• Starbucks drives innovation to overcome barriers to renewable power

    Global coffee company Starbucks has committed to a new long-term renewable electricity tariff in its home state of Washington, US, to ensure its local facilities are powered by renewable energy.

    The new, cost-competitive ‘Green Direct’ tariff will see the construction of a new wind farm in Washington State to provide clean electricity to 116 Starbucks stores and the company’s roasting facility in Kent, Wash.

    It is a direct result of collaboration between large energy users in the state like Starbucks and local utility Puget Sound Energy, through the Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles, and sets an example to companies nationwide relying on a local utility to move forward on renewable energy.

    Patrick Leonard, Manager, Energy & Resource Management, Starbucks, said: “Green Direct is a way Starbucks can select what type of energy we buy, rather than that being predetermined by the utility, so we can put the money we spend on electricity into renewable energy projects.”

    “This is actually pouring clean, green energy into the same grid that these stores are connected to,” added Rebecca Zimmer, Starbucks’ Global Director of Environment. “This represents a direct investment that’s locally relevant and provides an innovative energy purchasing model we hope to see in other communities.”

    In 2015, Starbucks joined RE100, a global initiative of influential businesses committed to 100% renewable power, led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP. By the following year, the company was buying renewable electricity equivalent to 100% of its global operations.

    Starbucks has since been taking the strategic approach of reducing its reliance on purchasing renewable electricity certificates, by diversifying its renewable electricity supply. This makes business sense; the new Green Direct tariff will provide protection against market volatility and is expected to generate cost savings based on analysis by Starbucks Treasury and Facilities departments.

    In addition to the new tariff, Starbucks is announcing its first solar power investment, a 47 megawatt solar farm in North Carolina, which will generate enough renewable electricity to power 600 company stores. It reflects the company’s move away from energy-offset purchases only, in favor of direct engagement with the energy industry.

    “The corporate sector is driving the conversation at the moment, which is a very interesting dynamic,” said Patrick Leonard. “We’re happy to partner with utilities to do this but we now also have options to engage with projects directly. For a company like Starbucks and some of the tech companies that use a lot of energy, to be able to source their needs in a positive way is a win-win. It’s also a way we can demonstrate our values.”

    Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100, The Climate Group, praised the company for its leadership. “RE100 members like Starbucks are going beyond simply meeting a target,” he said, “they are re-writing the rulebook for energy purchasing.” 

    He continued: “Starbucks is demonstrating the compelling business case for renewable electricity. Their dynamic, collaborative and innovative approach is setting an example to businesses and utilities across America, while showing millions of customers that Starbucks is serious about slowing climate change.”

    Daniel T. Schwartz, Director of the University of Washington’s Clean Energy Institute, said a commitment to renewable energy by major companies like Starbucks will ultimately impact the cost of clean electricity across the board: “Everyone responsible for building a clean energy system – from the people that permit the project to the engineers and construction labor that builds it – learn from each project, so the more renewable energy generation facilities that get built in the US., the cheaper they get for everyone else to buy and use.”

    Globally, equipment prices for solar photovoltaic technology fell by 80% between 2009 and 2015, while a recent REN21 report shows that renewable energy could be cheaper than all fossil fuels within the next 10 years.

  • Newsletter: member updates, China market and speaking opportunities


    World's biggest brewer joins RE100

    Anheuser-Busch InBev has joined RE100, raising the total renewable electricity demand of RE100 members to ~113 TWh/yr. Coverage in USA Today, New York Times and others highlights the business case for renewables.

    Kingspan surpasses renewable energy goal

    Congratulations to Kingspan for exceeding its interim goal of sourcing 50% renewable energy globally in 2016. The company aims to achieve net zero energy by 2020, including a switch to 100% renewable power by the same year.

    Technical webinar: making credible claims on renewable electricity usage

    A RE100 webinar has outlined our technical criteria and some best practice guidance on making corporate renewables claims. 


    Knowledge sharing webinar: China’s 13th Five-Year Plan – renewable energy

    More than 50 people attended a RE100 webinar providing an update on the local renewable energy landscape and opportunities for corporate sourcing of renewables through onsite generation and direct purchasing. The webinar was hosted jointly with Rocky Mountain Institute’s Business Renewables Center (BRC). 

    Going 100% renewable in Singapore

    The National Environment Agency of Singapore is looking to connect with RE100 members that have local operations, to help them work toward 100% renewable electricity goals. 


