News

  • Newsletter: China, supply chains, and leadership from our members

    Members show leadership in China
    Apple, Google, H&M, and Philips Lighting were among leading global businesses speaking at Corporate Sourcing of Renewables Day, an official side event of the eighth Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM8), in Beijing. This unique event was co-organized by RE100. Apple announced its eighth supplier to transition to 100% renewable power, Jabil Circuit Inc., which has operations in China and consumes around 1 billion megawatt-hours of electricity per year.

    New members announced
    Congratulations to L’OCCITANE, the LEGO Group and Telefónica on joining RE100, and to LEGO on reaching its 100% goal. L’OCCITANE said going 100% renewable was a win-win for business and nature.

    RE100 commitments reaffirmed
    US President Trump may be pulling back from the Paris Agreement, but this will not slow the momentum of businesses committed to renewable energy, according to a blog by Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100, The Climate Group. RE100 members have joined the We Are Still In campaign and are helping to develop markets for renewable energy. “Our experience shows us that these investments and innovations are good for our planet, our company, our customers and the economy,” said Brad Smith, President and Chief Legal Officer, Microsoft.

    RE100 webinar: European market insights
    We held a webinar for members on recent policy developments at the EU level, with guest speaker Jared Braslawsky, Secretary-General of RECS International.

    EU policy is an important area of work for RE100. Following key events held with Google and IKEA earlier this year, and our report calling on policy makers to strengthen energy legislation, RE100 is facilitating meetings between members and rapporteurs shaping the EU’s Clean Energy For All Europeans package, ahead of its next reading in September.


    DATES FOR YOUR DIARIES

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

    July 20, 2017: RE100 markets and policy webinar; Japan – Kae Takase, Project Manager, CDP Japan will give an overview on Japan’s renewable electricity market and new J-Credit scheme, through which the Government certifies as credits the amount of greenhouse gas emissions reduced through renewable energy. Invitations to follow to members of RE100 and selected contacts in Japan.

    September 18-24, 2017: Climate Week NYC, US – The 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.

  • Corporate sourcing of renewables: highlighting business progress at CEM8

    The RE100 initiative, led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, has co-organised a major event in China featuring members Apple, Google, H&M, and Philips Lighting, to demonstrate unstoppable business demand for renewable energy.

    Corporate Sourcing of Renewables Day, an official side event of the eighth Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM8) in Beijing, saw RE100 join forces with leading companies, governments and international partners, to highlight the progress of the private sector in growing China’s renewable energy market and accelerating a low carbon economy.

    The event comes as global energy policy network REN21 published a new report showing record renewable energy capacity in 2016 installed at lower cost, thanks to the falling prices of solar and wind power.


    Going 100% renewable

    “The business case for switching to renewables is stronger than ever,” said Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100, The Climate Group, who introduced the morning’s discussions.

    “Over the last year we’ve seen more and more companies join RE100 and commit to the highest level of leadership on renewable power – it’s affordable and reliable, and makes sense financially.”

    RE100’s 96 members are now collectively creating demand for around 128TWh of renewable electricity annually – around the same amount of energy needed to power Argentina. Many of these leading companies aim to reach 100% renewable electricity before 2024 – and several have already got there.

    Photo: Moderator Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General, IRENA talks with Griffin Thompson, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary, US Department of State; Robert Andrén, Director-General Energy, Swedish Ministry of Environment and Energy; Li Junfeng, Former Director, China's National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation; Katie Hill, Head of Global Supplier Clean Energy Program, Apple; Marsden Hanna, Lead Global Energy Policy and Markets, Google and Pascal Brun, Global Production Sustainability Manager, H&M.

    Speaking at the event, Marsden Hanna, Lead Global Energy Policy and Markets, Google, said the internet giant was on track to reach 100% renewable electricity by the end of this year. The company is using a combination of Power Purchase Agreements and installed solar photovoltaics.

    Katie Hill, Head of Global Supplier Clean Energy Program, Apple – now 96% renewable – explained that 70% of Apple's carbon impact lies in its supply chain, so it makes sense to help its suppliers to transition to 100% renewable electricity.

    As Hill spoke, Apple announced the biggest clean energy commitment seen yet from its suppliers; US manufacturer Jabil Circuit Inc., which has facilities located in China. Jabil uses around 1 billion megawatt-hours of electricity per year, and will convert this to renewables by the end of 2018.

    “We see real momentum here,” Lisa Jackson, Vice President of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, Apple, told Chinese news website Xinhua. “Jabil has already achieved 67% renewable energy for its Apple production, so the work they are doing now is really advancing the green transition in China.”

