• Blog: Why IKEA is betting on solar, and how others can benefit from the clean energy revolution

    Clean energy solutions such as solar and storage can help to meet growing energy demands. As IKEA Group launches a home solar offer in Belgium, Alejandro (Alex) Castro Pérez, Head of Home Solar Business at IKEA Group, blogs on why the company is betting on solar as a business, and how others can also profit from the clean energy revolution. 

    Growth, electrification, connectivity and automation will keep global energy demand rising for the foreseeable future. Everything we do, everything we produce and consume requires energy. And everything that can go electric is going electric. Unfortunately, despite progress on renewables, the vast majority of electricity today is still generated by power plants that contaminate our environment. In fact power generation represents the largest source of carbon pollution globally, which is a major contributor to premature deaths and escalating climate change. The good news: decisive action to introduce clean energy solutions faster will result in greater profits and prosperity; especially for those taking the lead.

    Energy is one of the biggest challenges (and opportunities) of our time; sitting at the heart of sustainable growth & circularity

    At IKEA we have invested in the past years determined to reduce energy use and to produce as much clean energy as we consume in our operations. We are founding members of RE100 and EV100, both cross-industry initiatives aiming to accelerate corporate adoption around renewables and electric vehicles. However we know we can and should do more. In order to fulfill our vision to create a better everyday life for the many, and to reach our growth ambitions with positive impact, we need to push our boundaries to inspire and empower many others to join the clean energy revolution.

    Solar energy is a main enabler of this revolution. It is an unlimited, non-polluting resource that nowadays can be harnessed very effectively and reliably from anywhere, through photovoltaic (PV) systems. Solar PV (and complementary energy management solutions such as battery storage) is uniquely positioned to drive the transition to the clean, nimble and more democratic energy future we need. A gateway to "the enernet".

    "The enernet": a network with millions of homes, buildings and vehicles powered by affordable clean energy - producing, storing and sharing it smartly. 

    The potential of solar is evident in its growing popularity thanks to unbeatable cost, environmental and application flexibility advantages. Despite this rising popularity, its adoption rate is too slow. Most people are waiting for more affordable and simpler solutions from providers they can trust. There is a clear need to reduce complexity in communication, sales and installation processes, and get it done efficiently at scale. Here we know IKEA can make a difference, so we've created Home Solar; a new business area dedicated to help accelerate the transition towards affordable clean energy.

    With IKEA Home Solar we are putting our retail strengths, our knowledge of life at home and our trusted brand, in partnership with great clean energy companies, to deliver better solar energy solutions. We continue growing the business in existing and new markets; developing our offer with storage, finance and subscription services. In line with who we are, and being a leader in life at home, we aim at becoming the 1st global solar retailer, inspiring and empowering more people to take positive action for the sake of both their wallets and the environment. In the process we are building new knowledge and network to help us shape the future of life at home.

    A next step could be to use our expertise and partner network to help other companies (including our thousands of suppliers) to adopt solar and other clean energy solutions faster and cheaper. All this in turn will help us implement solutions to support the growth of our own operations even faster... the size of the opportunity when taking a total value chain approach is staggering; taking us from millions to billions (pick your preferred currency and pollution displacement unit). We know it will not be easy, but it will be worth it. The great advantage of keeping a sustainable business growth mind-set is that we can’t lose; we either win or we learn – on top of the satisfaction of being a positive force.

    Our choices define us. Anyone can contribute to accelerate the needed transition towards affordable clean energy. Governments, non-profits, businesses or individuals; we all have choices to make, roles to play and opportunities to find sustainable profitable growth through it. 

    Those acting decisively to deliver greater social, environmental and economic prosperity will no doubt see a better future... so let's get moving!
  • Blog: Mars's carbon footprint is the size of a small country. We need to act.

    Inspired by Climate Week NYC, Stephen Badger, Chairman of Mars, Inc. calls on companies to seize the opportunity to tackle climate change and reap the business benefits. 

    Global businesses are, quite rightly, under scrutiny for what they are doing to tackle challenges such as climate change and poverty. Last month, the United Nations asked business leaders the same questions we’ve heard countless times: What are businesses doing to help deliver on the Paris climate agreement? How can business and government work together to drive change at scale?

    One of the key characteristics of the Paris agreement is that it extends beyond governments to engage businesses. Corporations should seize this opportunity to have a seat at the table and do their part to address critical global challenges. In time, they will realize the returns on investment in a sustainable future.

    You have only to look at the carbon footprint of my own company, Mars Inc., to see the effect business has on the world: Our footprint is equivalent to that of a country roughly the size of Panama. With this scale comes responsibility. Mars, and companies like ours, must be as engaged as governments in delivering reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions.

    That’s why I attended Climate Week NYC and U.N. General Assembly events in New York in September, and talked there with leaders in business, government and nongovernmental organizations.

