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JohnsonDiversey exec sees CO2 reductions good for businesses

December 10, 2009

Some businesses in the United States will have to reinvent themselves as the Obama administration moves to lower greenhouse gas emissions, but they’ll be  better off in the long run, Pedro Chidichimo, president of JohnsonDiversey EMA, told on Thursday.

Despite the inevitable short-term pain, Chidichimo said that carbon footprint reductions simply have good bottom-line implications for businesses.

“Of course there are a lot of investments that need to be done, not only financial investments but resources and capabilities investments that need to be done to do that but this will generate significant bottom-line improvement for the business landscape,” he said.

The Environment Protection Agency (EPA)  ruled on Monday that greenhouse gases endanger human health, a move that will allow it to regulate planet-warming gases even without legislation in Congress.

Reinvention will be key for some companies as they move to comply with new standards and regulations, said Chidichimo, who spoke to at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Climate Business Action Day event on the sidelines of the COP15 climate conference in Copenhagen.

“In history you’ve seen many reinventions of industries,” he said. “I think we are at one of those breakthrough times in humanity where some industries need to be redefined totally and need to take other technologies as a base to drive a different business model.”

Wisconsin-based JohnsonDiversey specializes in cleaning and hygiene solutions for commercial customers. The unlisted company has committed to reducing emissions from its global operations to 8 percent below 2003 levels by December 31, 2013. It said this will result in an estimated cumulative CO2 reduction of 89,000 tonnes by 2013.

Chidichimo also said the time was right for clean technologies.

The U.S. debate over clean technologies  is now at the highest level and, politically, this is the right time to drive investments in those technologies, he said.

“In the next decade we will have a technological disruption (in the U.S.) and I think the US is one of those countries that rapidly adapts to innovations and new ways of doing things so I’m pretty optimistic that this technological disruption will be growing very, very rapidly in the next decade in the U.S.

Chidichimo said that he expected the COP15 conference to reach an agreement on emissions targets.

Watch an excerpt from our interview with Chidichimo:

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