    Hanna and Hill were joined on stage by Pascal Brun, Global Production Sustainability Manager, H&M, which is already sourcing more than 90% of its electricity from renewables and also encouraging its suppliers to make the switch. The popular fashion retailer aims to be climate positive in its supply chain by 2030.

    Harry Verhaar, Head of Global Public & Government Affairs, Philips Lighting also shared their progress to date.


    Growing the market in China

    In the morning’s discussions, Li Junfeng, Former Director, National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation, China, championed The Climate Group’s role in bringing corporate sourcing of renewables to China through RE100.

    He said that RE100 had facilitated important introductions to Apple and other companies operating locally, helping the development of a new renewable electricity certification system due to be introduced in China next month – which will be voluntary until 2018.

    Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100, The Climate Group, echoed Apple’s comments that by increasing the use of renewables along their supply chains, RE100 members were helping to develop the renewable energy market in China, and sending a powerful market signal that demand is on the up.

    Kimmins also highlighted the role of governments in enabling companies to go renewable, referencing a recent survey by The Climate Group on behalf of Energy Foundation and the ‘Green Electricity Action Plan’, showing that 70% of businesses in China would increase their renewable electricity targets if there were favorable market and policy conditions.

    “China has already become a powerhouse for renewable energy investments,” Kimmins said. “The right policy measures and business models will further drive innovation and bring down costs. The next step must be to increase transparency and knowledge sharing around solutions – that’s where RE100 comes in.”

    Corporate Sourcing of Renewables Day was brought together by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), in collaboration with Center for Resource Solutions (CRS), National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), RE100, Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA), Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), World Resources Institute (WRI), and World Wildlife Fund (WWF). It was held as part of the Clean Energy Ministerial’s (CEM’s) Corporate Sourcing of Renewables Campaign, a government-led effort to increase corporate uptake of renewable energy globally, partnered by Facebook and Microsoft.

    For the full findings of The Climate Group’s survey of businesses in China, please contact info@RE100.org.

  • Blog: Never mind Trump, corporate leadership is driving innovation and business opportunities

    Following President Trump’s announcement that the US will withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, some of the world’s biggest businesses have reaffirmed their commitment to climate action and renewable energy. Here, Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100, The Climate Group, blogs on an unstoppable movement in the private sector.

    The interesting thing about Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement will be its lack of real impact on businesses in the US and globally. Let’s be clear, significant action on climate change is happening around the world, it’s gaining momentum, and it’s increasingly driven by the market.  

    Unsubsidized renewable energy has become the cheapest energy source in many parts of the world. The cost of solar power fell 85% in the last seven years. Offshore wind costs fell 28% in just one year. In the US, the renewable energy sector employed around 777,000 people in 2016 - with the solar industry adding workers almost 17 times as fast as the overall economy. The irrepressible growth of the electric vehicles market will make fuel efficiency standards irrelevant within a few short years.  

    The clean revolution

    In any revolution, there are winners and losers and the clean energy revolution is no different. Donald Trump’s announcement will have two outcomes – firstly, it will enable China, India and Europe to take the lead in the new clean energy economy. Secondly, those who don't embrace this opportunity will be left behind.

    Pumping billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money into propping up sunset-industries will not change these economic facts – it will just make it more likely that the wind turbines, solar panels and electric cars that flood into America’s markets are produced in the countries that see the advantages of being leaders.

    What is there NOT to like about a global agreement that drives innovation, creates business opportunities, and accelerates progress?  

    Pioneering companies

    The 96 pioneering member companies of RE100 agree. Now representing around 128TWh/yr demand for renewable electricity (that’s around the amount of electricity needed to power Argentina), our members have committed to sourcing 100% of their electricity from renewables. Why? This isn’t a CSR exercise – the Chief Finance Officers of global giants such as General Motors, Microsoft, and Dalmia Cement don’t sign off multi-billion dollar investments unless they make clear business sense.

    RE100 is a group of smart businesses who see the opportunity that climate action presents - to secure reliable, low cost energy to drive their businesses forward. Being bold with a 100% target leaves no room for doubt for their employees, shareholders and customers – success lies in bold, ambitious leadership.

    Our numbers are growing rapidly. Last week, Telefónica joined RE100 to accelerate its progress on renewable electricity, now targeting 100% by 2030. Enrique Blanco, Telefónica’s Global Chief Technology Officer, is clear the company’s rationale is about doing better business, saying “our Renewable Energy Plan helps us to improve our competitiveness, reduce our operational costs and to make growth compatible with a sustainable strategy.”

    We’ll be welcoming more global businesses over the coming weeks and months and look forward to working alongside the sub-national governments and business leaders in the US who are continuing to drive forward and surf this unstoppable wave.   

