• Blog: A week in Taipei: meeting RE100 members and driving the clean energy transition

    The Climate Group’s Head of RE100, Sam Kimmins, writes from Taipei, where he has toured TCI’s rooftop solar array and presented the RE100 initiative.

    The Taiwanese market is all about innovation. Many of the high-tech inventions you use on a daily basis – possibly the laptop screen or mobile phone you’re reading this on or the vitamins you took this morning – are likely to have come from here. 

    I came to meet TCI, manufacturer of dietary supplements, specialist drinks, and skin care products – and the first Taiwanese business member of RE100, The Climate Group’s corporate leadership initiative on renewables delivered with CDP. Together, we presented RE100 at the Link and Loop Conference in Tapei, bringing together global stakeholders to discuss new business models for the circular economy.

    TCI is targeting 100% renewables by 2030 and already making real progress towards this goal. Chairman Mr Vincent Lin believes in long term planning; his business is growing by up to 50% per year, and he sees innovation and investment as crucial to long-term success.   

    Speeding off by bullet train to TCI’s LEED-Gold certified facility in Pingtung, I was kindly shown around a high-tech building topped by a significant rooftop solar array.  I heard how the company is looking to reach 30% renewable electricity by 2020 through a mix of on-site renewables and power purchase agreements. It’s a model that other businesses can follow.

     Opportunity for market change

    The Taiwanese market is on the cusp of exciting change. With as much as 98% of its energy coming from heavily subsidised imported fossil fuels, it is looking to reduce its dependency on imports - reducing energy demand, switching to renewable electricity, and rolling out electric vehicles will all be key. 

    The Taiwanese energy system is undergoing a transformation. In fact, some argue it’s on brink of an offshore wind goldrush.

     The opportunity is strong, but policy changes are needed if corporates are to invest at scale and reap the benefits of cheap renewables. The T-REC system, launched in 2017, is an essential step in creating corporate markets, but its certificates are quite pricey and in short supply – and may be soon gobbled up by RE100 multinationals seeking to achieve their 100% renewables ambition in the Taiwanese market.

    This is where business comes in. By growing the RE100 initiative in the Taiwanese market, we can give local authorities the confidence that there is a strong corporate demand for renewables, with companies ready to invest and support new infrastructure. This will then enable a reduction of feed-in-tariff subsidies as the renewables market develops and prices drop – which in turn will enable a reduction in subsidy for expensive imported fossil fuel sources.

     Growing RE100 impact in Asia

    When travelling for work, it’s encouraging to see the (increasing number of) RE100 member logos as I walk through a new city. In Taipei, I spotted Burberry, H&M and Starbucks clustered around the incredible Tower 101, and had the pleasure of meeting members Apple and Tetra Pak in person.

    Travel also, however, brings into focus the current US and European bias of RE100 – and the need to rapidly accelerate corporate sourcing of renewables among the leading brands in Asia. 

    With the help of local partners, we aim to change that situation. Companies here supply to some of the world’s biggest brands – RE100 members like Apple who are increasingly asking their suppliers to use renewable electricity. Engaging these companies is vital for achieving change at the scale and speed that is needed to address climate change, and RE100 membership can provide Taiwanese companies with a credible opportunity to demonstrate alignment with their supply-partners’ needs.

    I look forward to visiting Taipei again, and to supporting TCI by growing a strong local community of new RE100 members, driving change towards a clean energy economy.

     Coming soon: Sam writes from Japan, where he is meeting our growing community of RE100 members, and supportive government Ministers.


  • IKEA Group launches new science-based targets and calls on other leading companies to follow suit

    IKEA Group has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from customer and co-worker travel and customer deliveries by 50% by 2030 (compared to 2016 levels) – and the use of electric vehicles (EVs) will be key.

    CEO Jesper Brodin announced the pledge as one of three new approved science-based targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions across the company’s global operations and value chain. He was speaking at the EU for Talanoa conference in Brussels, part of the Talanoa Dialogue – an international process to ensure the world stays on track to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. 