    Stephen Badger joins Governors Jerry Brown (California), Jay Inslee (Washington) and David Ige (Hawaii), as well as Philippe Couillard, Premier, Quebec, and Norm Ornstein, of the American Enterprise Institute, on Climate Week NYC's opening panel on the importance of multiple climate commitments across states, cities and businesses.

    As a private, family-owned business, we’ve not traditionally had a high-profile presence at such events. But if there were ever a time in Mars’s more-than-100-year history for us to find our voice and join the chorus calling for action, this is it.

    Without a doubt, our society has done some excellent work to address climate change in recent years. But after a week of engaging with global experts in a range of disciplines, it’s clear that this incremental progress will not put us on a trajectory to deliver the Paris agreement or the United Nations’ sustainable- development goals. Now is the time for industry to transform how we look at our role in creating a more sustainable world. This is why Mars has launched our new Sustainable in a Generation Plan to invest $1 billion over the next few years to tackle urgent threats facing society.

    The business case for action

    In New York, people often asked me if there really is a sound business case for tackling issues such as climate change and poverty. The answer is an unqualified yes.

    First, investment in operating sustainably delivers cost savings. Mars is already capitalizing on the falling prices of renewable energy and the long-term cost savings of clean technology. This has helped to reduce the carbon emissions of our 150 factories around the world by 25 percent. We are already using enough renewable energy to make all our M&M’s. In fact, we now purchase enough renewable energy to fuel our entire operations in five countries and plan to make that 11 countries in 2018. All of this is delivered at the same cost, or lower, as fossil fuel.

    Second, for a company such as Mars that is dependent on agriculture, our investments are creating a more resilient and resource-efficient supply chain where smallholder farmers and others can thrive. By working with our suppliers to source raw materials in a way that lowers climate risk and creates opportunity for people, we can increase crop yields and ensure affordable ingredient supplies, reduce our impact on natural resources and ensure a generation of future farmers.

    Finally, there are rewards for doing the right thing. It makes us a more attractive partner to customers, governments and NGOs, and it ensures our relevance to consumers as well as current and future Mars associates. If we are to remain relevant for the next 100 years, we must drive an agenda that is forward-looking and focused, demonstrating what we stand for through our actions as a business.

    Time to act 

    This is a call to action for all in business to double down in support of the Paris agreement and the sustainable- development goals. Business not only has a seat at the table; it has a vested interest in collaborating with everyone at the table. So let’s grab this opportunity with both hands.

    This piece was first published in The Washington Post. 

  • Blog: Business leaders can't afford to be behind the curve - DBS Bank on the climate leadership challenge

    DBS Bank Ltd joined RE100 in the build up to Climate Week NYC 2017 with an interim goal of transferring its Singapore operations to 100% renewable electricity by 2030. Here, Mike Power, Chief Operating Officer for Technology and Operations, DBS Bank, blogs on the case for corporate leadership.

    While President Trump was addressing the United Nations General Assembly (forever defiling the way I think about Elton John’s classic song “Rocket Man”!) I was across town participating as a panel speaker at Climate Week NYC. The event brought together government leaders and business people in a unique summit dedicated to real action on climate change. At one stage there was palpable excitement in the room when a delegate announced he had it on ‘good authority’ that Mr. Trump had called in his advisors to help him engineer an unlikely U-turn on his decision to withdraw the world’s largest economy from the Paris Agreement.

    Truth or fake news? Who can tell, but guess what… it’s irrelevant. He can ‘tilt at windmills’ all he likes, but the windmills (and the solar panels and electric vehicles!) are unstoppable. Climate Week NYC reinforced my view that these technologies are winning. It was a fantastic event. I returned to Singapore with a wealth of ideas, new contacts and a few new challenges.

    I’m very proud that DBS is playing a leading role in sustainability and is the first bank in Asia to sign up for the RE100 commitment on renewable energy. As a first step, we will target powering 100% of our operations in Singapore using renewable energy by 2030. We plan to do this by installing rooftop solar panels at our premises at Changi Business Park in Singapore, by exploring corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs) and by procuring renewable energy certificates (RECs) from local solar energy providers.

    We also plan to work with the RE100 Technical Advisory Group as well as learn from other RE100 members to draw up similar renewable energy roadmaps for our other core Asian markets.

    But let me take a step back and tell you why we signed up for RE100 and why I think your company should too.

    It's more than the 'right thing to do'; it's the necessary thing to do

    It’s not just that climate change is a business continuity issue and that climate action is the right thing to do. Its impact is felt by everyone. Perhaps the most vivid example occurred while I was in New York. Hurricanes Irma and Jose were tearing their way through the Caribbean and heading up the coast towards New York City. These weather events have real physical and material impact – they destroy lives and livelihoods, and cause major economic damage. It’s no longer debatable, these events are caused by climate change.

