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Triple-Joiners of the Climate Group’s RE100, EP100, and EV100 campaigns are demonstrating the potential of holistic corporate sustainability

6 October 2021, 21:44 BST 8 min read

Tessa Lee, Senior Corporate Engagement Manager

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Ambitious corporate action will play a critical role in the transition to a low-carbon economy. Leading companies around the world are increasingly setting goals to achieve net zero, carbon neutrality, and/or science-based targets aligned with 1.5°C of global warming.

Achieving such goals will require acting on the many discrete sources of greenhouse gases. Therefore forward-looking companies are also setting specific goals for the various decarbonization pathways within their operations, sending meaningful signals to policy makers, investors, and developers in every market of the world.

Electricity generation is responsible for nearly 25% of global emissions today, and fossil fuel grids must be switched entirely to renewables if the world is going to address the climate crisis. Successful companies see the business case for switching to renewables, and the risks of failing to act. That’s why over 330 of the world’s largest companies have joined RE100, a campaign run jointly by the Climate Group and CDP. RE100 members pledge to power 100% of their operations with renewable electricity, and today represent a combined demand of over 350 TWhr; were RE100 members a country they’d be the 11th largest electricity consumer in the world – bigger than either of the G7 countries of Italy and the UK.

The world must also move away from burning fossil fuels to power road transportation, which means fully switching to electric vehicles (EVs), and installing the necessary charging infrastructure. Leading this transition are the over 110 corporate members of the Climate Group’s EV100 campaign, who have committed to transitioning more than 5 million vehicles and installing charging stations at more than 7,000 properties around the world.

Finally, the world can rapidly reduce emissions by making concerted investments in using energy much more efficiently, both in buildings and manufacturing. In fact, according to the IEA, currently existing cost-effective technologies are sufficient to double global energy efficiency by 2040, in turn achieving more than 40% of the emission reductions science requires. Recognizing this are the over 125 corporate members of the Climate Group’s EP100 campaign committed to improving their energy productivity.

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Overall, more than 500 large global companies have publicly committed to doing their part for the energy transition by switching to renewable electricity, adopting electric vehicles, and/or investing in energy efficiency.

Of these, 17 companies[i] have embraced a holistic view of the energy transition and are “Triple-Joiners” of all three campaigns – RE100, EV100, and EP100 – sending a powerful signal of what’s possible and reporting transparently on their progress.

While these demand-side campaigns each include a diverse membership, and committing to all three may not be relevant or appropriate for every company’s specific operations, the ambition of the Triple-Joiners should serve as a beacon of inspiration for all companies to look comprehensively at the levers available to them to accelerate climate action.

This is the first in a series of four blog posts profiling the successes and learnings of these Triple-Joiners, with a spotlight on the goods and services providers AstraZeneca, Deloitte, Goldman Sachs, Lloyds Banking Group, and NatWest Group.

The next installments will highlight the buildings and construction sector, sustainable manufacturers and industrial operations, and finally the challenges Triple-Joiners are facing, as well as how setting public targets and reporting on progress is helping such companies achieve their climate goals.

Our commitments to the Climate Group’s initiatives, taken together, are an example of our actions to hold ourselves accountable and drive responsible climate choices within our organization and beyond.

Kathy Alsegaf, Global Internal Sustainability Leader, Deloitte Global

Holistic Internal Vision

In April 2019, NatWest Group, along with LandSec, became the first company to be a Triple-Joiner to all three Climate Group campaigns, reflecting their insight that responsible climate action should be a core aspect of operations for companies today.

Two other financial institutions, Goldman Sachs and Lloyds Banking Group, soon followed suit. In speaking with these companies, they all mentioned how making these public commitments has helped them structure their climate strategies. EP100 has driven them to first maximize efficiency, so that they are using less energy overall, and they each report having saved significant money by prioritizing the design and operation of low-carbon buildings. They also see the interplay between the switch to electric vehicles under EV100 and the transition to renewables under RE100, with EVs truly becoming a low-carbon opportunity when powered by a renewable grid.  

Likewise professional services organization Deloitte mentioned the holistic aspect of being a Triple-Joiner, and how it has allowed them to prioritize their climate investments into the areas that will have the largest operational impact.

Goldman Sachs and AstraZeneca (the first and to date only pharmaceutical company to become a Triple-Joiner) also shared that having the three commitments for emission reductions helps them to continually re-evaluate and update their climate measures. Both companies seek  ever-greater impact and influence as ESG best practices evolve, AstraZeneca in particular through their Science-Based Targets, and Goldman Sachs through a commitment to achieving Net Zero carbon for all global operations and supply chain by 2030.

Success along the three 100s initiatives at once proves it’s possible to decouple business growth from natural resource consumption, as these Triple-Joiner companies are demonstrating with their leadership.

Approaching COP26 there is a critical opportunity for leadership, as governments and businesses unite to tackle this crisis head-on. At AstraZeneca, we look forward to playing our part in the journey ahead, both before and after the climate summit.

Professor Jason Snape, Head of Environmental Protection, AstraZeneca

Science-Backed Collaboration

Having played a leading role in vaccine development, working in partnership on a not-for-profit basis, AstraZeneca recognizes how the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is a foreshadowing to the sort of systematic disruptions climate change will increasingly have on the health of individuals, communities, economies, and the planet.

Climate science highlights the ways human society is both fragile and globally interconnected, as the coronavirus has demonstrated. Therefore climate mitigation, just like controlling infectious disease, will demand deep collaboration from influential actors. Triple-Joiners know that the world will be able to move further and faster on decarbonization if companies work together, as well as with governments, to follow the science.