    IKEA Group has also set two other science-based targets:

    • Reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from IKEA Group stores and other operations by 80% in absolute terms, compared to 2016;
    • Inter IKEA Group, the worldwide IKEA franchisor and responsible for the IKEA range and supply chain, commits to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from the IKEA value chain2 by at least 15% in absolute terms by 2030, compared to 2016. This translates to a 70% reduced climate footprint on average per IKEA product.

    “Taking action on climate change is not only the right thing to do for people and the planet, it’s necessary for our long-term success as a business,” said Pia Heidenmark Cook, Chief Sustainability Officer, IKEA Group

    She continued, “Setting science-based targets will challenge us to find new and better ways, as well as drive innovation and renewal in our business. We encourage other companies to join us in accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy which boosts investment, employment and innovation.”

    With businesses owning over half of all registered vehicles on the road, it is crucial that companies lead the shift to electric vehicles. IKEA Group was one of the first companies to join The Climate Group’s EV100 initiative, which aims to make electric transport ‘the new normal’ by 2030.

    Over half of IKEA Group’s stores already have EV charging stations installed, and it plans to roll out this offering globally as part of its EV100 commitment, also working with service providers to transition its delivery fleets to EV. For example, over 50 EV trucks are already in operating in China, and 20 will be deployed in Los Angeles and New York this year.

    Helping to ensure that electric vehicles are ultimately powered by renewable energy, IKEA Group is also a founding member of RE100, led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP to accelerate the shift away from fossil fuels. The company is engaging its supply chain to increase uptake of renewable energy.

    Mike Peirce, Corporate Partnerships Director, The Climate Group, welcomed the new targets. “Seizing multiple opportunities to slash emissions right along the value chain are strategic business decisions that speak volumes to consumers. Coupled with efforts to spur greater action from suppliers and peers, IKEA is demonstrating exactly the kind of leadership we need from major companies to accelerate the clean economy.”

    Click here to read more about a new emerging definition of corporate leadership on climate.

  • Newsletter: new members, policy outreach and corporate leadership

    In the last month, we have welcomed five new members and driven ambitious policy outreach. Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100 at The Climate Group, will meet government ministers and businesses in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan through mid June - please get in touch if you operate in the region and would like to meet.

    More companies join RE100

    Japan's Jonan Shinkin Bank, US data giant Iron Mountain, and UK companies Prudential plc, The Crown Estate and Vodafone have joined RE100 and committed to source 100% renewable electricity - taking RE100 to 136 companies.

    Japanese government supports RE100

    Following outreach from The Climate Group’s regional partner Japan-CLP, Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Environment have set goals to source 100% renewable electricity for their offices and global embassies, and the Ministry of Environment has set a target of 50 Japanese companies joining RE100 by 2020.

    Corporate leadership at CEM

    The Clean Energy Ministerial saw the launch of our new policy recommendations for corporate renewables sourcing, supported by a wide group of NGO's. Google, Novo Nordisk, Signify and AB InBev discussed these on a panel hosted by IRENA.

    The Climate Group held a reception in Copenhagen with Carlsberg Group, to drive corporate leadership on electric vehicles, renewable energy and energy productivity.

    RE100 Webinar: US markets

    RE100 ran a webinar for its members in partnership with the Business Renewables Center on electricity markets and renewable power purchase agreements in the US.

    RE100 members drive policy change

    RE100 members IKEA and BT joined Unilever in Bonn to participate in the Talanoa Dialogue as the voices of corporate climate action.

    Unilever wrote about fostering partnerships that scale up ambitious policy change.

    RE100 member announcements 

    Mars, Inc. is set to go 100% renewable in Australia as a result of a new solar power investment, whilst Facebook has just signed a new power purchase agreement for 294 MW of wind in Norway. 

    Heathrow Airport has a new strategy on electric vehicles as part of The Climate Group's EV100 initiative. Read about it here.

