How the Colorado Chamber of Commerce is Breaking New Ground in Environmental Sustainability
A recent Colorado Chamber survey revealed that Colorado’s current regulatory climate continues to be a challenge for business operations, and environmental regulations were identified as a top concern.
Employers throughout our great state have long been invested in a clean environment for the communities where they operate for the future of Colorado. We’ve worked closely with our members at the Colorado Chamber of Commerce to address environmental policy, and we’ve seen firsthand how committed the business community is in regards to promoting sustainability within their companies and industries.
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From the construction of our buildings to energy infrastructure to sustainable products, it is primarily up to businesses to develop, finance and build the infrastructure of the future to improve our environment. Many employers have developed innovative solutions that not only address current climate concerns but also improve the environment for their communities. We know from experience that any industry can be a critical leader in this space when given the flexibility to do so.
Despite these successes, job creators have experienced a costly and complex regulatory climate in the last few years. A Colorado Chamber of Commerce 2022 survey of businesses statewide revealed that Colorado’s current regulatory climate continues to be a significant challenge for business operations, and environmental regulations were specifically identified as a top concern.
The Colorado Chamber of Commerce believes there is a better way, and that environmental progress and economic growth are not mutually exclusive.
That’s why the Colorado Chamber has launched an Environmental Sustainability and Climate Action Task Force — a key strategic initiative in supporting a cleaner environment while maintaining a competitive business climate in Colorado. Our long history of constructive collaboration among employers, state leaders, regulators and the public means that we are well suited to bring business leaders to the table and develop responsible, balanced environmental policies and regulations that are predictable and avoid a one-size-fits-all approach for businesses.
The task force brings together 20 different companies and industry groups that are committed to taking sustainability initiatives to the next level, representing the transportation, energy, agriculture and manufacturing industries, and more. Participating companies include Molson Coors, EVRAZ Pueblo, the American Council of Engineering Companies of Colorado, Chevron, United Airlines and Tri-State Generation – the full list of task force members can be found on our website. We will expand on the progress that’s already been made through diverse, cross-industry collaboration to find creative ways to achieve common goals.
To help us navigate the process, we’ve commissioned the Keystone Policy Center to provide expert facilitation to the task force. Keystone has a strong reputation of bringing together stakeholders with diverse perspectives through strategic collaboration to address pressing issues with lasting solutions. The non-profit research organization will assist with task force design, goals and objectives, strategic framework, facilitation of task force meetings and documentation of outcomes. Our first task force meeting begins this month and will continue through the end of the year.
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Our end goal is to develop long- and short-term policies that allow businesses to effectively meet environmental sustainability expectations, partnering with legislators and state agencies on a balanced approach for the domestic production of resources. We will also educate policymakers and regulators on the innovative efforts employers have undertaken through technological investments, the sharing of data, and the development of best practices.
Together with Keystone, the task force will develop a policy report at the end of 2023 with potential legislative recommendations and other collective actions that can be taken to reach environmental goals and objectives.
We are very excited to break new ground in environmental collaboration and lead this coordinated effort to tackle climate action and sustainability while preserving a healthy economy for Colorado.
Loren Furman is president and CEO of the Colorado Chamber of Commerce. The Colorado Chamber champions free enterprise, a healthy business environment and economic prosperity for all Coloradans. It is the only business association that works to improve our economic climate for all sizes of business from a statewide, multi-industry perspective.