News

  • Win-win for business and nature: L’OCCITANE joins RE100 and targets 100% renewable electricity

    The L’OCCITANE Group is the latest big name to join The Climate Group and CDP’s RE100 campaign, committing to transition to 100% globally, with an interim goal of 80% by 2020.

    The natural cosmetics company places the protection of nature at the heart of its brand. Recognising the importance of tackling climate change, L’OCCITANE aims to reduce its own carbon intensity by 30% in 2020, compared with 2010.

    Already sourcing 100% renewable electricity in France across its stores and industrial sites, the next step will be transitioning its main subsidiaries to renewable energy by 2020, starting with stores in the UK and US.

    “Global warming is something that concerns all of us – and private sector businesses, in particular, have an important role to play,” said Katia Michieletto, CSR Director for French subsidiary Laboratoires M&L, in an interview with RE100.

    “We have become aware of the impacts that climate change and the reduction in fossil fuels will have on our supply chains and all our activities. Switching to renewable energy is one of the key actions that companies can – and must – take."

    Highlighting the business benefits, she added: “Our experience in France has shown us that the development of renewable energy contracts strengthens relations with electricity suppliers and the confidence of our stakeholders.

    “By joining RE100, L’OCCITANE wants to be part of the collective effort that will lead to an increase in renewable electricity. This community is an incredible network for sharing information and helping us to accelerate our transition to renewables.”

    The move was welcomed by Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100, The Climate Group: “L’OCCITANE is already showing leadership by sourcing 100% renewable electricity in France – a country known for investments in nuclear power.

    “Extending this renewable electricity ambition globally will help to protect our environment, increase the confidence of its stakeholders and deliver on the L’OCCITANE brand.”

    L’OCCITANE becomes the 95th company to join RE100, uniting the world’s most influential businesses committed to 100% renewable power. Earlier this month, Ebay, IHS Markit, Tesco, and The Lego Group also became members.

    As well as transitioning to 100% renewable power globally, L’OCCITANE is aiming to equip all its stores with LED lighting by 2020, reducing the carbon footprint of its packaging and formulas, and working to cut carbon emissions from its logistics chain. The company is also educating and influencing its employees on sustainability.

    To find out more, read the full interview with Katia Michieletto.

  • Newsletter: eighth Clean Energy Ministerial, solar power, and opportunities ahead

    GLOBAL

    Welcome to new members

    We are delighted to announce Ebay, IHS Markit, Ricoh Company, Ltd and Tesco as the latest members of RE100, taking the total number of committed companies to 93, with over 122 TWh demand for renewable electricity.

    Apple becomes 96% renewable

    Apple announced that 96% of its electricity use comes from renewable sources of energy. Seven of its suppliers have now pledged to power their Apple production entirely with renewable energy by the end of 2018.


    ASIA

    Showcasing RE100 at CEM8, Beijing

    We are co-organising an official side event at the eighth Clean Energy Ministerial in Beijing, China, on June 7, convening businesses and policy makers to discuss corporate demand for renewable energy. Several RE100 members are among the confirmed speakers.

    RE100 to engage businesses in Japan

    The Climate Group, which manages RE100 in partnership with CDP, will work with the Japan Climate Leaders Partnership (Japan-CLP), to raise awareness of RE100 in Japan.


    NORTH AMERICA

    CEOs call on Trump to stay in Paris Agreement

    RE100 members participated in a recent campaign from business related NGOs in the We Mean Business Coalition, led by not-for-profit Ceres, urging CEOs to ask US President Trump to stay in the Paris Agreement. 170 businesses took part in a call to action, reflecting wider corporate leadership on climate change.

    Starbucks invests in renewables

    Global coffee company Starbucks has invested in a new 47 megawatt solar farm in North Carolina, US, and a new long-term renewable electricity tariff in the state of Washington, which together will generate enough renewable electricity to power over 700 stores. It reflects the company’s move away from energy-offset purchases only, in favor of direct engagement with the energy industry.


    EUROPE

    Google launches partnership with E.ON to expand solar energy in Germany

    E.ON is to develop Google’s solar platform Sunroof in Germany. Project Sunroof helps people to make accurate decisions about solar power for their homes, now that the cost of solar costs has dropped dramatically. 

