News

  • World’s most influential companies join RE100 and announce investments in renewable power

    Wells Fargo & Co.Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and VF Corporation - owner of many apparel and footwear brands including The North Face, Timberland, and Wrangler - are among a group of world-leading businesses from diverse sectors of the economy that today, during Climate Week NYC 2016, joined RE100.

    RE100 is a global collaborative initiative of influential businesses committed to 100% renewable power. The initiative is led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP.

    The eight new joiners also include cloud computing companies VMware Inc. and Rackspace Inc.; global alcoholic beverage company Diageo; and Norway’s largest financial services company DNB.

    They follow hot on the heels of Apple and Bank of America, both of which joined RE100 with announcements on stage at the Opening Ceremony of Climate Week NYC yesterday. Amalgamated Bank has also joined the initiative just days after General Motors did the same.

    Speaking on their RE100 announcement, Mary Wenzel, Senior Vice President and Head of Environmental Affairs at Wells Fargo, said: “We are very pleased to have joined RE100 and be in the company of others who have also committed to using 100 percent renewable electricity for their operations.  

    “Learning from RE100 experts and other members is going to be critical as we work toward meeting our 2020 sustainability commitments, including our goal of powering 100 percent of our global operations with renewable  electricity by 2017 and transitioning to long-term agreements that directly fund new renewable electricity projects by 2020.” 

    Letitia Webster, Vice President of Global Corporate Sustainability at VF Corporation, said: “Climate change is the defining issue of our generation and it’s incumbent upon us as large global businesses to take action and lead by example.

    "VF and our brands such as The North Face, Timberland, Vans, and Wrangler are committed to achieving our 100 percent renewable energy goal by 2025 and doing our part to address the global climate challenges.”  

    Damian Ryan, Acting CEO of The Climate Group, welcomed the new commitments: “It is widely acknowledged that we will not succeed in keeping a global temperature rise below two degrees without significant corporate leadership on energy, and that is what we are seeing here today.

    “Dozens of world leading companies joining RE100 are showing there's a clear business case to invest in cleaner energy pathways that will accelerate the transition to net-zero emissions economies. Investors and policymakers must respond to rising corporate demand and ensure that supportive policies are in place.”

    There are now 81 members of RE100. The 12 new companies joining the campaign at Climate Week NYC 2016 are helping to drive demand for over 19.3TWh of renewable electricity, almost enough to power the whole of Long Island [21.6TWh]. This takes the estimated total demand being created by all RE100 members to over 100TWh.

    Demonstrating progress against goals

    Just two years since the launch of RE100 at Climate Week NYC 2014, existing members are already demonstrating clear progress towards their 100% goals. Re/insurance company Swiss Re, a founding partner of the RE100 campaign, today announced plans to build and operate its own solar power plant at the company's US headquarters in Armonk, New York. Construction of the 2MW facility will begin in October 2016. HereLasse Wallquist, Senior Environmental Management Specialist at Swiss Re, explains why investing in solar PV makes environmental and economic sense.

    Global healthcare company Johnson & Johnson last week strengthened its interim RE100 goal with a commitment to powering its facilities with 35% renewable energy by 2020. The company has contracted usage of 100MW of wind energy from E.ON’s new wind farm in Texas, an agreement that will generate electricity equivalent to about 60 percent of its consumption in the U.S..

    Cleaner, smarter energy

    Also today, new joiners were announced to EP100, The Climate Group's new global initiative run in partnership with the Global Alliance for Energy Productivity that works with businesses committed to doubling their energy productivity.

    The Climate Group’s two corporate initiatives RE100 and EP100 are designed to work hand-in-hand to help companies maximize the economic benefits of every unit of energy they consume – and to ensure that what energy they do use for power, is renewable. 

  • Bank of America, Apple and Amalgamated Bank join RE100 at Climate Week NYC with goals for going 100% renewable

    Major U.S. corporates have announced new commitments to renewable energy at the Opening Ceremony of Climate Week NYC.

    Leading by example

    Demonstrating strong leadership in the transition to a net-zero economy, Bank of America announced on stage that it is joining RE100, with a goal of purchasing 100% renewable electricity and going carbon neutral by 2020.

    The bank also announced plans to go carbon neutral and set new environmental operations goals for water, paper, waste and LEED certification. And, as well as reducing emissions in its own operations, Bank of America for the first time announced quantitative goals to address emissions in its supply chain.

    Andrew Plepler, Global Environmental, Social and Governance executive at Bank of America, said: “These new commitments build on our existing environmental strategy for both our operations as well as our business activities. This includes our $125 billion environmental business initiative, which is providing much-needed capital to catalyze greater investments in clean energy and other low-carbon projects. Overall, we have provided more than $53 billion dollars to sustainable business activities since 2007.”

