• Going 100% renewable: RE100 companies make an impact at the seventh Clean Energy Ministerial

    At the seventh Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM7), taking place in San Francisco, where governments accounting for about 75% of global greenhouse gases and 90% of clean energy investments are meeting, RE100 companies have been demonstrating their commitment to driving the transition to renewable energy.

    Autodesk unveiled three milestones. Firstly, the American software company has achieved its target to power its facilities with 100% renewable electricity – four years ahead of schedule – via the purchase of renewable energy certificates (RECs).

    Secondly, on achievement of this Autodesk has strengthened its goal and over the next few years will procure additional and local renewable energy to catalyze demand in all geographies where they operate.

    Also, the business has set an internal carbon price that it expects will help align business decisions and investments with a low-carbon economy as well as prepare the company for future carbon taxes. 

    Meanwhile, Google committed to working in collaboration with national governments, renewable energy buyers and suppliers, NGOs, and others across CEM member governments to convene a group of stakeholders to survey the policy and regulatory structures critical to enabling corporate purchasing of renewable energy and make policy recommendations for how to further unlock corporate renewable energy demand in CEM member governments.

    Microsoft reasserted its recent commitment to powering its datacenters with energy that is at least 50% wind, hydro and solar by 2018, and 60% early next decade. For Microsoft, this means moving beyond datacenters that are already carbon neutral to also having those datacenters rely on a larger percentage of wind, solar and hydropower electricity over time.

    Microsoft says this is significant given that the IT sector includes some of the fastest growing energy users in the world, consuming as much energy as a small state and in decades to come as much as mid-size nations. Microsoft is actively working through the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA) to deliver on its goals in markets around the world. In addition, the company reaffirmed its commitment to maintaining 100% carbon neutrality.

    A Summit Partner at CEM, Salesforce has shared its renewables story in a new RE100 case study to inspire other companies to follow suit. Director of Sustainability, Patrick Flynn, shares his reflections on the company’s progress to 100% renewables.

    The announcements from RE100 companies come as RE100 welcomes six new joiners today, all committed to powering their entire operations with 100% renewable electricity. They include global interconnection and data center provider Equinix, Swedish food processing and packaging giant Tetra Pak, Canadian financial leader TD Bank Group, leading manufacturer of modular carpet Interface, Inc., global advertising, media and marketing group Dentsu Aegis Network and global provider of enterprise cloud applications, Workday, Inc..

    As logos were projected on screens, all 65 companies now in RE100 and committed to 100% renewable power were praised on stage by the Danish Minister, in front of a room filled with 800+leading businesses and other high-level delegates from the 23 CEM member countries and the European commission. 

    Click here to read how a new campaign launched at CEM7 is driving the biggest, most influential companies to join RE100.

  • Business Drive for Renewables Gears up with Government Support

    A new government-led push to significantly increase the number of companies powering their operations with renewable energy will help to galvanize action by 1,000 world-leading businesses, according to The Climate Group.

    Unveiled today (Thursday June 2, 2016) at the Seventh Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM7) in San Francisco, the new ‘Corporate Sourcing of Renewables’ campaign – led by the Danish and German governments – is encouraging business action in CEM member countries and driving the world’s biggest, most influential companies making 100% renewable power commitments to join RE100.


    Also today, six world-leading companies have joined RE100 with a commitment to 100% renewable power across their global operations. They include global interconnection and data centre provider, Equinix; Swedish food processing and packaging giant, Tetra Pak; Canadian financial leader, TD Bank Group; leading manufacturer of modular carpet, Interface, Inc.; global advertising, media and marketing group, Dentsu Aegis Network; and global provider of enterprise cloud applications, Workday, Inc..

    The new joiners take the total number of committed companies in RE100 to 65. All were recognised at CEM7 by the Danish Minister for Energy, Utilities and Climate, Lars Christian Lilleholt, who announced the new commitments – and praised RE100 – on stage.

    On meeting their 100% goals, the six new companies will collectively ensure that over 4,000GWh of electricity is powered by renewables – more than enough to power the whole of San Francisco.


    RE100 has previously estimated that if 1,000 of the world’s most influential businesses become 100% powered by renewables, they would decarbonize almost a tenth of all electricity used worldwide and cut more than 1,000Mt of CO2 every year – 3.4% of global emissions. This impact could rise considerably if they were to successfully influence their supply chains and customer base to use renewable electricity too.

    Mark Kenber, CEO of The Climate Group, said, “The demand push from corporates is as important as supportive government policy – bold action by businesses, cities and governments sends a strong market signal and means we can hold global warming below two degrees far more quickly.

    “The Clean Energy Ministerial is shining the spotlight on RE100 as a model of best practice in galvanizing the switch to renewable energy, and the wave of influential companies joining RE100 today shows the business case for 100% renewables is as strong as ever.

    “In many cases business wants to go further and faster. Governments can play a key role by implementing supportive policies, particularly in emerging economies – crucial for unlocking the growth of the renewable energy market globally.”


    Sam Kapoor, Global Chief Operations Officer, Equinix, said, “As a leading global interconnection and data center company, our business is inherently energy-intensive.  As companies around the globe adjust to industry shifts such as cloud, mobility, IoT and Big Data, and require ever more space and power, our energy consumption grows with them.

