News

  • Crédit Agricole joins RE100 with goal to go '100% renewable' this year

    Crédit Agricole Group, is the latest big name to demonstrate climate leadership by joining RE100 and committing to 100% renewable power.

    Crédit Agricole Group, which offers a wide range of services including day-to-day banking, real estate and corporate and investment banking, intends to source 100% renewable electricity for its global operations by the end of 2016.

    At the end of 2015, the Group negotiated a new renewable electricity tariff from EDF to power its administrative facilities, data centers and branch offices for which it retained Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin – mainly hydropower.

    The move instantly allowed the Group to source 92% of its total electricity from renewables and will enable Crédit Agricole to reach 100% renewable electricity later this year. It is also expected to save at least 6,500 tonnes of CO2 per year and save around €9 million over the next three years.

    Stanislas Pottier, Head of Sustainable Development at Crédit Agricole S.A., said: “We recognize that we have a leading role to play in the transition to a low carbon economy. Switching to 100% renewable electricity and joining RE100 demonstrates our commitment to working alongside other world leading companies to achieve this common goal. 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.”

    The company’s leadership was praised by RE100 Campaign Director Emily Farnworth: “Crédit Agricole was already setting an example to the banking sector by sourcing the most part of its electricity through renewables – now it is going one step further. Today’s move demonstrates bold business leadership and will help to deliver a low carbon economy.”

    Crédit Agricole is the sixth banking group and the second French company to join RE100. There are now 58 companies in the campaign, including: Adobe, Alstria, Autodesk, Aviva, Biogen, Bloomberg L.P., BMW Group, BROAD Group, BT Group, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Commerzbank, Crédit Agricole Group, DSM, Elion Resources Group, Elopak, Formula E, Givaudan, Goldman Sachs, Google, H&M, HP Inc., IKEA Group, Infosys, International Flavors & Fragrances Inc.(IFF), J. Safra Sarasin, Johnson & Johnson, Kingspan, KPN, La Poste, Land Securities, Marks & Spencer, Mars Incorporated, Microsoft, Nestlé, Nike, Inc., Nordea Bank AB, Novo Nordisk, Pearson PLC, Philips, Procter & Gamble, Proximus, RELX Group, Salesforce, SAP, SGS, Sky plc, Starbucks, Steelcase, Swiss Post, Swiss Re, Tata Motors Limited, UBS, Unilever, Vaisala, Voya Financial, Walmart and YOOX Group.

  • Newsletter: New joiners, knowledge sharing, and Business & Climate Summit

    USA

    Bloomberg and HP join RE100

    RE100 is delighted to welcome leading US media and technology companies Bloomberg L.P. and HP Inc. to the campaign. Bloomberg is committed to using 100% renewable electricity by 2025 and is pushing ahead with solar and wind power generation projects. To find out more, read our exclusive interview with Curtis Ravenel, Global Head of Sustainable Business and Finance.

    HP Inc. is committed to transitioning to 100% renewable power and has set an interim goal of sourcing 40% renewable electricity by 2020. The company plans to increase its energy efficiency, generate renewable energy on site, and use Power Purchase Agreements. Read all about it in our interview with Nate Hurst, HP’s Chief Sustainability & Social Impact Officer.


    Knowledge sharing

    Priya Barua, Associate II - Energy Program at the World Resources Institute (WRI) and Joe Dooley, State Policy Manager at Google were guest speakers on a RE100 webinar on March 10, focused on emerging trends in green tariffs in the U.S. market. Mr Dooley gave Google’s perspective on collaborating with Duke Energy to develop a green tariff for large energy buyers. Read Ms Barua’s guest blog on this topic.

    Chip Wood, Director of Strategic Partnerships and Orrin Cook, Senior Manager - Green-e Market Development at the Center for Resource Solutions (CRS) were guest speakers on a second RE100 webinar on March 30, which looked at the use of Green-e Energy Standard for certifying renewable energy in the U.S. and Canada.


