Budweisers sold globally are to feature a symbol letting consumers know when the beer has been brewed using 100% renewable electricity. The move comes as parent company AB InBev, the world’s biggest brewer, works towards its RE100 commitment to source 100% renewable electricity worldwide by 2025.
“Leading companies know it makes business sense to switch to renewables and cut greenhouse emissions,” said Helen Clarkson, Chief Executive Officer, The Climate Group, which delivers the RE100 initiative in partnership with CDP.
“But to deliver on the Paris Agreement, we need to go further and faster,” she continued. “I am delighted to see that Budweiser is taking a leading position on renewable electricity as part of AB Inbev’s commitment to going 100% renewable through the RE100 campaign.”
Budweiser will launch the new symbol today in Davos, where the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting is underway. It will appear on the label of every Budweiser brewed in the US beginning in spring 2018, using electricity sourced from a wind farm in Oklahoma through an agreement with Enel Green Power.
Budweiser aims to roll out the symbol globally by 2025, to help raise awareness of renewable energy among consumers. The company estimates that the new symbol will reach millions of people in the US alone, and that when rolled out globally, 41 million Budweisers sold each day will create annual emissions savings equivalent to taking 48,000 passenger cards off the road for a year.
“We know that climate change is an important issue for consumers,” said Brian Perkins, Global VP, Budweiser, blogging from Davos. “However, they aren’t sure how their everyday actions can make a difference. The renewable electricity symbol enables consumers to make smarter everyday choices that can have a positive, meaningful impact.”
Peter Lacy, Global Managing Director of Growth, Strategy & Sustainability, Accenture, added: “We’re proud to work with Budweiser on this innovative ambition. We know that consumers are key to a sustainable economy and we encourage other consumer goods brands to celebrate their own journeys to renewable electricity.”
AB InBev joined RE100 in March 2017, when the brewer also signed a major power purchase agreement in Mexico, home to its largest brewery. This features in RE100’s new Progress and Insights Report, which shows a rise in companies signing power purchase agreements in 2016-17. AB InBev expects to obtain 75%-85% of its total purchased electricity this way.
The report also provides insight into emerging trends in corporate sourcing of renewables around the world, with 122 RE100 members operating in 122 countries averaging 1.3 times more renewables in their electricity mix than the global rate of renewable electricity use.
RE100 members have a collective revenue of over US$2.75 trillion and operations spanning six continents. Together they represent over 159TWh of demand for renewable electricity – more than enough to power Malaysia, New York State or Poland, and equivalent to the 24th largest electricity demand of all countries.
Specific findings in the report include:
25 members had reached 100% renewable electricity by the end of 2016, with Autodesk, Elopak, Interface, Marks and Spencer andSkyreaching this goal during 2016, while Equinix and Kingspansurpassed their interim targets during the same year;
The biggest achievers in 2016 included Bank of America, Astra Zeneca and Coca Cola Enterprises Inc., whose share of renewable electricity increased more than threefold;
Thanks to falling costs of renewable energy technology, there is a notable shift away from renewable energy attribute certificates towards direct sourcing of renewables – meaning that increasingly, members are directly growing renewable energy capacity. The proportion of renewable electricity being sourced via power purchase agreements grew fourfold in 2016, while the quantity of electricity sourced from onsite generation increased x15 (via supplier-owned projects) and x9 (via member-owned projects);
88% of respondents cited the compelling economic case for renewable electricity as a major driver – with 30 out of 74 reporting that renewable electricity was either cost competitive or delivered significant savings on energy bills;
Policy barriers represent the most common challenge for RE100 companies, alongside a lack of availability of suitable contracts or certificates in some markets.
Helen Clarkson, Chief Executive Officer, The Climate Group, said: “I’d like to congratulate every RE100 member accelerating the roll-out of renewable energy through their investment decisions. Their leadership is vital for overcoming policy challenges, shifting global markets, and inspiring many more companies to reap the economic benefits of renewable electricity. Rapidly growing demand from world-leading RE100 companies – and increasingly their suppliers and peers – means governments can confidently look to ratchet up targets in 2020 for slashing greenhouse emissions, to deliver on the Paris Agreement.”
Paul Simpson, Chief Executive Officer, CDP, who has blogged on renewable energy becoming the new normal for businesses, said: “CDP data shows a jump in renewable energy procurement and that motivations are not only environmental but economic. With nearly 90% of companies driven by the economic case for renewables, this demonstrates a fast approaching tipping point in the transition to a zero-carbon economy. These companies prove that energy is becoming a board level issue across the globe and sustainability is essential for future business security. Now, it’s time to tip the balance and make 100% renewable the new normal.”
