Bloomberg L.P.

Bloomberg L.P. has a goal to source 100% renewable electricity by 2025. Here, Curtis Ravenel, Global Head of Sustainable Business and Finance, shares the company’s road map to becoming ‘100% renewable’.

What’s driving Bloomberg to become 100% powered by renewable electricity?

“Sourcing renewable electricity enables us to diversify our energy supply, reduce costs, provide a hedge against rising traditional energy costs and helps contribute to cleaner, healthier communities. Committing to source 100% of our electricity from renewable sources by 2025 is part of an overall business strategy – good for the business, good for the environment.”

How did you decide on your 100% goal?

“We have a comprehensive sustainability strategy that focuses on every aspect of our operations. For example, we are the only major publisher that prints our magazines exclusively on FSC paper and we have an expanding on-site composting program at our offices to divert waste from landfills.

“However, from a business perspective, the biggest opportunity for reducing costs and emissions is maintaining a focus on  reducing overall energy consumption, implementing energy-efficiency projects, developing both on- and off-site clean energy projects and building all of our facilities to LEED standard. Moving toward 100% renewable electricity is an evolution of these and many other company-wide efforts.

“In 2013 we set a target to be 35% renewable by 2020. We have a clear plan to reach this point, so setting 2025 for 100% renewable electricity feels attainable too.”    

What are your achievements so far?

“We have completed three renewable energy projects and we have three more projects in the pipeline. Two are scheduled for completion in 2016 and another in 2017. We currently have two on-site solar PV power projects generating a total of 2,700 MWh of renewable energy annually. In fall 2015, we completed the Bloomberg – JFK Airport Park Solar Project that will generate 1,800 MWh of electricity and allow our New York City headquarters to partially convert to clean solar energy.

“In addition, we are in contract to complete a 2.9 MW Power Purchase Agreement to power our data center in Rockland County NY, a 184 KW project at our New Jersey office and a 20MW Wind Farm Power Purchase Agreement that will power almost 50% of our New York offices. By the end of 2017 we expect to have 21% of our electricity from renewable sources.”

What plans do you have for switching to renewable electricity?

“Bloomberg has been purchasing renewable energy via RECs since 2007, so the concept is not new to us.  But our strategy has changed.

“RECs have been an important part of reducing our footprint, but the opportunity now exists – because of reduced costs and financial mechanisms like PPA’s – to implement renewable efforts on site or closer to our sites.  This allows us to reduce our emissions and save money.

“We continue to evaluate a number of renewable energy projects and are focusing more of our efforts outside the United States.  And we are cautiously optimistic that the recent climate deal will open up even more of these opportunities globally.”

What opportunities and challenges are you encountering?

“We continue to seek a 20% return on the portfolio of our investments as we increase our use of renewable electricity and work towards our emissions reduction targets. Still, we need to expand our efforts outside the United States. A continuing challenge is that our offices are typically located in dense urban areas, so large scale on-site projects remain difficult given the lack of viable land. However, we believe that these challenges are short-term and that off-site PPA opportunities – like our solar and wind efforts in New York – will expand and can help address some of these issues.”

Why do you think it is important for companies to play a role in accelerating demand for renewable electricity?

“The private sector accounts for about half of global electricity demand, so companies have a real opportunity to make a difference. At Bloomberg, we realize that we can help influence and encourage other businesses to commit and further increase the demand for renewable energy. This will help scale the industry, bring down costs and increase availability – and viability – worldwide.”

Why do you think RE100 is a good initiative to join?

“RE100 convinced us that they had gathered a strong coalition of committed companies, dedicated to real outcomes. That’s exciting to us. Collaborating with other companies who are demonstrating that distributed clean energy makes business sense, will allow all of us to have a greater impact in bringing other companies along.”

What else is Bloomberg doing to help develop a low carbon economy?

“Operationally, we’ve eliminated 446,134 tons of CO2e and are 40% more energy efficient than we were in 2007, saving us $80 million in operational costs. We’ve also completed 26 LEED Certified office projects in-line with our environmental efforts, to ensure that our facilities are running as efficiently as possible. 

“On the Product side, we are using our influence in capital markets to improve transparency, liquidity and news content in sustainable finance.  This ranges from collecting Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) data on the Bloomberg Professional Service, to supporting the emerging Green Bonds market. 

“Bloomberg New Energy Finance provides unique analysis, tools and data for decision makers driving change in the energy system.  Most, if not all, of our different product groups have an offering that provides data and analysis on the low carbon economy.  We believe this is where we can have the largest impact.” 

Last updated: March 2016