    EUROPE

    Sky joins RE100

    The media giant Sky plc has also joined RE100, with a goal to source 100% renewable electricity by 2020 where available. Sky is already obtaining renewable energy in the UK and Ireland via on-site generation or a renewable energy tariff. Now the company intends to take the same approach in Italy, Germany and Austria. Read all about it in our interview with Fiona Ball, Head of Responsible Business. 

    British Renewable Energy Awards

    We are proud to be nominating RE100 companies with operations in the U.K. for the British Renewable Energy Awards, organised by the Renewable Energy Association. Each company is being recognised in the Leadership category for “mainstreaming renewable energy through the scale of its investment and commitment to secure its energy needs from renewables.”


    Upcoming activities and key moments

    April webinars: RE100 will be hosting two webinars in April, looking at the Southeast Asia and U.S. energy markets. On April 12 Liam Salter, CEO of Reset Carbon will present on renewable energy (electricity and heat) options and policies in Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. On April 20 RE100 and the Rocky Mountain Institute Business Renewables Center (RMI BRC) will host a joint webinar focusing on the U.S., with a guest speaker from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

    April 22: Paris Agreement Signing Ceremony, New York, U.S. - As part of We Mean Business, RE100 will be demonstrating that business is putting words into action following the success of the COP21 climate negotiations in Paris.

    April 26-28: Clean Energy Summit, London, U.K. - The Clean Energy Summit brings major energy users together with organisations that want to understand more about their renewable energy options to explore current opportunities in a decarbonising economy. RE100 will hold a breakout session, opened by Mark Kenber, CEO of The Climate Group, on Tuesday April 26 at 11:00-12:00hrs as part of the Corporate Energy Forum.

    May 5-6: Climate Action Summit, Washington D.C. - Following the success of COP21, this event will seek to deepen and expand climate action coalitions and provide a launch pad for climate implementation in the pre-2020 era.

    June 1-2: Clean Energy Ministerial, San Francisco, U.S. - This is an annual global forum to promote policies and share best practices to accelerate the global transition to clean energy. 23 participating countries and the European Commission will come together to assess progress and guide work, providing high level engagement opportunities between businesses and energy ministers. 

    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.

  • HP joins RE100 with a global commitment to using 100% renewable electricity

    A global leader in printing and personal systems, HP Inc. has joined RE100 to transition to 100% renewable electricity, demonstrating its commitment to integrating sustainability into its core business strategy.

    Currently sourcing around 13% of its global electricity use from renewable sources, HP has set an interim goal of sourcing 40% renewables by 2020, with the aim of going ‘100% renewable’ in the future.

    “Joining RE100 represents a significant milestone for our company as we continue to move toward a business that is powered entirely by renewable electricity,” said Nate Hurst, HP’s Chief Sustainability & Social Impact Officer.

    “As we continue to reinvent a more sustainable business and society, both cost-effective and low carbon sources of energy are essential to the future and the growth of HP’s business. This commitment is guided by our belief in a world where technology and sustainability can combine to become a powerful force for innovation, helping reinvent how businesses, communities, and individuals can thrive.”

    HP’s approach to reaching 100% renewables will be threefold: aggressively reducing energy consumption by increasing energy efficiency; increasing the use of on-site renewable energy generation, and using Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) to offset any fossil fuel emissions.

    In the US, Hewlett Packard Company signed a 12-year virtual PPA in 2015 for 112 MW of wind power to power its Texas data centers.

    The company will also focus on increasing capacity and developing opportunities for renewables in countries which currently have little or no feasible options. By joining other world-leading businesses in the RE100 campaign, HP is adding to rapidly growing business demand for renewable power – sending a crucial market signal that will give utility companies the confidence to supply.

    Amy Davidsen, Executive Director, North America at The Climate Group said: “We’ve worked closely with HP and the company’s dedication to building sustainability into the business is clear. We welcome HP’s leadership following the COP21 climate change negotiations and its commitment toward driving forward the clean revolution – benefiting both the environment and the economy."

    HP was one of the first technology companies to measure and publish its complete carbon footprint, and set carbon reduction goals across its entire value chain including its operations, products and supply chain. For more information on HP's journey to 100% renewables, read our exlusive interview with Nate Hurst, Chief Sustainability & Social Impact Officer, or visit www.hp.com/sustainability.