    Dates for your diaries

    June 5-7 and August 23-24, 2018: Schneider Electric Perspectives Summit, Budapest and Nashville. We will arrange a special luncheon for attending RE100 members in each location. Contact Constant Alarcon (Europe) or Kristin Hanczor (US) for more information. 

    June 6, 2018: RE-Source Platform event, Brussels, bringing together renewable energy buyers and sellers. Contact Constant Alarcon for more information.        

    June 14, 2018: FT Energy Transitions Strategies Summit, London. Speakers include Joan MacNaughton, Chair of Board, The Climate Group.

    June 27, 2018: RE100 webinar providing an introduction to GO². Learn more about H&M’s use of innovative Guarantees of Origin which support additional renewable capacity. Invitations to follow.  

    July 3, 2018: RE100 Landlords & Tenants – Unlocking Renewable Electricity Solutions, Burberry HQ, London. We will hold a collaborative workshop to help guide members sourcing renewable electricity in a landlord/tenant context. Contact Constant Alarcon for information. 

    Coming soon:

    Soon after Global Climate Action Summit (San Francisco, September 12-14), we will host CWNYC Climate Week NYC. RE100 members are invited to showcase the highest level of climate leadership on renewables at high level events. If you are planning a progress announcement or interested in sponsoring, please let us know.

    And finally:

    Interested in learning about electric transport and how to transition your fleet to electric vehicles? Register for The Climate Group’s new EV100 webinar on June 15.

  • Data storage giant joins RE100 and commits to 100% renewable power

    Global data storage and information management company Iron Mountain has joined RE100 with a target to source all its electricity from renewable sources by 2050.

    RE100 is a collaborative initiative led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, which brings together the world’s most influential companies committed to 100% renewable electricity.

    For Iron Mountain, the decision to source renewable power as part of RE100 is one that makes business sense. Since the company started procuring renewables, it has seen savings of more than $2M a year on its energy bills.

    Furthermore, sourcing 100% renewable electricity will help Iron Mountain to deliver on a science based target for lowering its greenhouse gas emissions - which it has agreed to set by the end of next year.

    “We’re thrilled to welcome Iron Mountain to RE100 and see another major energy user commit to renewable power,” said Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100, The Climate Group. “With plans to sign deals for solar and wind, Iron Mountain will be a powerful driver of the transition to a low-carbon economy and the clean energy future.”

    William L. Meaney, president and chief executive officer, Iron Mountain, said, “Understanding the impact of our energy usage has led to the adoption of energy and greenhouse gas reduction strategies that are helping the company save money, reduce environmental impacts and better serve our customers.”

    He continued, “In making these commitments today, we are setting aggressive public goals with the endorsement of well-respected non-profit organizations, accelerating our efforts to foster strong economic growth while operating as a responsible, ethical and sustainable company.”


    With over 1400 facilities across 54 countries, Iron Mountain has a significant carbon and energy footprint. Over the last four years the company has been increasingly meeting its energy needs from renewable sources.

    The data giant went from being 1% renewable electricity in 2015 to 30% in 2017 – all its data centers are now being powered by renewable energy. It already operates its own 6 MW on-site solar power installation and has made numerous purchases of renewable power.

    To reach its target of 100% renewable electricity by 2050, Iron Mountain plans to sign major power purchase agreements (PPAs) for wind and solar farms. 

    A recent RE100 Progress and Insights Report revealed a rapid increase in the use of PPAs by RE100 members between 2015 and 2016, with procurement growing fourfold from 3% to 13%.

  • Vodafone becomes the latest business to join RE100, targeting 100% renewables by 2025

    One of the world’s largest international telecoms companies,  Vodafone Group Plc joined RE100 today with a commitment to purchase 100% of the electricity it uses from renewable sources by 2025.

    Led by The Climate Group, in partnership with CDP, RE100 brings together the world’s most influential companies committed to 100% renewable electricity with the aim of scaling up demand for – and delivery of – renewable power.

    Vodafone’s operations are currently powered by 13% renewable electricity, meaning its target to source 100% by 2025 will require a significant shift in the use of clean energy. To reach its goal, the company will look to sign power-purchase agreements which will support the growth of renewable energy markets across the globe.

