News

  • Scaling corporate renewable electricity demand In India - RE100 convenes businesses in New Delhi

    In a bid to highlight the role of corporate leadership on renewables in developing a cleaner economy, The Climate Group has hosted a RE100 high-level roundtable event, ‘Scaling Corporate Renewable Electricity Demand In India’.

    An official side event of the Business and Climate Summit 2017, the roundtable was supported by Edison Energy and saw participation from not only RE100 members such as Infosys, Dalmia Cement, Swiss Re, H&M and IKEA Group, but also from other major companies like Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata Steel and DBS Bank. 

    Emphasizing the business case for corporates to transition to 100% renewable power, Jarnail Singh, India Director at The Climate Group said, “RE100 stands testimony to the fact that corporate demand for renewable power is bringing forth a shift in electricity markets, globally. Consequently, renewables will become the new normal for businesses in future.”

    The RE100 event gets underway.

    RE100 member companies shared learnings from their transition to 100% renewables, explaining how it makes business sense. Topics included factors influencing organizational decision making, financing of corporate renewable electricity projects, and varying regulatory, policy and technology options available in India.

    Sharing his insights on about the prime motivators and catalysts behind Dalmia Cement’s decision to target 100% renewable electricity, Mahendra Singhi, Group CEO and Whole Time Director, Dalmia Bharat Ltd. said, “social responsibility and carbon pricing helped to convince board members to invest in renewable electricity”.

    Mr. Singhi’s views were echoed by Bose Varghese, Head – Green Initiatives, Infosys, who emphasized the growing need for corporates to go 100% renewable, while analyzing common risk scenarios, and legal and regulatory frameworks. He said that 45% of Infosys’ current electricity demand is being met through renewable sources, 80% of which is purchased through Open Access.

    Group CEO and Whole Time Director, Dalmia Bharat Ltd. Mahendra Singhi shares the business case for renewables.

    Another session focused on the different financing mechanisms for renewable electricity procurement in India. Uday Khemka, Chair of the Clean Energy Financing Forum (CEFF) and Gopal Vemuri, Director of Capital Markets at Edison Energy shared financing options for corporate sourcing of renewable electricity, and the discussions were moderated by Vandana Gomber, Global Policy Editor at Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

    Mr. Gomber began the session with a presentation on global corporate PPA volume trends and top corporate off-takers of renewable energy in 2017. These included RE100 member companies Apple, AB InBev and Unilever.

    Mr. Khemka highlighted the importance of finance and the need to bring in sustainable long term solutions. He underlined the importance of business, financial institutions, government and energy distribution companies (DISCOMs) to work together while emphasising on the “absolutely critical” role that DISCOMS play.

    Mr. Vemuri added that India has a great opportunity for going 100% renewable – but said that financial and policy transparency would be paramount for achieving it.

    The final session was a deep dive into the operational aspects of implementing corporate renewable electricity projects and was led by CDP, technical delivery partner for RE100. The session answered some basic questions with regards to technical criteria and other guidance, as well as documents for assisting companies to make credible renewable electricity consumption claims, as part of the RE100 campaign. It also highlighted the ground-level operational aspects of sourcing, installing and integrating renewable electricity in different scenarios.

    CDP went on to champion RE100 webinars providing market insights from expert speakers and peer companies. Binu Sekhar, VP Corporate Real Estate & Logistics, Swiss Re, a founding member of RE100, spoke of bullish trends in the renewable energy market in India, and stated that Swiss Re will achieve its RE100 target before 2020.

    RE100, led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, brings together “a growing group of major, influential companies from around the world who have set a target to source 100% renewable electricity. The global campaign recently reached its 100 member milestone, with companies from a wide range of sectors and operations around the world creating around 146 terawatt-hours (TWh) in demand for renewable electricity annually – about as much as it takes to power Poland or New York State.

    Here more from Infosys in this blog by Rakesh Bohra, Sr. Associate Manager – Green initiatives & Infrastructures.

  • Blog: EU policy - opening markets for corporate renewable energy buyers

    The current update of the European Union’s energy policy framework will impact the European energy market for years to come. As many leading businesses look to source 100% renewable power globally, our Head of RE100, Sam Kimmins, blogs on an important change needed to the Renewable Energy Directive (REDII), to maximize corporate uptake of renewables in Europe.

    RE100 is a global collaborative initiative bringing together over 100 influential and multinational businesses that are committed to sourcing 100% renewable electricity globally. Together, they represent more than enough renewable electricity demand to power Poland.

    These companies have made this highest-level commitment because they know that renewable electricity makes long-term business sense. The technology is ready, unsubsidized costs are competitive, and companies are ready to invest at scale.

    Corporate sourcing of renewables represents a major new flow of capital and finance into Europe’s renewable electricity infrastructure. Much of the electricity used by our members in Europe is already from renewable sources, and they are leading the way through a combination of power purchase agreements (PPAs), on-site generation, green contracts and certificates.

