December 5, 2018
Suzanne HilkerStaff Writer
Best Buy is heading to COP24, the United Nations conference where government officials, nonprofits and businesses from around the world are meeting to negotiate collective action on climate change.
Best Buy’s director of environmental sustainability and compliance, Alexis Ludwig-Vogen, will be attending this historic event. We sat down with her to discuss her upcoming trip to Katowice, Poland.
Why you are attending COP24?
I am thrilled to be part of Climate Generation’s Window into COP24 program. Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy is an organization dedicated to climate education, youth leadership and citizen engagement for innovative climate change solutions. Its Window into COP program has brought many educators, students, elected officials and community members from Minnesota to COP international negotiations. This year, I’m looking forward to being part of the business community at COP24 that will express our support for collective action against climate change.
Why is climate change so important to Best Buy?
We’ve already seen a lot of the impacts of climate change in the communities we serve. We have activated procedures during major weather events — from hurricanes to historic wildfires — to make sure all our employees are accounted for. We have closed stores due to storms and afterward helped our local communities recover from the damage. We are a company that is very focused on people, and we know that focusing on the environment is really about people.
What are you most looking forward to at COP24?
I’m inspired by a new process incorporated into COP24 called the Talanoa Dialogue. A tradition from Fiji and other Pacific Islands, the Talanoa Dialogue uses storytelling to build trust and understanding to then arrive at consensus and more inclusive decisions. I plan to listen to the many stories about the human impacts of climate change so I can return to Minnesota with more ideas and plans for Best Buy to make a positive impact in the world.
What’s the next step in Best Buy’s environmental journey?
We have focused on carbon reduction since 2009, with a goal to reduce carbon emissions in our operations by 60 percent by 2020, and we are now at 51 percent. Through the sale of ENERGY STAR® products, we’ve helped our customers save more than $700 million on their utility bills since 2009.
And yet, we have the ambition and a responsibility to do more. We are committed to getting to carbon neutrality in our operations by 2050, and we have submitted our intention for a Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi) goal. This will include a new goal to help our customers reduce their carbon emissions.
At COP24, I hope to hear about what is possible, about innovations that will help strengthen our actions, especially as a business, as we fight climate change.
If you want to follow Alexis on her journey to Katowice, Poland, check out her blogs here.
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