Our View: Private sector begins addressing climate change

DKS Editors

Rarely does the private sector make any comment regarding the negative effects of climate change, save for the occasional, critical comment made about EPA regulations. However, two major companies, Apple and Chipotle, have recently been vocal on the issue of climate change, though for different reasons.

It began last month when Chipotle released its annual report, stating “increasing weather volatility or other long-term changes in global weather patterns, including any changes associated with global climate change, could have a significant effect on the price or availability of some of our ingredients.”

The chain went on to say “in the event of cost increases with respect to one or more of our raw ingredients, we may choose to temporarily suspend serving menu items, such as guacamole or one or more of our salsas, rather than paying the increased cost for the ingredients.”

An increased cost which certainly adds up, considering the, on average, 97,000 pounds of avocado the company uses every day to make its guacamole.  

In contrast, Apple CEO Tim Cook nearly lost his temper Friday during the Q&A portion of the company’s annual stockholders meeting after a representative from the National Center for Public Policy Research asked about the return of investment on Apple’s plans for having 100 percent of its power come from green sources.  

A visibly offended Cook rejected the notion of pursuing only profitable objectives.

“When we work on making our devices accessible by the blind,” he said, “I don’t consider the bloody ROI,” or return on investment. He went on to say, “If you want me to do things only for ROI reasons, you should get out of this stock.”

Climate change is a topic on everyone’s minds — and it should be.  Those companies greatest affected, such as Chipotle, can no longer ignore the financial consequences of its reduced supply.  

Apple, though not impacted in the same way as Chipotle, also gives evidence to the weight of climate change, as Cook paralleled it with worker safety in terms of areas where Apple is a leader.  

We believe this is just the beginning of companies in the private sector being vocal about climate change, whether or not it affects them financially.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.