    As the world’s leading cities, states, businesses and countries advance together towards the Paris targets, we may occasionally look back in our wake, and wonder if those who dropped out the race regret their decision.

    Read The Climate Group's response to  President Trump's announcement here.

  • Corporate demand is growing renewables markets, but supportive policy is key – Financial Times event

    Will we see an oil company go bankrupt? “Yes, it’s inevitable – if the changes we’re seeing in the market are anything to go by,” said Sam Kimmins of The Climate Group, at the Financial Times’ Energy Transition Strategies Summit in London.

    “Despite ongoing fossil fuel subsidies we’ve seen the cost of renewables continue to fall, making them an increasingly affordable option for business,” said Kimmins, who heads up The Climate Group and CDP’s RE100 initiative for leading companies that have committed to 100% renewable power.

    Kimmins was speaking on the panel ‘The industry plays long and short’, moderated by Andrew Ward, Energy Editor, Financial Times, alongside fellow panellists Trevor Sikorski, Head of Natural Gas and Carbon Research, Energy Aspects; Kingsmill Bond, New Energy Strategist, TS Lombard; and Alexander Voight, Founder and CEO, Lumenion Energy and GRIPS.

    The discussion addressed the likelihood of scenarios such as reaching ‘zero carbon’ by 2050 – in an audience vote, two thirds felt this was unlikely, despite the pressing need to address climate change.

    While 89% of audience felt it was unlikely that oil prices would return to $100 a barrel, the panel was open to the possibility.

    There was a 50/50 split on whether emerging markets would leapfrog to renewables, but Kimmins was optimistic: “RE100 members like Apple, H&M, Tesco and Walmart are pushing renewables into their supply chains, helping to accelerate the growth of renewables markets.”

    Image credit: FT Live

    The energy transition: How far, how fast?

    Earlier in the day, there was a panel about the speed of the energy transition away from fossil fuels, including James Basden, Partner and Global Head of Utilities, Oliver Wyman; Lord Adair Turner, Chairman, Institute for New Economic Thinking and Chair of the Energy Transitions Commission; Spencer Dale, Group Chief Economist, BP; and Juliet Davenport, Founder and CEO, Good Energy. It was moderated by Ed Crooks, US Industry and Energy Editor, Financial Times.

    The timely discussion came as IRENA published a new report showing renewable energy already employs 9.8 million people worldwide, up from 7.1 million in 2012 – and with twice as many US jobs in solar compared to coal.

    “In 2015 more money was invested in renewables than fossil fuels for the first time,” said Basden, in a keynote speech.

    “There has been a fast transition, but we need to go faster still if we’re to deliver on our COP21 commitments,” he continued, highlighting the role of emerging battery technologies and electric vehicles.

    “Consistent market signals are important so that investors can see the demand is there.”

    Lord Turner said he was embarrassed that the UK’s Committee on Climate Change had failed to predict such a substantial fall in the cost of wind power, and hoped he would not feel the same 10 years from now.

    He said he believed power grids could be run almost entirely on renewables alongside battery storage and small gas turbines, but that it would be harder for heavy industry and aviation to switch to renewables and that other sectors would have to go further.

    Dale highlighted energy forecasts predicting increasing demand for energy until 2030, especially from developing countries.

    Davenport spoke of the power of consumers in driving positive change. “This transition will not play by the rules,” she said, highlighting the demand for renewable power being created by companies like The LEGO Group, which joined RE100 last week.

    Image credit: FT Live

    There was a further discussion on whether it was possible to have an energy system based entirely on renewable sources – something business leaders called for at COP22 in November.

    There was also a session on whether you can make money in renewables – during which keynote speaker Nancy Pfund, Founder and Managing Partner, DBL Partners, showed the logos of companies that have joined the RE100 campaign. “To make money in renewables you have to create companies that innovate and delight;” she said, “Tesla is the best example.”

     

    Supportive policy

    Throughout the day, speakers referred to the role of policy makers in driving forward the transition to renewable power.

    “Electric vehicles are coming of age, in part driven by Chinese policy,” said James Basden. But he underlined that policy support globally was “nowhere near” strong enough currently to limit global warming to 2°C, let alone 1°C.

    Lord Turner criticised the UK government on failing to publish its Clean Growth Plan on time, also highlighting that a greater emphasis was needed on carbon pricing.

    Johannes Teyssen, CEO, E.ON said the energy transition was being driven not by German politics but by technology and customer demand – he said policy should be the enabler.

    The soundbite of the day came from Kingsmill Bond. “Everyone thinks the most important green energy figure is Elon Musk. It isn’t. It’s Piyush Goyal,” he said, referring to India’s power minister.

    To find out more about the FT Energy Transition Strategies Summit, click here.

  • 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.”