State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Aditya Birla Group and EDF Group Join the Earth Institute Corporate Circle

The Earth Institute is pleased to welcome the the Aditya Birla Group and the EDF Group into the Corporate Circle, a collective partnership of leading corporations from across the globe committed to pursuing sustainable development objectives.

Aditya Birla's Strategic Partnership has helped make possible Columbia's newest Global Center in Mumbai, bringing global expertise to local development challenges in India.

The Aditya Birla Group, the Corporate Circle’s newest Strategic Partner, is a $29 billion corporation in the league of Fortune 500 and operates in 27 countries providing a vast array of products and services, including aluminum and metals, cement, textiles, chemicals, mining, financial services, insurance, telecommunications, apparel retailing, and grocery and pharmacy goods. The Group maintains a historical commitment to serving disadvantaged communities and pursues initiatives that support healthcare, education, sustainable livelihood, infrastructure and progressive social change.  With a $750,000 gift, the Birla Group is a founding supporter of Columbia University’s recently inaugurated Global Center in Mumbai, a hub for activities and resources that will enhance the quality of research and academic programs for schools and departments of the University with interest in South Asia. Directed by Senior Development Advisor at the Earth Institute Nirupam Bajpai, the Center is also a base from which the Earth Institute will bring together top scientists, economists and thought leaders who can provide policy recommendations and address the region’s urgent development challenges. The capacity of the Global Center in Mumbai found an easy partnership with the mission of Aditya Birla’s Centre for Community Initiatives and Rural Development, whose social projects span 2,500 villages in India and reach out to seven million people annually.

The EDF Group, a leader in the European energy market, joins the Corporate Circle as a Sustaining Member with a $25,000 gift to support the Earth Institute’s crucial work in the field of sustainable development. Through its membership, EDF will engage with leading scientists, faculty and students to further their efforts to combat climate change and protect biodiversity. EDF currently invests in low-carbon energy facilities, modernizing fossil-fired plants to improve efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions, promoting energy-efficiency options for its customers, and practicing commitments to long-term monitoring of wildlife populations and restoration in areas surrounding its operations.

EDF's membership in the Corporate Circle will support the Earth Institute's crucial climate work and help the company realize its commitment to sustainability leadership in the corporate sector.

In 2006, the Group established the EDF Carbon Fund to centralize CO2 trading across Group entities. Thanks to nuclear and hydraulic production facilities, 95% of EDF’s domestic output in France is generated without CO2 emissions, and at the end of 2008, the Group’s green energy subsidiary, EDF Énergies Nouvelles, began operating a large solar farm in Europe. EDF is also collaborating with the Earth Institute on executive education and plans to explore other areas of mutual interest.

Membership in the Earth Institute Corporate Circle will offer both the Aditya Birla Group and the EDF Group opportunities to take advantage of the Earth Institute’s expertise and access to high level discussions about sustainable development strategy as well as to contribute their unique experience and expertise to group dialogue about best private sector sustainable development practices.

We are thrilled to receive Aditya Birla and EDF into this special collective of dedicated companies working with the Earth Institute to promote sustainable solutions to global challenges, and we look forward to the innovation our collaboration will bring about.

Banner featuring a collage of extreme heat images.

Recent record-breaking heat waves have affected communities across the world. The Extreme Heat Workshop will bring together researchers and practitioners to advance the state of knowledge, identify community needs, and develop a framework for evaluating risks with a focus on climate justice. Register by June 15