20 institutional investors managing over £331 billion in assets are joining forces today to call on some of the world’s largest companies to commit to using 100% renewable power.
The investors are calling on companies to demonstrate their commitment to clean energy by signing up to join RE100. RE100 is a collaborative business initiative that supports companies that make a public pledge to switch to 100% renewable electricity for their international operations by an agreed date. Google and BMW Group are among several influential names to join RE100 in the last week. Other companies that have joined RE100 include Unilever and Marks & Spencer.
Founding members of the investor initiative include Aviva Investors, Strathclyde Pension Fund, Environment Agency Pension Fund, French pension fund ERAFP, Norwegian fund KLP and Menhaden Capital.
The initiative is being coordinated by Responsible Investment charity ShareAction, and will launch at an event in Paris at 3pm CET on 9 December at the offices of ERAFP, during the COP 21 climate conference.
The new investor engagement programme, supported by ShareAction, will see investors engaging with companies through letters, meetings and AGMs, to encourage them to switch to 100% renewable energy.
Speakers at the event include Philippe Desfosses of ERAFP, Jeanett Bergan of KLP and representatives of companies that have joined the initiative, who will be discussing the benefits of joining RE100.
Six new companies announced that they were joining the RE100 initiative on Monday including Pearson. A ShareAction representative attended Pearson’s AGM earlier this year and asked if the company would meet to discuss joining RE100, which they did.
ShareAction has also developed an online platform through which savers can email the person managing their savings at their pension fund, asking them what they are doing to support renewable energy. The platform can be accessed here.
Steve Waygood, Chief Responsible Investment Officer at Aviva Investors said: “Aviva Investors believes that RE100 is an important and welcome initiative. We are happy to recommend RE100 to the companies that we own as worthy of serious consideration. It has the potential to be an important component of managing carbon impact and delivering a business model in line with 2 degrees.”
Philippe Desfosses, CEO of ERAFP said: “The RE100 is an excellent initiative that we are very pleased to support. The promotion of renewable energy is critical to the decarbonisation of the global economy. It makes perfect sense for us as a responsible investor to put our name behind this initiative, and we look forward to engaging with companies on this issue.”
Catherine Howarth, Chief Executive at ShareAction said: “We’re delighted to have brought together investors to encourage companies to take the lead and embrace renewable power. Increasing corporate demand for renewable energy is an innovative and forward-thinking strategy that investors can adopt to combat climate change risk in their portfolios. We hope to see many more companies sign up to go 100% renewable as a result of this initiative.”
Emily Farnworth, RE100 Campaign Director at The Climate Group said: “We’re already seeing companies joining RE100 and committing to 100% renewable power at a remarkable rate, but if we’re going to tip the balance of the energy market in favour of renewables once and for all we need all world leading businesses with us. Investors are uniquely placed to make a significant difference through this programme.”