    It’s also an issue that we need to act upon urgently. Failure to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and contain global temperature increase within 2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century would be utterly catastrophic. Submergence of low lying islands and coastal cities, the displacement of millions of livelihoods and possibly many more casualties arising from unpredictable and highly disruptive climatic phenomena are just some of the inevitable consequences of not taking the necessary action now.  

    The Climate Group shares that 50% of carbon emissions come from private companies alone and therefore, I believe, that businesses must play a more significant role in climate action.

    The business case: beyond dollars and cents, think relevance

    The cost of renewable energy has dropped dramatically over the last 30 years. The World Economic Forum reports that the price of solar is already on par with fossil equivalents in many markets and will soon be cheaper.

    The case for businesses to adopt renewable energy at scale is clear and becoming more compelling all the time.

    A global energy revolution is already underway and banks can play a key role in the transition to clean energy. There are several ways to do this across the value chain – creating additional demand, driving greater efficiencies and financing on the supply side. New energy technologies are also spurring a wave of innovation and growth opportunities – smart grid, energy management, storage, trading etc.

    Perhaps just as compelling is the trend of more and more consumers demanding sustainable choices. A survey by Unilever showed a third of consumers are now choosing to buy brands based on their social or environmental impact.

    Companies need to “get with the program now” or risk losing relevance to their customers.

    The case for leadership

    We hear a lot about disruption, in banking and in other sectors, often in the context of the digital revolution and the likes of Uber, Airbnb, Alibaba and Amazon. The digital revolution is obviously changing the fabric of our lives and how we do business. As an industry and as a bank it’s something we must win at to be relevant today and in the future.

    I think we need to look at the energy revolution through a similar lens. It too will be life changing and perhaps on an even more fundamental level. It’s something we haven’t thought about enough though I suspect this is beginning to change. Firms need to rethink their purpose (and perhaps repurpose their thinking) and embrace the revolution. And for leaders, I believe, this means…

    Humility – Accept that what got you here isn’t going to get you there. Challenge your own assumptions and experience.

    Vision – Think longer-term and understand the implications on your business, your customers and the communities you operate in – not just in the next quarter but in the next decade and thereafter.

    Courage – Chart a new course even if that means relentlessly challenging existing business models. Expect plenty of pushback!

    Execution – Make sustainability and the energy transition a core part of your strategy, and start executing on it right away.

    Business leaders can’t afford to be behind the curve. That’s why, as a first step, you should consider signing up for RE100, make a commitment to make your business powered by 100% renewable energy and then figure out how to get it done. It’s a great marker to put down to mobilize your organization in the right direction and it will make a real and necessary difference.

  • Newsletter: Climate Week NYC, developing markets, and RE-Source 2017

    Leading businesses speed energy transition at Climate Week NYC 

    Nine new RE100 members were announced at Climate Week NYC 2017, including multinationals The Estee Lauder Companies, DBS Bank, Kellogg Company and JP Morgan Chase & Co.. Media highlights included pieces in Bloomberg, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF)CNBC, The Independent, and IB Times.

    Sharing the business case for going 100% renewable

    Speakers at the Opening Ceremony of Climate Week NYC included RE100 members Bank of America and Mars, Inc. (sponsors), Carlsberg Group and Walmart. Stephen Badger, Chairman of the Board, Mars, said there was a business rationale to invest in sustainability in supply chains; Mars recently pledged $1bn for its new ‘Sustainable in a Generation Plan’ and also launched its ‘Fans of Wind’ campaign to engage consumers. Flemming Besenbacher, Chairman of the Board, Carlsberg Group, meanwhile spoke on working with other corporate and university partners to ensure open innovation,

    Scale and speed of change

    ‘VELOCITY – Accelerating Climate Action’ saw the launch of The Climate Group’s new EV100 initiative on electric mobility, with RE100 members IKEA Group, HP Inc, and Unilever among the first global companies to join. Speakers also talked about the business case for joining RE100. Diane Holdorf of Kellogg said consumers expect global brands to act responsibly, highlighting the company's recent work with utilities; Mike Power from DBS Bank highlighted the fall in costs of renewable energy technology. 

    Meanwhile, RE100 members including AB InBev and Goldman Sachs gave updates on their renewables progress. David Tulauskas, General Motors, underlined the expectations of consumers and employees, and said GM would power its Ohio and Indiana plants entirely with wind energy. H&M spoke of also being a member of The Climate Group's energy productivity campaign, EP100, and Philips Lighting urged businesses to ready themselves for rapidly advancing smart technology like connected LED lighting.        

    RE100 members Dalmia Cement, DBS Bank, H&M, IKEA Group, Infosys, and Swiss Re shared their experiences of going 100% renewable in India, at a high-level RE100 roundtable. Mahendra Singhi, Group CEO and Whole Time Director, Dalmia Bharat Ltd., said social responsibility and carbon pricing were key factors in persuading the Board to invest in renewable energy. Read a recent blog from Infosys about its decision to lead on corporate sourcing of renewables in India.   