    “At Equinix, containing and greening that energy growth and designing energy-efficient IBX data centers is a top priority. Through these efforts we strive to provide shared value for all of our stakeholders, including our customers, shareholders and employees, as well as the communities in which we operate.

    “We have set a long-term goal of achieving 100% renewable energy, and we also encourage our partners and customers to embrace greener business operations.”

    Charles Brand, EVP Product Management and Commercial Operations, Tetra Pak, said: “Signing up to RE100 reflects our on-going commitment to minimising our climate impact and increasing our use of renewable resources.

    “We have set an ambitious target to ensure carbon emissions across our value chain are capped at 2010 levels through to 2020, and we are making excellent progress. In 2015 emissions were down 15% from the 2010 baseline, despite a 16% increase in production.

    “Since setting our climate goal we have maximized our efforts to reduce energy consumption; committing to a renewable energy target is a natural next step. By joining RE100 we will benefit from expert guidance and peer-to-peer learning on renewable energy options in different markets.

    “For us, renewable energy is a key element of our environmental agenda, and an important factor in helping us achieve our sustainable growth ambitions.”

    Karen Clarke-Whistler, Chief Environment Officer, TD Bank Group, said, “In 2008 TD made a decision to lead on the environment and to be carbon neutral – joining RE100 reflects both these commitments.

    “Few doubt the need to transition to a low carbon economy. As key drivers of economic growth large corporations have a major role to play in this transformation. If not us, then who? ‎And we will have far more impact acting together through RE100 than individually.

    “In 2015, TD sourced renewable energy equivalent to 100 percent of the electricity we used across the bank and we aim to continue doing this. I've been asked if our low carbon operating model has had an impact on our business. The answer is yes – it transforms our business and continues to be a driver of innovation.”

    Erin Meezan, Vice President of Sustainability for Interface, Inc., said, “For the past twenty years, Interface has been on a mission to eliminate our negative environmental footprint. As we approach our goal year of 2020, it is gratifying to join the companies engaged in RE100 in committing to aggressive renewable energy goals.”

    Nick Priday, Group Chief Financial Officer, Dentsu Aegis Network, said, “As one of the world’s largest advertising and media groups, we want to lead our industry towards a low carbon economy.

    “We have doubled in size since 2010 but reduced our carbon footprint per person globally by 21%. It is important that we de-couple carbon from our growth to achieve long term savings in our operations and become resilient to resource scarcity and price fluctuations.

    “We quickly realized that in order to reach the required 40% carbon footprint reduction across our operations by 2020 to help keep the global temperature rise on or under 2˚C, a switch towards 100% renewable electricity would be essential. We see the step to join RE100 as an exciting public statement of our commitment.”


    A number of companies already in RE100, including Autodesk, Google, Micosoft and Salesforce, also made announcements at CEM7 today. Click here to read more.

  • RE100 is a "driver for investment and decarbonization": Adnan Amin, Director-General, IRENA

    RE100 is “a very powerful demonstrator” of the value of innovation in accelerating the necessary, global growth of renewable energy, says Adnan Amin, Director-General, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), in an exclusive Climate TV interview at IRENA’s Innovation Week in Bonn, Germany.

    Leaders from industry and policy makers convened at the event to discuss innovative solutions to accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy and spur ‘the age of renewable power’ through innovation.  

    “I think the days where the big state actors alone could make a difference are over,” underlines Adnan Amin. He highlights the important role that businesses are playing in driving the low carbon economy, where “it’s wonderful to see […] groupings like RE100 coming up, where prestigious big international businesses are demonstrating their commitment to renewable energy also based on the business case for renewables.”

    RE100 is “a very powerful demonstrator” of the economic benefits of going 100% renewable, he states. The program “started with IKEA, but includes Google” and other big companies, and “includes entities that have huge servers, with large energy requirements,” – and yet they are “committing to 100% renewables. That’s really a driver for investment and decarbonization. So, I think these are all to be encouraged very much.”


    IKEA was one of the founding partners of RE100, and has a target to produce as much renewable energy as it consumes by 2020. The furniture retailer has invested more than US$1.5 billion since 2009 and has pledged a further $1.13 billion for climate-related action over the next ten years.

    As part of its strategy to be ‘People and Planet positive’, IKEA is providing innovative solutions for its customers to live sustainably, including becoming the first retailer in the UK to only stock LED bulbs and selling solar panels at several stores.

    Focusing on innovation, IKEA is also developing the kitchen of the future, where new design and technologies come together to save energy and increase consumers’ awareness of their carbon footprint. Presented in a contribution for The Climate Group’s program Home 2025, the concept uses induction cooling, smart tables and can reduce water use by up to 40%.

    Other RE100 companies are using the sheer size of their operations to drive renewables, such as Google. The company joined the campaign in December last year, and is the largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy in the world. It has an interim target to triple its purchase of renewable energy by 2025.


    “The cliché is that industry can’t do anything because they need cheap energy and you should just leave it to the market,” says Dolf Gielen, Head of Innovation, IRENA, also speaking to Climate TV. “But industry is also the largest consumer of energy, and therefore it has a great opportunity to influence how the sector develops. And in that sense RE100 is really key.”