    IKEA calls for stable EU policy

    IKEA CEO Peter Agnefjäll has highlighted the need for a stable EU regulatory framework, at an event moderated by RE100. We are working with The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group to influence the ‘EU Clean Energy for All Europeans’ package.

    BT signs new wind farm deals

    BT has signed a new Power Purchase Agreement with a Scottish wind farm to help power the UK’s demand for digital services. “We hope our commitment to renewable energy will encourage more consumers and businesses to make the move towards renewable energy”, said Rob Williams, BT’s General Manager of Power Procurement.


    Facebook announces 100% renewable data center

    Facebook is to open a new data center in Nebraska, US, powered by 100% renewable electricity. Facebook partnered with Omaha Public Power District to design a special renewable energy tariff to bring wind power to the area. “It needs to be easier for companies of all kinds to access renewable energy”, said Tom Furlong, Vice President of Infrastructure. 


    April 24, 2017: RE100 markets and policy webinar; EU renewables -  RE100 Members are invited to hear the latest on EU energy policy developments, with a presentation from Jared Braslawsky, Secretary-General, RECS International.  

    May 3, 2017: RE100 reporting requirements webinar - This webinar will explain what is required by RE100 in terms of data collection from members. 

    May 23-25, 2017: FT Clean Energy Week, London, UK - The Financial Times hold three full-day conferences focusing on climate financing (May 23), the transition to low-carbon energy (May 24), and the shift to a circular economy (May 25). Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100, will be a guest speaker on May 24. 

    June 6-8, 2017– CEM8, Beijing, China – China will host the eighth Clean Energy Ministerial. On June 7, there will be a session on corporate sourcing of renewables, as well as the Under 2 Coalition's Clean Energy Forum. RE100 members will be speaking.

    September 18-24, 2017: Climate Week NYC, USThe Climate Group’s annual flagship event will gather business and government leaders to demonstrate how continued investment in clean energy will drive profitability and lead us towards a net-zero emissions economy. RE100 members will be speaking.

    Click here for the latest updates on our webinars and events.


    Are you looking for an effective, impactful way to show what RE100 is all about? Please share this short video kindly produced by CBS Ecomedia. 

  • Celebrating success: Kingspan surpasses 2016 target on the way to 100% renewable power

    In 2011 the Kingspan Group Plc set an ambitious target to become a net zero energy company by 2020, with an interim target of 50% renewable energy by 2016. Having surpassed this target, Mark Harris, Building Technology Director, blogs on the company’s achievement and plans to 2020 – including a complete transition to 100% renewable electricity as part of RE100.

    At Kingspan, our vision is to be a global leader in sustainable business and establish a leading position in providing sustainable, renewable and affordable solutions for the construction sector.

    For well over a decade we have been aware of the implications of climate change and the importance of reducing emissions. We recognized the substantial business opportunity it presents but also the significant threat to our operations.

    In Europe the regulatory requirement for all new buildings to be nearly net zero energy by 2020, as outlined by the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive in 2010, was a clear signal that we needed to take action to fully understand the energy footprint across our estate and address the carbon emissions from our facilities.

    By 2011 this evolved into an ambitious commitment to make our estate net zero energy by 2020 with a challenging interim target of achieving 50% renewable energy by 2016. Net Zero Energy (NZE), as defined for our purposes, is that our sites, over a year, are energy neutral on an aggregated basis across the Kingspan estate.

    This energy neutrality will be achieved by a combination of on-site renewable energy generation (including export to the supply grids), off-site renewable energy generation (related directly to Kingspan) and the purchase of renewable energy to balance out the use of energy from non-renewable sources.

    We are delighted to announce we have exceeded our 2016 target, entering 2017 having achieved 57% renewable energy across the Kingspan Group estate in 2016.

    We have increased our renewable energy usage more than eight-fold since setting our targets in 2011. The five-year journey to date has been a great learning experience for us.

    We began by forming a global NZE team who are responsible for delivering our ambitious 2020 goal. We also set up a process to capture energy use and carbon emissions on a monthly basis at every site across the Group. From the data we were able to identify areas for improvements which led to the development of our three step strategy ‘Save More – Generate More – Buy More’.  

    We believe that it is crucial to minimize energy use as the first step of the process and we have experienced significant energy savings from our efforts. Thanks to energy efficiency measures such as energy performance contracts, monitoring, building fabric upgrades, and plant equipment in place across multiple sites, we have reduced our overall lighting and heat cost intensity by over 30% and achieved almost a four-fold decrease in our carbon intensity.