    IKEA Group launches home solar offer in Poland 

    IKEA Group has launched a new solar offer in Poland to enable its customers to save money and tackle climate change through renewable power. 


    DATES FOR YOUR DIARIES

    May 17, 2017, 18:00hrs IST / 15:00hrs CET/ 10:00hrs EST: webinar – The International Tourism Partnership will host a webinar to introduce RE100 and sister campaign EP100 to their members and stakeholders. Mahindra Holidays and Resorts will present their experience as a member of EP100. Click here to register.  

    May 23-25, 2017: FT Clean Energy Week, London, UK – The Financial Times will hold three full-day conferences. Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100, The Climate Group will be a guest speaker on May 24.

    May 24, 2017: RE100 markets and policy webinar; EU renewables – As part of our ongoing work in this area, members are invited to hear the latest on EU energy policy developments, with a presentation from guest speaker Jared Braslawsky, Secretary-General, RECS International.

    June 6-8, 2017– CEM8, Beijing, China – (As above) China will host the eighth Clean Energy Ministerial, the annual meeting of energy ministers from 24 member countries and the European Union. RE100 is co-organising an official side event on corporate sourcing of renewables on June 7.

    June 16, 2017: RE100 markets and policy webinar; India – Deepak Krishnan, Manager, Energy Program, World Resources Institute (WRI) India, will provide an overview of solar net metering policy in leading Indian states. Invitations to follow to members of RE100.

    September 18-24, 2017: Climate Week NYC, USThe Climate Group’s annual flagship event will gather business and government leaders to demonstrate how continued investment in clean energy can drive innovation, jobs and prosperity.

     

    For the latest updates on our webinars and events, visit RE100.org/events

  • H&M strengthens sustainable energy commitment and joins international initiative to enhance energy productivity

    Today, international fashion retailer and RE100 member H&M announced that it will be joining The Climate Group’s EP100 initiative, that encourages influential businesses to double the economic output from every unit of energy consumed.

    Through RE100, H&M is already committed to 100% renewable power and has been making fast progress towards this goal; in 2016 the company achieved more than 90% renewable power for its global operations.

    By 2030, H&M plans to build all its future stores using 40% less energy per square meter compared to those constructed today. Within its stores, the retailer aims to invest in new technologies for lighting, heating, ventilation and air con systems. Additionally, by 2025 the retailer aims to have 100% of its supplier partners enrolled in energy efficiency programs.

    On joining EP100, Pierre Borjesson, Global Sustainability Business Expert, H&M, said “Using less energy and increasing our economic output is a fundamental part of our strategy.

    “We have been long working to reduce our climate impact and recently launched our new commitment to achieve a climate positive value chain by 2040. This means H&M will support reductions of greenhouse gases to a larger extent than what our value chain emits. Two of our key priorities are leadership in energy productivity and using renewable energy through the value chain.”

    Helen Clarkson, Chief Executive of The Climate Group, said “It is great to see a multinational such as H&M taking a leading role in enhancing energy efficiency by joining EP100. Already a member of our RE100 initiative that commits businesses to renewable power, H&M is going one step further in joining EP100 in enhancing its commitment to climate initiatives.

    “We hope that H&M’s leadership in this area can inspire other companies across sectors to embrace energy productivity initiatives, to align economic growth with environmental sustainability.”

    Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100 at The Climate Group echoed this praise: “This is a smart business move from H&M; by taking a dual approach to energy it not only makes it easier to achieve 100% renewable power but saves money too.”

    RE100 and EP100 are designed to work hand in hand to help leading businesses switch to renewables and use energy more productively. H&M joins RE100 members Land Securities, Dalmia Cement and Swiss Re who have all committed to both initiatives.

  • IKEA Group launches home solar offer to turn customers’ roofs into power stations in Poland

    IKEA Group has launched a new solar offer in Poland across nine stores and online, enabling its customers to save money and tackle climate change through renewable power.

    Poland becomes the fourth market where IKEA customers can generate clean and affordable energy at home. IKEA Home Solar was launched in 2013, and has already been implemented in the UK, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

    IKEA Group is founding partner of RE100, a business leadership initiative led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, bringing together companies committed to 100% renewable power. 

