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More European companies switch to green power

Date
14 September 2007
More European companies switch to green power

LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND, 14 September 2007 - A growing number of European companies are switching to renewable energy for their manufacturing plants, stores and office facilities. Renewable energy is allowing more companies than ever to power their operations while realizing a number of business benefits in the process.


The Green Power Market Development Group - Europe (GPMDG-EU) has announced the completion of its first 100 megawatts (MW) of green power projects at 50 corporate facilities across 16 European countries. GPMDG-EU, a coalition of leading European companies, made the announcement at the 5th European Conference on Green Power Marketing in Lausanne. GPMDG-EU is convened by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and The °Climate Group, two leading international organizations dedicated to finding solutions to climate change.

"Working together, some of Europe's largest energy users are demonstrating the business case for renewable energy, setting an example that other companies can follow," said Jonathan Lash, President of WRI.

"They are helping accelerate society's transition towards a diversified, sustainable and clean energy future."

The projects draw upon a variety of renewable energy technologies, including 46 MW of utility-supplied green power purchases, 40 MW of on-site biomass thermal energy, 9 MW of on-site wind power, 2 MW of on-site solar thermal, 2 MW of biomass power, and 1 MW of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) and geothermal heat pumps. They total 100 MW in generation capacity and produce the equivalent of approximately 500 million kilowatt-hours per year-enough to power more than 110,000 European households.

Companies that have switched to renewable energy are reporting a number of bottom line advantages, including reduced corporate greenhouse gas emissions, diversification of energy sources to hedge against fluctuating fossil fuel prices, as well as strengthening customer relationships and brand differentiation.

"Renewable energy plays an important and growing role in helping companies reduce their environmental impact whilst boosting profitability and competitiveness," said Steve Howard, CEO of The °Climate Group.

Members of GPMDG-EU include BT, Dow, DuPont, General Motors, IBM Europe, IKEA, InterfaceFLOR, Johnson & Johnson, Michelin, Nike (Customer Service Centre), Staples, Tetra Pak and Unilever.

John Harris, IKEA Goes Renewable Project Manager said, "To get this far has required lots of information sharing and inspiration. The Green Power Market Development Group - Europe has provided a good forum for this. Now we have to make renewable energy our first choice and use fossil fuels as the last resort. More of our co-workers need information and inspiration if we are to achieve this."

For interviews and media inquiries, please call:

Diana Profir, Project Manager, Green Power Market Development Group - Europe,
+44 (0) 7968 402 123, dprofir@theclimategroup.org

Nate Kommers, Media Officer, World Resources Institute, +1(202)729-7736, nkommers@wri.org 

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