The report also shows key findings by region:
In Europe, renewable energy has been the main source of electricity for RE100 members for the second year running. However, the lucrative PPA market is largely untapped; EU policy makers have an opportunity unlock its full potential through the next phase of the Renewable Energy Directive;
In the US, we have seen a major increase in the use of PPAs by RE100 members, with continued momentum on renewable electricity sourcing by major businesses, despite political uncertainty;
In India, the amount of renewable electricity consumed by our members has more than tripled, thanks to falling costs. The diversity of ways in which companies are sourcing renewables has also increased.
The leading global food company Danone is targeting 100% renewable electricity by 2030 (50% by 2020). In September last year the company revealed its new evian bottling site in France, the largest food production site to achieve carbon neutrality and completely powered by renewable electricity.
Katharina Stenholm, Senior Vice President and Chief Cycles and Procurement Officer, Danone, said: "The transition to renewable electricity is a key lever to help Danone strengthen efficiency and achieve our commitment to being carbon neutral by 2050. Our first milestone will be to reach 50% of renewable electricity by 2020. We are therefore delighted to join the RE100 initiative. We look forward to working with other companies to show that green energy is good for the environment and good for business."
British consumer goods group Reckitt Benckiser Group plc – which owns ‘Powerbrands’ such as Durex, Air Wick and Dettol – has also committed to sourcing 100% renewable electricity by 2030.
Hatsun Agro Products Ltd, India’s largest private dairy, has committed to a 2032 target. Already sourcing over 80% of its global electricity consumption from renewable sources, the company aims to reach 100% by investing in solar and wind energy and converting diesel generators into lithium storage batteries for maximising its use of renewable power.
RG Chandramogan, Chairman and Managing Director, Hatsun Agro Products Ltd, said: “Our mission to leave the world in a better place for future generations is at the heart of our business strategy. That’s why we’ve joined the global RE100 campaign alongside other forward-thinking companies, in our commitment to source 100% renewable electricity – by 2032. Thanks to our investments in wind and solar power, we’re already more than 80% renewable. We hope that many other businesses follow suit.”
As a new RE100 report shows an ever-growing number of leading multinationals are progressing towards 100% renewable electricity goals, Paul Simpson, CEO, CDP – which partners with The Climate Group on RE100 – blogs on the mainstreaming of renewables.
2017 was a stellar year for climate action. Despite a climate-sceptic administration in the US, I’m continually inspired to see that other national governments, cities, states and businesses from around the world have taken huge steps to reduce their carbon emissions.
And nowhere more so than in their commitment to renewable power.
This week sees the launch of the latest RE100 progress report, showing how more companies than ever are going 100% renewable, increasingly driven by economic benefits.
CDP is a founding partner of RE100, together with The Climate Group, and the global platform for environmental disclosure, insight and action for investors, companies, cities, states and regions. RE100 is one of the key corporate leadership initiatives promoted by We Mean Business.
Today, awareness, disclosure and management of environmental risk is mainstreaming around the world. In 2017, more than 6,300 companies with some 55% of global market capitalization disclosed environmental data through CDP, at the request of over 800 investors with combined assets of US$100 trillion.
We believe insight is crucial to environmental action. And RE100 is a great example of this in practice. Our team helps companies reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and transition to renewable electricity, through knowledge-sharing, reporting and data insights. We guide the business world to build clean energy into their strategic planning and implement this on the ground.
CDP’s 2017 climate analysis found that since 2016, there’s been a 23% jump in companies with renewable electricity consumption targets, and a 36% surge in those with targets to generate their own renewable power.
In my view, progress has been more than impressive: the latest data shows that RE100 members, who together use as much power as Poland, are sourcing 32% of their electricity from renewables with a clear commitment to get to 100% as soon as possible.
We’re seeing some companies storming ahead: Including recent announcements from Google, Wells Fargo and the LEGO Group, 28 members now run entirely on renewable power. In 2016, we saw Autodesk, Elopak, Interface, Marks & Spencer and Sky join companies like Microsoft and Starbucks in meeting their 100% goal.