    Speaking on the bank’s 100% renewable electricity commitment, he added: “We’re joining RE100 to help keep these critical issues at the forefront of the business agenda, recognizing the role of the private sector in addressing challenges associated with climate change. Together we can accelerate the transition to a more sustainable and low carbon economy.”

    Influencing supply chains

    The second major corporate announcement of the day was by Apple. Already an established leader in renewable energy, with 93% of its global operations in 23 countries running on renewable power last year, Apple also announced it is joining RE100 and is committed to reaching 100%.

    The company said it wants its customers to be able to use its products without contributing to climate change, and also unveiled its investment in a new 50MW solar project in Arizona, generating 151,000 MWh of renewable electricity per year.

    The technology giant said it was most interested in working with RE100 on pushing renewable energy into supply chains – an emerging focus area for the campaign as it works to bring more and more companies on board. Apple estimates that some 77% of its emissions come from its supply chain.

    Last year Apple launched a clean energy program to help its manufacturing partners in China to lower their carbon footprint. It is now working with them to install more than 4GW of new clean energy worldwide by 2020, and today announced that its plastics supplier Solvay SA, and phone casing supplier Catcher Technology, would both work to use 100% renewable energy by the end of 2018.

    "Apple is committed to running on 100% renewable energy, and we’re happy to stand beside other companies that are working toward the same effort", Lisa Jackson, Apple’s Vice president for Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, said in her keynote speech to an audience of business and government leaders.

    “We’re excited to share the industry-leading work we've been doing to drive renewable energy into the manufacturing supply chain”, she added, “and as Tim Cook says, “we have to be the ripple on the pond… we can’t just be 100% renewable energy – we have to bring others with us.”

    Jackson said that Apple looks forward to partnering with RE100 to advocate for clean-energy policies around the world. Specifically, she called for a price on carbon as a driver for action, saying that clear market signals were needed.

    73 members and rising

    Also today, Amalgamated Bank joined RE100 with a goal to achieve 100% renewable electricity by 2017. The bank has called on the rest of the banking industry to follow its lead and take significant steps to proactively address climate risk and reduce carbon pollution.

    There are now 73 members of RE100, spanning more than 20 sectors of the economy. More announcements are to follow during Climate Week NYC. Follow the action on social media at #CWNYC and #RE100.

  • General Motors joins RE100 campaign and commits to 100% renewable electricity by 2050

    General Motors, one of the largest manufacturing companies in the world, has joined RE100 with a commitment to use 100% renewable electricity by 2050.

    GM has pledged to meet its electricity needs across its global operations, at 350 sites in 59 countries, using only renewable power including wind and solar energy.

    The company, based in Detroit, Michigan, in the U.S. has become the 70th member of RE100, and the new commitment is part of its overall strategy to strengthen its business, enhance local communities and address climate change.

    Mary Barra, Chairman and CEO, GM said: “Establishing a 100 percent renewable energy goal helps us better serve society by reducing environmental impact. 

    “This pursuit of renewable energy benefits our customers and communities through cleaner air while strengthening our business through lower and more stable energy costs.”

    GM currently saves an estimated US$5 million annually from using renewable energy, with this figure likely to increase significantly with prospective projects coming online and the supply of renewable energy increasing.

    David Tulauskas, GM’s Director of Sustainability added: “It makes business sense for companies to pursue the use of renewables because it improves the bottom-line and takes advantage of energy cost certainty for long-term planning.”

    The new pledge builds on GM’s previous target of using 125 megawatts of renewable energy by 2020, and the company expects to exceed this goal later this year when two new wind projects come online in Texas and Mexico.

    GM is also currently installing 30 megawatts of solar arrays at two facilities in China; the company’s Jinqiao Cadillac assembly plant in Shanghai will feature 10 megawatts of rooftop solar and 20 megawatts of solar carports will cover its vehicle distribution center parking area in Wuhan.

    The company, which has 22 facilities with solar arrays, three sites using landfill gas, and four that will soon have wind power installations, has been a leader in the use of renewable energy for over 20 years, saving an estimated total of $80 million.

    Amy Davidsen, US Executive Director, The Climate Group, welcomed the latest development: “This bold and ambitious commitment from General Motors will undoubtedly catch the attention of the global automotive industry.

    "GM has already saved millions of dollars by using renewable energy, and like any smart business that recognizes an investment opportunity, they want to seize it fully. From reducing fluctuating energy costs to providing energy security – going 100% renewable makes clear economic sense.