    By demonstrating the strong business case for switching to renewables, companies joining RE100 played a crucial role in the climate negotiations that led to the Paris Agreement last December – while speaking to the market with one voice.

    A central characteristic of RE100 program is that is composed of “the companies that everybody knows, the big companies,” continues Dolf Gielen, “showing that it is possible to move to 100% renewables, and that has of course a great function as an example for all the others. If these companies can do it, then why not everyone?”


    Committing to and working toward their 100% targets, the collective voice of RE100 companies shows governments and utilities that there is an ever-growing demand for renewables. However, to be really innovative and be among the firsts to grasp the opportunities arising from the transition to renewables, businesses must plan their investments well in advance.

    “RE100 is an incredibly important initiative,” says Elizabeth Press, Director of Planning and Programme Support, IRENA, in a Climate TV interview. “They are creating demand, so the market is growing and getting bigger. By making renewable energy the energy of choice, you’re sending a strong message that you can grow your business sustainably and effectively through renewable energy.”

    Elizabeth Press also underlines the role that big companies, well known by consumers, can play in shaping the sustainable market of the future and ultimately the transition to a low carbon economy. “What I find very interesting is that many of the companies that are part of RE100 are actually household names,” she says, people know them.”

    “Having these companies choosing renewables is a very important educational tool that is going out to public at large, that is helping all of us to pursue sustainability and energy choices.”

    An example of the innovation set by the educational role emphasized by Elizabeth Press is BT Group, which launched its global campaign ‘100% Sport’ to inspire sports fans to switch to 100% renewable power.

  • Mars signs new PPA and moves to 100% renewable electricity for its UK operations

    Mars, Incorporated is now producing enough renewable electricity to power 100% of its UK operations. The RE100 company has partnered with Eneco UK on a new 20-turbine wind farm located in the Scottish Highlands, and has committed to buying electricity for the next decade via this Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).

    The Moy Wind Farm has an export capacity of 60 MW and an annual consumption of over 125,000 MWh – enough power to power 34,000 average UK households.

    As well as enabling all of Mars’ UK factories and offices to be powered by 100% renewable electricity and significantly reducing its carbon footprint, this new PPA demonstrates Mars’ support for increasing the availability of renewable energy in the UK.

    Barry Parkin, Chief Sustainability and Health & Wellbeing Officer, Mars Incorporated, said: “The UK has been home to Mars for 84 years. We’re proud that the brands that we make here will now be manufactured using renewable electricity, and that we are reducing our carbon footprint in the UK and around the world. As with our Mesquite Creek Wind Farm in Lamesa, Texas, Moy will contribute significantly to our effort to eliminate fossil fuel energy use and greenhouse gas emissions from our global operations by 2040 as part of our ‘Sustainable in a Generation’ program.  The Moy Wind Farm is part of our innovative and long-term approach to achieving our goal to be a successful and sustainable business for generations to come.

    “We’re not there yet, but we recognize all businesses have a responsibility to tackle climate change and we hope our partnership with Eneco at Moy will encourage other companies to take steps to reduce their own carbon footprint through renewable energy. Working together, government and industry can move the needle on climate change.”

    Mars joined RE100 when the campaign was launched at Climate Week NYC in 2014, setting a target year of 2040 to be 100% powered by renewable electricity across its entire global operations. The food and beverage company is making considerable progress towards this target and is already powered by 100% renewable electricity for its US operations, having signed a PPA for a 200 MW wind farm in Lamesa, Texas, that went live in 2015. Efforts like these have helped Mars successfully achieve its global 2015 goal to reduce GHG emissions from operations by 25% from a 2007 baseline.

    Emily Farnworth, RE100 Campaign Director said: “This is a significant investment that makes business sense and offers a welcome boost for UK renewables. Being 100% renewable in both the UK and the US is no small feat; Mars is clearly progressing against its 2040 goal for sourcing renewable electricity globally – setting an example to multinationals everywhere.

    “We congratulate Mars on its huge success in slashing its greenhouse gas emissions. With 65% of the company’s emissions being produced along its supply chain, it’s important that Mars helps its suppliers switch to renewables too.”

    Zoisa Walton, Country Director, Eneco UK, said: “This project is very special to Eneco as it brings together all the elements of our strategy – a renewable generating asset, a like-minded partner in Mars, and the opportunity to deliver real benefits to the local community. We are proud to be supplying Mars UK and to be working with them to create a more sustainable future.”

  • Newsletter: Paris Agreement, knowledge sharing, and making credible claims


    Support for Paris Agreement

    RE100 companies have voiced their support for the Paris Agreement as it was signed by 175 governments.“We were delighted to see world leaders agree a strong deal at COP21. Now business must step up and create a clear, ambitious pathway to a low carbon future.”- Mike Barry, Director of Sustainable Business at Marks & Spencer. Several RE100 companies promoted new analysis on market opportunities arising from the Paris Agreement, and 13 members also signed a joint statement in support of the Clean Power Plan. Many others also took to social media to highlight their success in reducing CO2 emissions.