    RE100 now includes 57 companies from a wide range of sectors and operations all over the world. Including: Adobe, Alstria, Autodesk, Aviva, Biogen, Bloomberg L.P., BMW Group, BROAD Group, BT Group, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Commerzbank, DSM, Elion Resources Group, Elopak, Formula E, Givaudan, Goldman Sachs, Google, H&M, HP Inc., IKEA Group, Infosys, International Flavors & Fragrances Inc.(IFF), J. Safra Sarasin, Johnson & Johnson, Kingspan, KPN, La Poste, Land Securities, Marks & Spencer, Mars Incorporated, Microsoft, Nestlé, Nike, Inc., Nordea Bank AB, Novo Nordisk, Pearson PLC, Philips, Procter & Gamble, Proximus, RELX Group, Salesforce, SAP, SGS, Sky plc, Starbucks, Steelcase, Swiss Post, Swiss Re, Tata Motors Limited, UBS, Unilever, Vaisala, Voya Financial, Walmart and YOOX Group.

  • Blog: The emergence of green tariffs in U.S. electricity markets – why now?

    Priya Barua, Associate II – Energy Program at the World Resources Institute (WRI), shares her thoughts on how green tariffs are providing energy solutions in the United States.

    Large companies are buying more renewable energy than ever before. The U.S. electricity market saw a record 1.2 gigawatts (GW) of corporate large-scale Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) in 2014. Corporations smashed this record in 2015, signing nearly 3.5 GW of new deals by the end of the year.

    Companies from a broad range of industries – including high tech, retail, manufacturing, healthcare, and hospitality – are driving this momentum as they seek cleaner, low cost energy that meets their ambitious sustainability goals and lowers exposure to long-term energy price fluctuations.

    As the price of renewable energy continues to fall, companies such as Google, Procter & Gamble, Owens Corning, Kaiser Permanente, and Starwood hotels are moving beyond the green power products of the last decade – which gave them access to renewable energy certificates (RECs) at additional cost – to new deal structures that allow them to access more of the benefits of utility-scale renewable energy projects, such as controlled costs and potential cost savings over the long-term.

    Currently, the vast majority of such deals are concentrated in a handful of states, like Texas, California, and Oklahoma, where there are competitive electricity markets. However, traditional utilities in regulated markets are becoming aware that they are missing out on a key opportunity if they don’t develop more attractive renewable energy options. Many companies will choose not to expand or invest in a certain service territory that does not offer the renewable energy options they want to power their operations.

    Win-win solution

    Green tariffs are one effective way for utilities in traditional, regulated markets to offer renewable energy services that are as attractive as other options available to buyers in more competitive markets.

    These green tariffs, also referred to as ‘riders’, allow eligible customers to buy both the energy and the RECs from a renewable energy project. These tariffs must first be approved by the state public utility commissions (PUCs). If implemented and designed appropriately, they have the potential to meet key customer needs as spelled out in the Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles, while protecting other ratepayers from price increases.

    Green tariffs offer companies with ambitious sustainability goals – including those committed to RE100 – a number of energy incentives, including lower overall transaction costs, price predictability and the potential for cost savings over a long-term contract agreement, greater flexibility, and the ability to point to a specific, usually local, renewable energy project as their power source.

    Green tariffs benefit utilities as well. Utilities that do offer these options enable their large energy customers to meet their corporate renewable energy goals, demonstrate more direct impact on the development of renewable energy, and reduce their long-term energy risks.

    Collaborating with a large, credit-worthy customer in a long-term contract benefits utility investment decisions, particularly in this era of rapid change in the electricity industry. Additionally, utilities and corporate buyers working together on more customized solutions opens the opportunity for greater system efficiencies and the potential to align interests to accelerate meeting compliance obligations.

    Investments underway

    By the fall of 2015, over 350 megawatts (MW) of new renewable energy had been contracted between corporate customers and utilities under existing green tariffs. A partnership between Switch and NV Energy for example, has helped to shape Switch’s pathway towards 100% renewable power in Nevada.