    IKEA Group, a founding member of RE100, owns more wind turbines than stores and is aiming to produce as much energy as it consumes by the end of the decade. The company has also invested an impressive $1.78 billion (€1.5 billion) in purchasing its own wind and solar power generation equipment since 2009 and in FY15 committed a further $715 billion (€600 million). 

    Last year, Mars, Inc. signed a PPA for a wind farm in Scotland to power its entire UK operations.

    RE100 members Royal DSM, Google, Royal Philips and AkzoNobel joined forces to sign an exciting joint PPA for 350 gigawatt hours per year in the Netherlands.

    And Microsoft, which has invested more than $3 billion in Europe to date, has continued to champion renewables. John Frank, Vice President EU Government Affairs, Microsoft said back in May: “As our cloud continues to grow, so does the energy consumption of the data centers that power the cloud. We are committed to using more renewable energy to meet those needs, and we believe that this is good for our business, the economy, and the environment." 

    He added: "We’re pleased to play a part in supporting this important and growing sector in the EU and welcome new policies that enable us to develop and deploy greater amounts of renewable energy.”

    But not every business is sourcing renewables in Europe yet – how can forthcoming changes to the EU’s energy policy framework accelerate the growth of this movement, boosting business competitiveness, while delivering on the Paris Agreement?

    Let’s be clear – corporate buyers are not looking for subsidies. Renewables are increasingly cost-competitive with fossil fuels. What we need is a clear, transparent and fair electricity market with long-term stability, that enables companies to purchase or generate renewable electricity for all of their operations in Europe.

    Over the last year, RE100 reports and events supported by our members have helped to raise awareness among Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). The answer now lies in a recent amendment to the Clean Energy for All Europeans package, tabled by MEPs José Blanco López and Eva Kaili.

    Amendment 757 to the Renewable Energy Directive Article 15 Paragraph 9 (below) provides for the clear, transparent and fair electricity market needed to innovate new renewable electricity investment models, scale up investments and achieve our shared renewable electricity ambitions.

    Amendment 757 to the Renewable Energy Directive Article 15 Paragraph 9 full text:

    Member States shall carry out an assessment of the barriers to and the potential of the purchase of energy from renewable sources by corporate customers in their territories and shall set up an enabling regulatory and administrative framework for the growth of this new way to finance renewables and facilitate their uptake.

     In particular, such enabling framework shall comprise the possibility for all customers, individually or through aggregators, to sign one or more single-buyer or multiple-buyer power purchase agreements with on-site, nearby and off-site electricity generating installations using renewable sources. Such power purchase agreements shall be deemed compatible with competition rules and with support schemes for renewable energy and shall not be subjected to burdensome procedures and excessive costs. Member States may allow a single power purchase agreement to be signed between an electricity generating installation using renewable sources and a corporate customer to cover the consumption of multiple sites belonging to the corporate customer.

    RE100 is calling on MEPs and EU Member States to support this Amendment because it makes provision for corporate buyers – an important new market that can drive rapid growth in renewable electricity investment.

    Specifically, it:

    • focuses on the removal of market barriers and burdensome costs, to enable a more effective, competitive market in which corporate customers can purchase electricity from the provider of their choosing;
    • provides a flexible but enforceable framework through which EU Member States can develop locally appropriate solutions;
    • encourages competition and innovation in electricity markets;
    • recognizes the importance of market innovation (e.g. PPA models) in enabling a wide range of corporate off-takers and renewable electricity suppliers to participate in the renewable electricity market; and,
    • enables the market to play a stronger role in driving the development of EU renewable electricity capacity well beyond the modest ambition of 27% by 2030.

    The inclusion of Amendment 757 will strengthen REDII’s ability to deliver a renewable electricity system that meets the needs of a growing number of corporate buyers, attracts corporate investment, and shows global leadership in energy market innovation.

    We’re looking to everyone in the European Parliament to support its progress though the coming months, to help many more companies to reach their goal of becoming 100% renewable.

    RE100 is brought to you by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP.

  • Newsletter: Climate Week NYC, knowledge sharing, and dates for your diaries

    Climate Week NYC 2017: what's happening

    Climate Week NYC 2017's high profile Opening Ceremony will take place on September 18, bringing together global leaders from government and business to explore the theme of 'Innovation. Jobs. Prosperity.' By invitation only.

    September 19 will see the event 'VELOCITY - Accelerating Climate Action' feature exciting new partnerships and high level speakers from business and government, as well as the launch of The Climate Group's new electric mobility campaign, EV100. There will be updates from RE100 and sister campaign EP100, and discussions on scaling and speeding the energy transition. By invitation only.

    Click here for the full list of events at Climate Week NYC (to go live this week).


    RE-Source 2017 & private members' event

    This event, taking place October 10-11, will bring together businesses, renewable energy developers and senior decision-makers to discuss scaling up renewables in Europe, the latest intelligence on PPAs, and opportunities to network with solution providers.