    Beyond this, Vodafone aims to develop on-site renewable systems across its technology centers and base station sites and purchase renewable energy certificates.

    Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100, The Climate Group, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Vodafone Group to RE100. Setting a target to source 100% renewable power by 2025 demonstrates real leadership and a commitment to be a driving force in the clean energy transition.

    An integrated approach to energy

    Sourcing renewables as part of RE100 is one of several things Vodafone is doing to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

    To meet a commitment to reduce emissions by 40% from its own network operations by 2025, Vodafone is focusing on incorporating energy efficiency into new network designs. Vodafone is also bringing intelligent interconnection of its networks to facilitate reduced energy consumption for its customers.







  • Mars signs new solar PPA to source 100% renewable power in Australia

    Global confectionary giant and RE100 member Mars, Inc. has announced a corporate purchase of solar energy which will deliver 100% of the electricity needed to power its Australian operations by 2020.

    Signing a power-purchase agreement (PPA) with renewable energy company Total Eren for the 200 MW Kiamal Solar Farm in Victoria, Mars will source electricity to match the power needs of its six Australian factories as well as two sales offices.

    Mars was one of the first companies to join RE100, a global corporate leadership initiative led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, which now brings together more than 130 ambitious companies committed to sourcing 100% renewable electricity.

    The company is already using or purchasing renewable electricity to cover all of its operations in Belgium, Brazil, Lithuania, the UK and the US.

    Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100, The Climate Group, said, “Congratulations to Mars, one of the first RE100 pioneers to sign a power purchase agreement Down Under. As well as demonstrating to chocolate fans its high level of commitment to sustainability, investing in solar power is a sound business decision in light of fluctuating energy costs in Australia.”

    A powerful business case

    Mars’s announcement comes in the wake of volatile power prices in Australia, and as more and more Australian businesses choose to source cheaper renewable electricity to the benefit of their bottom line. 

    Barry O’Sullivan, Mars Australia said, "The rise in electricity prices last year accelerated our plans to join Mars sites in the US, UK and 9 other countries in moving to renewable electricity. We acted quickly because the price volatility of energy in Australia made renewables the best option for our business, in addition to getting us closer to our commitment to eliminate greenhouse gasses from our operations by 2040."

    The latest RE100 Progress and Insights Report revealed that 88% of RE100 members see the business case as an important driver for sourcing renewable electricity. As the price of renewables drops and becomes cost competitive with fossil fuels, switching energy sources makes increasing financial sense.

     Going further on corporate leadership

    Mars has previously called on other companies to “double down in support of the Paris Agreement.” As part of its pledge to become ‘Sustainable in a Generation’, the company aims to reduce greenhouse gasses by 67% across its entire supply chain by 2040.

    Kevin Rabinovitch, Mars Global VP Sustainability, said, “Last year we announced we’re spending a billion dollars in the next three years to start transforming our supply chain to get those impact reductions.”

    He added, “We’ve made solid progress on the sustainability of our own operations since 2007, so now we’re in a good position to accelerate work and share lessons with our supply chain partners as we tackle impacts beyond our own operations.”

    Sam Kimmins praised Mars’ leadership: “By adding renewables capacity and engaging suppliers, leaders like Mars can spur wider corporate action that can shift the local market away from fossil fuels and start bringing down the country’s high emissions.” 

    A recent report by RE100 highlighted the importance of companies going beyond their own operations and engaging their supply chain in driving the clean energy transition. When doing so, global companies can further accelerate market change in favor of renewables. 

  • Businesses are increasingly switching to renewable energy at scale but faster action is needed, says IRENA

    A new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) shows businesses are increasingly switching to renewable energy at scale – but that greater and faster action is needed to help deliver on the Paris Agreement by 2050.

    Corporate Sourcing of Renewables: Market and Industry Trends shows that more and more companies around the world are using, procuring, or investing in renewable energy. The report’s analysis of 2,410 businesses headquartered across 40 countries – using data provided by The Climate Group’s RE100 initiative with CDP – reveals that corporate sourcing of renewable electricity is widespread and dynamic, and across a variety of sectors.