Goldman Sachs shared that their efforts to effectively manage their own environmental impacts are strengthened by cross-sector partnerships, such as those offered within the RE100, EP100, and EV100 networks. Lloyds Banking Group likewise mentioned that making these three commitments publicly allows them to collaborate on the many shared challenges in making the transition to net zero, while Deloitte found that, taken together, the three initiatives serve as an ecosystem that supports the power of collaboration, by encouraging collective action with their clients, peers, suppliers, policymakers.

Finally, AstraZeneca emphasized that no one company or actor can face the climate challenge alone, and they benefit from how the three Climate Group campaigns bring together leading companies, governments, and investors under a shared framework to accelerate climate action.

Many of the Triple-Joiners highlighted how making public commitments, setting science-based targets, and reporting transparently on their progress inspires their peers and suppliers to follow suite, and that together with the other members of the 100s campaigns they are able generate the market signals necessary for critical policy change and global investments into the energy transitions.

Working with the Climate Group and leaders from the EV100 businesses has provided the opportunity for Lex Autolease to share common challenges, best practice and to influence Government policy, accelerating the speed and scale of transition to Electric Vehicles in the business and the market.

- Meryem Brassington, Senior Manager Motor Sustainability Propositions, Motor Finance & Leasing, Lloyds Banking Group

Innovative Programs

The five Triple-Joiners profiled in this article each shared examples of the more innovative programs they’ve launched as they pursue their targets in RE100, EP100, and EV100.  Many of these projects amplify the impact of their internal work, for example by helping their customers reduce their emissions in turn.

  • AstraZeneca has hosted training with suppliers in collaboration with RE100, the Science-Based Targets initiative, and the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Initiative, in order to aid their suppliers in attaining a higher sustainability status as per their Sustainability Partner Guide and Framework, where the top tier rankings are only achievable by companies setting science-based targets and renewable energy goals. By publicizing and explaining their commitments they hope to join forces within the pharmaceutical industry and across other sectors to take climate action. They are also leading the charge for digital healthcare as a pathway for emission reductions, and are raising awareness of the relationship between human health and environmental degradation.
  • Deloitte recently launched a partnership with LevelTen Energy – the largest online hub for utility-scale renewable energy deals – to help its clients pursue PPAs and transition to renewables. They’ve been proactively upgrading their global building stock of office space, recognizing the relationship between clean, low-carbon buildings, and employee well-being and performance, and they have created a climate learning program to empower all 345,000 of their employees to take climate action in their own lives.
  • Goldman Sachs in 2019 developed a framework to put the twin pillars of the climate transition and inclusive growth at the forefront of their work with clients, backing their commitment with an announcement of $750 billion in financing, investing, and advisory activity to be targeted to these two priorities by 2030. They are further committed to aligning their financing activities with a net zero by 2050 pathway, and are already taking several near-term steps on that journey. 
  • Lloyds Banking Group is leading in financing the electric vehicle transition, given that 1.1 million cars on the road today are leased or financed through the Group's Motor Financing and Leasing businesses. As part of the UK Electric Fleet Coalition, the Group has actively supported the development of key Government Policies which are needed to underpin the ban on the sale of combustion engines by 2030, in particular the need for a healthy used electric vehicle market to ensure EVs are not just for people who can afford new models. They are also dramatically reducing the electricity consumption of their office and branch real estate, and switching all heating to low carbon technologies in order to end their consumption of natural gas. Since 2020, Lloyds Banking Group also discloses their employees’ home working emissions as part of their annual report, and have launched internal initiatives to help colleagues understand and reduce their own carbon footprint.
  • NatWest Group met their ambition to be Net Zero Carbon across their own operations in 2020, and are now focused on becoming Climate Positive by 2025, so that they offset more carbon than they emit. As true climate leaders, they understand that carbon offsetting is only an interim solution, one they are pursuing as the best way to take accountability for their emissions until they can all truly be eliminated at source. Through the COVID-19 pandemic they calculated and offset all of their employees’ home working and commuting emissions as well.

Finally, all of the Triple-Joiners are vocal champions of decarbonization, participating in various Calls to Action and other forums, such as the UN Principles for Responsible Banking or the Sustainable Markets Initiative, exhorting governments to follow their example and enact robust and holistic climate pledges and policy frameworks both nationally and internationally, such as within the G7, the NDCs and Paris Agreement, and leading up to COP26.

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The 17 global companies who are Triple-Joiners of the Climate Group’s RE100, EP100, and EV100 campaigns are pursuing holistic decarbonization via the mutually reinforcing technologies of renewable electricity, energy productivity, and electric vehicles.

The next blog post will highlight the leadership of Triple-Joiners in the buildings and construction sector, profiling JSW Cement, Landsec, Mitie, and Willmott Dixon, followed by an article spotlighting the work of ABB, Danfoss, Schneider Electric, and Siemens as diverse manufacturers and industrial enterprises. The final post will look across all of these companies at the shared challenges they’re facing and the best practices they’re learning through their participation in the campaigns.

Science indicates that the transition to renewable electricity and the switch to electric vehicles, both underpinned by significant investments in energy efficiency, must be nearly complete within the coming decade if the world is to avoid to worst impacts of the climate crisis. RE100, EP100, and EV100 all allow leading companies to make ambitious public commitments to climate action and to report transparently on their progress, unlocking wider change in technology, capital flows, and policy frameworks, and accelerating the energy transition.

[i] At publication the 17 Triple-Joiners of RE100, EP100, and EV100 include: ABB, AstraZeneca, Danfoss, Deloitte, European Metal Recycling Limited, Goldman Sachs, JSW Cement Limited, Landsec, Lloyds Banking Group, Mittie, NatWest Group, Schneider Electric, Siemens, and Willmott Dixon.