    Vail Resorts joins RE100

    Vail Resorts is the latest company to join RE100, committing to sourcing 100% renewable electricity by 2030, and helping to deliver on its 'Epic Promise for a Zero Footprint' by the same year. Vail Resorts is a global leader in the skiing industry and feels a special obligation to protect the environment, which is central to its business.      

    RE100 webinar: Japan's renewable energy market

    RE100 held a webinar on the Japanese renewables market, focused on the new J-Credit scheme through which the Government certifies as credits the amount of greenhouse gas emissions reduced through renewable energy. The guest speaker was Kae Takase, Project Manager, CDP Japan


    RE100 webinar: How corporates can supercharge progress towards Paris goal

    Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100, The Climate Group presented to 12 regional and state governments, on the growth of corporate demand for renewable electricity. The webinar explored how corporate sourcing can help to deliver on government climate targets, and how governments can support corporate sourcing by improving the policy and market environment.  


    Dates for your diaries

    August 24, 2017: RE100 - BRC joint webinar: 'Bringing renewables to the Southeast US' - A new inter-state transmission line will open up new procurement options in the region. Mark Dyson, Manager at the Rocky Mountain Institute and Kenneth Davies, Director of Renewable Energy at Microsoft will present this new initiative and explain how members of RE100 can get involved.

    August 30, 2017: RE100 roundtable, 'Scaling corporate renewable electricity use in India', New Delhi, India - This is an official affiliate event of this year's Business & Climate Summit, including speakers from Dalmia Cement, Infosys, and Swiss Re who will share success stories and learnings around transitioning to 100% renewable power in India. By invitation only.

    September 5, 2017: Beyond Solar Impulse, Brussels, Belgium - This is a film projection and debate with Prof. Bertrand Piccard (explorer, Chairman of the Solar Impulse Foundation), Jean-Pierre Clamadieu (CEO of Solvay) and Carlos Moedas (Commissioner of Research and Innovation at the European Commission). Register here

    September 18-24, 2017: Climate Week NYC, New York, US - The Climate Group's annual flagship event will gather business and government leaders to demonstrate how continued investment in clean energy can drive 'Innovation. Jobs. Prosperity'. Following the Opening Ceremony on Monday 18, there will be a business focused event on Tuesday 19.

    September 2017 (date tbc): RE100 peer-to-peer learning webinar with Tata Motors - Abhay Pathak, Sustainability Lead at Tata Motors Limited, will present a case study of the company's Dharwad (KA) plant in India, which achieved a 91% renewable electricity share last year. 

    October 5, 2017: RE100 - Gold Standard joint webinar on new Gold Standard label for renewable energy market instruments - This webinar will address the need for a quality label for renewable electricity certificates, and discuss how RE100 members can use it to demonstrate they are adding new renewable energy capacity to the grid. 

  • Newsletter: 100 members moment, EU energy policy and what's coming up

    RE100 reaches 100 members milestone

    Carlsberg Group, AkzoNobel, AXA, and Burberry joined RE100 this month, taking the total number of members to 100 and the total demand for renewable electricity to 146 TWh - enough to power Poland or New York State. 

    In celebration of the milestone, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa congratulated the members and praised the leadership of employees at all levels. There was also recognition from Former US Vice President Al Gore.

    Media coverage included BloombergCNBC, and The Independent, plus the Southern Weekly in China, and key trade titles including The GrocerInsurance Journal, and The Business of Fashion.

    The Climate Group’s Head of RE100, Sam Kimmins reflected on RE100’s growth and future potential. Helen Clarkson, CEO of The Climate Group called on companies to encourage their suppliers to switch to renewable electricity, and Paul Simpson, CEO of CDP highlighted the importance of transparency and disclosure in tracking progress.

     

    Cees ’t Hart, CEO of Carlsberg Group said RE100 was “an opportunity to share best practice, to learn from each other” and to “inspire other companies to follow us in our aim”. There were also video messages from AXAAkzoNobel and founding member IKEA, and a blog from Tata Motors.

    And the momentum continues: in the last few days Dutch biotechnology company Corbion became the 101st company to join RE100. Further announcements are expected over the coming weeks.

    Philips Lighting first with renewable energy certificates in the Gulf

    Philips Lighting has become the first company to purchase renewable energy certificates in the Gulf using the I-REC Standard. The energy efficiency leader will source traceable renewable electricity from a solar park in Dubai. Media coverage included CNBC and Clean Technica.   

    The Climate Group becomes founding member of GECCO

    The Climate Group has become a founding member of the Green Electricity Consumption Cooperative Organization (GECCO), launched at the recent Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM8) in Beijing, to pilot voluntary renewable electricity certificates in China. We believe the initiative will help RE100 members to transfer their Chinese operations to renewable power, also helping to deliver on the Government’s climate goals.                 

