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  • Leading companies pledge to go 100% renewable and 'use better energy better'

    Leading companies Dalmia Cement and Helvetia have today commited to 100% renewable power and joined RE100 - a global, collaborative initiative of influential businesses working to massively increase demand for, and delivery of, renewable energy. RE100 is led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP.

    The news comes on Energy Day at COP22 in Marrakech, where world governments and non-state actors are gathered to increase ambition and action on climate change.

    It is a week to the day that the landmark Paris Agreement entered into force, and more businesses than ever before are committing to bold actions, to help ensure that global warming stays well below two degrees.

    Going 100% renewable

    The new additions to RE100 take the total number of members to 83, and the total demand for renewable electricity being created to over 100 TWh – more than enough to power Morocco three times over.

    Mahendra Singhi, Group CEO and Whole Time Director at Dalmia Cement (Bharat) Limited, said: “Being one of the greenest cement companies in the world, we are committed to decarbonizing our operations in a way that makes business sense. We are scaling up our ambition to make a long term transition to 100% renewable power, achieving a fourfold increase in the percentage of renewable energy in our electricity consumption by 2030.”

    Highlighting the importance of corporate action, Dr. Philipp Gmür, CEO of Helvetia Holding, said: "The consequences of climate change are diverse and directly affect the insurance industry. With our risk competence, financial strength and long-term investment perspective, we can effectively support the transition to a low carbon society. However fighting climate change always starts with ourselves. That's why our Group committed to procure 100% renewable electricity."

    The newcomers were welcomed by Damian Ryan, Acting CEO of The Climate Group: “Right now, we’re seeing greater corporate action on climate than ever before, thanks to the leadership of the world’s most influential companies."

    He added: “But to deliver net-zero emissions economies and keep global warming well below two degrees, we’ve got to go further still. Businesses have enormous influencing power over their suppliers, customers, and peers - they need to look vertically along their supply chains and encourage others to act. And governments at all levels must implement supportive policies – most urgently carbon pricing.”

    Energy Day

    The new members of RE100 were announced at Energy Day by EP100 Advisory Board member Rachel Kyte, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and CEO of SEforALL.

    Energy Day is one of twelve thematic days comprising the UNFCCC’s Global Climate Action Agenda, convened under the leadership of the high-level champions, H.E. Minister Hakima El Haité, and Ambassador Laurence Tubiana.

    RE100 members Mars and Formula E will be speaking at today’s event, and sharing their experiences of working towards 100% renewable power.

    Taking a dual approach

    Also today, (re)insurance company Swiss Re - a founding member of RE100 - has committed to doubling its energy productivity through EP100, a global effort by The Climate Group, in partnership with the Global Alliance for Energy Productivity, to help companies maximize the economic benefits of every unit of energy they consume.

    RE100 and EP100 are designed to compliment each other and provide the least-cost decarbonization pathway for business. Dalmia Cement and Swiss Re are the first companies to sign up to both – Dalmia Cement joined EP100 at Climate Week NYC in September, while Swiss Re helped to set up RE100 in 2014.

    “The climate objectives agreed in Paris require nothing less than the radical decarbonisation of the global economy,” said Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA Director-General, in Marrakech. “Transitioning rapidly to a future fuelled by renewable energy, combined with improving energy efficiency, is the single most effective way to stave off catastrophic climate change while providing citizens with a better quality of life." 

    Click here to read our exclusive interview with Dalmia Cement's Group Manufacturing Head.