceres. “America’s business community knows this is no time to let up. That’s why dozens of companies and investors are coming to LEAD on a Clean Economy 2023, making the urgent case to policymakers from both parties to invest in America. They see a massive opportunity for the U.S. to establish itself as the global leader in advanced manufacturing and clean energy supply chains, accelerate the roll-out of domestic clean energy resources, and invest in our nation’s farmers and rural communities.”

Ceres, a sustainability nonprofit that works with companies and investors to advance sustainability practices and policies, has organized hundreds of meetings with lawmakers at LEAD events since 2019. Corporate advocacy for robust climate policy is of growing importance to investors, who see the climate crisis as a major financial risk and clean energy as a massive economic opportunity, and they have pushed companies to make these issues central to their public policy engagement. Research conducted by Ceres has shown that America’s largest companies are increasingly lobbying in support of strong climate policies that align with the goals of the Paris Agreement. LEAD events provide companies with an opportunity to hone and expand their climate advocacy as they look to strengthen their policy engagement practices.

“Companies and investors have proven themselves as highly influential policy advocates with credibility on both sides of the aisle. We are excited to bring them back to Capitol Hill for LEAD on a Clean Economy 2023 to make the case that the transition to clean energy is not ideological, but rather a business imperative that is good for the climate, the economy, and their bottom lines,” said Anne Kelly, vice president of government relations, Ceres. “In a divided government, we can all agree that this is a time to invest America — and to champion American clean energy technologies that will keep the U.S. competitive and resilient going forward.”

About Ceres 

Ceres is a nonprofit organization working with the most influential capital market leaders to solve the world’s greatest sustainability challenges. Through our powerful networks and global collaborations of investors, companies and nonprofits, we drive action and inspire equitable market-based and policy solutions throughout the economy to build a just and sustainable future. For more information, visit ceres.org and follow @CeresNews.