World first as 100 multinationals target 100% renewable electricity

Reading time: 6 minutes
11 July 2017

LONDON: The Climate Group's RE100 initiative has today reached its 100 members milestone as AkzoNobel N.V., AXA, Burberry plc and Carlsberg Group joined with a commitment to 100% renewable power.

RE100 is delivered with CDP to engage, support and showcase large, influential businesses transitioning to 100% renewable electricity across their global operations.

RE100 members, including 30 Global Fortune 500 companies, have a total revenue of US$2.5 trillion and operate in a diverse range of sectors – from Information Technology to automobile manufacturing.

Together, they are creating around 146 terawatt-hours (TWh) in demand for renewable electricity annuallyabout as much as it takes to power Poland.

AkzoNobel becomes the second biggest electricity user to join RE100 after Walmart, consuming around 16 TWh annually. The Dutch paints and coatings company aims to be carbon neutral and use 100% renewable energy – heat as well as electricity – by 2050.

French insurance company AXA is targeting 100% renewable electricity by 2025. Operating in more than 60 countries with diverse energy markets, AXA intends to achieve this target by using a mix of approaches, notably buying electricity directly from providers and compensating for non-renewable electricity.

Global luxury fashion brand Burberry is aiming to procure 100% of electricity from renewable resources to power its whole business by 2022.

The Carlsberg Group, one of the world’s biggest brewers, is switching to 100% renewable electricity at its breweries by 2022, as a step towards its target to become carbon neutral in 2030.

Reflecting on the growth of RE100 since it launched in 2014, Helen Clarkson, CEO, The Climate Group, said: “We are really pleased at the success of our campaign; by championing the compelling case for business action, we have reached 100 members three years earlier than expected. Changes in the market such as the falling cost of renewables have also worked in our favor.

“We are increasingly seeing large multinationals such as Google, IKEA and Dalmia Cement demonstrating real leadership on renewables because it makes business sense – as well as helping to lower emissions, providing stable energy costs and increasing competitiveness.

“We are now calling on companies to go one step further, and inspire their suppliers and peers to follow their lead so that together, we can speed the transition from fossil fuels to renewables to keep warming well under two degrees Celsius.”

Helen Clarkson, Chief Executive Officer, The Climate Group

Paul Simpson, Chief Executive Officer, CDP, said: “Transitioning to 100% renewable electricity through RE100 shows true leadership in our new sustainable economy. It’s hugely encouraging that so many members are reporting clear progress, and fast. Following the vital steps of disclosure and insight on climate change activities, action is key to ensuring we move the global energy system to a tipping point by 2020.”

Cees 't Hart, Chief Executive Officer, Carlsberg Group, which recently announced it would target zero carbon emissions at its breweries by 2030, said: “Business leadership is key to addressing climate change, so we must all step up and take bold collective action. Through RE100, we are joining forces with other like-minded companies, which are also leading the change towards a low carbon future. Switching to 100% renewable electricity offers a holistic business case with financial, social and environmental benefits. Hopefully together, we can inspire others to step up and do the same.”

Leanne Wood, Chief People, Strategy & Corporate Affairs Officer, Burberry, said: “Procuring 100% of our energy from renewable resources by 2022 is a principal goal of Burberry’s five-year Responsibility agenda. We are proud that over half of our offices, stores, warehouses and internal manufacturing sites globally are powered by either on site renewable resources or through renewable tariffs. However, access to renewable resources is still limited in some places. By joining RE100 we aim to drive wider demand for low carbon power and encourage all providers to introduce renewable energy options.”

André Veneman, Corporate Director of Sustainability, AkzoNobel, a company which firmly believes that sustainability is business and business is sustainability, said: “We have put considerable effort into learning how to source renewable energy in a cost competitive way and the opportunities for our business are huge. We’re convinced that embracing renewable energy is an excellent way to create both short- and long-term value that will enable a true business transition. We’re delighted to be joining RE100 because it’s all about working with our suppliers, our customers and other leading companies to help make this change happen all over the world.”

Alice Steenland, Group Head of Corporate Responsibility, AXA, said: “In 2015, the portion of renewable electricity consumed by AXA was 36%, and this increased to 53% in 2016. Our target is to have 100% of our electricity from renewable sources by 2025. When large corporations like AXA switch to renewables, we are collectively creating significant new demand but also more broadly helping to accelerate the global transition to green energy. RE100 represents another opportunity to combine efforts to better tackle this important global issue.”

Pia Heidenmark Cook, Acting Chief Sustainability Officer, IKEA Group, added: “IKEA Group was a founding member of RE100. We wanted to lead by example, and support a movement towards a low carbon economy. We are excited that so many companies have joined – it simply shows renewables are the right thing to do for the business.”

Key facts and figures

  • 2016 saw record additions of installed renewable energy capacity, rapidly falling costs for solar PV and wind power, and the decoupling of economic growth and energy-related CO2 emissions for the third year running.[1]
  • Renewable power accounted for more than half of all new net electricity generation for the first time in 2016, with renewables surpassing coal to become the largest source of installed power capacity in the world.[2]
  • Equipment prices for solar PV fell by 80% between 2009 and 2015.[3]
  • Solar and wind power is now either the same price or cheaper than new fossil fuel capacity in more than 30 countries.[4]
  • 765 companies and investors are now committed to climate action through We Mean Business.[5]
  • The number of people employed in the renewable energy sector in 2016 was 9.8 million.[6]
  • Capacity from renewable sources is expected to grow faster than oil, gas coal or nuclear power in the next five years.[7]  

ENDS

For further information, please contact

Marie Reynolds

RE100 Communications Manager

The Climate Group

MReynolds@theclimategroup.org

+44 (0)207 960 2991

-

Nazneen Nawaz

Head of Media and Corporate Communications

The Climate Group

NNawaz@theclimategroup.org

+44 (0)7912 514445

Notes

About RE100

RE100 is a collaborative initiative uniting the world’s most influential businesses committed to 100% renewable power. Renewables are a smart business decision, providing greater control over energy costs and driving innovation, while helping companies to deliver on emission reduction goals. Together, leading companies are sending a powerful signal to policymakers and investors to meet growing demand for renewable energy and accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy. RE100 is brought to you by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP. These organisations and this program are part of the We Mean Business coalition and RE100 is supported by IKEA Foundation.

RE100.org | @theRE100 | #RE100

About The Climate Group

The Climate Group works internationally with leading businesses, states and regions to deliver a world of net zero greenhouse gas emissions and greater prosperity for all. We are at the forefront of ambitious climate action. Our focus is on collaborative programs with corporate and government partners that deliver impact on a global scale. The Climate Group stimulates action by businesses, states and regions, bringing them together to develop and implement the policies that make change happen. We also communicate their achievements to secure global public acceptance of, and even greater ambition for, a prosperous, net-zero future for all. The Climate Group is an international non-profit with offices in Beijing, London, New Delhi and New York.

Our corporate campaigns

The Climate Group’s campaigns help businesses to reduce carbon emissions, enhance resilience, and boost the bottom line. They champion leadership, encourage the sharing of best practice and tackle barriers to action – creating shifts in policies and markets to help keep global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius.

TheClimateGroup.org | @climategroup

About CDP

CDP, formerly Carbon Disclosure Project, not-for-profit organization providing the global system for companies, cities, states and regions to measure, disclose, manage and share vital information on their environmental performance. CDP, voted number one climate research provider by investors, works with 827 institutional investors with assets of US$100 trillion and 89 purchasing organisations with a combined annual spend of over US$2.7 trillion, to motivate companies to disclose their impacts on the environment and natural resources and take action to reduce them.

cdp.net | @CDP

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