    A key milestone for us was when our Group Headquarters in Kingscourt, Ireland achieved Net Zero Energy in 2012 through an extensive retrofit of the existing building envelope, rooftop solar PV and LED lighting system.

    Onsite renewable energy generation – both electricity and heat – is also a key priority. We have invested substantially in on-site generation across multiple sites globally – out on-site generation currently amounts to 7.6% of our total energy use, and more projects are now under construction.

    The purchase of renewable electricity is a necessary part of delivering on our 2020 ambition. Our commitment to sourcing 100% renewable electricity by the same year is how we came to join RE100 in 2014.

    We aim to procure fully certified renewable energy as far as possible. Through our NZE journey so far, and RE100 knowledge-sharing activities, we have gained a better understanding of the global renewable energy market.

    Last year this enabled us to procure all the electricity used at our manufacturing sites in North America from certified renewable sources. In fact, in 2016, the Group used 164.2 GWh of renewable electricity (accounting for 94% of our total procured electricity), which is almost a six- fold increase from 2011.

    Our positive progress in moving towards our 2020 goal has helped to protect us from the anticipated rise in energy costs over the next decade. It has enabled us to demonstrate the business case for investment in energy efficiency and renewable electricity generation to stakeholders across the building sector. It also helps to demonstrate the value proposition for our own products & solutions and highlights the benefits of upgrading existing facilities.

    As we move towards 2020 the Group will continue to expand meaning that our strategy must be flexible enough to accommodate for this across different geographies. We have a range of large scale renewable energy projects coming on stream at multiple sites over the next three years including PV, biomass, solar thermal & wind generation. We are conscious that the renewable energy landscape is evolving rapidly and we look forward to the development of innovative & legitimate options that will help us to achieve our goal. 

    To hear more about Kingspan’s 100% renewable electricity goal, read our interview with Kingspan CEO, Gene M. Murtagh.

  • World’s largest brewer commits to a 100% renewable electricity future

    The world’s largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev, has joined RE100 with a commitment to power its global operations – representing almost 6 terawatt-hours of electricity annually – with 100% renewable sources.

    Led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, RE100 brings together the world’s most influential companies demonstrating the highest level of leadership on renewable power.

    AB InBev which produces beverages including Budweiser, Beck’s and Stella Artois, is aiming to source all its purchased electricity from renewable sources by 2025, accounting for approximately 90% of its total electricity consumption worldwide.

    This will make it the largest corporate direct purchaser of renewable electricity in the global consumer goods sector, reducing the company’s operational carbon footprint by 30% – the equivalent of taking nearly 500,000 cars off the road.

    “Climate change has profound implications for our company and for the communities where we live and work,” said Carlos Brito, CEO, AB InBev.

    “Cutting back on fossil fuels is good for the environment and good for business, and we are committed to helping drive positive change. We have the opportunity to play a leading role in the battle against climate change by purchasing energy in a more sustainable way.”

    AB InBev, which acquired SABMiller in October last year, currently sources around 7% of its purchased electricity from renewable sources.

    In future, the company expects to secure 75-85% of its purchased electricity through direct Power Purchase Agreements (PPA), and has just signed its first with Iberdrola in Mexico, home to its largest brewery, in Zacatecas.

    Going renewable in Mexico

    The new agreement with Iberdrola will provide 490 gigawatt-hours of wind power per year, enabling AB InBev to use 100% renewable purchased electricity across all its production sites across Mexico. The move is expected to increase the country’s total wind and solar energy capacity by more than 5%.

    Iberdrola will build and install 220 megawatts of wind energy capacity onshore in the Mexican state of Puebla, and energy generation is expected to begin in the first half of 2019.

    AB InBev is planning to secure similar PPAs in other markets in the near future, helping to transform the energy industry in countries like Argentina, Brazil, India and South Africa. The rest of its purchased electricity will mainly come from on-site technologies such as solar panels.

    On-site fossil fuel generation currently accounts for around 10% of AB InBev’s total electricity consumption and the company will explore options for transitioning this to renewable power in the future.

    The business case

    AB InBev is demonstrating that by switching to renewable electricity, businesses across the world can contribute to a 100% renewable electricity future – not just because it is the right thing to do, but because it’s a smart business move.

    “Before long, we will see every Budweiser, Corona, and Stella Artois made with 100% renewable power”, said Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100 at The Climate Group, “and it makes business sense, with financial savings, job creation and emissions cuts on offer.

    “AB Inbev is significantly boosting demand for renewables around the world, showing just the kind of leadership we need to slow climate change and speed a low carbon economy, inspiring other companies right along the value chain.”