With new commitments from Danone, Reckitt Benckiser Group, and Hatsun Agro Products Ltd, RE100 now brings together 122 of the world’s pioneering companies, including many of CDP’s A Listers, that have pledged to source 100% of their global electricity use from renewables. And membership is growing fast: by an average two major corporations per month.
Going green makes business sense
The new RE100 report shows that almost all RE100 members are motivated by the need to slash their greenhouse gas emissions; 88% of companies responding to our survey say they are also motivated by the economics of renewable energy.
Procuring renewable electricity is one of the most effective ways to cut emissions. And 41% of respondents – including retailer H&M – report that switching to renewable electricity has already led to savings on their energy bills.
One of the most impressive examples is from Telefonica. It has forecast that switching to renewable power will save 6% of its operational costs by 2020 – and up to 26% by 2030. Meanwhile, companies from Google and Microsoft to Infosys all say that renewable electricity provides better cost stability.
And as costs continue to plummet, we’re seeing companies find huge economic opportunities from going green. Not only for the businesses themselves, but renewable energy companies and national governments too; for example, Solar City estimates that Walmart’s commitment to solar created 9,000 construction jobs in the US.
Collective action to transform the economy
It’s clear to see that progress made by RE100 members shows just how quickly the sustainable revolution can happen; driving both emissions reductions and contributing to economic development.
Operating in 122 countries, RE100 companies have a global reach with rapid uptake of renewables being seen in emerging economies, such as India and China, where corporate giants like Infosys and Tata Motors are leading the charge.
On top of this, some 38% of RE100 companies are now ‘going beyond’ their own operations to work with suppliers to drive the uptake of renewable electricity through their supply chain. Where they lead, others will follow.
They are rewriting the rulebook for renewable energy purchasing and supercharging the renewable energy market: whether directly installing capacity, signing power purchase agreements or buying renewable energy certificates.
Ramping up the transition in 2018
CDP holds the most comprehensive set of self-reported corporate, city, state and region climate data globally. We’re seeing a global shift in how the world is being powered. RE100 sets the baseline for corporate action on energy, and will continue to guide the global economy’s most high-impact companies in years to come.
These companies prove that sustainability is compatible with healthy bottom lines today, while being essential for future business security. Our hope is that these companies will inspire governments and the broader business community to follow their lead.
Now, it’s time to tip the balance and make 100% renewable the new normal. Here at CDP, we believe this starts with disclosure and will ultimately end with a net zero carbon power grid.
Nike will soon achieve more than half of its global RE100 commitment by sourcing 100% renewable electricity across North America, the company has announced.
Nike has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Avangrid Renewables, a wind contract for 86 megawatts of wind power at the Karankawa Wind Farm in Texas, producing roughly 3,500 Gigawatt hours (GWh) of renewable electricity.
“This is fantastic leadership from Nike,” commented Helen Clarkson, Chief Executive Officer, The Climate Group. “It shows how businesses can shift global electricity markets in favor of renewables as the cost of technology plummets. Never was there a better time to ‘Just Do It’.”
Power to the wind
Nike has now in place two PPAs with Avangrid Renewables, one of the leading providers of clean, renewable wind power in the US, as part of the Iberdrola Group. Nike joined RE100 in 2015, pledging to source all of its electricity from renewable sources of energy by 2025.
“At Nike, we have a responsibility to safeguard our athletes, drive business growth, and protect the planet against the impacts of climate change,” said Cyrus Wadia, Vice President, Sustainable Business & Innovation.
“Our partnership with Avangrid Renewables will help us reach 100% renewable energy across North America - more than half way towards our goal. We remain committed to working with other businesses, industries, and policy makers to join the transition to a low-carbon growth economy.”
The company’s purchase commitment of the energy produced through both PPAs will generate over 5,000 GWh of renewable electricity, the equivalent of powering more than 400,000 average American households with carbon free energy – or the equivalent of taking nearly 800,000 vehicles off the road for one year.
Nike already sources renewable energy through on-site generation at some of its largest facilities, including the company’s European Logistics Campus in Belgium and the China Logistics Center in Taicang.
The corporation is also working on the climate impact of its contracted factories, supporting and encouraging them to use clean-energy solutions. At the same time, it also focuses on driving innovation in materials and new manufacturing processes to reduce its environmental impact.
Congratulations to tech giant Google after recently announcing that it is has reached 100% renewable power. Google joined RE100 two years ago with the interim goal of tripling its renewable energy purchasing by 2025. Thanks to the falling cost of wind and solar power, and stability of cost provided via power purchase agreements, Google has made fast progress. Carlsberg Group is also making forward steps, now running Sweden’s first big brewery to be operating on 100% renewable power.