    European clean energy package - RE100 activities

    We are facilitating meetings between RE100 members and MEPs from Sweden, Latvia, Denmark and Ireland, to help bring about changes to the Clean Energy For All Europeans package that will increase corporate sourcing of renewables in Europe. 

    RE100 webinar: 'Overview of solar net metering policy (India)'

    RE100 has held a markets and policy webinar for Gold and Silver members about the net metering policies of Indian states such as Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The guest speaker was Deepak Krishnan, Manager, Energy Program, WRI India. 


    DATES FOR YOUR DIARIES

    August 24, 2017: RE100-BRC joint webinar: 'Bringing renewables to the Southeast US' - A new inter-state transmission line will open up new procurement options in the region. Speakers from the Rocky Mountain Institute and corporate buyers will present this new initiative and let RE100 members know how to get involved. 

    August 30, 2017: RE100 roundtable, 'Scaling corporate renewable electricity use in India', New Delhi, India - To take place immediately ahead of this year's Business & Climate SummitThe Climate Group has invited members of RE100 to share their success stories and learnings around transitioning to 100% renewable power in India.                   

    September 18-24, 2017: Climate Week NYC, New York, US - The Climate Group's annual flagship event will gather business and government leaders to demonstrate how continued investment in clean energy can drive innovation, jobs and prosperity. Following the Opening Ceremony on Monday 18, there will be a business focused event on Tuesday 19.             

    September 2017 (date tbc): RE100 peer-to-peer learning webinar with Tata Motors - Abhay Pathak, Sustainability Lead at Tata Motors Limited, will present a case study of the company's Dharwad (KA) plant in India, which achieved a 91% renewable electricity share last year.          

    October 10, 2017: RE100 members event, Brussels, Belgium - This will be a bespoke RE100 peer-learning event, on the first day of RE-Source 2017

     

    Share our new video

    Are you looking for an effective, impactful way to show your colleagues and customers what RE100 is all about? Please share our brand new RE100 video - using the hashtag #RE100 on Twitter.



  • 101 members strong: Corbion joins RE100 in pursuit of sustainable and circular economy

    Dutch biotechnology company Corbion has become the 101st business to join RE100, the leadership campaign led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, uniting the world’s biggest and most influential companies committed to 100% renewable power.

    Corbion is the global market leader in lactic acid and lactic acid derivatives, and a leader in functional blends containing enzymes, emulsifiers, minerals, and vitamins. Already sourcing 20% of its electricity from renewable energy, the company has set an interim goal of reaching 50% by 2020.

    To begin its journey to this interim goal, Corbion has recently installed 462 solar panels across two separate buildings at its Gorinchem warehouse in the Netherlands. The installation will generate enough renewable electricity to power 25 homes and save 61kg in CO2 emissions annually – the equivalent to driving a car around the world eight times.

    “I congratulate Corbion on putting words into action, with the installation of solar PV,” said The Climate Group’s Head of RE100, Sam Kimmins.

    “Solar PV investments can pay back in just a few years, which means that in addition to reducing the company’s carbon emissions, they can lead to long term financial savings. Renewables make business sense and are fast becoming the norm for forward-thinking companies.”

     

    Diana Visser, Sustainability Director, Corbion, said, “We believe in a transition from a linear to a circular economy, where resources are continuously recycled and reused. Of course a circular economy needs to be powered by renewable energy and this is why we have started our journey and also why we have joined RE100.”

    She continued, “RE100 is a great initiative, it’s a platform to show different companies that are committed to renewable electricity, to show that there is demand for renewable electricity, and in this way we can accelerate the transition.”

    Corbion’s announcement follows the news that RE100 recently reached its 100 members milestone, with companies from a wide range of sectors and operations around the world creating around 146 terawatt-hours (TWh) in demand for renewable electricity annually – about as much as it takes to power Poland or New York State.

    Helen Clarkson, CEO, The Climate Group said “Renewables are now a more affordable option for business. They also offer greater control over energy costs and hedge against rising prices of fossil fuels. All of this increases competitiveness while delivering on sustainability goals and cutting carbon emissions.”

    “The more companies that make the switch the faster we will move to a strong, low carbon economy supporting millions of jobs.”

    To find out more about the members of RE100, click here.

  • Blog: Going 100% renewable in India -Tata Motors is helping to drive the energy transition

    As RE100 reaches a milestone of 100 member companies, Arvind Bodhankar, CSO, Tata Motors, reflects on why it makes sense to transition to 100% renewable electricity and future proof business operations.

    At a time when the onus lies equally on companies and governments to demonstrate climate action, manufacturers, including car manufacturers, are very keen on moving towards renewable energy. This is not only necessary, given the need for collective efforts to address climate change, but also makes good business sense.

    Going 100% renewable implies establishing reliable sources for procuring renewable energy, setting up solar and wind energy farms at manufacturing plants, and consciously moving away from fossil fuels.