    Investor action

    AB InBev’s public commitment to 100% renewable power comes after RE100 partner ShareAction convened a group of investors to write to SAB Miller last year. One of those investors was Norwegian pension provider, KLP.

    “As the world's greatest purchasers and users of energy, business and industries are best positioned to lead the shift from fossil fuel to renewables and reach the ambitions set out in the Paris Agreement”, said Jeanett Bergan, Head of Responsible Investments at KLP.

    “A clear message from corporates on a shift from fossil fuel to renewables is a language investors can understand. Collaboration among investors and owners of companies to push this agenda is most effective and powerful in driving the change.”

  • Newsletter: Heathrow, energy productivity, and knowledge sharing in India & China


    Heathrow joins RE100 with 2017 goal

    Heathrow Airport has joined RE100 with a pledge to start sourcing 100% renewable electricity this year, launching a plan to become a ‘center of excellence in sustainability’. Damian Ryan, Acting CEO, The Climate Group commended Heathrow’s efforts to respond to concerns about the sector’s environmental impact. The addition of Heathrow takes the total number of RE100 members to 88.


    Land Securities to double energy productivity

    Already showing leadership on renewable power, Land Securities has joined RE100’s sister campaign EP100, with a pledge to double its energy productivity within 20 years, based on 2014 levels. Expected benefits include financial savings, increased innovation, and improved competitiveness. Pedro Faria, Technical Director, CDP said Land Securities was “positioning itself to future-proof growth”.


    Knowledge sharing webinar: India’s variable solar tariff

    The electricity tariff for industrial customers is steadily rising in India, making solar photovoltaics (PV) increasingly cost competitive. Indian companies such as Infosys, Tata Motors and Dalmia Cement are already generating solar power. On this webinar, Shailesh Telang, Program Manager at CDP India, explained the dynamics of tariff structures as they relate to solar PV, using an example from Maharashtra state. 


    Knowledge sharing webinar: In focus: China’s 13th Five-Year Plan – renewable energy

    Members are invited to attend a RE100 webinar hosted jointly with Rocky Mountain Institute’s Business Renewables Center (BRC). The webinar will offer an update on the renewable energy landscape in China, covering China’s 13th Five-Year Plan for renewable energy, recent power sector reforms, and opportunities for corporate sourcing of renewables through onsite generation and direct purchasing. Invitations to follow to members.


    March 9, 2017: 'Renewable energy and the low carbon economy', Brussels, Belgium – This breakfast event organised by IKEA Group will look at whether the EU's 'Winter Package' goes far enough to deliver the policy framework needed to enable companies to make long-term investments in clean technologies and deliver on the Paris Agreement. The discussion will be led by Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100 at The Climate Group.

    March 21-22, 2017: RECs Market Meeting 2007, Amsterdam, The Netherlands – RE100 members are invited to attend this year’s RECS Market Meeting, focusing on the demand-side of the electricity market. The event will look at the EU Renewable Energy Directive, U.S. PPA growth, tracking mechanisms, and market changes in India, the UAE and Brazil. The event is expected to draw 300 leading European renewable procurement experts. Speakers include Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100 at The Climate Group.

    March 22/23, 2017: In focus: China’s 13th Five-Year Plan – renewable energy – This RE100-BRC webinar, available in English and Mandarin, will explore China's renewable energy policy landscape, identifying recent power sector reforms and highlighting opportunities for corporate sourcing of renewables through onsite generation and purchasing. 

    June 6-8, 2017– CEM8, Beijing, China – China will host the eighth Clean Energy Ministerial, the annual meeting of energy ministers from 24 member countries and the European Union. RE100 has been invited to take part in a session on corporate sourcing of renewables. High level speaking slots will be available for RE100 members.

    For the latest updates on our webinars and events, visit

  • Land Securities takes extra step to cut carbon emissions and boost growth

    The UK’s largest listed commercial real estate company, Land Securities, has become the first property business to sign up to The Climate Group’s EP100 campaign, pledging to double its energy productivity within 20 years from 2014 levels.

    Land Securities is already committed to 100% renewable power as a member of RE100, an initiative of the world’s most influential companies led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP. The latest available data shows that the company was 98% renewable in 2015, through on-site solar photovoltaics and direct purchasing from a supplier.

    RE100 and EP100 are designed to work hand-in-hand to help leading businesses switch to renewables and use energy more productively. Following this dual energy pathway will help Land Securities to progress towards its Science-Based Target to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 compared to 2014 levels. It also makes business sense, with benefits including financial savings, increased innovation, and improved competitiveness.