    Making credible claims

    The RE100 Technical Advisory Group has issued best practice guidance for corporates making claims over their use of renewable electricity.This is a technical deep-dive into corporate transparency and credibility, described as a “must read” for RE100 companies. The briefing has been one year in the making, in consultation with RE100 companies and industry stakeholders. Read this blog by Roberto Zanchi, Technical Manager for renewable energy at CDP, to hear more. 


    Knowledge sharing

    RE100 and the Rocky Mountain Institute’s Business Renewables Center (BRC) held a joint webinar on April 20, attended by more than 60 people. Ethan Zindler, Head of Americas, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) joined to provide insights on the global renewable energy market. Investment is on the rise, thanks to the falling costs of wind and solar power, and 2015 saw record investment of $329bn globally in new energy technologies, companies and projects. Read this to find out more about our partnership.


    Crédit Agricole joins RE100

    A warm welcome to the French banking group Crédit Agricole which joined RE100 with a goal to be 100% powered by renewable electricity this year. "By renegotiating our contracts with EDF, we expect to save thousands of tonnes of CO2 and millions of Euros - a win-win for the environment and our balance sheets." - Stanislas Pottier, Head of Sustainable Development at Crédit Agricole S.A.

    RE100 companies outline business case for 100% goals

    100% renewable power is a credible and feasible global commitment for world leading businesses, said RE100 companies championing the campaign at the Clean Energy Summit in London. Joanna Yarrow of IKEA; Joe Franses of Coca-Cola Enterprises; Mike Barry, of Marks & Spencer; and Andrew Griffiths of Nestlé outlined why it made business sense to go 100% renewable with RE100. Joanna Yarrow said it was actually a lot easier to set a 100 percent renewable goal than 80 or 90 percent.

    RE100 companies shortlisted for awards

    Biogen, Unilever, Marks & Spencer, BT Group, and Aviva have been shortlisted for British Renewable Energy Awards, each recognized for leadership on “mainstreaming renewable energy through the scale of its investment or its commitment to securing its energy needs from renewables.” RE100 member Formula E has also been shortlisted under low carbon transport. An awards ceremony will be held in June.


    Knowledge sharing

    A RE100 webinar on April 12 gave an overview of the renewable energy market in Southeast Asia and was attended by around 20 people. Guest speakers included Liam Salter, CEO of RESET Carbon, and Tor Pramoj, Managing Director at BayWa r.e., who looked at markets, policies and economics of renewable energy in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. 


    May 5-6: Climate Action 2016, Washington D.C., U.S. - This event will seek to deepen and expand climate action coalitions and provide a launch pad for climate implementation in the pre-2020 era.

    May 26, 16:00 hrs IST: Knowledge sharing webinar, India - Shailesh Telang, Project Officer, CDP India, will provide an overview of renewable electricity market options available to businesses in India and how these meet the RE100 Criteria.

    May 31: RE100-WBCSD LCTPi workshop on corporate procurement via PPA, San Francisco, U.S. - This workshop aims to review the evolution of the corporate PPA market in the US, shed light on emerging opportunities in Mexico, and engage US companies looking to contract PPAs outside of their national territory. RE100 members are invited to attend.

    June 1-2: Clean Energy Ministerial, San Francisco, U.S. - This event will convene 23 participating countries and the European Commission to promote policies and share best practices to accelerate the global transition to clean energy. A RE100 announcement will coincide.

    June 28-29: Business & Climate Summit, London, U.K. - The Climate Group and core Summit partners will convene businesses and governments to agree a roadmap for reaching net zero emissions over the next half century. We are in contact with RE100 companies regarding speaker opportunities. A separate RE100 side event will be held on June 29, 16:00-21:00hrs, for which sponsorship opportunities are available. We will bring together RE100 companies, prospects, partners and stakeholders to hear a unique panel of board members share what questions they need answering to agree to a corporate 100% renewable electricity commitment. This will be followed by a networking reception. For further information about sponsorship opportunities contact Chris Brown, Head of Sponsorship and Business Development:

    September 19: Signature Event, Climate Week NYC, U.S. - This is The Climate Group’s global flagship event. Run annually for the last seven years, the event has become a milestone in the international climate calendar and a focal meeting point for leading governments, investors, businesses, innovators and opinion formers. We are in contact with RE100 companies regarding speaker opportunities. There will be a RE100 side event on September 20. We will bring together a unique panel of board members to share what questions they need answering to agree to a corporate 100% renewable electricity commitment. This will be followed by a networking reception. Sponsorship opportunities will be available. For further information contact Chris

    June 28-29: Business & Climate Summit, London, U.K. - The Climate Group and core Summit partners will convene businesses and governments to agree a roadmap for reaching net zero emissions over the next half century, helping to ensure that the commitments made in Paris are translated into action. A RE100 side event will be held on June 29, 16:00-21:00hrs. Sponsorship opportunities are available.

  • Blog: How to make credible renewable electricity usage claims - and why it matters

    As the RE100 Technical Advisory Group issues best practice guidance for corporates making claims over their use of renewable electricity, Roberto Zanchi, Technical Manager for renewable energy at CDP, which partners with The Climate Group on RE100, blogs on the importance of being credible.