    “We hope that through this leadership, other heavy manufacturing companies will be inspired to make the switch too. Business needs to remain active and engaged as we transition to a clean economy, a critical factor to help keep global warming well under two degrees and ensure a prosperous future for us all.”

    David Tulauskas will be speaking during Climate Week NYC at The Climate Group’s high-level networking event, ‘Scaling the Clean Economy: Using Better Energy Better’, hosted by Baker & McKenzie on Tuesday, September 20. The event will bring together members of The Climate Group’s RE100 and EP100 corporate campaigns to analyze the key solutions and best practices towards using 100% renewable electricity or doubling energy productivity, respectively.

  • Newsletter: Corporate action, Climate Week NYC & dates for your diaries

    ALL REGIONS

    Countdown to Climate Week NYC

    The countdown has begun: coinciding with the first UN General Assembly post Paris - and with the U.S. election fast approaching - Climate Week NYC 2016 (19-25 September), is less than three weeks away. The Climate Group’s flagship event will gather leaders from business and government to demonstrate how continued investment in innovation, technology and clean energy will drive profitability and lead us toward net zero emissions. RE100 will be announcing some news.

    Insurers call on G20 leaders to phase out fossil fuel subsidies by 2020

    Insurers and investors worth $1.2 trillion have called on G20 leaders to set a 2020 deadline for ending fossil fuel subsidies. Mark Wilson, CEO of Aviva - a member of RE100 - said: “Climate change in particular represents the mother of all risks – to business and to society as a whole. And that risk is magnified by the way in which fossil fuel subsidies distort the energy market. These subsidies are simply unsustainable.” To read the full statement, coordinated by the Overseas Development Institute, click here.

    1000 corporate commitments to climate action

    A milestone of 1000 corporate commitments to bold climate action has been reached through We Mean Business’ ‘Take Action’ campaign. This includes 69 business commitments to 100% renewable power through RE100, so far - with more to be announced in the coming weeks. The recent gathering pace of commitments shows clear momentum in corporate efforts to help keep global warming below two degrees.


    INDIA

    Philips Lighting India sponsors India Energy Access Summit

    More than 400 leaders from business enterprises, financial institutions and government have renewed their commitment in supporting India to deliver access to sustainable energy, at this year’s India Energy Access Summit in New Delhi, India. The Climate Group’s flagship event in India was made possible with the support of summit partners including Philips Lighting - a member of RE100.

    Speaking in an interview for Climate TV, The Climate Group’s digital TV channel, Harry Verhaar, Head of Global Public & Government Affairs at Philips Lighting, said: “the business model fits as a solution glove to all the things that we need to address in the climate change challenge”


    DATES FOR YOUR DIARIES

    August 31- September 1: The second summit (II Climate Summit of the Americas), Guadalajara, Mexico - Walmart and Nestlé are among the speakers at this major annual event convening subnational governments of the Americas, business, academic and civil society sectors. This year the summit is hosted by the government of Jalisco. The Climate Group is using this platform to increase awareness of the need for policy to support corporate sourcing of renewables.

    Monday September 19: Opening Ceremony, Climate Week NYC, U.S. - Climate Week NYC is The Climate Group’s global flagship event; a milestone in the international climate calendar and a focal meeting point for leading governments, investors, businesses, innovators and opinion formers. We are currently confirming speakers - to include RE100 members.

    Tuesday September 20: ‘Scaling the Clean Economy: Using Better Energy, Better’, 15:45 - 20:00hrs, New York City, U.S. - This networking event, hosted by The Climate Group, will show how energy productivity, when combined with renewables, can provide the least-cost decarbonization pathway for leading businesses, helping to keep the world on course for reaching net-zero emissions well before the end of the century.

    Speakers confirmed to date include Rachel Kyte, CEO of SE4All; John Gaylen, North America President of Danfoss; Anirban Ghosh, VP of Sustainability, Mahindra & Mahindra; Melanie Nakagawa, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Transformation, US Department of State; and Nancy Pfund, Founder, Managing Partner, DBL Partners. This event is by invitation only.

    Late September (date tbc): RE100 webinar on renewable energy tracking systems in India. 

    November 7-18: UNFCCC COP22, Marrakesh, Morocco: We are collaborating with REBA, IRENA, WBCSD, CEM7, the Global Solar Council and CAN International to ensure corporate demand for renewables is integrated into key events and discussions at COP22. There will be a number of speaking opportunities for senior executives of RE100 members.

  • Newsletter: solar success and looking ahead to Climate Week NYC

    ALL REGIONS

    Solar Impulse completes global flight

    Reminding us all that the sky's the limit when it comes to renewable energy, Solar Impulse has completed the world’s first round-the-world solar flight. “The future is clean. The future is you. The future is now. Let’s take it further,”- pilot Bertand Piccard, on arrival in Abu Dhabi; a message that RE100 members are already embracing.