    Meanwhile Google provided input into Duke Energy’s Green Source Rider in North Carolina, which has resulted a successful 61 MW solar deal for the IT giant, and enabled two other large energy customers to sign large-scale deals as well. Joe Dooley, State Policy Manager at Google shared the company’s experience on a recent RE100 webinar, Emerging trends in green tariffs in the U.S. market, on which I also highlighted successes and opportunities for RE100 companies across the country.

    Existing deals under green riders in Nevada and North Carolina, which range in size from 20 MW to 100 MW, are examples of the first generation of utility-offered green tariff products. Several other utilities, including Xcel Energy in both Minnesota and Colorado, are crafting new renewable energy products that offer even more of what customers are looking for.

    Xcel Energy’s proposed Renewable*Connect and Solar*Connect programs, which have been designed around the Buyers’ Principles, incorporate the potential for long-run cost savings. The fuel charge of the bill is replaced with the fixed charge of the renewable energy resource, together with flexible terms, no upfront costs, and safeguards to protect against other rate payer impacts. These types of advantageous solutions are likely to be replicated elsewhere.

    Collaboration is Key

    There are several studies, including the new report out today, that present various pathways for getting to 100% renewable energy in the U.S. Therefore, collaboration between utility and customer has never been more important. It is integral to developing the type of innovative solutions that can speed the transition to delivering more clean energy through the grid.

    Utilities and regulators in a number of states are now actively seeking inputs from large corporate customers to design new renewable energy products, and 2016 promises to be a year that brings many more innovative partnerships and solutions to the table.

  • 100% renewable energy in the U.S. is possible, affordable and needed – new report

    America can address its “largest environmental challenges by shifting to 100% renewable energy”, according to a new report by Environment America and Frontier Group.

    We Have the Power: 100% Renewable Energy for a Clean, Thriving America shows that a complete transition to clean energy is both possible and essential in order to deliver on the Paris Agreement and limit a global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

    The report provides a scan of recent analyses, highlighting NREL data showing that America has the technical potential to meet its current electricity needs more than 100 times over with solar energy, and more than 10 times over with wind. 

    Image: Comparison of renewable energy technical potential and current consumption, source NREL. From the report 'We Have the Power: 100% Renewable Energy for a Clean, Thriving America', courtesy of Environment America Research & Policy Center and Frontier Group.

    And there are multiple advantages to making the transition, the report shows. Not only are renewable energy methods safer than fossil fuels by eliminating the need for fracking and drilling; they are also good for the economy as they will create jobs and safeguard against the volatility of fossil fuel prices.


    Affordable energy

    The switch will also be affordable. In many parts of the U.S. wind power is now the cheapest source of electricity, after a 58% drop in prices between 2009 and 2014. Over the same time period the cost of solar PV fell by 78%; renewables are quickly becoming competitively priced

    New energy efficiency technologies are also getting cheaper, with the cost of LED lighting falling by a staggering 90% between 2008 and 2014. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy estimates the US can reduce overall energy use by 40-60% below current levels by mid-century, even as the economy continues to grow. 

    The report looks at seven detailed studies by academics, government agencies and nonprofit organisations that all show a transition to a clean energy system is achievable. Growth in renewables in the past 15 years – particularly solar – has been faster than the most optimistic forecasts made by Greenpeace, the IEA and the solar energy industry.

    Low carbon leadership  

    The report also shines the spotlight onto government leaders and calls for action in order to bring about the energy transition. It highlights key principles to be considered for U.S. energy policy such as prioritizing energy efficiency, promoting the swift deployment of renewables, ceasing construction of new fossil fuel infrastructure and modernizing the electricity grid to provide reliable access to renewable energy.

    Amy Davidsen, Executive Director, North America at The Climate Group said: “There’s huge potential for renewables in the U.S. and new technologies have already achieved a great deal in bringing prices down – making them all the more attractive.

    “The U.S. corporates, cities, and states and regional governments that we work closely with are already leading the way, demonstrating that the switch to renewables creates opportunity for economic growth as well as cutting emissions and costs.”