    Companies join RE100 with a commitment to 100% renewable electricity, an ambitious goal that earns due admiration among their peers and attention in the press. Being a public commitment, the RE100 goal is also a promise to a company’s own employees, customers, investors and other stakeholders. For these reasons, what businesses say through a visible platform like RE100 – and how – matters.

    Our members look to RE100 for guidance on what they can and can’t say publicly around their use of renewable electricity. What does it mean for a company to use renewable electricity? How can the 100% goal be achieved? As Technical Manager for renewable energy at CDP,  I know these are fundamental questions that businesses grapple with.


    Technical Advisory Group

    The RE100 Technical Advisory Group is a team of renewable energy experts from the Americas, Europe and India helping RE100 to set out criteria and best practice for corporates in the campaign. The Group enables our members to discover new options for making real progress toward their global 100% goals, and helps RE100 to earn its own credibility.

    Since 2014, the Technical Advisory Group has produced guidance on corporate renewable electricity options, participated in many of our knowledge exchange webinars, and connected us to projects and events run by their organizations.

    Now, a new briefing authored by three Technical Advisory Group members – Jared Braslawsky (RECS International), Todd Jones (Center for Resource Solutions) and Mary Sotos (World Resources Institute) – is a ‘must read’ for the major corporates in the campaign as well as those who want to understand more about emerging best practice on this topic.

    Making credible renewable electricity usage claims, or ‘Credible Claims’ for short, is a technical deep-dive into corporate transparency and credibility and has been one year in the making, in consultation with our companies and stakeholders in the industry.


    Credible RE claims and why they matter

    For me, there are three important takeaways from this document. First, it helps us understand the notion of corporate renewable electricity usage. Second, it sets out clear criteria for companies and their power providers to follow. Third, it can help drive adoption of best practice and even the development of emerging RE markets.

    Let me elaborate.


    Using renewable electricity

    When a company uses renewable electricity, it might make a claim like:

    Our company consumes renewable electricity.

    Our company uses wind energy to make this product.

    We procure renewable electricity for all our operations.

    But what does it really mean for a corporation to use renewable electricity?

    Credible Claims incorporates previous guidance provided by the Technical Advisory Group, and helps companies to understand that the use of renewable electricity is a different claim to “zero GHG emissions” for electricity. Credible Claims emphasizes the importance of making this distinction for both companies’ internal target setting and communication to the public.


    Criteria for making credible claims

    The second feat of Credible Claims is it sets out criteria useful to companies seeking to align with best practice. When making claims to the use of renewable electricity, businesses should ask themselves and their suppliers the following questions:

    “Are our claims based on credible renewable electricity generation data?”

    "What qualities of renewable generation are our claims based on?”

    “Does our company have exclusive rights to these attributes?”

    “Is there risk of another agent in the system claiming the same as their own?”

    “When was the power produced and when was it consumed?”

    “What market or geographic limitations should there be on our claims?”

    Credible Claims is a first step toward giving companies a framework to support their decision-making when it comes to purchasing more renewable electricity. For example, it guides information collection and the verification of those purchases, and the communication of related claims.

    Companies can also use the criteria to engage renewable electricity suppliers. Ideally, this effort will favor suppliers who are more transparent and offer products that more closely meet corporate customer needs.


    Developing a global RE market

    Trust is essential to a well-functioning marketplace and credible information can help build trust. By putting the recommendations of Credible Claims into practice, and asking for more transparency and credibility of themselves and their electricity suppliers, corporates can promote trust in markets for renewable electricity around the world.

    RE100 is not oblivious to the differences between countries and renewable energy markets around the world. In this varied and fast-evolving landscape, there are markets where corporate purchase of renewable electricity is well established, markets where the policies and systems that support claims are emerging, and places where none of this is yet possible at all.

    In renewable energy markets like the US and Europe, making credible claims means pursuing attainable best practice. Credible Claims advises that companies use attribute certificates to prove exclusive consumption (Renewable Energy Certificates in the US and Guarantees of Origin in Europe), seek independent third-party verification, and report on their consumption transparently – such as annual reporting to CDP, which RE100 draws on for its Annual Report.

    In some of the emerging renewable energy markets around the world, the value of credible claims is in directing corporate demand toward initiatives that need large purchasers and investors to help establish new market options. The existence of a supporting policy environment is often a necessary condition.

    One emerging market where corporate demand can drive impact is Taiwan, where RE100 Technical Advisory Group collaborators are spearheading new initiatives with help from RE100 companies. Last month, the Center for Resource Solutions announced financial support from Google to launch renewable certification programs in Asia, starting with Taiwan. In addition, the International REC Standard has been working with stakeholders to allow for the issuance of tracking certificates in the country since 2015.

    So whether it’s helping companies improve their own understanding of renewable electricity usage, apply credibility and transparency criteria to their own reporting and purchasing, or getting actively involved in growing the market for the benefit of all companies, Credible Claims can pave the way to more information, trust and accountability.

    As this movement grows, I hope to see the impact of RE100 and its partners help to unlock new markets.