    Solution Providers to work with RE100

    As part of our new self-sustaining funding structure for the RE100 campaign we are now inviting carefully selected technology providers, project developers, financiers and more to become RE100 ‘Solution Providers’. For an annual fee, these companies will be able to provide valuable insight into new technological, policy and project developments with interested RE100 members – through our events, knowledge sharing webinars and digital media. 


    EUROPE

    British Land joins RE100

    The UK-based property management company British Land has joined the campaign with a goal to be 100% powered by renewable electricity by 2019. Emily Farnworth, RE100 Campaign Director said: ‘Many RE100 members who rent office and retail space will benefit from landlords - like British Land - who can provide 100% renewable power. From improved reputations to stabilised energy bills, there are advantages for everyone concerned.”

    Shareaction points companies to RE100

    'More and more companies are becoming aware of the business case for renewables and joining RE100, thanks to the work of ShareAction. Here, Project Coordinator Liz Sowden blogs on the progress being made.' 

    REA launches solar guide for business

    The Renewable Energy Association and the BRE National Solar Centre have released a new guide to installing solar PV systems of commercial rooftops in the UK, to help owners and tenants of commercial buildings to switch to renewable power. “With solar PV, companies can have more control of their energy supplies, manage their costs and cut down on their carbon emissions” - Gaynor Hartnell, Advisor to the REA.


    NORTH AMERICA

    Highlighting market hotspots for businesses to go renewable

    More than 100 executives from members of RE100 and the Rocky Mountain Institute’s Business Renewables Center attended a joint RE100-BRC webinar on July 20. Steve Abbott, Senior Associate at Rocky Mountain Institute, reviewed how the BRC’s Marketplace platform is helping large companies to purchase renewable energy. Using data from the Marketplace, Steve highlighted the hottest markets based on project availability and corporate buyer interest.  


    DATES FOR YOUR DIARIES

    August 31- September 1: The second summit (II Climate Summit of the Americas), Guadalajara, Mexico - The government of Jalisco will resume the effort and spirit of last year’s first summit, hosted by the Government of Ontario, and reconvene subnational governments of the Americas along with the business, academic and civil society sectors to follow up the agreements reached in 2015. There will be speaking opportunities for RE100 members at this event and we will use this platform to increase awareness of the need for policy to support corporate sourcing of renewables.

    September 1: Launch of Clean Energy Registry - APX is to launch a new Clean Energy Registry (CER) to support the issuance, tracking and retirement of Tradable Instruments for Global Renewables (TIGRs). This will initially support issuances from projects in Singapore but will expand to additional countries. “Demand is coming from Fortune 500 firms with commitments to RE100 to ensure sustainability strategies are properly implemented,” said Lars Kvale, Head of Business Development at APX. For more information visit http://technology-trust-news.org/t/6R6-4EOBV-KTYL3A-2860J0-0/c.aspx

     

    September 19: Opening Ceremony, Climate Week NYC, U.S. - Climate Week NYC is The Climate Group’s global flagship event; a milestone in the international climate calendar and a focal meeting point for leading governments, investors, businesses, innovators and opinion formers. RE100 will be announcing some news. We will be sending formal invitations for the Opening Ceremony out shortly.

    There will be a RE100-EP100 side event on Tuesday, September 20 including a number of high level speakers from leading members in the two campaigns. Sponsorship opportunities are available.

    November 1: ‘What are the strategic options for corporates to source 100% renewables globally?’ Ernst & Young event, London, U.K. - Emily Farnworth (RE100), Andrew Griffiths (Nestlé) and Tony Dunnage (Unilever) are among the speakers at this event held at Ernst & Young offices in London. Discussions will include increased consumer choice as a driver for ambitious targets, and changing markets and standards in the UK and Europe in a post-Brexit context. RE100 members will be invited.

    November 7-18: UNFCCC COP22, Marrakesh, Morocco: We are collaborating with REBA, IRENA, WBCSD, CEM7, the Global Solar Council and CAN International to ensure corporate demand for renewables is integrated into key events and discussions at COP22. There will be a number of speaking opportunities for senior executives of RE100 members. If your company will be represented at COP22 and is interested in speaking opportunities, please contact Emily Farnworth, RE100 Campaign Director EFarnworth@theclimategroup.org.

     

  • Blog: How ShareAction is helping RE100 to power a low carbon transition

    Companies are becoming increasingly aware of the business case for renewables and joining RE100, thanks to the work of ShareAction. Here, Project Coordinator Liz Sowden blogs on the progress being made.

