2020 Commonwealth Environmental Leadership Awards

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Honoring This Year’s Awardees

Secretary John Kerry

Secretary John Kerry has dedicated his life to public service. He served the Commonwealth in a number of roles – as District Attorney for Middlesex County, Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts, U.S. Senator for Massachusetts, and U.S. Secretary of State. Throughout his tenure, he tackled issues like combating acid rain as Lieutenant Governor, bringing attention to the warming planet to the U.N. as a Senator, and working with foreign governments to spearhead numerous efforts to combat climate change as Secretary of State. Notably, Secretary Kerry was a key architect of the Paris Climate Accord, signing the historic agreement to reduce carbon emissions in 2016.

This year, Secretary Kerry launched World War Zero, a coalition of unlikely allies joining a global mobilization against the climate crisis. This group includes scientists, CEOs, military leaders, activists, artists, entertainers, political leaders from both sides of the aisle, business and industry leaders, and many more want to tackle this crisis. The coalition focuses on public education and community engagement to activate climate action at the massive and urgent scale necessary to win this war. Bringing together influencers like celebrities and politicians will help this message reach a broad, global audience. Messengers will make connections between climate change and the economy, jobs, and national security.

ELM is pleased to award Secretary John Kerry a Commonwealth Environmental Leadership Award in recognition of his exemplary work in our community.

The League of Conservation Voters Education Fund

The League of Conservation Voters Education Fund (LCVEF) builds power for people and the planet. It advocates for strong environmental protections, mobilizes communities in collective response to urgent environmental problems, and engages people in the civic process in order to create a more just and equitable democracy.

At all levels of government—federal, state, and local—and in conjunction with communities in key states from coast to coast, LCVEF advocates for clean air, clean water, public lands and a climate that is safe and healthy today and for future generations.  LCVEF is a nationwide movement that is winning for the environment in new ways—by uplifting voices and leaders who value justice, equity, opportunity, safety, and security in solutions, because our Earth is worth mobilizing for.

We recognize LCVEF’s successes at all levels of government with support from their strategic partners across the country. Here in Massachusetts, LCVEF connects the work that ELM does at the state and local level to national environmental advocacy efforts.

ELM is pleased to award LCVEF a Commonwealth Environmental Leadership Award in recognition of their exemplary work in our community.

Biogen

Biogen pioneers science for the benefit of humanity, and it has long recognized the threat of climate change to both human and environmental health. Biogen committed to an absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction of 35%by 2030 as compared to 2013 and was the first among its peers to offset 100% of its carbon emissions, starting in 2014.

We applaud Biogen for setting ambitious goals and making steady progress to achieve them. Biogen uses Green Chemistry in its product development, takes a “fair share” approach to community water use, and achieved zero waste to landfill for three years in a row. In 2019, Biogen grew its business at the same time that it realized an absolute reduction of non-renewable energy by 1.6%, both supply chain emissions and water use by nearly 3%, and hazardous and nonhazardous waste by more than 7%. So far in 2020, Biogen joined the EV100, committing to a 100% electric fleet of vehicles to eliminate fossil fuel emissions.

Biogen has strong transparent and participatory environmental, social, and governance efforts. Biogen has long used its corporate voice to advocate for environmental action, and considered feedback from more than 850 stakeholders in shaping its corporate responsibility strategy. It is notable that the company’s climate program has been approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative. Now, in response to overwhelming scientific evidence, Biogen has announced that it will bring its climate programs in line with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) targets to keep the global temperature rise below 1.5?Celsius. We are honored to recognize Biogen for working fearlessly to create a more sustainable future.

Biogen participated in the ELM Corporate Lawmaker Education Day at the MA State House where they shared their sustainability stories with state legislators and Baker Administration Officials who are working on clean energy and climate policy. Biogen also signed onto a letter with other businesses to support legislation (HB 832/SB 524) that would strengthen the Massachusetts Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) by setting a target of net zero emissions by 2050 and aggressively implementing policies to reach that target.

Biogen spoke on a panel at the ELM event on “Carbon Neutrality- MA’s Businesses and the Commonwealth” where they highlighted our corporate sustainability goals and the strategies in place to meet them to inspire the state to also adopt bold goals and devise policy pathways to achieve them. They also signed onto a letter with other businesses & organizations urging the Northeast & Mid-Atlantic states to engage in the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI), which Governor Baker strongly supports.

Biogen has been a committed and thoughtful partner as a member of the ELM Corporate Council. The company not only achieved carbon neutrality and committed to science-based targets, but also joined ELM and other businesses from across Massachusetts to urge the state to commit to net-zero as well. The company continually articulates to policymakers the intersection of climate and health, which has helped to shape the climate policy conversation across Massachusetts.

ELM is pleased to award Biogen a Commonwealth Environmental Leadership Award in recognition of their exemplary work in our community.

Boston Climate Strike

Boston Climate Strike is an organization of young climate justice activists who are deeply concerned with the disproportionate effects of the climate crisis on frontline communities and the unjust political institution that has enabled it. It is an integral component of organizing the next generation of environmental leaders. The Boston Climate Strike is centered on mobilizing the people of Massachusetts to raise awareness of the pressing issues that are presented by the climate crisis, driving our state and federal government to pass environmental justice legislation, and encouraging self-directed climate action. It seeks to empower Massachusetts youth to be change-makers who are dedicated to enacting climate justice, and educated about the climate crisis.

ELM is pleased to award the Boston Climate Strike our inaugural Emerging Leader Award in recognition of their groundbreaking actions towards encouraging bolder climate action. The team organized a massive strike on September 20, 2019 that drew thousands of young people to press for more ambitious policies to protect our environment and people. The climate crisis necessitates that all generations are actively involved in developing a solution and we applaud Boston Climate Strike for mobilizing an integral part of the effort.

ELM is pleased to award the Emerging Leader Award to Boston Climate Strike in recognition of their exemplary work in our community.