Gov. Ralph Northam on Wednesday commended a newly formed group that aims to help Virginia-based businesses and nonprofits address climate change and prepare the economy for a clean energy future.

Northam spoke at the Community Climate Collaborative (C3) launch of the Green Business Alliance at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital.

“We’ve had these climate commissions in Virginia and we listen to the data and we’ve said that we really need to get out there and take action and then we really never have. In the past few years, we have been able to work together and really understand what we’re up against as a society,” Northam said.

Each business has to commit to certain clean energy goals in order to be part of the alliance, said Susan Kruse, C3’s executive director.

“This whole process started about two years ago and we collected about two or three years of energy data for each business and then we gave them their carbon footprint analysis and worked with them to set a plan forward. The collective goal is a 45% reduction by 2025,” Kruse said.

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