    Robert Noel, Chief Executive, Land Securities, said: “Reducing energy consumption will be the primary vehicle in achieving our goals. We are very pleased to be the first property company to sign up to EP100, ensuring we will increase our energy productivity for the benefit of our customers.”

    The company is also increasing its investment in LED lighting across its retail portfolio, and is working with customers to ensure that all floor space it lets is of a minimum energy efficiency rating.

    The news was welcomed by Damian Ryan, Acting CEO, The Climate Group: “Already a leader in renewable power, it’s fantastic that Land Securities is going the extra mile by joining our energy productivity campaign. Doing more with less makes good business sense, and enables companies to reap the multiple benefits that come with transitioning to a net-zero economy.”

    Pedro Faria, Technical Director, CDP and member of the Science Based Targets initiative steering committee added: “Land Securities is showing great leadership within the global property industry. Besides ensuring it is playing a part in mitigating climate related risk, it is also positioning itself to future-proof growth as the world transitions to a low carbon economy.”

    Land Securities has already reduced the energy usage of its London office portfolio by 13% in three years, and has installed one of the largest solar arrays on a shopping center in Europe.

    In December last year, Land Securities spoke of its energy journey at a unique RE100 event held in partnership with ‘UK100’ – the UK local authority equivalent of RE100. The company said it welcomed more collaborative working between the private and public sectors to accelerate the shift to a cleaner future.


  • Newsletter: Annual Report, strengthening EU policy, and planning the year ahead


    Accelerating Change: RE100 Annual Report 2017

    Corporate sourcing of renewable electricity can be a major driver of the transition to a robust, zero-emissions economy, according to the 2017 RE100 Annual Report, published during Davos. The report also highlights the various regional approaches being taken by RE100 members progressing towards 100% renewable electricity goals, and reflects on campaign achievements over the last year. Coinciding with the launch, Danske Bank Group, Gatwick Airport Limited and Royal Philips became members of RE100, following Bankia in early January. 

    Celebrating RE100 - new video

    An innovative new video produced by CBS EcoMedia showcases RE100 and features interviews with members Hewlett-Packard Enterprise and IKEA Group. “Why are companies doing this? The cost of renewable energy is coming down, rapidly,” says Jim Walker, Co-Founder of The Climate Group. “When you are using on-site renewables, you are managing volatility in the price of your energy supply, you’re generating your own electrons and you are buying them from yourself - you don’t have to buy them at a retail price, so it’s cheaper, just makes good business sense.” Watch the 3 minute video.

    Knowledge sharing: Power Purchase Agreements

    Participants on a recent webinar hosted by the Rocky Mountain Institute’s Business Renewables Center (BRC) and RE100 heard how large companies are increasingly looking to off-site renewable energy contracts to meet their sustainability targets. The webinar looked at the BRC’s new practical tools for helping companies use Power Purchase Agreements. 


    Powering a cleaner future: RE100 and Google partner on EU energy event

    RE100 and Google have convened businesses and EU policymakers at a unique event in Brussels, to discuss how to create the right market conditions in Europe to help leading companies deliver on their commitments to 100% renewable power. Maroš Šefčovič, Vice President of Energy Union at the European Commission emphasized the importance of corporate demand in driving the energy transition. Senior speakers from RE100 members Google, IKEA Group, Nestlé and Swiss Re highlighted the business case for renewable power. The event follows on from a RE100 report calling for changes in EU energy policy to help businesses reap the benefits of renewable power in Europe.


    Tata Motors Limited: peer-to-peer learning webinar

    This RE100 peer-to-peer learning webinar enabled members to hear of Tata Motors’ experience of direct sourcing of renewable electricity via India’s Open Access mechanism and third party procurement. Abhay Pathak, Sustainability Lead at Tata Motors shared the company’s successes and challenges in sourcing renewable electricity to date, and participants gained a better understanding of the Indian renewable energy market.


    February 2017 (date TBC): RE100 markets and policy webinar, with a guest speaker from WRI - This webinar will focus on the relationship between regulatory requirements, national targets, emissions caps and voluntary renewable energy purchases in the US. 

    February 13, 2017, 4.15 - 5:30pm: ‘The Critical Role of Business for Sustainable Cities’ event at GreenBiz in Phoenix, Arizona, US - The Climate Group is collaborating with Arizona State University, WBCSD and GreenBiz on a breakout session focused on business’ role in sustainable city growth. 

