Business drive for renewables gears up with government support

2 June 2016
CEM7

SAN FRANCISCO: A new government-led push to significantly increase the number of companies powering their operations with renewable energy will help to galvanize action by 1,000 world-leading businesses.

Unveiled today at the Seventh Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM7) in San Francisco, the new ‘Corporate Sourcing of Renewables’ campaign – led by the Danish and German governments – 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.

Also today, 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 recognized at CEM7 by theDanish 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 center 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 centers 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, 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, 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, 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.”

ENDS

 

About RE100  

RE100 is a global, collaborative initiative of influential businesses committed to 100% renewable electricity, working to massively increase demand for – and delivery of – renewable energy. This will accelerate the transformation of the global energy market and aid the transition towards a low carbon economy. RE100 shares the compelling business case for renewables and showcases business action, while working with others to address barriers and develop transparent reporting mechanisms. RE100 is brought to you by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, as part of the We Mean Business coalition. 

RE100 members work towards their 100% renewable electricity goals in the shortest possible timeframe, and are strongly encouraged to set an end goal year on joining the campaign. RE100 draws on the latest available data to track their year-year-progress against their 100% goal through its Annual Report.

Notes to editors

Equinix has joined RE100 with an interim goal of sourcing 50% renewable electricity (against a 2015 baseline) by 2017. Its power purchasing agreements (PPAs) in the U.S. account for approximately 10% of total 2015 corporate renewables commitments as published by the BRC. The U.S. based company has 225MW of wind power coming online this year.

Tetra Pak is committed to powering its operations with 100% renewable electricity by 2030, with an interim goal to reach 80% by 2020. The Switzerland-based company aims to meet its goal through a combination of self-generation and renewable energy certificates (RECs).

TD Bank Group, the first Canadian company to join RE100, has sourced renewable electricity equivalent to 100% of its global operations since 2015, through RECs. The company will shift to locally procured RECs for its European operations in future.

Interface, Inc. is the world’s largest manufacturer of carpet tile and has committed to operating its factories on 100% renewable electricity by 2020. Based in the U.S., the company is already sourcing 84% renewable energy across its global operations – including both electricity and thermal energy.

Dentsu Aegis Network is committed to sourcing 100% renewable electricity by 2020. The U.K. based company recognises that de-coupling carbon from growth will allow it to become resilient to resource scarcity and price fluctuations – delivering on carbon goals while achieving long term financial savings.  Workday Inc. has purchased an amount of renewable electricity that is equivalent to 100% of its global consumption since 2008, and is now planning to supplement with on-site solar while investigating renewable energy investments such as off-site wind and solar.

There are now 65 companies in RE100. For the full list visit: TheRE100.org/companies

  • At CEM today both Microsoft and Google spoke alongside the Danish minister on a panel discussion around the new Corporate Sourcing of Renewables campaign. Salesforce is a Summit Partner. All three companies are members of RE100 and are committed to sourcing 100% of their electricity from renewables.
  • The San Francisco Indicator Project states that San Francisco used 4,091,002,873 KWh (4,091 GWh) of electricity in 2014. The latest available data from Equinix, Tetra Pak, TD Bank Group, Interface, Inc., Dentsu Aegis Network and Workday Inc. shows that their total electricity consumption is 4,166,489 MWh (4,166 GWh).
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