RE100 - BRC wind consortium webinar
50 people attended a webinar hosted by RE100 and the Business Renewables Center, with speakers from Royal DSM and Royal Philips. The companies partnered with AkzoNobel and Google on a consortium in the Netherlands to jointly sign Power Purchase Agreements with large wind projects.
Peer-to-peer learning with Infosys
Infosys has presented its renewable electricity sourcing strategy on a RE100 webinar. Deepan Prakash Devadoss, Senior Associate Manager, Green Initiatives shared the company’s progress to date, on track to source 45% of its electricity from renewable sources before the end of this year.
Dates for your diaries
January 15, 2018:RE100 markets & policy webinar: Introduction of the Taiwan Renewable Energy Certificate” (T-REC) mechanism. Yen-Lin Chen, Chief Research Fellow at Taiwan Institute of Economic Research will present new voluntary renewable energy certification implementation regulations and the T-REC trading guidelines.
January 22, 2018: RE100 & BRC webinar on renewables and energy optimization for commercial buildings. RMI's Portfolio Energy Optimization (PEO) team has developed tools for companies who own or rent commercial buildings to invest in on-site solar, energy efficiency and energy storage. This can help many RE100 members with offices or warehouses to get closer to their 100% goal in the US.
January 29, 2018: Supply chains workshop, London – building on our recent Going Beyond report, and supply chain workshop at RE-Source, we will be inviting RE100 members to a practical, outcomes-oriented workshop for leaders looking to make significant progress integrating renewable electricity into the supply chain.
In addition to Schneider Electric joining RE100 and EP100, another giant French company, EDF Group has joined EV100 to transition to electric transport by 2030. The three campaigns, led by The Climate Group, are designed to propel corporate action on energy and climate change to accelerate a zero-emissions economy. For more on this, read a blog by Mike Peirce, Corporate Partnerships Director at The Climate Group.
As the post-2020 Renewable Energy Directive progresses through European institutions with encouraging outcomes at the Parliament, Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100, The Climate Group, blogs on a major business call for supportive EU policy to empower companies looking to source more of their electricity from renewables.
At this week’s One Planet Summit in Paris, the heads of 15 Member States of the EU came together to celebrate those in the private sector that are taking concrete action to accelerate a low carbon future. At next week’s Energy Council, those same countries will be discussing a Directive proposal that - if made more ambitious - could enable more businesses to make large scale investments in renewable power, reduce emissions and gain greater control over electricity costs.
Increasingly, companies are realising that renewable electricity makes long-term business sense. They are making ambitious commitments and are actively switching to renewable sources – rather than waiting for the electricity they buy from the grid to be clean.
But European countries need to seize the opportunity to unlock far greater corporate investment in renewable electricity, and deliver on their climate commitments, by ensuring that the forthcoming Renewable Energy Directive (REDII) enables engagement in corporate renewable Power Purchase Agreements across Europe.
Our RE100 members are clear: they are not looking for subsidies. Our latest round of reporting, to be published in early 2018, will show that the technology is ready and is cost effective, and what companies need is a clear and stable framework that empowers them to source renewable electricity in an open, market-based, cost-efficient, transparent, and traceable way.
This is why, earlier this year, we set up the RE-Source Platform with our partners WBCSD, Solar Power Europe and WindEurope. This multi-stakeholder platform aims to bring together corporate buyers and sellers of electricity, coordinate activities to promote a better framework for clean energy sourcing in Europe, and unlock the potential of this new and promising financing stream for renewables.
Today, 11 RE100 members, along with utilities and renewable electricity suppliers, have written to Energy Ministers of the European Union, asking them to address some of these barriers ahead of the forthcoming Energy Council meeting, when the post-2020 Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) will be discussed. Getting this Directive right provides a once in a decade opportunity to unlock the potential of corporate sourcing of renewable electricity that, outside of RE100 membership, remains largely untapped in Europe.
RE100 members BT Group, Corbion, Facebook, Google, IKEA Group, M&S, Microsoft, Novo Nordisk, Royal DSM, Royal Philips, Unilever and Vestas are calling on EU Energy Ministers to adopt more ambitious targets on renewable energy and to lift regulatory barriers to corporate renewable Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs).
Specifically, corporate renewable PPAs should be made easier and more widely available across Europe. They enable large energy consumers to source clean power at a competitive price, while providing more certainty to renewable electricity developers.