    Bringing renewables to Southeast US

    More than 80 people attended a joint RE100-Business Renewables Center (BRC) webinar on bringing renewables to the Southeast US – featuring Kenneth Davies (Microsoft). The Southeast region of the US is where 40% of US electricity production but only 5% of corporate renewable deals takes place, but a new inter-state transmission line will open up procurement options in the region. 

    Maximising uptake in Europe

    With the current update to the European Union’s energy policy framework set to impact the European energy market for years to come, Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100 at The Climate Group, recently blogged on an important change needed to the Renewable Energy Directive (REDII) to maximize corporate uptake of renewables in Europe.

    Dates for your diaries

    October 5, 2017: RE100 Technical webinar – Alberto Carrillo Pineda, Director of Science Based Targets and Renewable Energy Procurement at CDP, Owen Hewlett, Chief Technical Officer at Gold Standard and Oliver Edberg, renewable energy specialist at Tetra Pak, will present on the new Gold Standard label for renewable energy market instruments. 

    October 10 - 11, 2017: RE-Source 2017 and RE100 peer learning event, Brussels, BelgiumRE-Source 2017 will discuss scaling up renewables in Europe. There will be a bespoke RE100 peer-learning session on October 10, featuring discussions led by Apple, BT Group, IKEA, CDP and The Climate Group. 

    November 6-17, 2017: UNFCCC COP 23, Bonn, Germany – The 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP23) to the UN Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will be organized by Fiji and hosted at the headquarters of the UNFCCC Secretariat. RE100 will be taking part.

    November 9, 2017: Business Green Leaders Summit, London, UK – The Climate Group will be moderating a roundtable workshop answering questions such as ‘Is 100% renewable energy a commercially viable option?’ and ‘How do you build a robust business case?’. Click here for more information.  

    November, 2017 (date tbc): RE100-BRC webinar on the Dutch wind consortium – Four RE100 and BRC members, AkzoNobel, Royal DSM, Google and Royal Philips, have set up a consortium in the Netherlands to jointly sign PPAs with large wind projects. Speakers will share their stories and tips for executing successful aggregation deals. 

  • Collaboration is key to success, says Carlsberg Group during Climate Week NYC

    Demonstrating clear corporate leadership during Climate Week NYC 2017, RE100 member Carlsberg Group has highlighted the importance of working in partnership with others to lower emissions and address climate change.

    In an interview for Climate TV, recorded prior to the Opening Ceremony, Flemming Besenbacher, Chair of Board, Carlsberg Group, said, “Partnership is very, very important for us… we can learn from other industries; we would like to collaborate with others.”

    “I’d say that actively engaging with other companies, also university partners, and learning from each other, is very, very important for Carlsberg, and we’ve been doing that for many years.”

     “I see more and more young people stepping up and saying they want to change things,” Besenbacher said later in a panel discussion with Siemens, the International Copper Association, PepsiCo and Walmart – another RE100 member. “We want to engage consumers, that’s why we’ve established a zero- carbon bar.”

    The Group’s new pop-up bar in Copenhagen, is designed to be climate-friendly and CO2-neutral.

    “We’re extremely proud of this installation… it’s a good way for us to interact with consumers and talk to them about important issues like climate change, and how we – as consumers and producers – can play an important role,” said Anders Bering, Vice President, Global Corporate Affairs, Carlsberg Group.


    Corporate leadership

    Carlsberg has set itself a target to become fully CO2 neutral in all its breweries by 2030, and to help deliver on this, recently joined RE100 with a commitment to sourcing 100% renewable power for its global operations.

    “It’s in Carlsberg’s purpose to brew for a better today and tomorrow, and you could say it’s in our DNA to push the boundaries,” Bering said.

    Also highlighting the central role of business at the Opening Ceremony of Climate Week NYC were Stephen Badger, Chairman of the Board, Mars, Inc. and Kathleen McLaughlin, Senior Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer, Walmart, who gave examples of the actions their companies were taking in their value chains to engage suppliers and customers on climate change.

    Just last week, Mars announced a pledge to invest US$1 billion to slash greenhouse gas emissions in its supply chain by 67% by 2050.

    Business case

    At the Opening Ceremony, Anne Finucane, Vice Chair, Bank of America – which joined RE100 at Climate Week NYC last year – underlined the business case for big banks to transition to 100% renewable electricity. “We’re all making money at it,” she said, “you will see greater investment in renewables because we see business there.”

    Eight new companies joined RE100 for Climate Week NYC 2017, taking the total number of members to 110. Together, the companies are creating demand for over 150 TWh of renewable electricity – more than enough to power New York State.

    For more information on Carlsberg Group's approach and achievements so far, read our recent interview with Sustainability Director Simon Boas Hoffmeyer.