    Looking at the policy measures in India that can support this intent, open access regulations need to be consistent across states. Even in states with open access, the rules can effectively be unviable. 

    There also seems to be a lack of clarity on transmission and wheeling charges, taxes in different states and on expected trends. There are challenges around power banking and net metering is capped at 1 megawatt (MW) which is discouraging to large on-site projects. This makes it harder for companies in India to self-generate renewable energy. Looking at government’s commitment, I am confident that it will ease out in coming days.

    On the other hand, there is much to be gained by engaging in long-term Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), as power becomes more affordable due to falling tariffs while the cost of grid electricity rises.

    Photo credit: Tata Motors

    Achievements so far

    We joined RE100 in March 2016, with an ambition to source 100% renewable electricity. It not only helped reduce the environmental impacts of our manufacturing operations but also helped us in maintaining the Tata Group’s commitment on UN Sustainable Development Goals. Since then, many others have followed our lead, and the campaign now unites 100 of the world’s most influential companies.

    On joining RE100, Tata Motors had already advanced several steps down the path to renewables, enabling us to source around 8% of our electricity from renewable sources in Financial Year (FY) 2015-16 and adding about 8.25 % in 16-17. We currently procure or generate around 4,818 MWh of renewable power.

    Presently, our renewable electricity consumption stands at 16.25%. Our progress comes from both on-site and off-site approaches, but mostly from renewable electricity sourced from the grid, as space will always be a constraint for renewable energy installations on-site.

    In addition to increasing our own green power capacity, Tata Motors is working with vendors and suppliers to increase their uptake of renewables. In FY 2016-17, we influenced our suppliers by conducting awareness sessions on sustainability, and collecting baseline sustainability data and on-site assessments from more than 50 suppliers. We are encouraging our suppliers to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by motivating them to increase their operational efficiency and transitioning to renewable power. Following this, some of our suppliers like Shriram Foundries have already converted their major operations to renewables.

    Ever since we committed to RE100, many organizations have reached out to us to seek guidance on kick-starting their renewable journey. We have presented our case study at RE100 webinars with other member companies and have also spoken about our commitment to renewable energy and RE100 at various events. I have personally spoken at various industry forums and have been actively participating in corporate PPA forum.

    Photo credit: Tata Motors

    Why it makes business sense

    Basic business value propositions for companies to go renewable include hedging against the risk of higher costs through the conventional energy market, establishing leadership in corporate delivery of the country’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), and reaping related reputational benefits for the brand at large.

    For Tata Motors, the case for 100% renewable electricity is aligned with our sustainability objectives and our efforts to be ‘Future Ready’. But in addition to helping to mitigate climate change, procuring electricity from renewables is turning out to be extremely beneficial for our business.  

    Going 100% renewable is a huge task for a heavy industry operating in less developed markets, but initiatives like RE100 are sending a clear signal in the market that corporates are moving to renewable energy. There are substantial rewards and RE100 is helping us to identify and overcome challenges to achieve our 100% renewable electricity goal.

    Our efforts in this space will intensify in the months and years to come as we work towards our goal of using 100% renewable electricity. We plan to reduce the environmental impact of our manufacturing operations, and generate awareness among our stakeholders. We also strive to develop cleaner and more efficient vehicles as we move towards a sustainable future.

  • Blog: 100 companies creating market change: RE100 past, present and future

    As 100 leading businesses transition to 100% renewable power through RE100, The Climate Group’s Sam Kimmins reflects on the growing corporate movement for renewable energy and its impact on the global economy.

    When one global company stands up and declares an interest in renewable electricity, people take note. When 100 global companies stand up and declare their commitment to 100% renewable electricity, we create a tsunami of change.

    That’s exactly what RE100 is doing; 100 of the world’s biggest and most influential companies are now committed to 100% renewable power, with AXA, AkzoNobel, Burberry and Carlsberg Group the latest of the big names to sign up.

    This is an important milestone. When The Climate Group launched RE100 in 2014, many businesses considered 100% renewable electricity to be an impossible stretch goal, largely due to the additional cost and a lack of options in developing markets. But 13 leading companies including IKEA Group, Swiss RE, BT and Mars were prepared to put their heads above the parapet.

    Three years later, more than half of our 100 members are going 100% renewable by or before 2020 – and several have already made it. Leading companies are recognizing that affordable options are increasingly available, and that future success means embracing renewables – sooner rather than later. RE100 has succeeded in changing the conversation around business and renewable energy, and what was deemed impossible is quickly becoming the norm.

    Our members now represent 146 terawatt-hours (TWh) per year of renewable electricity demand – the equivalent of the electricity required to power Poland or New York State. That’s a long way from where we were in 2014, with 13 companies representing 19 TWh. And with members operating around the world, from Europe and North America to Asia, South America and Africa, RE100 is at the forefront of a truly global movement.

