Governments and private sector corporations have committed to work together to scale up renewable energy under a new campaign launched today at the 7th Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) meeting in San Francisco. The Corporate Sourcing of Renewables Campaign will build partnerships to increase the number of companies committed to sourcing renewable energy for their operations.
IRENA joins the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance, RE100, World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the World Resources Institute as initiative partners. At the government level, Germany and Denmark will lead the campaign in collaboration with China, the European Union, Mexico, the UK, and the US. Together with CEM member governments, campaign partners will develop and deploy enabling policies and resources to help businesses source more renewable energy.
“The private sector accounts for roughly 50% of the world’s electricity consumption and so must play a key role in the ongoing global energy transition. Switching this demand to renewables will decrease emissions, generate jobs, and deliver a host of other environmental, social, and economic benefits across the globe. IRENA looks forward to collaborating with initiative partners to reach this aim.” – Adnan Z. Amin – IRENA Director-General
Synopsis of campaign announcements made today:
Apple committed to work with CEM countries and partners to spur the development and procurement of renewable energy within its global supply chain. Apple is working with its suppliers to install more than 4 gigawatts of new clean energy worldwide, including 2 gigawatts in China by 2020. Apple’s supply chain is the single biggest source of its comprehensive carbon footprint, so the company is committing to actively engage with ministers and partners in the US, China and other CEM countries to drive the transition to green manufacturing.
Autodesk announced three milestones: 1) Powering their facilities with 100% renewable energy – four years ahead of schedule. 2) Deepening their commitment to ‘credible’ renewable energy procurement – procuring energy that is additional, local and that spurs innovation. 3) Setting an internal price on carbon. These inter-related activities will accelerate progress toward Autodesk’s science-based greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction target.
Facebook announced commitments to: 1) Fund the REBA initiatives; 2) Collaborate to expand REBA internationally, 3) Work through REBA to raise awareness and help other companies navigate the complexities of PPAs; 4) Work closely with utilities to develop green tariffs; and 5) Source 50% of its energy from clean energy sources in 2018.
Google committed to work in collaboration with national governments, renewable energy buyers and suppliers, NGOs, and others across CEM members to convene a group of stakeholders to survey the policy and regulatory structures critical to enabling corporate purchasing of renewable energy and make policy recommendations for how to further unlock corporate renewable energy demand in CEM members.
Microsoft announced they will power their datacenters with energy that is at least 50% wind, hydro and solar by 2018 and 60% early next decade. This is a significant given that the IT sector including Microsoft are some of the fastest growing energy users in the world, consuming as much energy as a small state and in decades to come as much as mid-size nations. Microsoft is actively working through REBA to deliver on these goals in markets around the world. In addition, Microsoft pledged they will maintain 100% carbon neutrality on top of this new commitment.
Wells Fargo committed to purchasing renewable energy to power 100% of operations by 2017 with a transition to long-term agreements that fund new sources of green power by 2020.
While the CEM campaign is encouraging action by companies of all sizes, it is driving the biggest, most influential companies to make a 100% renewable power commitment and join RE100. The companies already signed up to this initiative – including IKEA, Nike, BMW and 56 others – were recognized during the Ministerial and the following companies announced they are joining RE100 taking the total number of committed companies in RE100 to 65:
Dentsu Aegis Network committed to sourcing 100% renewable electricity by 2020. The company recognizes 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.
Equinix has a long-term goal of using 100% renewable electricity with an interim goal of reaching 50% (against a 2015 baseline) by 2017.
Interface, Inc. committed to operate its factories on 100% renewable electricity by 2020. Based in the U.S., the company is already sourcing 94% renewable energy across its global operations.
Tetra Pak committed to powering its operations with 100% renewable electricity by 2030, with an interim goal to reach 80% by 2020. By joining RE100, Tetra Pak will benefit from expert guidance and peer-to-peer learning on renewable electricity options in different markets.
TD Bank Group, the first Canadian company to join RE100, has sourced renewable electricity equivalent to 100% of its global operations since 2015. It also generates solar energy at 124 locations, including at its net zero energy branch in Florida.