  • Blog: Adobe's Bangalore office among first in India to be powered by 100% renewable energy

    With Climate Week NYC 2017 underway in New York, Vince Digneo, Sustainability Strategist, Adobe, blogs on the company’s efforts to reduce its emissions in India and the benefits for the local community.

    Adobe’s Bangalore site is going solar. We recently signed a 2.5-megawatt, grid-scale, solar power purchase agreement (PPA) for our Bangalore office, which will provide enough power to cover our annual energy demand.

    Adobe is proud to be among the first US-headquartered technology companies in India to have a facility powered entirely by renewable energy, an important step toward our commitment of sourcing 100% renewables globally.

    Why this matters

    Bangalore is our first major purchase of renewable energy, and while it’s a small step toward our end goal, it’s a milestone. The purchase moves Adobe closer to our RE100 goal - a promise we made in 2015, along with nearly one hundred of our peers and with guidance from The Climate Group - of reaching 100% renewable electricity for all of our operations and digital delivery of our products.

    Our target date for 100% renewables is 2035. This might seem a long way off, but Adobe is focusing on direct and open access renewable energy - this means that the energy we purchase is adding directly to the local power grid. This process will take us more time than using carbon offsets or unbundled renewable energy certificates (RECs), but we think it’s worth it.

    Our project in Bangalore shows that a direct purchase of renewable energy makes the right kind of impact for our company and our community. Here’s how it works.

    With the right renewable energy policies in place, and thorough research on local projects and developers, we were able to sign into the open access PPA in the state of Karnataka to power our Bangalore site. 

    Adobe’s purchase, along with other large energy purchases in the state, has allowed the solar energy developers to add more solar panels to their farm. As with all grid-scale, renewable energy PPAs, the power generated goes directly into the local grid, becoming which part of the pool of energy that ultimately provides power for local schools, businesses, citizens, and our office in Bangalore.

    Because of this solar power purchase, Bangalore and the state of Karnataka will burn less coal for their local needs - a major part of India’s goal to transition to renewable energy. This means we’re helping clean up local air and lower emissions in a community where our employees live and where we do business.

    And as an important part of running our business sustainably, we also expect to save money on this purchase, while contributing to an infrastructure that we think will provide more consistent energy prices and allow more power users to move to renewables. With all of these benefits, we can’t help but think that direct access renewable energy is the future of corporate sustainability, and we’re thrilled to be helping to blaze the trail.

    In addition to our renewable energy purchase, we’re also proud to report that we’ve transitioned our India vehicle fleet to more sustainable options, placing into service 47 electric vehicles.

    Part of a bigger plan

    Targeting 100% renewable power means we’re working on a lot of fronts at once. Here are the focus areas of our renewable energy strategy:

    • We first work to make each of our offices as energy efficient as possible. Currently, 78% of our workforce is in LEED certified space;
    • we’ve also partnered with the Science Based Targets initiative to set emissions targets for each of our sites;
    • we are committed to investigating on-site renewable energy options and new technologies when it makes economic sense;
    • we work with NGOs and other companies to advocate policies - like the one in Karnataka that allowed us to make an open access PPA - that will help all of us move toward renewables; and,
    • we’re planning to enter into more direct or open access renewable energy PPAs; the type of energy plan we think has the biggest impact on the environment.

    Nobody can go it alone

    We’re excited about what we’ve achieved in Bangalore, but when it comes to sustainability, no one can do it alone. We collaborate with NGO partners, along with other committed companies. Together, we share what works (and what doesn’t). And we combine our influence to support legislation for sustainability.

    With our peers, we continue to embrace the science-based targets that help us own our total emissions, and hold us accountable for reducing them. And, during Climate Week NYC 2017, we have more opportunities to share our best ideas and to strengthen the commitments that are helping us do our part for our communities, our employees and our shareholders.

    For more information, read about Adobe’s recent placement on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, Adobe’s sustainability efforts, and the company’s commitment to the Paris Agreement.

  • Leading businesses speed energy transition at Climate Week NYC

    Announced at Climate Week NYC 2017 in New York, global financial institutions Citi and JPMorgan Chase & Co. have joined The Climate Group’s RE100 campaign with CDP, committing to source 100% renewable power across their global operations by 2020.

    Also joining the campaign are US drinks company Califia Farms, and UK investment management company Jupiter Asset Management.

    The announcements follow news last week that The Estée Lauder Companies, Kellogg Company, DBS Bank and Clif Bar & Company have also joined RE100 for Climate Week NYC 2017.

    110 of the world’s most influential companies are now generating demand for over 150 TWh renewable energy annually – more than enough to power New York State.

    Helen Clarkson, Chief Executive Officer, The Climate Group, said:

    “This year’s Climate Week NYC is jam-packed with the best examples of corporate leadership – from cleaner, smarter energy choices through to ambitious commitments on electric transport. Companies joining RE100 recognize that renewable power is a smart business decision. Their leadership will help to shape energy markets away from fossil fuels and deliver on the Paris Agreement at speed.”