    Aiming to produce as much renewable energy as the energy it consumes by 2020, IKEA has already installed more than 730,000 solar panels on its own buildings across the world. Bringing home solar to customers is a natural next step. 

    “We want to empower customers to take control of their energy, save money and live more sustainably at home", said Alejandro Castro Pérez, Head of IKEA Home Solar, IKEA Group.

    "That is why IKEA Group aims to make home solar energy easy, attractive and affordable to as many people as possible.”

    Over the coming years, IKEA Group will introduce the offer in more markets, aiming to have 20 countries selling solar panels by 2020.

    Karol Gobczynski, Climate and Energy Manager, IKEA Group said: “Beyond our own operations, we want to encourage millions of people to contribute to tackling climate change. We provide products that enable our customers to live a more sustainable life at home by saving energy and water, and reducing waste. Through our home solar offer, we also help our customers to turn their roofs into power stations.”

    Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100, The Climate Group welcomed the news: “IKEA Group has a strong reputation for well designed, functional and affordable home furnishing – its move into the sale of home solar PV not only reflects IKEA’s leadership in responsible retail, but also demonstrates the dramatic shift that renewable electricity has made from niche luxury, to mainstream home improvement.”

    Since 2009, IKEA Group has invested EUR 1.5 billion in renewable energy and has committed an additional EUR 600 million for investments in wind and solar energy generation. In Poland, IKEA Group already produces more renewable energy than it consumes, and has invested heavily in carbon free heating and increased energy efficiency.

    For more information on IKEA's RE100 commitment and progress, read our interview with Chief Sustainability Officer Steve Howard.

  • Biggest US corporates setting ambitious climate targets - new report

    Corporate sourcing of renewables in the US has reached record levels with nearly half of the country’s biggest companies having set climate targets, according to a new report.

    The Power Forward 3.0 report, produced by WWFCeresCalvert Research and Management and CDP, shows that 48% of the 2016 Fortune 500 (240 companies) have a target for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction, renewable energy, energy efficiency, or a combination of these.

    The largest corporates continue to lead, with 63% of Fortune 100 companies setting targets, and the report shows that these efforts are improving companies’ bottom lines and driving the business case for renewable power.

    Raising ambition

    The report indicates a clear increase in corporate climate ambition, with a range of companies committing to 100% renewable power. Science-based targets have also been widely adopted that align with the 2015 Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise well below two degrees Celsius to avoid catastrophic impacts of climate change.

    Members of RE100 - which is run by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP and brings together influential businesses committed to 100% renewable power - represent some of the major buyers of clean energy, with Google expecting to be powered entirely by renewables this year.

    Technology giant, Apple, and the San Francisco-based business software company, Salesforce, are also leading the way on clean energy uptake and emissions reduction, with WalmartGeneral MotorsBank of America, and Facebook also being cited in the report for their bold efforts.

    Mike Pierce, Corporate Partnerships Director, The Climate Group, said: “The report shows that the business case for corporate sourcing of renewables is indisputable and companies in the US are driving towards decarbonization because it makes sense for their bottom lines. It sends a powerful message to the Federal government in the US, and to businesses and administrations across the world, that we are heading towards a clean energy future.

    “By setting ambitious climate targets and aligning their business models with the Paris Agreement, these companies are making a clear call to action for long-term policy clarity and continued participation in the historic global deal.”

    Major savings

    The report shows that the 240 companies decreased their annual emissions by a combined 155.7 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent, the same as taking 45 coal-fired power plants offline every year.

    Significantly, 190 companies collectively reported $3.7 billion in annual cost savings from energy efficiency projects they have implemented to meet their targets.

    The most common climate target category for Fortune 500 companies was GHG reduction, with 211, or 42%, having either an absolute or and intensity-based emissions reduction target - up from 38% in the previous edition of the report. 53 companies on the index set renewable energy targets in 2016, up from 42, with many more using renewables to meet their emissions reduction targets.