    March 2017 (date TBC): RE100 webinar on variable tariff calculation for solar in India - This RE100 markets and policy webinar will cover an introduction to India’s variable tariff, understanding of its structure, a simple excel based tool to calculate it, and case studies from Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu states. 

    March 21-22, 2017: RECs Market Meeting 2007, Amsterdam, The Netherlands -This year’s RECs Market Meeting will focus on the demand-side of the electricity market. The event will look at the EU Renewable Energy Directive, US PPA growth, tracking mechanisms, and market changes in India, the UAE and Brazil. The event is expected to draw 300 leading European renewable procurement experts. Damian Ryan, Acting CEO of The Climate Group, will be speaking on behalf of RE100.

    March 2017 (date TBC): RE100 technical support webinar - credible claims - This will be another chance to join our webinar on making credible claims around renewable electricity usage, following a report by the RE100 Technical Advisory Group last year. The webinar will be aimed at companies that have joined the campaign in the last six months. 

    June 6-8, 2017– CEM8, Beijing, China - China will host the eighth Clean Energy Ministerial, the annual meeting of energy ministers from 24 member countries and the European Union. More information to follow.

    For the latest on all upcoming events, please visit the our events page.

  • Powering a cleaner future: RE100 and Google partner on EU energy event

    RE100 and Google have convened businesses and policymakers to discuss how to create the right market conditions in Europe to help leading companies deliver on their commitments to 100% renewable power.

    RE100 is a collaborative, global initiative of the world’s most influential businesses committed to 100% renewable power – led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP.

    The unique event was held at Google’s offices in Brussels, and comes as policymakers work to shape the Energy Union ‘Winter Package’, which aims to phase out coal subsidies, reduce energy use and lower carbon emissions across the EU.

    It follows a RE100 report published in November last year, backed by RE100 members BT Group, Google, IKEA Group, Royal DSM and Unilever, calling for easier access to renewable power and assurance that EU Member States will all play their part in achieving 27% renewable energy by 2030. 

    The big challenge now is how to make sure we integrate renewables better”, explained Maroš Šefčovič, the European Commission’s Energy Union Vice President, interviewed on stage by journalist Sonja van Renssen.

    “Corporate demand is absolutely key – it shows 100% renewable power is possible, and makes strong business sense”, Mr. Šefčovič continued, urging companies to communicate this message to governments.

    “If you want to go 100% renewable, it shouldn’t be tempered by administrative or technical barriers”, he added, suggesting that Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) offered a long-term solution for businesses, while Guarantees of Origin certificates also had a role to play in developing the electricity market.

    The event featured two panel discussions, bringing together a number of RE100 members, EU policymakers and investors. 

    Exploring the business case for renewable power

    Vincent Eckert, Head of Internal Environmental Management at Swiss Re was quick to point out the financial risks associated with inaction on climate change – the reason the company became a founding member of RE100. He said that as well as de-risking large renewable energy projects around the world, Swiss Re is building a large solar plant in New York state, expected to be very profitable.

    Monica Mireles Serrano, Senior Advisor of EU Environmental Policy at IKEA Group, highlighted that the company’s investment in renewables was driven by business from the outset, and that IKEA now had more wind turbines than stores.

    “Now we want to make renewables available for our customers”, Ms. Mireles Serrano said, pointing out that IKEA has switched its lighting range to LED, and is selling solar panels in several countries.

    Google’s Director of Global Infrastructure, François Sterin, said renewables were becoming increasingly affordable. The internet giant is already sourcing 2.6 gigawatts of wind and solar power globally, and has announced it will reach 100% renewable electricity this year.

    “The cost of renewables is falling so quickly it makes our first deal look expensive”, Mr. Sterin said. But he said the cost of storage still needed to come down to help develop the business case further.

    Meanwhile, Elizabeth Press, Director of Planning and Programme Support at IRENA emphasized that renewable energy has gone from a niche option to an economically and technically preferred solution. She said that supportive policies have been driving down costs through accelerated deployment, and that policy security was vital for market integration.

    Growing and developing the market

    The second panel discussion, moderated by Nick Mabey, CEO of E3G, took a closer look at the policy changes needed to ensure the EU maintains its leadership position on renewables and enables purchasing to scale effectively up to 2030.

    Jill Duggan, Director of Policy at the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) and Director of The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group, pointed to a lack of ambition by EU policymakers currently, underlining the importance of action by individual Member States.

    Luis Quiroga, Infastructure Investments at HgCapital, argued that there was a lack of long-term stability for businesses sourcing renewables, echoing earlier calls for greater policy security to take this risk away.