The latest available data from our membership shows that PPAs are an increasingly popular means of sourcing renewable electricity. This is in line with the global trends identified by Bloomberg New Energy Finance for the last couple of years, with record capacity signed in the US (2015) and in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific (2016). The 2017 numbers are not finalised yet, but the forecast looks promising.
In 2016, RE100 companies sourced 4.8 TWh of renewable power through PPAs. In the same year, four of our members (AkzoNobel, Royal DSM, Google and Royal Philips) formed a consortium in the Netherlands to jointly negotiate a wind PPA, enabling the construction of two new wind parks accounting for almost 4% of the total wind capacity installed nationwide, and stable long-term costs for the four companies. In November this year, Microsoft signed the largest ever corporate renewable PPA in Europe, with a 180 MW agreement for wind power, also in the Netherlands. Mars, BT and HSBC also have PPAs for wind power in the UK.
But progress in Europe remains constrained to the small number of countries where the policy environment is the most supportive (Ireland, UK, Sweden Norway and the Netherlands). Elsewhere in Europe, unnecessary policy barriers prevent companies from contributing to national renewable energy targets and developing innovative business models.
That is why 11 RE100 members are asking Energy Ministers to ensure that the RED II requires Member States to remove regulatory barriers to the development of corporate renewable PPAs. This includes making sure that green electricity producers can retain Guarantees of Origins, an essential part of corporate PPAs as it enables buyers to trace where their electricity comes from and to publicly make credible claims.
Moreover, those 11 RE100 members back a strong renewable energy target of at least 35% by 2030. This level of ambition reflects the commitments made by European countries under the Paris Agreement to reduce emissions, and would send a strong signal to the market.
President Macron of France and organiser of the One Planet Summit is clear on the sense of urgency: “We are not moving quick enough. We all need to act”. The world’s most influential companies are already leading the way through RE100 – let’s empower many thousands more to do the same.
Already a leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, Schneider Electric has become the latest big player to sign up to The Climate Group’s and CDP's RE100 campaign, with a commitment to sourcing 100% renewable electricity across its global operations by 2030 (80% by 2020).
Schneider Electric is also doubling its energy productivity by 2030 (2005 baseline) through EP100, a sibling campaign also led by The Climate Group, in partnership with the Alliance to Save Energy.
The new commitments send a strong signal to governments meeting in Paris for the One Planet Summit: two years on from the adoption of the historic Paris Agreement, businesses are stepping up their contribution to its implementation.
“Joining RE100 and EP100 represents a smart business decision for Schneider Electric, said Helen Clarkson, Chief Executive Officer, The Climate Group.
"These commitments will help the company to deliver on its wider climate ambition to become carbon neutral by 2030. Doubling energy productivity will help it to use energy as economically as possible while making the transition to renewables, which are themselves cost-competitive in many markets."
She added, "I welcome the powerful signal Schneider Electric is sending to peers, investors and governments, to accelerate the transition to a zero-emissions economy.”
Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Chairman and CEO, Schneider Electric, said, “When it comes to the climate, I’m neither an optimist nor a pessimist, I’m an activist. Prosperity and energy are intertwined. For Schneider Electric, contributing to the process of achieving carbon neutrality is an ambitious and productive challenge."
He continued: "Joining The Climate Group’s EP100 and RE100 initiatives is a demonstration of how consumers and business can be empowered to ensure the affordability, resilience, sustainability, and security of the energy that they consume.”
Plans in the pipeline
Schneider Electric aims to transition to 100% renewable power through a wide range of renewable electricity sources at more than 1,000 sites in multiple countries around the world. Its plans include on-site projects such as geothermal and solar energy, off-site Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) for wind and solar power, and renewable electricity certificates and green tariffs.
The company has already reduced its energy consumption by 10% every three years for the past decade. Going forward, Schneider Electric plans to double its energy productivity partly through use of its own technical solutions, such as EcoStruxure™, an Internet-of-things (IoT)-enabled smart technology.
Emmanuel Lagarrigue, Chief Strategy Officer and Executive Vice President at Schneider Electric, elaorated: “We are in a new world of energy that is becoming more electric, more decarbonized, more decentralized, and more digital. Our mission at Schneider Electric is to supply the technologies that permit, drive and catalyze the transition to a new world of energy.
