Companies Show that Cutting Emissions Can Improve Performance

President Bush and many Republicans in Congress complain that restricting emissions of carbon dioxide would hobble the U.S. economy, but a growing number of companies are showing that cutting emissions can help the bottom line and they are pursuing reductions far greater than the voluntary ones proposed by Bush. Large aluminum producer Alcoa, for example, has cut its CO2 emission by more than 23.5 percent from 1990 levels, while at the same time increasing production. “We’ve had triple wins so far,” said Alcoa’s Randy Overbey. “It’s helped our labor productivity, the environment, and the production process.” DuPont, International Paper, Ford Motor, and American Electric Power, among others, have founded the Chicago Climate Exchange, which will begin trading emissions credits on Dec. 12. Each company involved has pledged to cut its emissions by 1 percent annually over the next four years or buy equivalent credits.