    "We are right alongside our clients in supporting the growth of renewable energy development and production," said Michael Corbat, Chief Executive Officer, Citi. "We're committed to using renewable power sources for our global operations while continuing to provide financing for our clients' renewable energy and energy efficiency projects around the world." The bank is targeting 100% renewable electricity by 2020.

    JPMorgan Chase & Co. announced in July that it also plans to go 100% renewable by 2020. Matt Arnold, Global Head of Sustainable Finance, JPMorgan Chase & Co., said the company's commitment – coupled with plans to facilitate $200 billion in clean energy financing to 2025 – is "driven by ‘out-of-the-box’ innovators and a commercial approach that will deliver a more resilient energy supply chain."

    Jupiter Asset Management, a leading London-based investment management company, has a goal of sourcing 100% renewable energy for its electricity use by 2018. Maarten Slendebroek, Chief Executive Officer, Jupiter Asset Management, said: "As a long-term active investor, we believe that climate change and energy transition carry risks and opportunities that warrant our attention.”

    Califia Farms, a leading provider of 100% plant-based drinks, is committed to sourcing 100% renewable electricity by 2020. Eli Steltenpohl, Sustainability Manager, Califia Farms, said: “We want to show how better-for you products can be produced in a better way, regardless of your industry or footprint."

    The eight newcomers to RE100 were announced on stage at ‘VELOCITY – Accelerating Climate Action’, a unique event at Climate Week NYC, which saw The Climate Group partner with VICE Impact, Formula E and Spring Studios to champion ambitious climate action to business and governments.

    There were high level speakers from RE100 member companies, including AB InBev, DBS Bank, General Motors, Goldman Sachs, H&M, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Kellogg Company, and Philips Lighting – with H&M also speaking on their EP100 commitment on energy productivity.

    Diane Holdorf, Chief Sustainability Officer, Kellogg, said the business risks posed by climate change impacts was a reason to act on renewable energy, and underlined that consumers expect global brands to act responsibly. 

    David Tulauskas, Director of Sustainability, General Motors, added that young people had high expectations of their employees, and said that GM would power its Ohio and Indiana plants entirely with wind energy - "a fantastic show of commitment", according to The Climate Group's CEO Helen Clarkson.

    Michael Norton, Managing Director of Real Estate, JP Morgan highlighted the cost benefits of taking action, and the falling cost of renewables being a key factor in the company’s decision to target 100% renewable power by 2020.

    Vanessa Rothschild, Sustainability Business Controller at H&M - a member of both RE100 and EP100, The Climate Group's energy productivity campaign - said: "We want to make fashion sustainable and sustainability fashionable, influencing others too." She continued: "First of all we reduce the amount of energy we use, then ensure what we do use comes from renewable sources."

    Anirban Ghosh, Chief Sustainability Officer, Mahindra Group said "RE100 and EP100 work fantastically well together - and for an automaker that makes business sense."

    RE100 recently celebrated its 100 members milestone, drawing praise from global climate leaders including Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and former US Vice President Al Gore.

    The Climate Group also launched its new EV100 initiative, to boost the uptake of electric vehicles across the world, and make electric transport the new normal. 

  • Countdown to Climate Week NYC 2017: record number of global companies to source 100% renewable power

    Days before Climate Week NYC 2017 gets underway in New York City, The Estée Lauder Companies, Kellogg Company, DBS Bank Ltd and Clif Bar & Company have joined RE100 - the 100% renewable power campaign for businesses, led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP.

    The four companies have all committed to sourcing 100% renewable electricity across their global operations, and are helping to drive important changes in electricity markets.

    The 106 members of the campaign are now taking the total demand for renewable electricity to around 150 TWh annually – more than enough to power New York State.

    The Climate Group’s Chief Executive Officer, Helen Clarkson, welcomed the news: “By joining our campaigns, corporates like The Estée Lauder Companies, Kellogg, DBS Bank and Clif Bar are demonstrating the highest level of commitment to climate action and setting an example at Climate Week NYC."

    She continued, "But they’re not doing it out of the goodness of their hearts – renewable power makes business sense, and corporate leadership is absolutely key to delivering on the Paris Agreement at speed.”

    The Estée Lauder Companies, a global leader in beauty, has joined RE100 with a commitment to source 100% of its global electricity consumption from renewable energy technologies by 2020 – the company powered its operations with 45% renewable electricity in 2016.

    Nancy Mahon, Senior Vice President, Global Corporate Citizenship and Sustainability, The Estée Lauder Companies, said: “As a global company and citizen, we at The Estée Lauder Companies strongly believe that we all play a part in the fight against global climate change. By joining RE100, we are committing to sourcing 100% of our global electricity consumption from renewable energy technologies by 2020."