    Nestlé’s Head of Environmental Sustainability, Pascal Gréverath put the responsibility back on business, saying that the company joined RE100 to “send a strong signal to the political world that the private sector is ready to buy”.

    But Kathleen van Brempt, MEP (Belgium) urged progressive businesses to be vocal in their support for renewables. The Winter Package isn’t ambitious enough, she said, and companies should be lobbying policymakers to make improvements – as RE100 members have done.

    Jill Duggan, CISL added that leading businesses should be influencing their supply chains and customers to switch to renewables too.

    Audience participation

    The event audience was invited to contribute throughout. A survey of those in the room, for example, revealed that most participants worked for a company that has a 100% renewable energy goal.

    There were also questions put to the panelists from participants at the event, and also from young people online.

    How to ensure additionality in the market place was a re-occurring question, and François Sterin, Google pointed to the company’s PPAs, adding that any certificates it buys are for specific projects.

    Members of the audience also said that unclear market rules were the biggest challenge to the adoption of renewable energy. When asked about Nestlés number 1 ask of government, Pascal Gréverath said harmonization of PPA rules across the EU was the most important task ahead.

    In his closing remarks, Mike Peirce, the new Corporate Partnerships Director at The Climate Group, congratulated RE100 members on their progress on sourcing renewable power in Europe – where 50 of the 87 RE100 members are head-quartered.

    To read more about RE100’s call for EU policy changes to enable the faster deployment of renewable power, click here.

    To learn more about Google’s approach to renewable power, in a Climate TV interview with Gary Demasi, Google’s Director of Operations – Data Center Energy and Location Strategy, click here.

  • Video: leading companies make business case to go 100% renewable

    Leading global companies have confirmed the strong business case for sourcing 100% renewable electricity in the newly published RE100 Annual Report 2017.

    RE100, led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, brings together “a growing group of major, influential companies from around the world who are setting targets to go 100% renewable energy in their electricity procurement,” says Jim Walker, Co-Founder of The Climate Group.

    Growing rapidly, RE100 now has 87 members across a wide range of sectors – including globally recognized businesses like IKEA Group, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Tata Motors.

    The report shows how RE100 companies are now creating demand for approximately 107 terawatt/hour (TWh) of renewable power annually, which is around the same amount of electricity as consumed by The Netherlands.

    “Why are companies doing this? The cost of energy is coming down, rapidly,” continues Jim Walker in a video produced by CBS EcoMedia. “When you are using on-site renewables, you are managing volatility and the price of your energy supply, you are generating your own electrons and you are buying it from yourself – you don’t have to buy it at a retail price, so it’s cheaper. Just makes good business sense. Also, it’s just the right thing to do – contributing to better air quality.”

    34 RE100 members have reported that they are generating renewable energy at their facilities – with wind and solar photovoltaics clearly the most popular technologies.

    “We did a deal with a Texas wind farm,” confirms Nick Gunn, SVP, Global Corporate Services, Hewlett Packard Enterprise: “We’re procuring now 112 megawatts of power from wind farms, which is actually enough to provide enough electricity for our entire IT infrastructure.”

    “Businesses have a huge impact on the ability to inspire an energy revolution. The more companies like Hewlett Packard Enterprise demand renewable energy, the more creation of renewable energy sources there will be.

    The company has the goal of raising the use of renewable energy from its current levels of 13% globally to 40% by 2020, with the ultimate target of achieving 100%. Its strategy focuses on reducing energy consumption and increasing energy efficiency, while both generating on-site clean energy and purchasing it through agreements with off-site providers.

    IKEA Group is also heavily investing in renewable energy, having pledged US$1.13 billion for renewables and climate action globally. Lars Petersson, President & CEO, IKEA USA, proudly underlines how “right as we speak, 71% of all energy consumed at IKEA is actually produced by renewable sources – and by 2020, we will be 100%.”

    “We are doing it in many ways: we actually have production of solar power on the roofs of almost all our stores and warehouses. But we also have two windfarms – one in Hoopeston, Illinois, and one in Cameron County, Texas.”

    Amy Davidsen, North America Executive Director, The Climate Group adds: “Our hope is that RE100 just becomes the norm. By 2020, this is what every business does."

    “RE100 importance lies in two factors,” says Rachel KyteCEO of Sustainable Energy for All and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All. “One is that the purchasing of renewable energy in the long run positions companies to be at the leading edge of their own sector of industry. On the second hand, its importance lies in the message that sends to the financial sector.”