    Bold corporate action

    RE100 companies Nike, Walmart, Starbucks and Johnson & Johnson are named in the report as leading US businesses that have pledged to transition to 100% renewable electricity. The RE100 campaign has a total of 18 U.S.-based businesses on board dedicated to increasing corporate demand for renewable power – and that number is growing all the time.

    Through a series of knowledge sharing webinars targeting corporates, RE100’s new partnership with the Business Renewables Center – founded by The Rocky Mountain Institute – aims to increase US demand for renewables (buyers), identify local renewables opportunities (sellers), and provide the means to join the two (tools and knowledge).

    U.S. companies joining RE100 are also encouraged to sign up to initiatives such as the Corporate Renewable Energy Buyer’s Principles, which, led by WWF and the World Resources Institute (WRI), is engaging with utility companies in the U.S. to increase local availability of renewable power for big energy users.

    Priya Barua, Associate II, Energy Program at WRI was recently a guest speaker on a RE100 webinar, on which she spoke about emerging green tariffs in U.S. regulated electricity markets – the subject of a recent WRI and WWF report. Joe Dooley, State Policy Manager at Google also provided the company’s experience of working with Duke Energy in North Carolina to develop a green tariff for large energy buyers. 

    The U.S. technology company HP Inc. has joined RE100 today and commited to 100% renewable electricity for all global operations. The company has an interim target of sourcing 40% renewables by 2020. 

  • Sky joins RE100 with a global commitment to going ‘100% renewable’

    Sky plc has furthered its longstanding commitment to tackling climate change by joining RE100 with a goal to source 100% renewable electricity by 2020 where available.

    The European entertainment company already obtains most of its electricity from renewable sources globally.

    Across its managed UK & Ireland sites, Sky’s energy is provided by either its own on-site renewable energy plants, or through a renewable energy tariff.

    Recognizing that renewables make business sense, Sky will now take the same approach in Italy, Germany and Austria.

    In an interview with RE100 Fiona Ball, Head of Responsible Business at Sky, said: “We wanted to show leadership and whilst committing to a bold and challenging target, we wanted to also recognize the business case and show that acting responsibly, and being successful commercially go hand-in-hand.

    “We can demonstrate the benefit of doing the right thing and leading by example, whilst also making our energy supply more resilient.”

    Speaking about the value of joining RE100 and working towards 100% renewable electricity, alongside the world’s most influential companies, she added: “This initiative provides an opportunity to be a part of something where there is a common goal and sense of ambition, and a strong message to markets and governments to encourage support for a more competitive, secure and sustainable energy system.

    “We need to maintain momentum post COP21 in Paris and make sure actions come out of all of the hard work that went into last year.”

    Emily Farnworth, RE100 Campaign Director at The Climate Group welcomed the company’s move: “By joining RE100 Sky is demonstrating the leading role business can play to help deliver the Paris Agreement and we hope others will follow.”

    She added: “It’s great that Sky intends to encourage its landlords to switch to renewables – we know that finding renewable power solutions in rented property can pose a challenge to companies.”

    In 2006, Sky was the first media company to go to carbon neutral. Sky has been procuring renewable power across its UK & Ireland sites for a number of years already. Sky’s commitment to reducing its environmental impact is also further reflected by a gross emissions target to reduce its carbon intensity by 50% by 2020 – of which it is already at 38%.

    There are challenges associated with buying renewable electricity in different countries. RE100 members are collectively demonstrating that there is business demand for renewable energy, which in turn will lead to easier access.

    For more information on what Sky is doing to reduce its impact on the environment, make better, more sustainable products and to inspire its customers to take action on climate change, please visit Sky’s website, or follow @skybiggerpic on Twitter.