    But while this is a growing global trend, businesses still have a long way to go to take advantage of the huge investment opportunities on offer. IRENA’s report finds that although more than half of the companies analyzed source renewable electricity, only 17% have a specific target for their renewable energy in place.

    Among these, 134 leading companies have committed to 100% renewable electricity through RE100, driving a movement that will inspire and enable the broader business community to follow their example. Together, they are increasing demand for renewable energy worldwide – accelerating market change.

    Helen Clarkson, CEO, The Climate Group, explains: “The Climate Group is driving companies to raise their ambition and accelerate towards using and sourcing 100% renewable electricity. This is absolutely vital to achieve the Paris Agreement’s goal of a world of less than 2 degrees of warming. It is encouraging to see that corporate sourcing of renewable energy continues to be a growing global trend, and we will keep propelling this growth.”

    The report comes as The Climate Group announces two new members of its RE100 initiative with CDP. The Crown Estate is a British real estate business specialising in commercial property as well as prime regional retail and offshore wind; aiming to source 100% renewable electricity for all its operations by 2022. Meanwhile, Johnan Shinkin Bank becomes the first financial institution to join RE100 from Japan; targeting for 100% by 2050.

    As well as showcasing business commitments, RE100 demonstrates the business case, shares best practice, and supports companies to learn from each other throughout their transition to renewable energy – reporting annually on the progress being made.

    Investment opportunities

    To achieve a global energy transformation that can deliver on the Paris Agreement objectives, the IRENA report asserts the overall share of renewables in total electricity use would need to reach at least 85% by 2050. According to the current trajectory, corporate global demand for renewable energy corresponds to only 20% of the required renewable electricity demand in the commercial and industrial sectors in 2050.

    Helen Clarkson adds: “There is a real urgency to step up ambition and accelerate the uptake of renewable energy. We can see from influential, global organizations like Microsoft, Google and Apple committing to 100% renewable electricity that this is possible – but businesses globally need to step up to this challenge. The Climate Group is here to help them achieve that, as well as progress on energy saving and electric transport.”

    To further spur corporate action, The Climate Group is working with RE100 members, as part of the RE-Source platform, and with partner NGOs, to overcome policy barriers and promote better policy frameworks for corporate renewable energy sourcing. A recent RE100 report also guides businesses to increase the uptake of renewable energy in their supply chains.

    IRENA’s recommended solutions include supporting an effective system for issuing and tracking energy attribute certificates, stimulating direct investment in corporate production of renewable energy for self-consumption, and working with utilities or electricity suppliers to provide corporate renewable procurement options.

    Companies in the commercial and industrial sector account for two thirds of the world’s end-of-use of electricity, and they have a crucial role to play in driving a faster roll-out of renewable energy. The IRENA report may demonstrate a drastic need to increase the efforts of businesses globally, but it does present hope that it is possible too, through the strength of initiatives such as RE100.

  • Blog: “We need greater ambition on climate action – a spirit of collaborative partnership can get us there”

    As the UNFCCC climate talks take place in Bonn, Thomas Lingard - Global Director of Climate & Environment at Unilever – blogs on the Talanoa Dialogue and how the spirit of partnership can accelerate the clean energy revolution. Unilever is a member of EV100 and RE100.

    The signing of the Paris Agreement in 2015 was a truly historic moment. Businesses, governments and activists across the globe came together to say yes: climate change is real, and it is happening – but we are going to act now to limit the damage and prevent its worst effects through a transformation of the global economy.

    This optimism has led a momentum on climate action which has seen businesses leading the way in accelerating the transition to a zero-carbon economy, alongside cities, regions, and national governments committing to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

    But this cannot be done in siloes.  Governments find it hard to act when business appears opposed to change.  Businesses cannot accelerate action without ambitious policy frameworks that signal clearly the direction and speed of travel. That’s why, as the Bonn climate talks take place, we’re calling for stronger government policies that enable businesses to lead the clean energy transition.  Only by working together will we deliver the transformation needed to ensure a climate-safe and sustainable future.