"The commitments we have made today in joining RE100 and EP100 to source 100% renewable electricity and reflecting on the doubling of our energy productivity are a demonstration of how consumers and business can be empowered to ensure the affordability, resilience, sustainability, and security of the energy that they consume.”
Wider business action
Ahead of the One Planet Summit, Schneider Electric is one of 89 French companies, representing an overall turnover of €1,500 billion euros and six million jobs worldwide, that have signed the 2017 French Business Climate Pledge, affirming “the need to collectively change course, in order to bring about a drastic reduction of global greenhouse (GHG) emissions”. The pledge includes a call for better carbon pricing.
Meanwhile, French utility EDF Group has committed to transitioning to electric vehicles by 2030 through EV100, The Climate Group's recently launched initiative aiming to make electric transport “the new normal”. Together, The Cimate Group's business campaigns RE100 (renewable electricity), EP100 (energy productivity) and EV100 (electric transport), are designed to accelerate the transition to a zero-emissions economy.
Want to know more? Read our interview with Xavier Houot, SVP Global Safety, Environment, Real Estate, Schneider Electric.
COP23 showcases the best of business climate action
RE100 had a strong presence at COP23. We facilitated speaking slots for Mars, Microsoft, Philips Lighting and Ricoh, and announced HSBC, Mace and Organic Valley as new members. We also promoted progress updates, with Wells Fargo reaching 100% renewable power, DSM announcing it would soon be 40% renewable in the US, and Microsoft pledging to cut its carbon emissions by 75% by 2030. The Climate Group’s Mike Peirce shared his thoughts on how leading businesses are shaping a cleaner economy through RE100 and its sibling campaigns EV100 (electric vehicles) and EP100 (energy productivity).
Why a joined-up approach to reducing emissions makes business sense
Founding RE100 member Swiss Re blogged about the millions of dollars it is saving annually through renewable power and The Climate Group's energy productivity campaign EP100, while RE100 member Dalmia Cementannounced at COP23 that it was already almost half way to meeting its EP100 goal.
New guidance to help companies engage suppliers
We launched new RE100 guidance to help companies to integrate renewable electricity into their supply chains. This was welcomed by Apple’s Lisa Jackson, who was speaking to Washington Post Live. Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100, blogged on how members such as Apple, BT Group, IKEA,Mars and Walmart are already leaders in this area, and reflected on the need for further action.
Influencing EU Policy
Ahead of key discussions at the Council of the European Union in December, we recently became a founding partner of the new RE-Source platform to promote a better framework for renewable energy sourcing at EU and national level.
Seminar held in Japan on RE100
RE100 members Ricoh, Sekisui House and Unilever spoke at a seminar held by Japan-CLP in Tokyo, Japan, attended by more than 100 people including corporate energy buyers and sellers. The seminar raised awareness of RE100, shared best practice, and discussed current global renewable energy trends including falling costs.
Pilot scheme to be launched in China
China announced it will drastically curb curtailment in efforts to achieve 15% renewable energy in its total energy mix by 2020 and 20% by 2030. It will also launch a pilot scheme from February 2018, under which distributed power generators will be incentivised to trade directly with consumers or power selling companies. For information contact Li Yin, LYin@theclimategroup.org.
Dates for your diaries
November 24, 2017:RE100 peer-to-peer learning webinar with Infosys - Deepan Prakash Devadoss, Senior Associate Manager, Green Initiatives at Infosys will present the company's renewable electricity sourcing strategy.
December 7, 2017: RE100-BRC webinar with the Dutch wind consortium - Four RE100 and BRC members, AkzoNobel, Google, Royal DSM, and Royal Philips, have set up a consortium in the Netherlands to jointly sign Power Purchase Agreements with large wind projects. Speakers from these four companies will share their story and tip for executing successful aggregation deals.
December 12, 2018: One Planet Summit, Paris, France - Two years on from the conclusion of the Paris Agreement, French President Emmanuel Macron will hold a summit on climate mobilisation.
January 23-26, 2018: The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting will see the launch of the RE100 Annual Report.
Swiss Re – a world leading reinsurer and founding member of RE100 – is going above and beyond its ambitious climate action commitments. In this blog, Lasse Wallquist, Swiss Re’s Senior Environmental Management Specialist, addresses the business case for becoming more energy productive and for switching to 100% renewable power.