    She added, "We look forward to partnering with RE100 as we work together to protect our planet and ensure a healthier world for generations to come.”

    Kellogg, a leading maker of breakfast cereals and snacks, has joined RE100 with a goal to achieve 100% renewable electricity by 2050, aligned with its commitment to reduce its direct greenhouse gas emissions by 65%. Having already achieved 20% renewable electricity through contracts with local utilities in Europe and the U.S. that are bringing more renewables to local grids, the company has an interim target for reaching 40% by 2020.

    Diane Holdorf, Chief Sustainability Officer, Kellogg Company, said: “As one of the first ten companies to have approved science-based greenhouse gas emissions targets in 2015, we’ve already invested in energy efficiency and low carbon technologies. Going 100% renewable is the obvious next step; lowering business risk, generating financial savings, and helping other companies make the switch as well.”

    DBS Bank Ltd, a leading financial services group in Asia, has joined RE100 with a commitment to 100% renewable power and an interim goal of transferring its Singapore operations (65% of global total) to renewable electricity by 2030. The bank will take advantage of RE100 knowledge sharing activities to identify options for going renewable in other markets.

    Mike Power, Chief Operating Officer for Technology and Operations, DBS Bank, and co-chair of the bank's Sustainability Council, said: “Adding renewables to our energy mix will complement our existing energy efficiency initiatives and accelerate our journey towards becoming an environmentally responsible corporate citizen. Joining RE100 will provide us the opportunity to collaborate with experts and other RE100 members to explore various renewable energy options available in the markets we operate in.”

    Clif Bar & Company, an American maker of organic foods and drinks, has been purchasing renewable electricity certificates equivalent to 100% of its total operations for the last 10 years, and is now exploring more direct ways of sourcing renewable energy.

    Kevin Cleary, Chief Executive Officer, Clif Bar & Company, said: “For over 15 years, Clif Bar has remained strongly committed to using renewable energy and taking climate action. We source 100% green power for our operations, and promote renewables among our employees, our supply chain partners and the public.

    He added: "Climate action simply demands our collective action, and coalitions like RE100 send a clear message that the global business community knows our future success depends on a low carbon economy and that we will use our combined influence to shift the market.”

    RE100 recently celebrated its 100 members milestone, drawing praise from global climate leaders including Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and former US Vice President Al Gore.

    Diane Holdorf and Mike Power will be speaking at VELOCITY - a business focused event by The Climate Group during Climate Week NYC, which will also see the launch of The Climate Group's new EV100 initiative, to boost the uptake of electric vehicles across the world, and make electric transport the new normal. 

  • Mars invests $1 billion in sustainability to help "fix" global business supply chain

    RE100 member and global confectionery producer Mars, Inc. has pledged to invest about US$1 billion to slash greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in its supply chain by 67% by 2050 – and to be at the forefront of the new low carbon economy.

    Unveiled today, the 'Sustainable in a Generation Plan' builds on the company’s efforts which have already led to a 29% reduction of its emissions against 2007 levels. Mars wants to be fossil fuel free by 2040 in its own operations, and is increasing its renewable energy supply across its sites worldwide to reach this target.

    “We’re doing this because it’s the right thing to do but also because it’s good business,” said Grant Reid, CEO, Mars, Inc., commenting on the plan. “We expect to have a competitive advantage from a more resource efficient supply chain, and from ensuring that everyone in our supply chain is doing well.”

    “We congratulate Mars on their leadership in delivering a cleaner, prosperous economy,” said Amy Davidsen, Executive Director – North America, The Climate Group. “Mars was one of the first members of RE100 and is at the forefront of an unstoppable market force to transition to 100% renewable energy."

    She continued, “This announcement comes less than two weeks before the opening of Climate Week NYC, the collaborative space for businesses and policymakers to implement the Paris Agreement, in order to keep global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius and avoid the most severe impacts of climate change.

    "We look forward to major players like Mars showing how their continuing ambitious climate leadership drives innovation, jobs and prosperity.” 

    A collaborative effort

    Today's announcement from Mars is also a call to fellow business leaders, NGOs and governments to put sustainability at the heart of their operations. Mars is a proud member of RE100, The Climate Group’s campaign with CDP bringing together the world’s most influential businesses committed to 100% renewable power.

    Mars is already using or purchasing renewable electricity to cover 100% of its operations in Belgium, Brazil, Lithuania, the UK and the US. Next year, it is planning to add Austria, Czech Republic, France, Mexico, Spain and Poland to this list.

    “We must work together, because the engine of global business – its supply chain – is broken,” and requires “transformational, cross-industry collaboration to fix it,” said Grant Reid.

    "Business needs to look beyond our own operations to transform the entire value chain."

    In fact, to date the majority of Mars’ emissions – approximately 65% – come from its own supply chain, which includes about one million employees. Working with suppliers to transition to clean power will help to reduce GHG emissions while future-proofing Mars’ own operations.