    Companies account for about half the global electricity demand. This makes scaling up their use of renewable sources central to the transition to a low-carbon future.

    The RE100 campaign - run by The Climate Group and CDP - recruits and brings together global businesses who are committed to using 100% renewable electricity in their global operations. The huge opportunities of the low-carbon transition make businesses well-placed to be leaders in this area, while benefitting from the long-term energy security and fixed costs provided by renewables. Nestlé is one of the 69 companies already part of RE100, and their newly commissioned windfarm in the Scottish borders will cover half of the company’s electricity needs across the UK and Ireland.

    When hugely influential businesses collaborate to respond to the risk of climate change in this way, the results can be really exciting. Collectively, companies have a big influence on governments and the energy industry. If the corporate sector sends a strong, united message that the demand for renewable electricity is real and growing, the wider transition to renewables will benefit too.

    The kind of large-scale and long-term demand that major companies can provide builds confidence and stimulates investment in the renewables market for new project development. Already, 2015 saw the fastest rate yet of new renewable energy sources being established, with particular growth in emerging economies.

    When large influential businesses lead the way, it will become easier for smaller businesses and domestic users to switch to clean electricity sources, which, along with increased energy efficiency, is essential if we are to meet the Sustainable Development Goals. By joining RE100, companies are helping to create a tipping point for accelerating the low carbon economy.

    So where does ShareAction fit in to this vision? Since 2015, ShareAction has been working in partnership with RE100 to raise awareness of the campaign with more publicly listed companies and encourage them to join. Last year we raised the issue of renewable electricity at 23 UK company AGMs, prompting further meetings and dialogue between the RE100 team and some major household name brands.

    As a responsible investment charity, we know the influence investors can have on company priorities and behaviour. In December 2015, we launched the ShareAction RE100 institutional investor initiative, with founding members including Aviva Investors, ERAFP, and Strathclyde Pension Fund. The initiative coordinates large funds, asset managers and charitable trusts based in the UK, Australia, USA, France and Norway, with recent developments including investor-signed letters, which we have sent to selected FTSE100 companies.

    The next phase of the project is to take the company engagement beyond the UK’s shores. We will be coordinating joint investor letters to publicly listed companies in Europe and the USA, with the aim of using the strong coordinated voice of investors to accelerate the global corporate move to renewable electricity. To date we have 25 investors involved in the project, with more than £350bn in assets under management, and we are actively recruiting more.

    Change has to happen at multiple levels for the world to fix the climate thermostat. People who are worried about the future may feel powerless to speed up the widespread behaviour change that is needed now to slow down our impact on the environment. However, the money invested through our pensions on our behalf provides leverage to influence corporate behaviour for the good of us all.

    As part of our work in this area with RE100 we launched an online activism tool so you can email your own pension fund, asking what they are doing about renewable electricity, and suggesting that they join the ShareAction investor engagement on RE100. If you have a pension (not limited to the UK but in the USA, Canada, Australia and many European countries), you can send your fund an email encouraging them to take part in this project.

    Even if you don’t have a pension, you could get involved by becoming a ShareAction AGM activist and asking a company a question about RE100. This tactic really works: we were delighted by the recent announcement that leading pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has joined RE100. The company was already considering a 100% target when Rebecca, a member of ShareAction’s AGM Army, posed a question at their annual shareholder meeting in April 2015, asking them to consider joining RE100. This helped to galvanise senior level interest in the issue, which supported subsequent meetings between AstraZeneca and RE100, and led to the company ultimately joining the campaign. 

    In further good news, following on from questions we posed at their 2015 and 2016 AGMs, British Land recently announced its membership of the RE100 campaign.

    These moves show that while shareholder activism does not always deliver quick results, our sustained efforts can help to deliver the sustainable results that we all require. Working in partnership with RE100, we hope to be blogging about more leading companies going 100% renewable for their electricity in the near future.

  • Newsletter: inspiring stories at Business & Climate Summit and British Renewable Energy Awards

    ALL REGIONS

    RE100 praised at Business & Climate Summit

    Policy uncertainty remains the biggest challenge to companies going 100% renewable, but RE100 is demonstrating rising demand and the need for investors and policymakers to respond. So concluded a RE100 panel at the close of the Business & Climate Summit, London.

    Steve Howard, Chief Sustainability Officer at IKEA; Iarla Flynn, Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs at Google; and Simon Heller, Group Head of Environmental Management at UBS joined moderator Jessica Shankleman, Bloomberg News, to share their company’s progress towards their 100% goals, and discuss how to accelerate the take up of renewables around the world.