    The report highlights a wide spread of target setting among different sectors, with Consumer Staples leading way with 72% of companies having set a target. The Materials sector is second on the list with 66% followed by Utilities with 65%. The Real Estate and Information Technology sectors follow closely behind, with 60% and 57% respectively. The Telecommunications, Consumer Discretionary and Healthcare sectors are rank just below the index average of 48%, at 43%, 42% and 41%, respectively.

    To find out more, read the full report.

  • Businesses and renewable energy key to achieve low carbon future - new report

    Rapid deployment of renewable energy plays a crucial role in limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius – the limit to avoid catastrophic effects of climate change – a new report from the Energy Transitions Commission indicates.

    The 'Better Energy, Greater Prosperity' report, which focuses particularly on energy productivity, demonstrates how the world can halve carbon emissions by 2040. It finds that to achieve this, the share of energy derived from zero-carbon sources – mainly renewables – must grow by at least 1% per annum.

    “Renewables are already showing their enormous potential,” said Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100, The Climate Group - which leads RE100 in partnership with CDP.

    “Costs are falling dramatically, and deployment is increasing globally. Renewables are particularly attractive to corporate energy buyers, because they allow businesses to achieve cost surety over the long-term – protecting them from price volatility of fossil fuels.

    “RE100’s role is to accelerate this energy revolution. This program is showing that if ambitious companies come together and share their success stories and demonstrate to markets and policy makers the huge corporate demand for renewable electricity, we can deliver a healthier, more prosperous future for all.”

    Currently, 90 leading corporates are committed to 100% renewable power through RE100. In addition to showing their business leadership on climate change, these companies are also putting themselves on the forefront of the incoming net-zero economy.

    Cost effective solutions

    Renewables costs have reached record lows. Since 2009, the levelized cost of wind energy has decreased by 65% – with an even more impressive 85% reduction for utility-scale photovoltaic generation, the report shows.

    This is a trend that is set to continue. Renewable energy is benefitting from the tipping point reached by batteries – a price decline of a staggering 326% since 2013. This means that renewable energy systems, when combined with increasingly cheaper batteries, could be cost-competitive with gas-powered generation as early as 2035.

    The transport and building sectors, focusing on clean electrification, have the potential to reduce fossil fuel use by up to 20% by 2040, while increasing electricity requirements by over 25% by the same year. Clean electrification alone could deliver half of the carbon emissions reductions required by 2040.

    Businesses can also play a fundamental role in investing in research and development to support clean technologies that are now only at an early stage – pushing for market design, risk-sharing financing models and procurement practices.

    Renewables revolution

    Zero-carbon sources - mainly renewables - could account for up to 80% of the global power mix by 2040, while coal-fired power needs to decline steeply as soon as possible, the report states. By 2035, it will be feasible in many geographies to build a near-total-variable-renewable power system providing electricity at a maximum all-in cost of US$70 per megawatt-hour, making renewables fully competitive with fossil duels.

    However, a fast-paced scale of renewables’ deployment is central to achieve this goal. The report also indicates how by 2040, intermittent renewables – such as solar and wind – could reach 45% of the global power mix, with other zero-carbon power sources representing about 35%, and unabated fossil fuels the remaining 20%.

    The report also warns that increased renewables penetration could lead to a decline of fossil fuel prices, making necessary a carbon tax to continue supporting investments in renewables. To achieve these goals, the investment sector must fund the energy transition, overcoming financial challenges such as the high investment needs in emerging economies.

    Therefore, a significant shift in the mix of investment is needed, the report says, lowering fossil fuels investment by US3.7 trillion over 2015-2030 while ramping up investment in renewables and energy efficient equipment by US$6 trillion and US$9 trillion respectively. This would mean an extra US$300-600 billion in annual investment.

    The report concludes that governments, investors and businesses must act now to seize the economic, social and environmental opportunities offered by the energy transition. A coherent, predictable and bold policy framework is necessary to drive progress on climate action.

     “This is not just another plan; it’s a better plan,” said Ajay Mathur, co-Chair, Energy Transitions Commission. “We show how the world can remove barriers to transform challenges into opportunities, not only in advanced economies, but also in emerging countries.”

  • New partnership launched to take RE100 to Japan, as first Japanese member announced

    A new partnership has been launched to engage leading Japanese businesses in RE100.