    Mars has set an interim target to reduce total GHG emissions across its entire value chain by 27% by 2025, while reducing by half water use in excess of sustainable levels and holding flat the total. The plan will also help farmers in transforming how they grow crops in a more environmentally-friendly way, while increasing their income at the same time.

    During Climate Week NYC, the company will also unveil a new plan to engage consumers in the climate agenda – featuring its iconic M&M’s characters.

    “It’s time for companies to accelerate their game and work together, and work together with governments and civil society,” concluded Grant Reid. “This is a world issue and it requires all actors to work together.”

  • Blog: Our journey to 100% renewable electricity: Infosys leading on corporate sourcing in India

    Leading Indian IT company Infosys Limited has an ambitious goal of reaching 100% renewable electricity. Here, Rakesh Bohra, Sr. Associate Manager – Green initiatives & Infrastructures, shares the company’s progress and experiences.

    As the global population continues to rise, many countries are dependent on fossil fuel imports to meet their soaring energy needs. But this is steadily changing. Businesses and industry – alongside Government – have a vital role to play in addressing environmental issues and climate change by adding much more renewable energy to the mix.

    Demonstrating leadership

    Infosys recognized long ago that it is paradoxical to have economic growth without addressing environmental issues. Infosys voluntarily became one of the first companies in the world to set a goal of becoming carbon neutral, reducing per capita electricity consumption by 50% (against 2008 baseline year), and sourcing 100% renewable power. As a responsible and environmentally conscious organization, we were also the first corporate in India to join RE100.

    This fiscal year, we have achieved our per capita electricity reduction target and made significant progress on renewable energy, considering the challenges posed by government policies and open access regulations. Our total electricity consumption in the year 2016-17 was 267 gigawatt hours 44.6% is from renewable energy sources, including ~15 megawatts (MW) capacity of solar photovoltaic (PV) installations at different locations. We aim to source 50% of our electricity requirements through renewable energy before the end of the year and we remain committed to achieving all our clean energy and climate-related targets as quickly as possible.

    We have collaborated with renowned research institutes and laboratories in India and abroad including the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, the Solar Energy Research Institute for India and the United States and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, to enhance the performance and quality of our in-house solar PV installations. This fiscal year we are also planning to set up a 30-40 MW solar PV project in Karnataka State, and we aim to increase our installed solar PV capacity significantly for captive usage in the near future.

    The business case

    100% renewable energy is technically possible, economically viable, socially imperative and environmentally inevitable.

    In our experience, going with renewable electricity makes good sense; firstly, it is economically feasible to set up your own renewable power generation facility, and secondly it reduces carbon footprints thereby allowing you to brand your social environmentally conscious image in market.

    If planned consciously, today, renewables have a very attractive payback period with the product life of most of the equipment being more than 20 years. They also provide lower operating costs in the long run, eliminating the associated risks of escalating energy prices and unstable power supply.

    Infosys Hyderabad Grid Connected 6.6 MW solar PV plant

    As the cost of renewable energy is falling and rapidly attaining parity with grid power, it makes commercial sense for corporates to go 100% on renewables. With advancement in technology and considering economy of scale, the cost of storage systems is also going to fall significantly in the coming years, thus making renewable electricity a more attractive and reliable energy solution.

    The mechanisms we use to progress our RE100 commitment include buying green power from open access and at the same time setting up our own solar PV plants. But to get many more companies transitioning to 100% renewable power, we also need to develop a mature market for renewable energy procurement and trading.

    In India, we have challenges in our policy framework that make it harder for companies to pursue ambitious goals like RE100. For example, Uniform Central open access policy must be carefully planned, otherwise different open access charges and loss factors make it very difficult for corporates with operational presence in different states to be successful in achieving 100% renewable electricity.

    Banking and wheeling charges and transmission losses, and the absence of a net energy settlement/scheduling mechanism is also a big challenge. Favorable policies such as exemption in wheeling and banking charges, cross subsidies, and access to withdraw banked green power anytime during the 24 hours of business operations should be translated across all states to enable larger adoption of renewable energy for big corporates.

    I firmly believe that initiatives like RE100 must be embraced by governments of all countries. There are considerable efforts from the Indian government to include renewable energy in mainstream power generation sources, but a specific policy around corporate sourcing of renewables needs to be developed to persuade more corporates to invest. India has a target of achieving 175 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy capacity by 2022, so such a clear policy framework for corporates will add great value in achieving this national goal.

    With tremendous potential for renewables in India, the market needs pioneers to demonstrate its viability. For Infosys, it’s not just important for the company to be green; we want to lead the way in creating a clean energy future for the development of society as a whole. We are constantly sharing our best practices with the industry and wider communities to demonstrate that these interventions make a strong business case for others to emulate.

    Infosys was a guest speaker at the RE100 roundtable at the Business & Climate Summit, New Delhi.