  • RE100 cements partnership with Rocky Mountain Institute’s Business Renewables Center

    RE100, led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, is working together with the Rocky Mountain Institute’s Business Renewables Center (BRC) to accelerate the procurement of renewable energy by some of the world’s most influential companies. The partnership aims to increase renewable demand (buyers), find renewable opportunities (developers and intermediaries), and provide the means to bridge the two through tools and knowledge.

    58 major businesses including Google and Walmart have now set 100% renewables targets through RE100, working together to increase demand for renewable energy and accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy. This, coupled with the BRC’s transactional expertise in supporting corporations signing large wind and solar deals and thereby adding more renewable energy to the grid, means the partnership has the potential to rocket boost corporate renewables use globally.

    “The overall goal of both RE100 and the BRC is increasing the penetration of renewable energy,” says RMI Managing Director Hervé Touati. “A very small number of corporations led the way to show it is possible to have a determining role to increase the number of megawatts of wind and solar. It’s important that their learnings are shared.”

    “We are seeing more and more companies making a commitment to 100% renewable power and joining RE100”, says Emily Farnworth, RE100 Campaign Director at The Climate Group. “By partnering with the BRC, we can ensure they are getting expert advice to help them deliver on those goals. By working together we hope to accelerate learning and speed up the growth of new renewable energy projects."

    Growing demand

    Corporate renewable energy use is growing. RE100 companies are on average halfway to being entirely powered by renewable electricity. However, many other companies that have set targets for procuring renewable energy have yet to act at a big enough scale.

    “In 2012, there were 200 megawatts of corporate renewable energy added, in 2013, 500 megawatts, in 2014, 1,200 megawatts, and for 2015 we’re talking about 3,200 megawatts, so this train is going really fast,” says Hervé Touati. “The complication is that only 28 companies have contributed to this out of five hundred Fortune 500 companies.”

    Around 43% of the Fortune 500 companies have sustainability targets, as do myriad other large corporations. Together, RE100 and the BRC aim to make those targets concrete and realizable.

    “We’re not trying to convince companies to suddenly be green”, says Hervé Touati. “We’re trying to help companies that are trying to be green and support them to reach their goals, whatever those might be – including the 100% renewable power goals set through RE100."

    Knowledge sharing

    RE100 and BRC are running a series of joint webinars for RE100 and BRC members, to enable the sharing of experiences and knowledge between major corporates. Previous topics have included power purchase agreements (PPAs) and China’s renewable energy market and policies. More recently, Bloomberg New Energy Finance provided insights on the global market.

    Lily Donge, a principal at RMI and leader of the BRC, says, “The combination of RE100’s ability to secure and showcase commitments and the support and expertise from the BRC will help corporations drive the penetration of renewable energy as never before. By partnering, our collective reach is wider globally and deeper technically.”

    “Each week we are seeing more and more corporations stepping up and taking real action to decarbonize our economy, not just because it is so important for our planet, but also because it makes good business sense to choose low-carbon strategies”, adds Jules Kortenhorst, CEO, Rocky Mountain Institute. “I am excited to see the partnership of RE100 and the BRC. Together we will help corporations shift their energy to low carbon.”

    His words were echoed by those of Mark Kenber, CEO at The Climate Group, “The Paris Agreement is giving businesses the confidence to go further and faster when it comes to low carbon investment. We’re excited to be working in collaboration with the BRC to help RE100 members meet their goals.”

  • 100% renewable power is a credible and feasible corporate goal – RE100 companies

    100% renewable power is a credible and feasible global commitment for world leading businesses, and RE100 is the initiative to achieve it through – said RE100 companies speaking at the Clean Energy Summit in London this week.

    Joanna Yarrow, Head of Sustainability at IKEA UK & IE said it was actually a lot easier to target 100 percent renewable electricity than 80 or 90 percent – "otherwise there would be endless internal meetings about who was going renewable and who wasn’t”.

    And Joe Franses, Director, Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability at Coca-Cola Enterprises, said only a 100% goal could galvanize interest within the business and engage those concerned with security of supply – “a lower target wouldn’t have brought the right people to the table.”

    The companies were speaking as part of panels moderated by Mark Kenber, CEO of The Climate Group, and Emily Farnworth, RE100 Campaign Director at The Climate Group, on the first day of the event. IKEA, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Marks and Spencer, and Nestlé shared their experiences of setting and working towards 100% renewable power goals as part of the RE100 campaign.

    A representative from Heineken also spoke of using renewables to help the company reduce its CO2 emissions by 40% by 2020 (compared to a 2008 baseline).

    Key drivers for action

    Joe Franses, Director, Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability at Coca-Cola Enterprises, said the company would never have committed to using 100% renewable power 5 or 6 years ago, but recognising that it could now buy renewable power at a competitive price, it joined RE100 in December.

    Joanna Yarrow said that IKEA, a founding partner of RE100, seized the opportunity to save money and insulate against price rises – energy costs being the second biggest cost after staff at the company. “We want to be a business that’s thriving and surviving in decades to come”, she said.

    Andrew Griffiths, Head of Sustainability at Nestlé UK & I, highlighted the threat of climate change impacts to the food and drink sector as a key driver to join RE100, alongside the chance to work in collaboration with other leading companies. He said increasing price certainty and lowering risk “gets the CFO excited”.