    RE100 now includes 56 companies from a wide range of sectors and operations all over the world. Including: Adobe, Alstria, Autodesk, Aviva, Biogen, Bloomberg L.P., BMW Group, BROAD Group, BT Group, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Commerzbank, DSM, Elion Resources Group, Elopak, Formula E, Givaudan, Goldman Sachs, Google, H&M, IKEA Group, Infosys, International Flavors & Fragrances Inc.(IFF), J. Safra Sarasin, Johnson & Johnson, Kingspan, KPN, La Poste, Land Securities, Marks & Spencer, Mars Incorporated, Microsoft, Nestlé, Nike, Inc., Nordea Bank AB, Novo Nordisk, Pearson PLC, Philips, Procter & Gamble, Proximus, RELX Group, Salesforce, SAP, SGS, Sky plc, Starbucks, Steelcase, Swiss Post, Swiss Re, Tata Motors Limited, UBS, Unilever, Vaisala, Voya Financial, Walmart and YOOX Group.

  • BMW Group named among climate leaders in automobile industry - new CDP report

    BMW has been highlighted as one of four “clear leaders” in the automotive industry, set to thrive in a post COP21 era.

    A new report released by CDP compares emissions-related metrics of 15 of the world’s largest automakers that account for around 90% of the global auto market by sales volume.

    BMW ranks third in the overall table, jumping from eighth place last year. Nissan, Renault and Toyota also come out top.

    CDP praised BMW’s support of low carbon regulation and development of plug-in electric vehicles, and awarded it an A-grade for its management of emissions during the manufacturing stage – which accounts for around 20% of the industry’s emissions.

    Paul Simpson, Chief Executive of CDP, said: “By performing well in areas such as advanced vehicles and supporting low carbon regulation manufacturers such as Nissan, Renault, BMW and Toyota are putting themselves in the fast lane for future growth.”

    BMW joined RE100 during the climate negotiations last December and committed to transition to 100% renewable power, with an interim target of sourcing more than two thirds of the group’s electricity from renewables by 2020. Alongside renewables, the company has been aggressively working to decrease energy consumption in production, and by 2014 had reduced this per vehicle by 34.2%, compared to 2006.

    When joining the campaign, Dr. Markus Schramm, Senior Vice President, Corporate Planning and Product Strategy at BMW Group, said: “The BMW Group is continually reducing its energy consumption and is intensifying its efforts to produce more power in-house and to use energy from local renewable sources. The company also actively supports the expansion of renewable energy. This enables us to increase our autonomy and profitability.”

    Another leading automobile company, Tata Motors Limited, was the first company to join RE100 post COP21. The move committed the company to switching its operations to 100% renewable electricity and paved the way for other businesses in the sector to follow suit.

    CDP analysis shows that the car manufacturing industry has a long way to go to play its part in tackling climate change, however.

    Simpson said: “It’s time for car makers to take climate change seriously. Six months on from the VW emissions scandal, today’s new investor research shows that too many companies still fall short in the light of stringent regulation and possible penalties on fleet emissions and that’s a significant risk for the sector as a whole.”

  • IRENA: Doubling today’s renewables will create 24 million jobs, boost global GDP by $1.3 trillion and save 4 million lives a year

    Doubling today’s share of renewable energy would help the world meet its bold climate goals agreed in Paris – while avoiding up to 12 gigatons of CO2, creating more than 24 million jobs, saving 4 million lives a year and boosting global GDP up to US$1.3 trillion.

    The findings, published today in the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) report ‘REmap: Roadmap for A Renewable Energy Future’, build on a January study that highlighted how investing in low carbon energy is beneficial for the economy and the planet.

    “Achieving a doubling is not only feasible, it is cheaper than not doing so,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin. “REmap shows this is not only the most economic pathway, but also the most socially and environmentally conscious. It would create more jobs, save millions of lives from reduced air pollution and set us on a pathway to limit global temperature rise to two degrees as agreed in Paris.” 

    RE100 aims to spur the renewables transition.

    “Many companies are switching to renewable power at a remarkable rate, and encouraging their suppliers and customers to do the same,” says Emily FarnworthRE100 Campaign Director.

    Our analysis of the private sector’s electricity consumption and carbon emissions indicated that a switch to power from renewable sources could cut global CO2 by nearly 15%. By acting together, the world’s leading companies are creating a thriving renewable energy market that will help keep a global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius.”