    Hosted by global law firm DLA Piper, which recently released its Spring/Summer 2016 Carbon Matters briefing, the event provided a key networking opportunity for around 100 guests from RE100 companies, energy solution providers and RE100 partner organisations.

    It followed the launch of a new report by We Mean Business showing that business initiatives like RE100 could help to drive companies to deliver at least 60% of the emissions cuts pledged by countries in Paris.

    RE100 also welcomed AstraZeneca, CaixaBank, Colruyt Group and SAVE S.p.A Group - which manages airports in Venice and Brussels - to the campaign, which now unites 68 world leading companies committed to 100% renewable electricity.

    In the week of the Summit and the new companies joining the campaign, we generated around 3.8 million impressions of #RE100 on Twitter. 


    EUROPE

    RE100 wins British Renewable Energy ‘Pioneer’ Award

    The RE100 campaign won the 2016 British Renewable Energy ‘Pioneer’ Award, for accelerating the corporate uptake of renewable energy through 100% commitments. “As well as encouraging the world’s leading businesses to think with their feet, RE100 gives companies a unified voice that the market – and policy makers – must listen to”, said Damian Ryan, now Acting Head of The Climate Group.

    Several RE100 members also received awards. Marks and Spencer won the ‘Leadership’ award, as a company that is mainstreaming renewables through the scale of its investment or its commitment to securing its energy needs from renewables. The company is already 100% renewable in the UK.

    Other companies shortlisted for the leadership award included Unilever, BT Group, Aviva plc and Biogen UK Ltd - part of Biogen. 

    RE100 webinar offers insight into UK renewable energy market

    More than 30 people joined a RE100 webinar on June 15  on which guest speakers Merlin Hyman, Chief Executive, RegenSW & Alan John, Partner, Osborne Clarke LLP looked at how the UK renewable energy market is changing in response to government policy and the development of new technologies and business models, as well as options for companies to source renewable energy in the rapidly changing context. 

    Nestlé invests in wind energy to power UK & Ireland operations

    Nestlé signed a deal to power around half of its UK and Ireland operations with wind from the Scottish highlands. The company has entered an initial 15 year Power Partnership Agreement with Community Wind Power, which will see a new wind farm created in Dumfries and Galloway producing enough renewable electricity power around 50% of Nestlé's electricity demand in the UK and Ireland.

    Google signs new deals for wind energy in Norway and Sweden

    Google is investing in two new wind farms in Norway and Sweden, which will provide 236MW of renewable energy. The company now has seven Power Purchasing Agreements (PPAs) in Europe and 18 globally - equivalent to taking one million cars off the road.


    INDIA

    Indian companies attend RE100/EP100 capacity building workshop, Mumbai

    Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra and Bharat Forge were among the Indian corporates brought together by The Climate Group, to discuss how transitioning to 100% renewable electricity and doubling energy productivity can maximise business value and drive down emissions. Krishnan Pallassana, India Executive Director, The Climate Group, said: “By joining RE100 and EP100, India’s leading companies can demonstrate real leadership in helping the country meet its climate goals."

    Indian blue chip firms ready to take green pledge

    India’s leading business newspaper, The Economic Times, has reported on Indian companies readying themselves to pledge to source 100% renewable electricity. Following in the footsteps of Infosys and Tata Motors, at least 10 blue chip firms, from a variety of sectors, are in talks with The Climate Group about joining RE100. 


    LOOKING AHEAD

    July 20: Joint RE100 - Business Renewables Center Marketplace webinar, 16:00hrs BST - Steve Abbott, Rocky Mountain Institute, will review how the BRC’'s Marketplace platform and others are helping large companies to purchase renewable energy. Using data from the Marketplace, he will highlight the hottest markets based on project availability and corporate buyer interest. 

    August 10-12: India Energy Access Summit (IEAS), New Delhi, India - The Climate Group and Clean Energy Access Network will host the IEAS 2016 in partnership with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. The summit will focus on financing energy access scale up as well as address the policy and regulatory framework for an enabling environment.

    August 31- September 1: The second summit (II Climate Summit of the Americas), Guadalajara, Mexico hosted by the Government of Jalisco - The government of Jalisco will resume the effort and spirit of last year’s first summit, hosted by the Government of Ontario, and reconvene subnational governments of the Americas along with the business, academic and civil society sectors to follow up the agreements reached in 2015. We will use this platform to increase awareness of the need for policy to support corporate sourcing of renewables.

    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. There will be a RE100 side event on September 20. Sponsorship opportunities are available. For information contact Chris Brown, Head of Sponsorship and Business Development, The Climate Group: cbrown@theclimategroup.org.