    And Mike Barry, Director of Sustainable Business (Plan A) at Marks & Spencer, said the company was sourcing renewable electricity at no extra cost – in fact it was seeing a return through the Feed-In Tariff – and for that reason it was easy to convince the CFO that 100% renewable power was realistic. The rest of the panel agreed that renewable power wasn’t costing them any extra.

    Making progress

    Marks & Spencer is almost entirely powered by renewable energy already – with 100% renewables in the UK. IKEA is already about 67% of the way there globally, and by the end of this year, Coca-Cola Enterprises expects to be on around 40% worldwide. Nestlé now sources 100% renewable electricity from the grid in the UK and Ireland, and will be announcing new investments in the coming weeks.

    Andrew Griffiths and Mike Barry both described the transition to 100% renewables as a three part process: reducing energy consumption by investing in efficiency, sourcing renewables for the electricity that is used, and working with others to increase demand for renewables around the world.

    Going the extra mile

    When Mark Kenber asked his panel if consumers expected business to act on energy, the answer was a resounding ‘yes’.

    Mike Barry said that customers put pressure on Marks & Spencer to act, and that in turn, the company puts pressure on the system. The company has invested more than $550,000 in community energy projects in the last year.

    “Our customers do care actually”, said Joanna Yarrow, referring to research last year showing that 80% want to live more sustainably, “and there’s more and more expectation that organizations will do their bit.” Earlier this week, IKEA announced it would start selling solar panels in its UK stores.  “We want to be the leaders in helping customers live more sustainably”, she said.

    Joanna Yarrow also acknowledged a public “toe-curling” in reaction to green claims in recent years, saying that a degree of corporate greenwashing had provoked cynicism. She said it highlighted the importance of leading companies “taking consumers on a journey, of being transparent, and co-creating solutions.”

    Mike Barry said the low carbon revolution was “disrupting” the way companies do business. Years ago “no news was good news” from companies, he said, then after that, it was all about building sustainability into the brand. Now, businesses are expected to go further and deliver “actual products and services that enhance consumers’ lives in a low carbon way” – otherwise they’ll get “washed away”.

    IKEA, Coca-Cola Enterprises and Marks & Spencer are also working with their suppliers, to encourage them to switch to renewable power too.

    “It’s about what you do in your own operations, the leadership you show in your supply chain, and the leadership you show with your customers”, said Mike Barry.

    Why RE100?

    Joe Franses said the energy landscape was a particularly complex one, that Coca-Cola Enterprises had found Scope 2 guidance and the Greenhouse Gas Protocol somewhat hard to navigate, and that it was difficult to keep up with changes in national energy policy in each of the countries in which the business operates. He said that guidance and advice, alongside “power in numbers”, was a key reason to join RE100.

    Andrew Griffiths said the campaign “brings visibility and understanding”.

    Mike Barry said that by working alongside other companies in RE100, Marks & Spencer could help change the bigger picture and achieve far more than it could do alone. He urged companies thinking about joining the campaign to know what they wanted to get out of it and to be an active participant. “It’s creating value for you”, he said.

    Joanna Yarrow highlighted opportunities to learn through the campaign. She said businesses should engage with each other so they don’t have to reinvent the wheel. “58 companies makes for a pretty good endorsement”, she said. “This is not some wacko agenda!”

    Last summer The Climate Group interviewed Joanna Yarrow for Climate TV. Watch the interview here.   

  • RE100 companies voice support for low carbon economy as governments gather to sign Paris Agreement

    RE100 companies have been voicing their support for a low carbon economy, ahead of today’s all-important Paris Agreement Signing Ceremony at the UN headquarters in New York.

    More than 160 countries have expressed their intention to sign the Paris Agreement, designed to keep global warming below 2 degrees and spur low carbon growth, offering new market opportunities worth US$13.5 trillion.

    Corporates played a crucial role in ensuring a successful outcome of the COP21 climate talks in December, by demonstrating the business case for low carbon action and pledging their support. By working towards 100% renewable power as part of RE100, they are demonstrating that words are being turned into action.

    Explaining what the Paris Agreement means to their business,

    Gene M. Murtagh, CEO at Kingspan Group Plc said: “The strong outcome of the Paris agreement signals the beginning of the long term path towards decarbonisation through a range of critical areas including energy efficiency and renewable energy generation. Working together we can achieve our collective goal of a clean global economy.”  

    Steve Howard, Chief Sustainability Officer at IKEA Group, one of the founding partners of RE100, said: “The Paris agreement represents a turning point for business. The certainty of ever stronger policies to reduce carbon emissions creates clarity for how we develop our products, services and operations for a low carbon future.”

    Mike Barry, Director of Sustainable Business at Marks & Spencer, said: “We were delighted to see world leaders agree a strong deal at COP21. Now business must step up and create a clear, ambitious pathway to a low carbon future.”

    Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Chairman at Nestlé, said: “The ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ for 2030 and the binding Paris Agreement on climate change are landmark steps in matters of sustainable development, and have the potential and the imperative to make a real impact in the coming years. This is something we at Nestlé are pleased with and commit to actively contribute to.”