    Global investors already understand the importance of focusing on renewables to protect their long-term assets. Clean investment attracted a record US$329 billion last year – about six times the amount invested in 2004 – as a report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance shows.

    However, to achieve the IRENA target of doubling renewables, additional investments of US$100 billion per year are needed, including avoided investments in the fossil fuel industry.

    Recent growth in renewables could keep the world on track for this target. 2015 was a record-breaking year for renewable energy capacity installations, with 64 gigawatts (GW) of wind and 57 GW of solar photovoltaic commissioned during the year – an increase of nearly 30% over the previous year.

    Solar is also projected to be the cheapest source of energy in the next 10 years, thanks to continuously falling prices, led by China. While the country is the biggest polluter to date, it is also the world’s biggest investor in clean energy with more than US$110 billion invested last year. In 2015, China also hit a new record for wind capacity, adding almost 33 GW to hit a total of 120 GW, according to state data.

    “The age of renewable energy is here, but without concerted efforts, its potential will not be reached fast enough to meet international climate and development targets,” said Mr. Amin. “For decision makers in the public and private sectors alike, this roadmap sends an alert – both on the opportunities at hand and on the costs of not taking them.” 

  • Renewable power makes business sense: Bloomberg joins RE100 with a commitment to go 100% by 2025

    Bloomberg L.P., the global financial software, data and media company, has joined RE100 and set an ambitious goal to use 100% renewable electricity by 2025.

    Bloomberg’s commitment furthers the company’s ongoing efforts to prove that sustainable business practices are good for the environment and good for business. 

    The move comes ahead of the release of the 2015 Bloomberg Impact Report later this month, which will reveal the full extent of its efforts around renewables and sustainability.

    Curtis Ravenel, Global Head of Sustainable Business and Finance at Bloomberg, said: “Sourcing renewable electricity enables us to diversify our energy supply, reduce costs, provide a hedge against rising traditional energy costs and helps contribute to cleaner, healthier communities.

    “RE100 convinced us that they had gathered a strong coalition of committed companies, dedicated to real outcomes. That’s exciting to us. Collaborating with other companies who are demonstrating that distributed clean energy makes business sense will allow all of us to have a greater impact in bringing other companies along.”

    Amy Davidsen, Executive Director, North America at The Climate Group, said: “Bloomberg is the first US company to join RE100 post Paris and we are delighted to see their continued progress. The company recognizes that renewable power will help to lower costs, reduce risk and contribute to a cleaner, healthier future – a win for both business and the environment.

    She added: “There’s a huge opportunity for businesses to deliver emissions cuts via renewables and Bloomberg’s leadership is exactly what we need to inspire many more companies to make the switch to renewables, too.”

    Although long committed to integrating sustainability into its business model, Bloomberg was only sourcing 1% of its electricity from renewable energy in 2015. In 2013, the company set a target to use 35% renewable electricity by 2020 and it is making good progress; expecting to source 21% from renewables by the end of 2017.

    Having previously purchased renewable energy credits (RECs) as a means of reducing its carbon footprint, Bloomberg has shifted its efforts to developing renewable power generation projects either on-site or nearby to offices and data centers.

    Lower financial costs and financial mechanisms like Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) are making the transition possible, with benefits including reduced emissions and financial savings.

    In autumn last year the company completed the Bloomberg-JFK Airport Park Solar Project – the first solar project of its kind in New York City to use remote net metering, a system that enables a site with poor solar capacity to benefit from solar PV systems installed at an alternative site.

    With a generating potential of 1,800 MWh annually, the solar park will enable Bloomberg’s Manhattan headquarters to partially convert to solar electricity, and result in the avoidance of almost 535Mt of CO2 being released per year.

    In addition, Bloomberg’s other renewable energy projects include a 2.9 MW PPA to supply renewable power to its data center in Rockland County New York, a 184 KW project at its New Jersey office, and a 20 MW wind farm PPA that will power almost half of Bloomberg’s New York offices. The projects are scheduled to come online by the end of 2017.

    Find out more about Bloomberg’s journey to 100% renewable electricity by reading our interview with Curtis Ravenel.

