Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has issued a challenge to businesses: reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent over the next three years.‚  And a prominent group of Massachusetts businesses said they will accept his challenge.

The Governor’s Clean Energy Challenge, developed by the New England Clean Energy Council and the Massachusetts High Technology Council in cooperation with the state’s electric and natural gas utilities, will offer recognition to participants who meet or exceed the 10 percent target.

“I offer the Challenge to everyone to do their part to dramatically reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency measures, innovative energy technology products, and the use of renewable sources,” said Governor Patrick, who announced the Challenge at the New England Clean Energy Council 1st Annual Green Tie Gala in Boston this week. “As in any competition, there will be recognition for extraordinary accomplishment and leadership.‚  But this is a contest in which everyone who participates will be a winner.”

Millipore and Pfizer accepted aims to inspire action by businesses, municipalities, and residents to reduce their energy consumption in an effort to combat climate change.

“Millipore is pleased to take the Governor up on his challenge of reducing greenhouse emissions because it is important to our company and the environment,” said Millipore President & CEO Martin Madaus. “We appreciate the Governor’s leadership in positioning Massachusetts and its employers ahead of the curve when it comes to the adoption of clean energy technologies and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. This is a critical program for the Commonwealth’s environmental and economic health, but also for the quality of life of its 6 million residents.”

Other companies that are considering participating in the Challenge and serving as mentors to other companies are members of Massachusetts High Tech Council’s Sustainable Energy Program, a component of the technology trade group’s 10-year-old energy aggregation program, which includes forward-thinking energy consumers like Boston Scientific and Varian Semiconductor. Participants will work with utilities NSTAR, National Grid, and Western Massachusetts Electric.

Clean energy advocates praised the program. ‚ 

“Massachusetts is in position to lead the way toward a clean energy future for the Commonwealth, the nation, and the world, and to capitalize on it in terms of innovation, entrepreneurship, and jobs,” said Nick d’Arbeloff, executive director of the New England Clean Energy Council. “The Governor’s Clean Energy Challenge is a way to focus attention and effort on both the environmental imperative and the economic opportunity.”

About The Author

Michael Corcoran is a journalist who focuses on business, media and public affairs. He has written for the Nation, the Boston Globe, Common Dreams, Alternet, Campus Progress and elsewhere.

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