    The Climate Group, which manages RE100 in partnership with CDP, will work with the Japan Climate Leaders Partnership (Japan-CLP), to raise awareness of RE100, as well as sister campaigns EP100 (energy productivity) and EV100 (electric mobility – coming soon) - also led by The Climate Group.

    The new partnership comes days after RE100 announced its first Japanese member, Ricoh Company Ltd., which has set the goal of sourcing 100% renewable electricity worldwide by 2050.

    While energy demand grows globally, businesses are increasingly aware of the need to future proof the efficiency of their operations. RE100, EP00 and EV100, also part of the We Mean Business coalition, help companies to reduce carbon emissions, enhance resilience, and boost the bottom line.

    By partnering with Japan-CLP, a membership organization bringing together Asian companies committed to action on sustainability, The Climate Group aims to increase global awareness of the business benefits of renewable energy, energy productivity and electro-mobility, and inspire more leading companies to join its campaigns.

    “We are excited to take our work to a new part of the world, and a country well known for technology leadership,” said Mike Peirce, Corporate Partnerships Director, The Climate Group.

    “Building sustainability into business operations drives innovation and increases competitive edge. It also demonstrates the kind of leadership we need to create shifts in policies and markets that will keep global warming well below two degrees Celsius.”

    Japan-CLP will act on behalf of The Climate Group in Japan, offering guidance to companies interested in joining RE100, EP100 and EV100. For further information, visit Japan-CLP’s website.

  • Starbucks drives innovation to overcome barriers to renewable power

    Global coffee company Starbucks has committed to a new long-term renewable electricity tariff in its home state of Washington, US, to ensure its local facilities are powered by renewable energy.

    The new, cost-competitive ‘Green Direct’ tariff will see the construction of a new wind farm in Washington State to provide clean electricity to 116 Starbucks stores and the company’s roasting facility in Kent, Wash.

    It is a direct result of collaboration between large energy users in the state like Starbucks and local utility Puget Sound Energy, through the Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles, and sets an example to companies nationwide relying on a local utility to move forward on renewable energy.

    Patrick Leonard, Manager, Energy & Resource Management, Starbucks, said: “Green Direct is a way Starbucks can select what type of energy we buy, rather than that being predetermined by the utility, so we can put the money we spend on electricity into renewable energy projects.”

    “This is actually pouring clean, green energy into the same grid that these stores are connected to,” added Rebecca Zimmer, Starbucks’ Global Director of Environment. “This represents a direct investment that’s locally relevant and provides an innovative energy purchasing model we hope to see in other communities.”

    In 2015, Starbucks joined RE100, a global initiative of influential businesses committed to 100% renewable power, led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP. By the following year, the company was buying renewable electricity equivalent to 100% of its global operations.

    Starbucks has since been taking the strategic approach of reducing its reliance on purchasing renewable electricity certificates, by diversifying its renewable electricity supply. This makes business sense; the new Green Direct tariff will provide protection against market volatility and is expected to generate cost savings based on analysis by Starbucks Treasury and Facilities departments.

    In addition to the new tariff, Starbucks is announcing its first solar power investment, a 47 megawatt solar farm in North Carolina, which will generate enough renewable electricity to power 600 company stores. It reflects the company’s move away from energy-offset purchases only, in favor of direct engagement with the energy industry.

    “The corporate sector is driving the conversation at the moment, which is a very interesting dynamic,” said Patrick Leonard. “We’re happy to partner with utilities to do this but we now also have options to engage with projects directly. For a company like Starbucks and some of the tech companies that use a lot of energy, to be able to source their needs in a positive way is a win-win. It’s also a way we can demonstrate our values.”

    Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100, The Climate Group, praised the company for its leadership. “RE100 members like Starbucks are going beyond simply meeting a target,” he said, “they are re-writing the rulebook for energy purchasing.” 

    He continued: “Starbucks is demonstrating the compelling business case for renewable electricity. Their dynamic, collaborative and innovative approach is setting an example to businesses and utilities across America, while showing millions of customers that Starbucks is serious about slowing climate change.”