    Innovation is driving rapid falls in the prices of renewable energy and investors are pulling support for fossil fuels. New research from the London School of Economics shows that all 197 signatories to the Paris Agreement now have at least one climate policy in place. The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate is showing that the low carbon transition is the only economic growth story for the future. New coalitions to end deforestation and drive transformation in food and land use are gaining traction. By all accounts, we are moving forwards.

    Yet despite all good intentions, our combined actions are not taking us far enough, fast enough. As the UN starts a new facilitative dialogue taking stock of the collective efforts to deliver the Paris Agreement, we want to see both businesses and governments setting new targets and raising the levels of ambition to ensure temperature levels do not cross the 1.5°C threshold.  By our reckoning this means a net zero emissions economy by 2050.

    Telling stories of greater ambition

    As the UN embarks on its next phase of discussions ahead of COP, one word in particular will be in focus: Talanoa, a Fijan term for inclusivity and collaboration, will frame the dialogue as one of mutual trust and sharing of progress.

    Promoting inclusivity is vital to urgently scale up ambition on climate action. The effects of climate change are felt differently across the globe, and we can only move forward collaboratively if that collaboration involves empathy.  

    Under the Talanoa dialogue, participants will focus on telling stories that facilitate action. At Unilever, we too can tell the story of how our partnerships – and those of other private sector actors – are enabling us all to accelerate the transformation towards a low-carbon future.

    Making business sense of emissions reduction

    As members of The Climate Group’s initiatives EV100 and RE100, the latter run in partnership with CDP, we stand alongside other global businesses to accelerate decarbonization. In doing so, we are not only driving our emissions reductions – but also making bold choices that benefit our business long-term. As part of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, we are committed to be Carbon Positive in our operations by 2030 – supporting the generation of more renewable energy than we consume.  Through RE100, we’ve set interim targets for 100% grid sourced renewable electricity across our global operations by 2020, with 100% heat being achieved over the following decade.

     As a member of RE100, we envision a future where renewables are the mainstream choice of electricity for all global businesses, and where corporates are active participants in energy markets and policy debates. And together with others we know we can succeed. RE100 now counts over 130 global companies driving the renewables revolution.

     Through EV100, we are part of the movement making electric transport the new normal by 2030. By transitioning our fleet of 13,300 company cars to electric vehicles (EVs,) we are sending a strong market signal of demand for electric transport, helping to accelerate mass roll-out, bring down costs and make electric cars affordable for everyone across the globe.  

    These partnerships enable Unilever to take action on climate change, at the same time as future-proofing our business operations. However, to enable a global change which benefits all, more stories of ambition must be told - more businesses must engage in initiatives that shift expectations and drive new markets in clean energy and more governments must strengthen their policy frameworks to ensure success.

    Enabling conversations between businesses and governments

    Unilever is committed to achieving the commitments of the Paris Agreement in a way that secures sustainable growth and prosperity for all.  We’re not alone. A total of 712 companies in the We Mean Business coalition have made a total of 1,181 commitments to tackle climate change. To give you a sense of scale, the market capitalisation of these businesses is $16.7 trillion - more than 20% of the entire global economy. Collectively, these companies represent 2.62 Gt of emissions - equivalent to the total annual emissions of India.   

     Yet we need everyone to help grow our momentum, to champion the role of businesses and encourage their active participation in the clean energy transition. Most importantly, we need the parties at the UN climate talks to hold each other to account for enhanced policy ambition to deliver the Paris Agreement.

    The Fijian innovation of bringing Talanoa to the climate talks is a creative and much welcome development. By facilitating a platform for businesses, civil society and national governments to discuss policy barriers and the supportive regulations needed to enable clean energy markets, we can scale up ambition even further.

    By engaging not only in the process of Talanoa, but in the spirit of Talanoa, I am optimistic that we will foster a new spirit of partnership to tackle climate change and shift the global economy towards a better future for everyone.

