LG Electronics USA (LGEUS) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which includes the target of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2020, compared with it’s 2007 figure.
The move by LG is in recognition of the impact of the commercial real estate sector on the environment. Energy consumption in commercial buildings accounts for approximately 17% of US greenhouse gas emissions.
The company is already taking steps towards environmental sustainability and energy conservation in its plan to build an eight story state-of-art office building in New Jersey to serve as LG Electronics’ North American headquarters. The proposed design includes a number of environmentally enhanced elements that are designed to achieve at least a Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the US Green Building Council.
In addition, more than 15 office buildings in the company’s portfolio are being reviewed for operating and energy efficiency, with the result that the company has committed to the 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions for its US operations.
To help achieve the goal, LGEUS has been providing its employees with regular sustainability messaging through a “Live Green at LG” campaign. Areas of education and corporate action include energy efficiency in the office, waste reduction, recycling including e-waste, addressing food waste, and water conservation. These messages promote the activities addressed in this MoU and are being delivered regularly to LGEUS employees.
Review: It’s a reassuring move from the home appliances, consumer electronics and mobile communications company. LG is getting to grips with its emissions around the world, although it seems to be having mixed success overall.
It’s not a specific criticism of LG Electronics, but I find the small print of these sorts of agreements tend to undermine the good intentions. In the case of this MoU, the Terms and Conditions point out that there is no contractual or financial obligation in the agreement, either Party may unilaterally withdraw at any time and the parties may, by mutual agreement, modify the list of intended activities and/or how they will be achieved.
I doubt we will ever reach the levels of GHG reduction required unless corporate plans and objectives come with a firm long-term commitment or contractual obligation.