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SEATTLE – (Oct. 27, 2014) — More than 100 businesses, including Virginia Mason, Microsoft, REI and Saltchuk, today launched an open declaration calling for action on climate change. The Washington Business Climate Declaration highlights the support of state business leaders for action on climate change that would preserve and expand the state’s vibrant economy.

The declaration states: “There is a clear and present need for action on climate change to protect our region’s natural assets, its vibrant communities and its growing economy. We business leaders of the Pacific Northwest endorse the Climate Declaration because we support using energy efficiently, investing in cleaner fuels, advancing renewable energy, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

“In the face of the increasing challenges presented by climate change, Washington state’s innovative spirit creates opportunity to help develop solutions and help to preserve our outstanding quality of life,” said Rob Bernard, chief environmental and cities strategist at Microsoft Corp.

“The scientific evidence shows that climate change is real and has significant health impacts,” said Virginia Mason Chairman and CEO Gary S. Kaplan, MD. “We all need to take action to respond to climate change in order to protect the health of future generations.” 

“The Chamber sees climate change as a significant risk to our economy and unique quality of life, but it also poses an opportunity. Our region’s businesses have designed products and services that have improved lives around the planet and they are uniquely positioned to provide solutions to our global climate and energy challenges. We support putting our businesses in a position to be the first mover on this global opportunity," said President and CEO of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber President and CO Maud Daudon.

“Here in Washington we have natural beauty all around,” said REI President and CEO Jerry Stritzk. “Our members’ lives are better because they can enjoy the outdoors. That's a constant reminder of why business and government just have to work together on climate change. It’s real and it can’t be ignored, so we are here to listen and take part in the dialogue about what should be done.”

“We are proud to join companies across Washington in signing the Climate Declaration,” said Mark Tabbutt, chairman of Saltchuk, whose subsidiaries Foss Maritime and Totem Ocean Trailer Express have also signed the Declaration. “We have made substantial investments in clean technology and alternative fuels that have set new standards in reducing carbon emissions and improving air quality in the marine transportation industry.”

“With ocean acidification impacting our ability to produce young oysters to stock our farms we understand all too well the importance of tackling the carbon pollution problem,” said Bill Taylor, president of Taylor Shellfish. “Washington’s Business Climate Declaration is a strong statement from our state’s business leaders that it is time to act and that doing so should be seen as an opportunity not a threat.”

Leaders from the signatory companies encourage other businesses to join them. Companies interested in signing the declaration can do so at http://climatedeclaration.us/wa. The web page includes the full list of companies that have signed the Washington Business Climate Declaration.

The Washington Business Climate Declaration is a companion to the Climate Declaration launched in 2013 by Ceres, a non-profit sustainability advocacy organization, and its business network, Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy. The Climate Declaration has more than 1,000 signatories nationwide. See the nationwide list here.

Media Contacts:
Brenna Davis, director, Sustainability, Virginia Mason - (206) 341-1851 - brenna.davis@virginiamason.org
Sarah Severn, Sarah Severn Consulting - (817) 768 8377 (o); (503) 807-4765 (m) - sarah@sarahsevern.com
Markham McIntyre, senior director, External Relations, Seattle Chamber - markhamm@seattlechamber.com
Gale Robinette, manager, Media Relations, Virginia Mason - gale.robinette@virginiamason.org

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