Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra and Bharat Forge were among the Indian corporates brought together by The Climate Group in Mumbai this week, to discuss how transitioning to 100% renewable electricity and doubling energy productivity can maximise business value and drive down emissions.
The Climate Group showcased its pioneering campaigns RE100 and EP100 at an invite-only workshop held at Mahindra & Mahindra's headquarters.
Together, the two initiatives offer the least-cost decarbonisation pathway for businesses wishing to demonstrate bold leadership in helping India to meet its climate goals. Corporate action on renewables for instance, will help the Indian government to scale renewable energy to 175 GW by 2022.
The full room at The Climate Group's workshop, Mahindra & Mahindra headquarters,Mumbai
Companies joining RE100 make a commitment to sourcing 100% renewable electricity. While working towards this goal, they stand to gain from reputational benefits, greater control over energy costs, and improved energy security.
EP100 – a global campaign launched by The Climate Group in May – brings together corporates pledging to double their energy productivity, by doing more with less through smarter energy use.
This approach goes hand in hand with transitioning to 100% renewables - maximizing economic output from each unit of energy used makes switching to 100% renewables more cost effective.
LEADING BY EXAMPLE
During the workshop, guests heard from Abhay Pathak, Sustainability Lead at Tata Motors - a company committed to transitioning to 100% renewable electricity as part of RE100.
Sourcing around 8% of its electricity from renewables in 2014-15, the leading automobile manufacturer is just starting out on its renewables journey.
Abhay Pathak, Sustainability Lead, Tata Motors shares the company's experience of joining RE100
There is clear cost benefit in going 100% renewable, Pathak told the room, and it makes sense for companies to use solar power, given that India is a tropical country with plenty of sunshine. He said renewables were the future, and urged corporates to act now - making reference to other Tata Group companies, which he hopes will also be inspired join RE100.
Anirban Ghosh, Vice President of Sustainability at Mahindra & Mahindra was also a guest speaker at the workshop. The Indian car maker was the first company to join EP100, in April.
“Mahindra & Mahindra made the pledge to double our energy productivity because we have benefited from significant cost savings by implementing various internal energy efficiency initiatives", Ghosh told Jenny Chu, Head of EP100.
"For instance, our vehicles are now made with 33 percent less energy than before. Additionally, many of our projects have achieved a 24 percent return on investment. Now that we have joined EP100 at the corporate level, it paves the way for additional energy saving initiatives throughout our various companies.”
Anirban Ghosh, Vice President of Sustainability at Mahindra, talks with Jenny Chu, Head of EP100
Other EP100 members now include Danish valves and components manufacturer Danfoss, the US-based technology company Johnson Controls, and one of the world’s largest polymer companies, Covestro, headquartered in Germany.
There are now 68 companies in RE100, which was launched in September 2014. On reaching their 100% goals member companies will be creating demand for around 90TWh of renewable electricity, helping to deliver emissions cuts pledged by countries in Paris last year.
Infosys was the first Indian company to join RE100, in May 2015. The company has installed more than 3MW of solar PV across its various buildings in India.
In the last week, India’s leading business newspaper The Economic Times reported that more businesses in India are readying themselves to make a 100% renewable pledge.
A LOW CARBON FUTURE
Corporate action on climate and energy offer huge opportunities for driving economic growth, and creating jobs and prosperity in a low-carbon economy whilst ensuring the rise in global temperatures remain well below two degrees.
Krishnan Pallassana, India Executive Director, The Climate Group explains how RE100 and EP100 go hand in hand
Krishnan Pallassana, India Executive Director, The Climate Group, said: "India is the world’s third biggest greenhouse gas emitter. The country's Intended Nationally Determined Contribution - or INDC - underlines actions that focus on renewable energy and energy productivity.
"By joining RE100 and EP100, India’s leading companies can demonstrate real leadership in helping the country meet its climate goals."
Both RE100 and EP100 are led by The Climate Group as part of the We Mean Business coalition.
To find out more about Tata Motors' commitment to renewable power, read our exclusive RE100 interview with Chief Sustainability Officer Arvind Bodhankar.
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