    September 29: SolarPower Europe’s 100GW celebration, 18:00-22:00hrs CET, BMW Brand Store, Brussels, Belgium - SolarPower Europe is bringing together 200+ senior executives and decision makers from the energy sector and European and national institutions to celebrate 100GW of solar power being installed across the continent. The agenda is available here. Register here by September 10. The event will be livestreamed on Facebook. Follow #EUSOLAR100GW on Twitter.

    November 7-18: UNFCCC COP22, Marrakesh, Morocco - We are collaborating with IRENA, WBCSD, the Global Solar Council and CAN International to ensure corporate demand for renewables is integrated into key events and discussions at COP22. 

  • Carbon cuts and better business value – a win-win for companies at India workshop

    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.

  • RE100 campaign building corporate demand for renewables  – panel discussion, Business & Climate Summit

    Policy uncertainty remains the biggest challenge to companies working towards 100% renewable electricity globally, but RE100 is demonstrating that corporate demand is on the rise – sending a clear market signal to policy makers and investors that renewables are a safe bet.

    This was one of the main conclusions of a RE100 panel discussion hosted by global law firm DLA Piper, immediately after the close of the Business & Climate Summit in London. 

    Steve Howard, Chief Sustainability Officer at IKEA; Iarla Flynn, Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs; and Simon Heller, Group Head of Environmental Management at UBS joined moderator Jessica Shankleman, Renewable Energy Reporter at Bloomberg News, and around 100 guests from RE100 companies, energy solution providers and RE100 partner organisations, to share their company’s progress towards their 100% goals, and discuss what needs to happen now and in the future to accelerate the take up of renewables around the world.

    Steve Howard reflected on how the RE100 campaign has grown rapidly since its launch in September 2014. He said it sent “a clear signal that renewables are the future”.

    IKEA is committed to generating as much renewable energy as it consumes by 2020. Last year, 53% of the company’s global electricity use was being sourced from renewables. Howard said that renewables were now “an unshakable path” for IKEA – the company invests in renewable energy just as it invests in new stores, and sees the benefits of setting a 100% goal to ensure that all of its staff get behind it.

    Google has also been a big advocate of renewable energy and is committed to sourcing 100% renewable electricity. On joining RE100 just ahead of COP21 in Paris last December, the company set an interim target to triple its renewable energy purchasing by 2025.

    Speaking on the RE100 panel, Iarla Flynn said that its data centers were not always located in the best places for generating renewable energy on site, and for that reason Google was focusing on greening the grid. Google buys wind power via Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) – which Flynn said also provides commercial certainty for the developer.

    Howard and Flynn agreed that business also needs to see policy certainty, long term targets and investment security from governments. Google has recently announced it will be working with others to better understand energy policy and make recommendations on how to further unlock corporate renewable energy use.

    The panel agreed that it is harder to source 100% renewable electricity in emerging markets, but that the challenges could be overcome if the business case was clear. As the number of companies committed to renewables continues to grow, it will show investors and governments that they should be supporting the development of new renewable energy projects. 

    Simon Heller of UBS highlighted the value RE100 offers its members through knowledge sharing activities and peer-to-peer learning – the campaign runs a series of workshops exploring options for going renewable in different market contexts, including India and China.

    After the panel discussion came to a close there were questions – and praise – from the audience. Nina Skorupska, CEO of the Renewable Energy Association, applauded RE100 and its members for their commitment to renewable power, when it appeared to be lacking from some governments. This commitment was vital for the renewable energy industry, she said.

    Following the Q&As there was a drinks reception allowing guests from RE100 member companies as well as those interested in joining and supporting the campaign, to network with key stakeholders in the room.

    To find out more about RE100 company commitments to 100% renewable power, watch The Climate Group’s exclusive interviews with Steve Howard from IKEA, and Gary Demasi and John Woolard from Google, on Climate TV. 

  • Business could deliver 60% of total emissions cuts pledged in Paris, new report shows, as more companies join RE100

    The private sector could cut greenhouse gas emissions globally by 3.7 metric tons of CO2 a year by 2030, equivalent to 60% of the total emissions cuts pledged by countries at COP21 in Paris – according to ‘The Business End of Climate Change’, a new We Mean Business report launched today at the Business & Climate Summit in London.

    The report presents a ‘Business Determined Contribution’ to climate action – mirroring the National Determined Contributions pledged by countries ahead of international climate talks last December.

    It is the first time that a figure has been put on what greenhouse emissions cuts could be achieved by business worldwide.

    The report estimates that the impact could be the equivalent of taking over 1,000 coal-fired power stations permanently out of use. It says that with the right policy support, all businesses could act, and the impact  on greenhouse gases could be far greater.