    Daniel T. Schwartz, Director of the University of Washington’s Clean Energy Institute, said a commitment to renewable energy by major companies like Starbucks will ultimately impact the cost of clean electricity across the board: “Everyone responsible for building a clean energy system – from the people that permit the project to the engineers and construction labor that builds it – learn from each project, so the more renewable energy generation facilities that get built in the US., the cheaper they get for everyone else to buy and use.”

    Globally, equipment prices for solar photovoltaic technology fell by 80% between 2009 and 2015, while a recent REN21 report shows that renewable energy could be cheaper than all fossil fuels within the next 10 years.

  • Newsletter: member updates, China market and speaking opportunities

    GLOBAL

    World's biggest brewer joins RE100

    Anheuser-Busch InBev has joined RE100, raising the total renewable electricity demand of RE100 members to ~113 TWh/yr. Coverage in USA Today, New York Times and others highlights the business case for renewables.

    Kingspan surpasses renewable energy goal

    Congratulations to Kingspan for exceeding its interim goal of sourcing 50% renewable energy globally in 2016. The company aims to achieve net zero energy by 2020, including a switch to 100% renewable power by the same year.

    Technical webinar: making credible claims on renewable electricity usage

    A RE100 webinar has outlined our technical criteria and some best practice guidance on making corporate renewables claims. 



     ASIA

    Knowledge sharing webinar: China’s 13th Five-Year Plan – renewable energy

    More than 50 people attended a RE100 webinar providing an update on the local renewable energy landscape and opportunities for corporate sourcing of renewables through onsite generation and direct purchasing. The webinar was hosted jointly with Rocky Mountain Institute’s Business Renewables Center (BRC). 

    Going 100% renewable in Singapore

    The National Environment Agency of Singapore is looking to connect with RE100 members that have local operations, to help them work toward 100% renewable electricity goals. 


    EUROPE

    IKEA calls for stable EU policy

    IKEA CEO Peter Agnefjäll has highlighted the need for a stable EU regulatory framework, at an event moderated by RE100. We are working with The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group to influence the ‘EU Clean Energy for All Europeans’ package.

    BT signs new wind farm deals

    BT has signed a new Power Purchase Agreement with a Scottish wind farm to help power the UK’s demand for digital services. “We hope our commitment to renewable energy will encourage more consumers and businesses to make the move towards renewable energy”, said Rob Williams, BT’s General Manager of Power Procurement.


    NORTH AMERICA

    Facebook announces 100% renewable data center

    Facebook is to open a new data center in Nebraska, US, powered by 100% renewable electricity. Facebook partnered with Omaha Public Power District to design a special renewable energy tariff to bring wind power to the area. “It needs to be easier for companies of all kinds to access renewable energy”, said Tom Furlong, Vice President of Infrastructure. 


    DATES FOR YOUR DIARIES

    April 24, 2017: RE100 markets and policy webinar; EU renewables -  RE100 Members are invited to hear the latest on EU energy policy developments, with a presentation from Jared Braslawsky, Secretary-General, RECS International.  

    May 3, 2017: RE100 reporting requirements webinar - This webinar will explain what is required by RE100 in terms of data collection from members. 

    May 23-25, 2017: FT Clean Energy Week, London, UK - The Financial Times hold three full-day conferences focusing on climate financing (May 23), the transition to low-carbon energy (May 24), and the shift to a circular economy (May 25). Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100, will be a guest speaker on May 24. 

    June 6-8, 2017– CEM8, Beijing, China – China will host the eighth Clean Energy Ministerial. On June 7, there will be a session on corporate sourcing of renewables, as well as the Under 2 Coalition's Clean Energy Forum. RE100 members will be speaking.

    September 18-24, 2017: Climate Week NYC, USThe Climate Group’s annual flagship event will gather business and government leaders to demonstrate how continued investment in clean energy will drive profitability and lead us towards a net-zero emissions economy. RE100 members will be speaking.

    Click here for the latest updates on our webinars and events.


    AND FINALLY

    Are you looking for an effective, impactful way to show what RE100 is all about? Please share this short video kindly produced by CBS Ecomedia. 

