A new renewable energy campaign was unveiled today at the 7th Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) in San Francisco. The Corporate Sourcing of Renewables campaign is led by the Danish and German governments and aims to rally other CEM member countries into making renewable energy commitments. The Climate Group predict the campaign will significantly increase the number of companies using renewable energy to power their businesses.
The new campaign is encouraging business action in CEM member countries and driving the world’s biggest, most influential companies making 100% renewable power commitments to join RE100 – a global, collaborative business initiative led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP.
It was also announced that six world-leading companies have joined RE100 with a commitment to 100% renewable power across their global operations. They include global interconnection and data centre provider, Equinix; Swedish food processing and packaging giant, Tetra Pak; Canadian financial leader, TD Bank Group; leading manufacturer of modular carpet, Interface, Inc.; global advertising, media and marketing group, Dentsu Aegis Network; and global provider of enterprise cloud applications, Workday, Inc.
The new joiners take the total number of committed companies in RE100 to 65. All were recognised at CEM7 by the Danish Minister for Energy, Utilities and Climate, Lars Christian Lilleholt, who announced the new commitments – and praised RE100 – on stage.
On meeting their 100% goals, the six new companies will collectively ensure that over 4,000GWh of electricity is powered by renewables – more than enough to power the whole of San Francisco.
RE100 has previously estimated that if 1,000 of the world’s most influential businesses become 100% powered by renewables, they would decarbonize almost a tenth of all electricity used worldwide and cut more than 1,000Mt of CO2 every year – 3.4% of global emissions. This impact could rise considerably if they were to successfully influence their supply chains and customer base to use renewable electricity too.
Mark Kenber, CEO of The Climate Group, said: “The demand push from corporates is as important as supportive government policy – bold action by businesses, cities and governments sends a strong market signal and means we can hold global warming below two degrees far more quickly.
“The Clean Energy Ministerial is shining the spotlight on RE100 as a model of best practice in galvanizing the switch to renewable energy, and the wave of influential companies joining RE100 today shows the business case for 100% renewables is as strong as ever.
“In many cases business wants to go further and faster. Governments can play a key role by implementing supportive policies, particularly in emerging economies – crucial for unlocking the growth of the renewable energy market globally.”
Sam Kapoor, Global Chief Operations Officer, Equinix, said, “As a leading global interconnection and data centre company, our business is inherently energy-intensive. As companies around the globe adjust to industry shifts such as cloud, mobility, IoT and Big Data, and require ever more space and power, our energy consumption grows with them.
“At Equinix, containing and greening that energy growth and designing energy-efficient IBX data centres is a top priority. Through these efforts we strive to provide shared value for all of our stakeholders, including our customers, shareholders and employees, as well as the communities in which we operate.
“We have set a long-term goal of achieving 100% renewable energy, and we also encourage our partners and customers to embrace greener business operations.”
Charles Brand, EVP Product Management and Commercial Operations at Tetra Pak, said: “Signing up to RE100 reflects our on-going commitment to minimising our climate impact and increasing our use of renewable resources.
“We have set an ambitious target to ensure carbon emissions across our value chain are capped at 2010 levels through to 2020, and we are making excellent progress. In 2015 emissions were down 15% from the 2010 baseline, despite a 16% increase in production.
“Since setting our climate goal we have maximized our efforts to reduce energy consumption; committing to a renewable energy target is a natural next step. By joining RE100 we will benefit from expert guidance and peer-to-peer learning on renewable energy options in different markets.
“For us, renewable energy is a key element of our environmental agenda, and an important factor in helping us achieve our sustainable growth ambitions.”
Karen Clarke-Whistler, Chief Environment Officer at TD Bank Group, said: “In 2008 TD made a decision to lead on the environment and to be carbon neutral – joining RE100 reflects both these commitments.
“Few doubt the need to transition to a low carbon economy. As key drivers of economic growth large corporations have a major role to play in this transformation. If not us, then who? And we will have far more impact acting together through RE100 than individually.
“In 2015, TD sourced renewable energy equivalent to 100 percent of the electricity we used across the bank and we aim to continue doing this. I’ve been asked if our low carbon operating model has had an impact on our business. The answer is yes – it transforms our business and continues to be a driver of innovation.”
Erin Meezan, Vice President of Sustainability for Interface Inc., said: “For the past twenty years, Interface has been on a mission to eliminate our negative environmental footprint. As we approach our goal year of 2020, it is gratifying to join the companies engaged in RE100 in committing to aggressive renewable energy goals.”
Nick Priday, Group Chief Financial Officer at Dentsu Aegis Network, said: “As one of the world’s largest advertising and media groups, we want to lead our industry towards a low carbon economy.
“We have doubled in size since 2010 but reduced our carbon footprint per person globally by 21%. It is important that we de-couple carbon from our growth to achieve long term savings in our operations and become resilient to resource scarcity and price fluctuations.
“We quickly realized that in order to reach the required 40% carbon footprint reduction across our operations by 2020 to help keep the global temperature rise on or under 2˚C, a switch towards 100% renewable electricity would be essential. We see the step to join RE100 as an exciting public statement of our commitment.”