Some Georgia firms say they’ll keep thinking green despite Trump move

President Donald Trump announces his decision this week to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accords. (Doug Mills/The New York Times)

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President Donald Trump announces his decision this week to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accords. (Doug Mills/The New York Times)

Several big Georgia companies are remaining silent about their plans related to President Donald Trump’s decision this week to pull the United States out of a global climate accord, but a few say they’ll still do their bit to fight global warming.

Delta Air Lines, insurance company Aflac and Atlanta-based SunTrust Banks declined to comment.

Flooring manufacturer Mohawk Industries and lighting manufacturer Acuity Brands did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

A few did weigh in.

Coca-Cola, United Parcel Service, Southern Co., and Home Depot said they are pursuing “green” projects ranging from alternative-fuel vehicles to solar power installations big enough to power thousands of homes.

Coca-Cola said it has signed an open letter with other companies supporting the Paris climate agreement, which is aimed at cutting enough output of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases by 2025 to limit global warming to roughly 4 degrees Fahrenheit.

“We have worked for several years to reduce our impact on climate, and we were among many companies whose CEOs signed the open letter in support of the Paris Climate Agreement,” Coca-Cola said in a statement. “We remain focused on our efforts to achieve our goal to reduce the carbon footprint of the drink in your hand by 25% by 2020. We are on track to meet this commitment having achieved a 14% carbon reduction by the end of 2015.”

But it was unclear if any companies other than Coke have joined organized efforts in support of the Paris accord such as the one mounted by ex-New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The latter group of mayors, governors and companies, including Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, said they plan to keep moving toward meeting the greenhouse-gas targets under the Paris climate agreement.

UPS has “had requests from several coalitions, but for now we’re speaking for ourselves,” said Rosenberg.

“We will continue to work to achieve our sustainability goals,” she said. “Logistics is about more than just moving goods, we connect millions of people in communities in more than 200 countries and territories. Shifting demographics, E-commerce and the growing on-demand economy pose environmental, congestion and transportation challenges.”

The Sandy Springs-based package delivery company announced earlier this year that it expects to finish an $18 million project by year-end to install solar panels at eight of its facilities. The solar project is expected to produce 10 megawatts of electricity — enough power to supply 1,200 homes and supplant up to 8,200 metric tonnes of carbon annually from conventional power plants.

UPS it also trying out cleaner fuel sources — including fuel cells and natural gas — for part of its truck fleet.

Meanwhile, Southern Company said it plans to keep investing in power plants that don’t produce green house gases.

“Southern Company will continue its commitment to a leadership role in finding environmental solutions that make technological and economic sense,” spokesman Schuyler Baehman said. “The focus of this effort must be on developing and deploying technologies that reduce (green house gases) while ensuring energy remains reliable and affordable.”

Home Depot said it will still look for ways to reduce its impact on the environment.

“Regardless of the decision, we’ll continue to push forward with our environmental and sustainability efforts, which began long before the accord,” Home Depot spokesman Stephen Holmes said.

The Paris pact is largely non-binding on the nearly 200 nations that signed it. The United States wasn’t expected to meet its pollution-cutting goals by the pact’s 2025 deadline, partly because of the challenges to getting big reductions in carbon dioxide emissions from autos, utility plants and other industries.