  • Celebrating success: Kingspan surpasses 2016 target on the way to 100% renewable power

    In 2011 the Kingspan Group Plc set an ambitious target to become a net zero energy company by 2020, with an interim target of 50% renewable energy by 2016. Having surpassed this target, Mark Harris, Building Technology Director, blogs on the company’s achievement and plans to 2020 – including a complete transition to 100% renewable electricity as part of RE100.

    At Kingspan, our vision is to be a global leader in sustainable business and establish a leading position in providing sustainable, renewable and affordable solutions for the construction sector.

    For well over a decade we have been aware of the implications of climate change and the importance of reducing emissions. We recognized the substantial business opportunity it presents but also the significant threat to our operations.

    In Europe the regulatory requirement for all new buildings to be nearly net zero energy by 2020, as outlined by the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive in 2010, was a clear signal that we needed to take action to fully understand the energy footprint across our estate and address the carbon emissions from our facilities.

    By 2011 this evolved into an ambitious commitment to make our estate net zero energy by 2020 with a challenging interim target of achieving 50% renewable energy by 2016. Net Zero Energy (NZE), as defined for our purposes, is that our sites, over a year, are energy neutral on an aggregated basis across the Kingspan estate.

    This energy neutrality will be achieved by a combination of on-site renewable energy generation (including export to the supply grids), off-site renewable energy generation (related directly to Kingspan) and the purchase of renewable energy to balance out the use of energy from non-renewable sources.

    We are delighted to announce we have exceeded our 2016 target, entering 2017 having achieved 57% renewable energy across the Kingspan Group estate in 2016.

    We have increased our renewable energy usage more than eight-fold since setting our targets in 2011. The five-year journey to date has been a great learning experience for us.

    We began by forming a global NZE team who are responsible for delivering our ambitious 2020 goal. We also set up a process to capture energy use and carbon emissions on a monthly basis at every site across the Group. From the data we were able to identify areas for improvements which led to the development of our three step strategy ‘Save More – Generate More – Buy More’.  

    We believe that it is crucial to minimize energy use as the first step of the process and we have experienced significant energy savings from our efforts. Thanks to energy efficiency measures such as energy performance contracts, monitoring, building fabric upgrades, and plant equipment in place across multiple sites, we have reduced our overall lighting and heat cost intensity by over 30% and achieved almost a four-fold decrease in our carbon intensity.

    A key milestone for us was when our Group Headquarters in Kingscourt, Ireland achieved Net Zero Energy in 2012 through an extensive retrofit of the existing building envelope, rooftop solar PV and LED lighting system.

    Onsite renewable energy generation – both electricity and heat – is also a key priority. We have invested substantially in on-site generation across multiple sites globally – out on-site generation currently amounts to 7.6% of our total energy use, and more projects are now under construction.

    The purchase of renewable electricity is a necessary part of delivering on our 2020 ambition. Our commitment to sourcing 100% renewable electricity by the same year is how we came to join RE100 in 2014.

    We aim to procure fully certified renewable energy as far as possible. Through our NZE journey so far, and RE100 knowledge-sharing activities, we have gained a better understanding of the global renewable energy market.

    Last year this enabled us to procure all the electricity used at our manufacturing sites in North America from certified renewable sources. In fact, in 2016, the Group used 164.2 GWh of renewable electricity (accounting for 94% of our total procured electricity), which is almost a six- fold increase from 2011.

    Our positive progress in moving towards our 2020 goal has helped to protect us from the anticipated rise in energy costs over the next decade. It has enabled us to demonstrate the business case for investment in energy efficiency and renewable electricity generation to stakeholders across the building sector. It also helps to demonstrate the value proposition for our own products & solutions and highlights the benefits of upgrading existing facilities.

    As we move towards 2020 the Group will continue to expand meaning that our strategy must be flexible enough to accommodate for this across different geographies. We have a range of large scale renewable energy projects coming on stream at multiple sites over the next three years including PV, biomass, solar thermal & wind generation. We are conscious that the renewable energy landscape is evolving rapidly and we look forward to the development of innovative & legitimate options that will help us to achieve our goal. 

    To hear more about Kingspan’s 100% renewable electricity goal, read our interview with Kingspan CEO, Gene M. Murtagh.