     

    Tipping point

    So – how important is this in terms of addressing climate change? Are we about to reach a ‘tipping point’, whereby a transition to a renewable electricity system becomes unstoppable, and the end of fossil fueled power becomes a medium-term certainty?

    For the first time in my career, it’s very encouraging to realize we’re actually ‘winning’ on a global scale. Back in the year 2000, I was a consultant working on B&Q’s first solar store in Sutton in Ashfield, UK, featuring almost 200m² of roof mounted solar – generating just under 8 kilowatt peak. At that time, the total global solar power capacity installed was around 4 gigawatts (GW). According to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA’s) 2002 outlook, renewables were only supposed to “make a small dent” in global energy capacity – around 4.4% by 2030.  

    Now, just 15 years on, renewable power generating capacity exceeds 1,811 GW and accounts for more than 28% of global capacity. Our “small dent” is becoming a mighty crack in the status quo.

    The technology is certainly ready, and rapidly falling costs are proving to be a game changer. The World Economic Forum reports that solar and wind generation is now the same cost or cheaper than new gas and coal in 30 countries worldwide. Power Purchase Agreement prices for solar power have fallen by about 75% over the last seven years, meaning they are now around $50/megawatt-hours (MWh) per year in the US, and close to $30/MWh in many other areas of the world. It’s making renewables a more affordable option for business.

    Battery production is also stepping up to the plate to deliver storage to cover intermittent demand, and smart technologies are enabling both demand and supply side load management. 

    So maybe we have already hit that elusive tipping point. How will we know? Gigawatts of new renewable installations have exceeded new fossil fuel installations every year since 2012. It’s likely that the fossil fuel power industry has already hit its ‘Kodak Moment’, after which its decline and replacement by new technology becomes an inevitability.

    But a 200-year-old fossil fuel habit can be hard to shake off, even when it makes great business sense.

    Outdated policy and market structures, designed for old centralized power systems, must be updated to enable the flow of capital from companies and others wishing to buy renewable electricity – whether it be in Europe, China or South Australia.

    Awareness of the new opportunities presented by renewables is lower than it could be even in the corporate world, and we need to supercharge the often-glacial pace of energy policy review before government programs lock much of Asia and Africa into long-term investments in expensive and polluting legacy technologies.

    With RE100, we are determined to accelerate change at a global scale. Through collective corporate demand for renewable electricity, and the huge investment this represents, RE100 companies represent an unavoidable force for action – a call for governments, utilities and other solution providers to create electricity markets fit for a low carbon economy.

    Change is well underway. Where we have seen US President Trump take a lonely back seat on climate action, our members are stepping in with calls for bold action – backed up with gigawatt-scale, business focused investments in renewable electricity infrastructure. For example, Starbucks recently invested in a new 47 MW solar farm in North Carolina and a new long-term renewable electricity tariff in Washington State, which will together generate enough renewable electricity to power over 700 stores.

    At EU level, progressive policymakers have found unexpected allies in our membership. Google and IKEA have led calls for ambitious targets and plans enabling long-term investment in renewables, as part of the Clean Energy for All Europeans package.  We look forward to helping our members promote a progressive, modern Package once parliament reconvenes in September.

    But the fact is, to keep warming well under two degrees Celsius, we need to pick up the pace. That’s why The Climate Group is calling on leading companies to influence their peers and suppliers to switch to 100% renewable electricity too, so that we may move faster to a strong, low carbon economy supporting millions of jobs. 

    Some of our members, such as Apple and H&M, are already doing this. Already 96% renewable in its own operations, Apple has now secured commitments from eight of its suppliers to produce all of their Apple products using 100% renewable electricity.

    Business action spurs business action. We have ambitious plans for growing both our membership and our influence over the next three years – we’d welcome you to join us.

    Sam Kimmins is Head of RE100, The Climate Group.

  • World first as 100 multinationals target 100% renewable electricity

    The Climate Group’s RE100 initiative has today reached its 100 members milestone as AkzoNobel N.V., AXA, Burberry plc and Carlsberg Group joined with a commitment to 100% renewable power.

    RE100 is delivered with CDP to engage, support and showcase large, influential businesses transitioning to 100% renewable electricity across their global operations.

    RE100 members, including 30 Global Fortune 500 companies, have a total revenue of US$2.5 trillion and operate in a diverse range of sectors – from Information Technology to automobile manufacturing.

    Together, they are creating around 146 terawatt-hours (TWh) in demand for renewable electricity annuallyabout as much as it takes to power Poland.

    AkzoNobel becomes the second biggest electricity user to join RE100 after Walmart, consuming around 16 TWh annually. The Dutch paints and coatings company aims to be carbon neutral and use 100% renewable energy – heat as well as electricity – by 2050.