    Thomas Lingard is Global Director, Climate & Environment at Unilever. He will participate in the Talanoa Dialogue in Bonn on Sunday 6 May.  Follow @thomaslingard for updates.






  • Newsletter: policy calls, high achievers and upcoming events - April 2018

    Powering ahead on policy 

    As final negotiations for the EU Renewable Energy Directive get underway, The Climate Group’s RE100 Campaign Manager Constant Alarcon urged the EU to match the high ambitions of RE100 members. We are also meeting with EU Member State representatives in Brussels to highlight the importance of Guarantees of Origins, to ensure companies can source renewables in a traceable, affordable way. Click here to find out more about our work on EU policy as part of the RE-Source Platform. 

    The Climate Group’s regional engagement partner Japan-CLP has backed a set of recommendations to the Japanese Foreign Minister for Climate Change, highlighting the business case for an ambitious renewable energy policy in Japan. Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100 at The Climate Group will be visiting Japan, South Korea and Taiwan in early June - please get in touch if you are based in the region.

    RE100 members hit targets and lead on climate policy     

    Congratulations to Apple on the announcement that all its global operations are now powered by 100% renewable electricity. In addition to reaching its RE100 target, the tech giant has also influenced 23 of its suppliers to commit to 100% renewable electricity.

    A new report has highlighted RE100 members Apple, AkzoNobel, DSM, Google, IKEA and Unilever as ambitious leaders in influencing helpful climate policy.

    Dates for your diaries

    April 26-27, 2018: SEIA Solar Goes Corporate, Boston, MA. This event by the Solar Energy Industries Association will inform businesses about solar and storage solutions. 

    May 24, 2018: Clean Energy Ministerial, Copenhagen. Working with IRENA and others, we will host an official event on corporate sourcing of renewable energy. The Climate Group will also hold an evening networking reception with Carlsberg Group to celebrate corporate leadership on renewables, energy productivity and electric vehicles.

    May 29, 2018: RE100/RMI technical webinar: Introduction to Corporate PPAs in the US. This webinar will cover the basics of deregulated US electricity markets and focus on the virtual power purchase agreement (PPA) structure.

    June 5-7 and August 23-24, 2018: Schneider Electric Perspectives Summit, Budapest and Nashville. We will join Schneider Electric at its Energy and Sustainability summits, arranging a special luncheon for attending RE100 members in each location.  

    June 14, 2018: FT Energy Transitions Strategies Summit, London. This event will explore the latest trends and issues impacting the global energy industry. 

    July 3, 2018: RE100 Landlords & Tenants – Unlocking Renewable Electricity Solutions, Burberry HQ, London. We will hold a collaborative workshop to help guide members sourcing renewable electricity in a landlord/tenant context.

    Coming soon

    Soon after Global Climate Action Summit (San Francisco, September 12-14), we will host CWNYC Climate Week NYC. RE100 members are invited to showcase the highest level of climate leadership on renewables at high level events. 

  • Blog: European businesses are acting on renewables – the EU must match their ambition

    The next 12 months will be critical for the future of the EU as a leader on climate and clean energy policy. As EU energy ministers are meeting in Sofia to discuss how to deliver a sustainable energy union, Constant Alarcon, RE100 Campaign Manager, The Climate Group explains how they should look to leading corporates for inspiration. More and more European businesses are making bold commitments and taking innovative, concrete actions to drive the clean energy transition.

    Thanks to pioneering and ambitious regulations like the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and the Renewable Energy Directive, the EU has been among the driving forces in the fight against climate change and the deployment of clean power. The EU has even set a long-term goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80-95% by 2050, compared to 1990 levels.

    This leadership position, however, is not guaranteed – and progress on key issues in 2018 will determine whether the EU will remain an ambitious leader on clean energy and climate action.

    An uncertain leadership position?

    Negotiations on the Clean Energy for All Europeans Package, which will frame how clean energy develops between now and 2030, should be completed by the end of 2018. This involves recasting  the Renewable Energy Directive, and occurs at the same time as the European Council has asked the Commission to produce an updated 2050 greenhouse gas emissions reduction plan.  