At Swiss Re, we’re in the business of calculating risk. We believe that by joining RE100 and EP100, we’ve made a decision to future-proof our operations against the costs of climate change down the road. In terms of emissions reduction, our strategy is to "do our best and compensate the rest". The first step of doing our best is increasing our energy productivity; a constant goal which sits at the heart of our Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Neutral Programme.
We know that transitioning to 100% renewable power is an essential outcome that we need to deliver on. But, for us, it wouldn’t be sensible to ‘go renewable’ without ensuring we optimize our energy system first.
Committed to energy productivity
Energy productivity has always been at the forefront of our emissions reduction transition, and so far, our annual energy costs have dropped by more than US$10 million. Our commitment has been to continuously improve our energy productivity by 2% per year, and at the end of 2016, our energy productivity was halved, compared to 2005. While we’ve reached our EP100 commitment earlier than expected, the campaign continues to support us in creating awareness around ways to increase energy productivity while decreasing our energy costs and our carbon footprint.
We’ve hit our EP100 target already by, for example, decommissioning existing office buildings and moving into more energy efficient workspaces. Our new "Swiss Re Next" headquarters in Zurich has an energy productivity rate per workplace that is 80% higher compared to the former building.
Top management of many companies—due to the nature of their business—are not aware of the cost of their electricity bills. By failing to consider this crucial area of their operations, companies not only miss out on the opportunity to significantly reduce their own energy costs, but they also miss the chance to make lasting changes for a greener tomorrow. As a financial services company, energy productivity might not seem like an obvious objective for our management, but EP100 has helped us in creating awareness of energy productivity and educating our teams about opportunities to do more.
Walking the talk on renewables
In the context of Swiss Re's strong record on climate action, going 100% renewable is an important milestone in how we "walk the talk". It helps us to illustrate our concrete efforts for our customers, our employees, and the wider public, whose enthusiasm for our efforts has been remarkable. We started sourcing renewable power at four European locations in 2005, and expanded to 25 locations across Asia, Europe, North America and Oceania by 2013. Today, I’m proud to say that 84% of the power Swiss Re consumes comes from renewable sources. RE100 continues to provide a great platform for companies to learn from each other—to exchange best practices and to cooperate on concrete RE projects.
To reach our RE100 goal, we believe that carbon emissions should be avoided directly at the source whenever possible, and to this end, we believe strongly in investing in on-site renewables. It just makes sense, both environmentally and economically.
We’re financing our own solar power production in Armonk, New York, where we’ve invested about US$7 million into our largest solar project so far—a 2MW solar power plant in operation at Swiss Re Americas' headquarters. The plant has the capacity to generate more than 60% of the campus' power requirements and a fifth of our total US consumption. Alongside its environmental merit, the Armonk solar project also has an attractive payback of less than seven years.
We’ve also started installing solar energy facilities on the rooftops of Swiss Re offices in Switzerland, Italy, and the UK. In Bangalore, India, we are just about to complete a 400kW installation with a payback of less than five years. With a life expectancy of over 25 years, we know that our solar power plants will not only help us generate clean, sustainable power, but will also do so in a way that will save Swiss Re millions of dollars in the coming decades.
Sharing our experiences
By 2020, we will source 100% of our power from renewable sources, while also ensuring that we use that power in the most productive way possible. We are also continually engaging with other companies to join us in the direct sourcing of green power and sharing our experiences and best practices through platforms like RE100 and EP100. On the asset management side we avoid investments in companies that generate 30% or more of their revenues from thermal coal mining. In our re-/insurance business we have decided to limit our support for activities related to thermal coal utilities and thermal coal mining.
We hope that, by 2020, even more companies will have committed to energy productivity and renewables. Why wouldn’t they? We know that our strategy benefits the bottom line, increases the resilience of our energy infrastructure and let’s our employees and customers know that we are committed to making the world a cleaner, greener place to live. Simply put, renewables and energy productivity innovation are reaching a point of normalcy that we can’t—and won’t—turn back from.
Following a call to action to companies by The Climate Group’s CEO Helen Clarkson earlier this year, the Head of RE100, Sam Kimmins, blogs on the release of new guidance for businesses looking to implement a renewable electricity program throughout their supply chain.
Bold targets like 100% renewable energy are fast becoming the norm for many companies, with RE100 members at the leading edge through commitments to 100% renewable power.
This week, we announced our 116th RE100 member. Together, these 116 companies represent over 154 TWh/yr of renewable electricity demand annually, which is more than enough to supply Poland, Malaysia, or New York State.