    French insurance company AXA is targeting 100% renewable electricity by 2025. Operating in more than 60 countries with diverse energy markets, AXA intends to achieve this target by using a mix of approaches, notably buying electricity directly from providers and compensating for non-renewable electricity.

    Global luxury fashion brand Burberry is aiming to procure 100% of electricity from renewable resources to power its whole business by 2022.

    The Carlsberg Group, one of the world’s biggest brewers, is switching to 100% renewable electricity at its breweries by 2022, as a step towards its target to become carbon neutral in 2030.

    Reflecting on the growth of RE100 since it launched in 2014, Helen Clarkson, Chief Executive Officer, The Climate Group, said: “We are really pleased at the success of our campaign; by championing the compelling case for business action, we have reached 100 members three years earlier than expected. Changes in the market such as the falling cost of renewables have also worked in our favor.

    “We are increasingly seeing large multinationals such as Google, IKEA and Dalmia Cement demonstrating real leadership on renewables because it makes business sense – as well as helping to lower emissions, providing stable energy costs and increasing competitiveness.

    “We are now calling on companies to go one step further, and inspire their suppliers and peers to follow their lead so that together, we can speed the transition from fossil fuels to renewables to keep warming well under two degrees Celsius.”

     

    Paul Simpson, Chief Executive Officer, CDP, said: “Transitioning to 100% renewable electricity through RE100 shows true leadership in our new sustainable economy. It’s hugely encouraging that so many members are reporting clear progress, and fast. Following the vital steps of disclosure and insight on climate change activities, action is key to ensuring we move the global energy system to a tipping point by 2020.”

     

    Cees 't Hart, Chief Executive Officer, Carlsberg Group, which recently announced it would target zero carbon emissions at its breweries by 2030, said: “Business leadership is key to addressing climate change, so we must all step up and take bold collective action. Through RE100, we are joining forces with other like-minded companies, which are also leading the change towards a low carbon future. Switching to 100% renewable electricity offers a holistic business case with financial, social and environmental benefits. Hopefully together, we can inspire others to step up and do the same.”

     

    Leanne Wood, Chief People, Strategy & Corporate Affairs Officer, Burberry, said: “Procuring 100% of our energy from renewable resources by 2022 is a principal goal of Burberry’s five-year Responsibility agenda. We are proud that over half of our offices, stores, warehouses and internal manufacturing sites globally are powered by either on site renewable resources or through renewable tariffs. However, access to renewable resources is still limited in some places. By joining RE100 we aim to drive wider demand for low carbon power and encourage all providers to introduce renewable energy options.”

    André Veneman, Corporate Director of Sustainability, AkzoNobel, a company which firmly believes that sustainability is business and business is sustainability, said: “We have put considerable effort into learning how to source renewable energy in a cost competitive way and the opportunities for our business are huge. We’re convinced that embracing renewable energy is an excellent way to create both short- and long-term value that will enable a true business transition. We’re delighted to be joining RE100 because it’s all about working with our suppliers, our customers and other leading companies to help make this change happen all over the world.”

     

    Alice Steenland, Group Head of Corporate Responsibility, AXA, said: “In 2015, the portion of renewable electricity consumed by AXA was 36%, and this increased to 53% in 2016. Our target is to have 100% of our electricity from renewable sources by 2025. When large corporations like AXA switch to renewables, we are collectively creating significant new demand but also more broadly helping to accelerate the global transition to green energy. RE100 represents another opportunity to combine efforts to better tackle this important global issue.”

     

    Pia Heidenmark Cook, Acting Chief Sustainability Officer, IKEA Group, added: “IKEA Group was a founding member of RE100. We wanted to lead by example, and support a movement towards a low carbon economy. We are excited that so many companies have joined – it simply shows renewables are the right thing to do for the business.”

     

    RE100 has also been recognised by Former US Vice President Al Gore, the UNFCCC and the World Economic Forum (WEF).

    Patricia Espinosa, the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said: “Congratulations to all the companies, and all the individuals within those companies, who have joined the journey to a low carbon, resilient and dynamic future.

    “This would not be happening without leadership—and not just at the level of the CEO or a company board. It has been a huge collective effort of people at all levels from those responsible for the business energy needs or the running of manufacturing facilities to those managing retail outlets or working in finance and purchasing,” she said.

    “Moreover this ‘100 moment’ is part of an alliance of inspiring actions flourishing across the globe by corporations but also cities, regions, states, territories, investors and citizens—actions supporting and empowering governments to go further and faster with the Paris Climate Change Agreement,” added Ms Espinosa.

     

    Dominic Waughray, Head of Public-Private Partnership, Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum said “Reaching the milestone of 100 companies that have committed to 100% renewables and joined RE100 shows the potential for business to lead, and collectively shift markets to a more sustainable future. This is hugely important in the race to implement the Paris Agreement in the most efficient and prosperous way possible.” 