    2018 will see global signatories to the Paris Agreement taking stock of their progress and reviewing their commitment. With the EU also adopting the next Multiannual Financial Framework – the post-2021 EU budget – billions of euros could be shifted towards the low-carbon economy and to climate-proof Europe’s infrastructure.

    European businesses getting the job done

    So where can we expect the EU to be at the end of 2018 – will it remain ambitious on climate and energy? The signals sent by policymakers are hard to read: whilst asking for an updated long-term strategy is an encouraging sign from the Council, supporting the very unambitious target of 27% renewable energy by 2030 is much less reassuring.

    Looking to the actions taken by global businesses should help European policymakers overcome any hesitation – the ambition they are showing is inspirational.

    RE100 now has 131 members globally, with 60 based in the EU. These companies have committed to bold targets to source 100% of their electricity from renewable sources. In Europe overall, our RE100 Progress and Insight report shows that RE100 members are sourcing 61% of their electricity from clean sources – double the total EU average of 29.6%.

    RE100 will make an instrumental contribution to renewable energy targets: a recent BNEF report shows that current RE100 members represent an investment potential of $94 billion, and could add 87GW of wind and solar capacity globally by 2030 to meet their commitments.

    These companies are re-writing the rulebook of electricity sourcing and developing innovative new models. With companies such as Google, AkzoNobel, DSM and Royal Philips signing a joint PPA, or H&M providing top-finance for new projects through their renewable energy certificates, they are transforming Europe’s electricity system and adding renewable capacity to the grid. In Bulgaria, Dentsu Aegis Network is already sourcing 100% of its electricity from renewables – a strong signal sent to the EU Council’s Bulgarian Presidency that businesses are going further and faster.  

    Corporate leadership goes beyond renewable electricity, too: RE100’s two other corporate leadership initiatives at The Climate Group, EV100 and EP100, are developing at pace, with businesses committing to massively accelerate the roll out of electric vehicles and to double their energy productivity. As well as this, the Science Based Target Initiative announced that 100 companies have now adopted emissions reductions targets in line with the scale required by global climate goals, showing the unstoppable momentum for climate action among global businesses. 

    Companies driving political ambition

    What should European policy makers make of those achievements? Well, two things:

    Firstly, it should give them the confidence to go for the highest ambition possible when it comes to climate and energy targets. For the Renewable Energy Directive, that would mean getting closer to the European Parliament’s more ambitious proposal of 35% renewable energy by 2030. Going beyond the current target of 27% is both cost effective and comes with explicit socio-economic benefits for all Member States, according to both the Commission and IRENA. In December 2017, 11 of our members publicly expressed their support for a more ambitious renewable energy target.

    Pioneer companies are vocal in their support of political ambition: RE100 members AkzoNobel, Royal DSM, Unilever, Nestlé, Apple, Google, and Ikea have been praised for their leadership in actively supporting ambitious climate policies.

    Secondly, as the business case for engaging in the energy transition gets clearer and clearer, rule makers must ensure that the correct policy environments are in place to unlock and enable the full potential of corporate action.

    I wrote last month about disclosure and transparency mechanisms to support corporate action – this is particularly important in the EU where the fate of Guarantees of Origins (GOs, the EU renewable energy tracking system) is at stake in the Renewable Energy Directive. Ensuring mandatory allocation of GOs to all megawatts of clean power generated and avoid central auctioning is essential for companies to credibly claim that they are cleaning up their operations – and therefore catalysing more action from their peers.

    Leadership, ambition and pace is critically needed

    IRENA estimates that renewable energy needs to be scaled up at least six times faster for a climate-safe world. At their meeting in Sofia, let us hope that EU Member States feel inspired and emboldened by the pioneering companies embracing the low carbon transition. By adopting ambitious renewable energy targets, businesses can push the EU to continue leading the way in the energy transition and support the emergence of the energy systems of the future.