    BOLD BUSINESS ACTION

    RE100 is one of several business initiatives profiled in the report – alongside The Climate Group’s other major business program EP100, which focuses on improving corporate energy productivity.

    The report’s analysis assumes that RE100 will see some 3,000 companies going 100% renewable by 2030 – based on RE100’s best estimates – but also acknowledges that the impact of RE100 could be far greater than this, thanks to a ‘ripple effect’ across supply chains and customer bases of member companies.

    Launching the report to business and government leaders and global media at the Business & Climate Summit, Steve Howard, Chief Sustainability Officer at IKEA Group – a member of RE100 – said:

    “Building a better future is our shared responsibility. Companies, investors, individuals, cities and regions all have a role to play. Action on climate change is not only the right thing to do, it brings business benefits. For IKEA Group it’s a driver of innovation, renewal and an opportunity to make our business better.”

    Of course, business is not waiting until 2030 to play its part. IKEA Group has committed to going 100% renewable, generating as much renewable energy as the total energy it consumes in its buildings by 2020. The company helped to establish the RE100 campaign and has committed to cutting its emissions in line with Science-Based targets. The company has invested €1.5 billion in renewables since 2009 and pledged a further €600 million last year.

    NEW COMPANIES JOIN RE100

    Today, three new companies, headquartered in three different European countries, are joining RE100 – CaixaBank, the first Spanish company in the campaign, Colruyt Group,  the Belgian retail corporation, and SAVE S.p.A Group, an Italy based holding company managing Venice (VCE) and Treviso (TSF) airports. They are each examples of companies that are already ‘doing it’ when it comes to sourcing renewable electricity.

    Colruyt Group has met its goal of sourcing 100% renewable electricity in 2010. Now it aims to achieve 100% self-produced renewable electricity by 2020 – and is already 25% of the way there. Recognising the compelling business case for renewables, Stephan Windels, Business Unit Manager Eoly, Colruyt Group Energy, said:

    “As Colruyt Group, we have always had the pioneering spirit with regards to sustainable energy: our first investments already date from the early nineties.

    “On the one hand, we want to decrease the impact of our own (business) activities: saving energy in everything that we do, remains one of the most important goals.

    "On the other hand, we firmly believe that we can save costs – which is an essential part of our way of working. We took the engagement to make our energy as sustainable as possible, and since 2012, we have added the goal to become 100% self-sufficient.

    "It also makes us more independent, which puts us in a very interesting competitive position as a retailer.”

    SAVE S.p.A Group has also met its 100% renewable electricity target – earlier this year. The company is working to reduce its environmental impact by adopting sustainable technologies and investing in renewable electricity across all its operations.

    CaixaBank, Spain’s leading bank by market share, sources around 98% of its electricity from renewable sources, and has a goal of becoming carbon neutral and sourcing 100% renewable electricity by 2018. The bank is among the most sustainable in the world according to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, and also received a 100A score in the CDP’s ‘The Climate A List’.

    The new joiners follow hot on the heels of AstraZeneca, which joined RE100 earlier this month. The leading pharmaceutical company has an ambitious goal to source 100% renewable electricity by 2025, with an interim target of 100% in Europe and the US by 2020. It has a long way to go – it currently sources around 14% of its electricity from renewables – but says it is committed doing its “fair share” to protect the planet and to keep employees safe and healthy.

    ShareAction, a charity which promotes Responsible Investment by institutional investors such as pension funds, also played an important role in engaging AstraZeneca in RE100. The company was already considering a 100% target when ShareAction attended its 2015 AGM, and asked the board to get involved in RE100. The organization helped to galvanise senior level interest in the issue, which supported subsequent meetings between AstraZeneca and RE100, and led to the company ultimately joining the campaign.

    THE 'RIPPLE EFFECT' 

    Reflecting on the findings of today’s We Mean Business report, Emily Farnworth, RE100 Campaign Director, The Climate Group said:

    “The potential for initiatives, like RE100, that encourage and help accelerate the take up of renewable power is exponential. The reach of the current group of companies goes far beyond the walls of their own factories, offices,  data-centers and stores and will create a ripple effect through their supply chains, customers and clients."

    She added: “We hope many more businesses will join in the coming years – not just to decarbonize their own power use in the safest way possible, but to inspire others to do the same and to create the market signal that policy makers and investors around the world need to demonstrate renewables are a safe bet."

    There are now 68 companies in RE100, from more than 20 industrial sectors and with operations all over the world, and representing a combined market capitalization of more than $3.6 trillion. On reaching their 100% RE100 goals, these businesses will be creating a total renewable electricity demand of 90TWh – and this number is constantly rising as more and more companies come on board.