    “Business is a very important advocate for clean energy, because it speaks the language of hard economics,” points out Jim Walker. “It’s sending a strong signal to policymakers and the general public that this is the inevitable direction we’re going to move towards – a 100% clean energy economy.”

  • Blog: Innovation and business action drives the cost of renewable power to historic low

    World leaders from business and government have gathered in Davos this week for the World Economic Forum, with action on climate change high on the agenda. In this blog, Damian Ryan, Acting CEO, The Climate Group, looks at how leadership from the private sector is driving the clean energy transition.

    The unprecedented speed at which the Paris Agreement on climate change was ratified in November last year signified a global shift from negotiation to action and implementation. With 125 United Nations member states now committed to national climate targets, and that number increasing steadily, the role of business in implementing the clean energy transition that will underpin bold climate action is becoming ever more pronounced.

    679 businesses and investors, representing over US$20.7 trillion in assets under management, have now made commitments through the We Mean Business coalition. A prime example of this can be seen in the RE100 campaign, led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, which now includes 87 of the world’s leading corporates committed to 100% renewable power.

    The newly published RE100 Annual Report 2017 demonstrates that we are on the edge of a global energy transformation, which will radically change how we produce and consume energy and end our use of fossil fuels. Launched to coincide with the climate and energy day at the World Economic Forum, the report also shows how campaign members are creating demand for 107 Terawatt hours (TWh) of renewable electricity annually, about the same as that used by The Netherlands.

    This week, we also welcomed three major European businesses to the RE100 campaign; Danske Bank GroupGatwick Airport Limited and Royal Philips, bringing the total number of companies to have made We Mean Business commitments to over 500.


    This investment from the business world is helping to drive clean technology innovation and uptake to the point where the cost of renewables has fallen dramatically, and is now ready to disrupt the monopoly of fossil fuel-based energy worldwide.

    As new research from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) shows, wind and solar power, which accounted for approximately 90% of investments in renewable power in 2015, are now competitive with conventional sources of electricity, with costs plunging in recent years.

    Since 2009, the cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) modules has fallen by 80% and wind turbines by nearly a third, with solar now the cheapest form of new energy.

    The world record for unsubsidized power from solar is also now below $30 per megawatt hour (MWh). To put this into perspective, generation costs of most coal-fired power plants range between US$35 and US$60 per MWh, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

    In 2015, half of the global investment in new energy went towards renewables, and in December last year, the winning bid for a proposed offshore wind farm development in the US provided the federal government with over double what it received for new oil leases in the Gulf of Mexico earlier in 2016.

    Here in Davos, the focus on scaling up climate action and transitioning to ‘net-zero emission’ economies has been central to many debates and discussions, with the words of Al Gore, Former US Vice President, being particularly poignant: “We’re seeing continued, stunning declines in the cost of renewable energy, energy efficiency, batteries and energy storage — giving nations and communities around the world dramatic new opportunities to embrace a sustainable future based on a low carbon economy.”


    In these turbulent times of shifting political landscapes, and with a new US Administration taking office on Friday, we’ve seen a refreshing reaffirmation of commitment to action on climate change in Davos.

    Discussions on climate action and energy have reiterated the overwhelming business case for implementing the Paris Agreement, raising the ambition of national climate targets, and transitioning to a ‘net-zero’ global economy.

    When we consider the strength of the business case for the clean energy transition, it is becoming clear that it is market rather than political forces that are increasingly driving momentum. But bad policies could still delay this inevitable transition and the enormous economic and health benefits it will bring.

    Smart business leaders know this, which is why the Low-carbon USA initiative that brings together more than 530 companies and 100 investors, is calling on the new US administration and Congress to accelerate a low carbon economy, and continue participation in the Paris Agreement.

    The company signatories, which include RE100 members NIKEHP Inc.IKEAJohnson & JohnsonMars, IncorporatedStarbucks, and Unilever, represent over US$1 trillion in annual revenue, and are headquartered across 44 states, employing about 1.8 million people. This represents a potent lobby for bold climate action.


    Investment and development of clean technologies is central to this progress. Breakthroughs in energy storage are enabling the integration of larger shares of renewable electricity, with off-grid renewables increasingly complementing grid-based options to expand access to clean energy.

    According to IRENA, battery storage for electricity could increase from around 1 GW today to 250 GW by 2030, with the market value of battery storage reaching US$2.2 billion in 2015 and expected to hit US$14 billion by 2020.

    With the first truly global climate agreement now up and running, and increasing numbers of leading businesses from around adopting renewable power, we are already on the journey to a better, cleaner future for all.