    For more information about the members of RE100 and their commitments for transitioning to 100% renewable electricity, click here

  • Philips Lighting first with renewable energy certificates in the Gulf region

    Philips Lighting has announced it is purchasing renewable electricity in the Gulf – taking the company a step closer to its goal of sourcing entirely renewable electricity across its global operations.

    Philips Lighting is a member of RE100 - The Climate Group's leadership initiative now uniting 96 influential businesses committed to 100% renewable power, delivered in partnership with CDP. Philips Lighting aims to make the transition by 2020, helping to deliver on its wider goal of being carbon neutral by the same year.

    In collaboration with ECOHZ, the leader in energy efficient lighting will source traceable renewable electricity from Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA’s) Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, in Dubai, using the pioneering International REC Standard (I-REC).

    The I-REC Standard is a system for documenting renewable energy consumption in regions where no similar scheme exists. It is available in a growing number of countries and meets the RE100 criteria.

    Philips Lighting is the first major international company to secure its renewable energy consumption in the Gulf region in this way. The renewable energy certificates will be issued by the Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence (Dubai Carbon).

    Nicola Kimm, Head of Sustainability, Environment, Health & Safety, Philips Lighting, said: “To keep our planet on course with the Paris Agreement to mitigate climate change, we must fully switch to renewable sources of electricity. “Partnering with ECOHZ enables us to keep to our part in this fiduciary duty.”

    The business case

    But transitioning to 100% renewable electricity isn’t just the right thing to do. It’s also good for business – with benefits ranging from increased competitiveness and innovation, to stable costs and financial savings.

    Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100, The Climate Group, said: “Going 100% renewable makes business sense, and solutions are possible – wherever operations are based.

    “It is inspiring to see Philips Lighting working to source renewables in an oil dominated market. Together, RE100 members are creating change, and accelerating progress to a low carbon economy.”

    Driving the transition

    According to ECOHZ, currently only 1% of electricity in the Gulf region is generated from renewable sources, and with great interest in renewable energy from multinationals operating in the region, this is not enough.

    “Philips Lighting is taking a bold first mover step and is a great example of how corporate action can show this demand for traceable, credible renewable electricity,” said Tom Lindberg, Managing Director at ECOHZ.

    Pedro Faria, Technical Director, CDP, added: “We urge other international companies in the region to follow suit by procuring and reporting renewable energy in 2017. We can all help the transition to a low carbon economy.”

    To find out more about Philips Lighting’s journey to 100% renewable power, read our interview with Nicola Kimm, Head of Sustainability, Environment, Health & Safety.

  • Newsletter: China, supply chains, and leadership from our members

    Members show leadership in China
    Apple, Google, H&M, and Philips Lighting were among leading global businesses speaking at Corporate Sourcing of Renewables Day, an official side event of the eighth Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM8), in Beijing. This unique event was co-organized by RE100. Apple announced its eighth supplier to transition to 100% renewable power, Jabil Circuit Inc., which has operations in China and consumes around 1 billion megawatt-hours of electricity per year.

    New members announced
    Congratulations to L’OCCITANE, the LEGO Group and Telefónica on joining RE100, and to LEGO on reaching its 100% goal. L’OCCITANE said going 100% renewable was a win-win for business and nature.

    RE100 commitments reaffirmed
    US President Trump may be pulling back from the Paris Agreement, but this will not slow the momentum of businesses committed to renewable energy, according to a blog by Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100, The Climate Group. RE100 members have joined the We Are Still In campaign and are helping to develop markets for renewable energy. “Our experience shows us that these investments and innovations are good for our planet, our company, our customers and the economy,” said Brad Smith, President and Chief Legal Officer, Microsoft.

    RE100 webinar: European market insights
    We held a webinar for members on recent policy developments at the EU level, with guest speaker Jared Braslawsky, Secretary-General of RECS International.

    EU policy is an important area of work for RE100. Following key events held with Google and IKEA earlier this year, and our report calling on policy makers to strengthen energy legislation, RE100 is facilitating meetings between members and rapporteurs shaping the EU’s Clean Energy For All Europeans package, ahead of its next reading in September.


    DATES FOR YOUR DIARIES

    June 16, 2017: RE100 markets and policy webinar; IndiaDeepak Krishnan, Manager, Energy Program, World Resources Institute (WRI) India, will provide an overview of solar net metering policy in leading Indian states. Invitations have been sent to members of RE100.

    July 20, 2017: RE100 markets and policy webinar; Japan – Kae Takase, Project Manager, CDP Japan will give an overview on Japan’s renewable electricity market and new J-Credit scheme, through which the Government certifies as credits the amount of greenhouse gas emissions reduced through renewable energy. Invitations to follow to members of RE100 and selected contacts in Japan.

    September 18-24, 2017: Climate Week NYC, US – The Climate Group’s annual flagship event will gather business and government leaders to demonstrate how continued investment in clean energy can drive innovation, jobs and prosperity.

    For the latest updates on our webinars and events, visit RE100.org/events.