To date, companies have mostly focused on addressing the carbon footprint of their own operations. But on reaching our 100-member milestone for RE100 in July this year, our CEO invited companies to “go one step further”.
RE100 members are starting to look beyond the RE100 commitment, to also encourage the uptake of renewable electricity within Tier 1 of their supply chains. This makes sense for leading companies, who recognize that it is their responsibility to minimize the climate impacts of the goods and services supporting their businesses.
It also makes sense for accelerating change in our global electricity system. According to CDP, indirect emissions from supply chains are typically four times greater than an organization’s direct operational emissions. Extending renewable electricity purchasing into the supply chain therefore has the potential to create a multiplier effect in demand and investment.
The potential extends well beyond the simple arithmetic of additional demand. The supply chains of RE100 members stretch across the world, and represent TWh-scale electricity demand in countries such as Vietnam, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Laos, where direct demand from our members is low. Adoption of renewable electricity by supply chain companies in these regions can send a strong signal to markets and policymakers in countries where coal currently features strongly in national growth plans.
By partnering with suppliers, companies can open opportunities for collaboration, aggregation of demand, increased purchasing power and knowledge sharing between different companies, sectors and parts of the supply chain.
“By raising awareness of the positive aspects of supply chain action, it is possible to deliver tangible, meaningful results for the bottom line and the planet.”
Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary, UNFCCC
Challenges and opportunities
Whilst the opportunity is huge, this is a new discipline and the ‘rulebook’ is yet to be written. Supply chains are often complex and difficult to navigate – and the bigger the company, the more this tends to be the case. Encouraging and empowering the supply chain of a large company is not simply a case of dictating or flicking a switch.
We have gathered the experiences and guidance of three leaders in our network – Apple, BT Group and IKEA Group – in a new RE100 report. We aim to show you the challenges that each of these face in rolling out renewable electricity across their supply chains, and how they are overcoming these challenges and demonstrating what is possible.
“We are well on our way to hitting 100% renewable worldwide,” said Robert Williams, Head of Energy Supply, BT Group. “Going at this alone is not an option - the extensive knowledge and experience we’ve acquired is being used to help our partners and suppliers on their own carbon reduction journeys.”
These companies are engaging their supply chains in renewables because they know that it makes long-term business sense. The technology is available, unsubsidized costs are competitive in many parts of the world, and they are ready to invest at scale.
And they’re not the only ones moving on this. In September, Mars, Inc. announced it will invest US$1 billion to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from its supply chain including through renewable power. The majority of Mars’ emissions – approximately 65% – come from its supply chain, which includes about one million employees.
And earlier this year, Walmart launched ‘Project Gigaton’, which asks suppliers to reduce GHG emissions by one gigaton – the equivalent of taking more than 211 million passenger vehicles off US roads for a year. We are now seeing a growing number of Walmart suppliers switch to renewable power.
If all of the companies in our RE100 network adopt a similarly strong approach, and influence others to do the same, we can create massive change closer to the speed commensurate with the challenge of delivering on the Paris Agreement and keeping global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius.
Knowledge sharing between companies, and between companies and their suppliers, will help many to overcome shared challenges, reduce duplication of effort, and accelerate the pace of change.
Following a successful workshop with RE100 members at RE-Source in Brussels in October, we will be actively assisting this process over the coming months with our partners in CDP Supply Chain and REBA.
In the meantime, whether you’re a Supply Chain Manager, Head of Energy Procurement, or CFO, there are things you can do to start engaging your suppliers. We invite businesses around the globe to read our RE100 report and digest the following top tips:
RE100 top tips
1. Build a comprehensive analysis of your supply chain electricity consumption and the renewable electricity potential for the major suppliers within it.
2. Set ambitious and fact-based public targets for your supply chain.
3. Ensure your organization is fully aligned behind ambitious targets, with support from key procurement decision makers.
4. Be prepared to invest sufficient resources in supporting suppliers to move to renewables.
5. Look for leaders in your supply chain to demonstrate what is possible.
6. Pick the right incentives for suppliers.
7. Build in the right kinds of support for your suppliers to be successful.
8. Be prepared to innovate, and collaborate with other companies with ambitious supply chain targets to overcome shared barriers
9. Learn from pioneer companies and look for collaboration opportunities.
10. Report on progress and on challenges related to supply chain targets.
In the words of Tim Cook, CEO, Apple, “We believe passionately in leaving the world better than we found it and hope that many other suppliers, partners and other companies join us in this important effort.”