    RE100 now includes 55 companies from a wide range of sectors and operations all over the world. Including: Adobe, Alstria, Autodesk, Aviva, Biogen, Bloomberg L.P., BMW Group, BROAD Group, BT Group, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Commerzbank, DSM, Elion Resources Group, Elopak, Formula E, Givaudan, Goldman Sachs, Google, H&M, IKEA Group, Infosys, International Flavors & Fragrances Inc.(IFF), J. Safra Sarasin, Johnson & Johnson, Kingspan, KPN, La Poste, Land Securities, Marks & Spencer, Mars Incorporated, Microsoft, Nestlé, Nike, Inc., Nordea Bank AB, Novo Nordisk, Pearson PLC, Philips, Procter & Gamble, Proximus, RELX Group, Salesforce, SAP, SGS, Starbucks, Steelcase, Swiss Post, Swiss Re, Tata Motors Limited, UBS, Unilever, Vaisala, Voya Financial, Walmart and YOOX Group.

  • "Let's build this next new wave of the industrial revolution": Steve Howard, IKEA

    In an interview with The Climate Group’s Climate TV, Steve Howard, Chief Sustainability Officer, IKEA, says the global climate change conversation has changed, stating: “We’re talking about opportunity sharing rather than burden sharing, about investment rather than cost.”

    “We’ve talked for a long time about long, loud and legal policy making,” says Steve Howard. “If you’re a business you make long-term plans but then you actually change as you go – you adjust – can you go faster? Can you strengthen targets? And evidence from technology shows that actually you can go further and faster.”

    The IKEA CSO notes that with advances in renewable technologies, it will be cheaper for companies to choose wind and solar power than coal or gas in most countries by 2030. “Just solar alone in the last five or six years – we’ve seen an 80% reduction in the prices. What’s possible with it is radically different from a few years ago.”

     

    In the video interview, Steve Howard warns that despite plummeting renewables costs, in order for a global energy transition to take place investment must come from every economy. “In developing countries where people have almost no part in creating this problem – they need some financing on the table to help them with the transitions, to help for adaptation and help actually get a clean economy in place.”

    “So we need governments to step up to the commitment they made on the US$100 billion. It’s not a lot to ask that will leverage huge amounts of investment from the private sector,” he adds. “With good government policy, we’ll see a wave of business innovation and investment that unlocks the clean revolution that we all want to see.”

    The furniture retailer is one of the founding partners of RE100, with a target to produce as much renewable energy as it consumes by 2020 it has been investing heavily in renewables to ensure it is on track to achieve this.

    As well as implementing ambitious targets of its own to decarbonize its operations, the company is also spurred by increasing consumer demand to provide low carbon products. “At IKEA we can see our customers really care about climate change but they want easy, affordable, attractive solutions,” says Steve Howard.

    In light of this the Swedish company has “an ambition to have 500 million LEDs sold by the end of 2020 – that’s enough to save all the household electricity in Paris and London every year when those LEDs are installed, and they’ll save energy for a further 20 years.” In September last year, IKEA stopped sales of halogen and compact fluorescent bulbs, becoming the first retailer in the UK to sell only LEDs for lighting, helping its customers save energy and make affordable choices to lower their carbon footprints.

    “We’ve also started selling solar panels in Switzerland, the Netherlands and the UK and we’ll roll out some more countries. So we’ve had people come into IKEA looking for towels and actually leaving having ordered solar panels for their roofs. But it’s a great thing for them to do for their wallets, for their homes and for the environment. So they’re really happy they’ve turned their roofs into a power station,” says Steve Howard.

    Talking of the climate deal reached at COP21, the CSO explains how this is just the beginning of a global energy transition. “We’ll see Paris as the turning point between the high carbon economy of the first phase of the industrial revolution and the clean economy of the future. We’ll put fossil fuels behind us and the strategic assets of the 21st century will be the things above the ground. It’ll be about the wind, the forests, the water and the sun that shines all around us on the world.”

    Closing the interview, Steve Howard touches on the importance of strong government policy in alignment with corporate engagement to “see the business innovation and investment that will unlock a clean revolution that will be great for people everywhere.”