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Energy Efficiency

Starbucks, Staples accept Obama’s Better Buildings Challenge

Six new major companies in the United States, including Starbucks Coffee Company, Staples and Pacific Gas and Electric, have joined President Barrack Obama's Better Buildings Challenge, a program enlisting the commercial sector in reducing energy use in their facilities.

The Better Buildings Challenge, which started in February 2011, is a voluntary initiative that seeks support from corporate chief executives, university presidents and state and local leaders in making commercial and industrial buildings energy efficient by at least 20 percent by 2020.

International coffee company Starbucks reportedly will lessen energy consumption by at least 25 percent by 2015 in its 14 million square feet's worth of company-owned stores, while agribusiness firm JR Simplot will improve energy use in all its 16 manufacturing plants by 25 percent for the next 10 years.

Office products company Staples plans to trim down the carbon emissions of its 43 million-square-feet commercial building space by 50 percent by 2025.

Financial firms Samas Capital and Greenwood Energy both committed to invest a combined $200 million fund in energy efficiency projects for the next 18 months in partnership with private organizations and the government.

Pacific Gas and Electric, the electricity and natural gas utility in California, pledged to provide energy efficiency programs for about 30 million square feet of commercial building space by 2015. – EcoSeed Staff

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