    Fiona Ball, Head of Responsible Business at Sky said: “We need to maintain momentum post COP21 in Paris and make sure actions come out of all the hard work that went into last year. We need to send strong messages to markets and governments, pushing for a competitive, secure and sustainable energy system.”

    Commenting on the business case for action,

    Ralph Hamers, CEO of ING, said: “Climate change is an unparalleled challenge for our world, and banks have a real responsibility to play a role in addressing it.”

    Curtis Ravenel, Global Head of Sustainable Business & Finance at Bloomberg, said: “Price competitiveness, innovative financing mechanisms and diversified supply mean corporations can scale our efforts on renewables in a way that makes a compelling business case. Combine that with societal benefits like contributing to cleaner, healthier communities, and you have a positive and tangible business response to the challenge of climate change."

    RE100 support was welcomed by Mark Kenber, CEO of The Climate Group, who said: “Businesses have a fundamental role to play in delivering a low carbon economy, and the Paris Agreement is giving them the confidence to go further and faster in their efforts.”

    Over the coming months, the RE100 campaign will be showcasing the progress companies are making towards their 100% renewable electricity goals, and shining a light on the best examples of business leadership.

  • Paris Agreement presents market opportunities for businesses – new analysis

    Clean energy investment opportunities worth trillions of U.S. dollars are up for grabs by the private sector, new analysis by We Mean Business shows.

    The ‘What Paris means for business’ briefing and ‘Z-card’ identify key policies coming out of the COP21 climate negotiations in December, and explains what businesses can expect as the economy undergoes a deep transformation, including: 

    • New and expanded market opportunities
    • Opportunities to align investment decisions to long-term policy certainty
    • Benefits from policy coherence across borders and into new markets
    • Increased investor confidence in managing climate risks

    The analysis comes ahead of the signing of the Paris Agreement by more than 150 countries later this week.

    Major economies are committing to restructuring their energy systems. Collectively, national climate plans under the Paris Agreement represent at least a US$13.5 trillion market for the energy sector alone in energy efficiency and low-carbon technologies through 2030. 

    Edward Cameron, Head of Policy for We Mean Business called the Paris Agreement “an unprecedented international agreement and a defining moment for the global market.” He said: “Trillions of dollars of market opportunity await businesses with the foresight to lead across their entire value chains.”

    Mark Kenber, CEO of The Climate Group said: “Businesses have a fundamental role to play in delivering a low carbon economy, and the Paris Agreement is giving them the confidence to go further and faster in their efforts.”

    Business action

    Since the historic climate change agreement was reached in December, five major companies from a variety of sectors have joined RE100 to transition their global operations to 100% renewable power, taking the total number of committed world leading companies to 58, with dozens more in the pipeline.

    The first to join RE100 after COP21 was Tata Motors, India’s largest automobile manufacturer. During the financial year 2014-15 the company saved over 32,000 tons of CO2e, through investments in wind and solar power.

    Next was the financial software, data and media company Bloomberg, investing in wind and solar power and intending to dramatically increase the proportion of its electricity sourced from renewables to 100% by 2025.

    British media giant Sky also joined the campaign in recent weeks, setting a 2020 goal for using 100% renewable electricity. The company already buys 100% renewable electricity from the grid in the UK and Ireland.

    US-based ICT company, HP, joined with an interim target to source 40% of its electricity from renewables by 2020, partly through onsite solar power and Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs).

    And the French banking group Crédit Agricole joined RE100 most recently, on track to go ‘100% renewable’ this year. The company renegotiated its contracts with EDF – a move expected to save at least 6,500 tonnes of CO2 per year and around €9 million over the next three years.

    Commenting on the business case for switching to renewable power, Michael Terrell, Head of Energy Policy at Google, said: “Companies are making big bets in clean energy to fight climate change and because it makes business sense. At Google, we have committed to purchase over 2 gigawatts of renewable energy and are the largest non-utility renewable energy purchaser in the world. We believe we can tackle climate change in a way that will spur innovation and growth and benefit us all.”

    Steve Howard, Chief Sustainability Officer, Ikea Group, said: “Everyone, including policymakers, business and civil society, needs to work together in delivering actions and solutions that facilitate a rapid transition to a low carbon economy. At IKEA, we are committed to do our part. We will continue to invest in renewable energy and to transform our business. By 2020, we will produce as much renewable energy as the energy we consume in our own operations.”

    Clean Power Plan

    In a further show of support for the Paris Climate Agreement, over 100 business giants have called for swift action on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan and investment in the low carbon economy at home and abroad.  

    The companies, including RE100 members Autodesk, Biogen, HP, IKEA, Johnson & Johnson, Kingspan, Mars, Nestlé, Nike, Philips, Salesforce, Starbucks and Unilever released a statement pledging to do their part to “realize [the Paris Climate Agreement’s] vision of a global economy that limits global temperature rise to well below two degrees Celsius.” They also called on U.S. leaders for an investment in the low-carbon economy at home and abroad to give financial decision-makers clarity and to boost investors’ confidence worldwide.

    Barry Parkin, Chief Sustainability Officer, at Mars said: “We are hopeful that continued leadership and progress by the business community will encourage the U.S. to follow through on its COP21 commitment and to successfully implement the Clean Power Plan."