The global collaborative business initiative RE100 passed a milestone recently as BMW Group, Coca-Cola Enterprises, International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. (IFF), Nordea Bank AB, Pearson PLC and Swiss Post announced they will source 100% of their electricity from renewable energy – taking the total number of committed companies to 53.The wide-ranging businesses join a wave of world leading ICT companies including Microsoft, Adobe and Google who have also joined RE100 in the last week.
The pledges come as Energy Day gets underway at COP21 in Paris, where IKEA Group, one of the founding partners of RE100, is showcasing the campaign’s success as part of the Lima-Paris Action Agenda (LPAA) program.To coincide with Energy Day, The Climate Group and CDP have released a series of new figures revealing the potential impact of the campaign, which is delivered in partnership by the two organisations.
It is estimated that when today’s group of 53 companies are 100% powered by renewables, they will create demand for 90.1TWh of renewable electricity. That’s around 0.4% of global electricity or 1% of electricity used by industry – more than enough to power Hong Kong and Singapore combined. The switch would save around 56Mt of CO2 every year – broadly the same as Morocco’s emissions.
The Climate Group and CDP also estimate that if 1,000 of the world’s most influential companies became 100% powered by renewable electricity, they could save around 1,080Mt of CO2 every year – 3.4% of total global emissions, and more than the emissions of all of Africa. Renewable electricity demand would increase to around 1,700TWh – accounting for almost a tenth of all electricity used worldwide.
Emily Farnworth, RE100 Campaign Director at The Climate Group, said: “Many companies are switching to renewable power at a remarkable rate, and encouraging their suppliers and customers to do the same.“Our analysis of the private sector’s electricity consumption and carbon emissions indicated that a switch to power from renewable sources could cut global CO2 by nearly 15%.
“By acting together, the world’s leading companies are creating a thriving renewable energy market that will help keep a global temperature rise below two degrees.“The RE100 campaign is sending a clear message to Paris that the technological solutions to tackle climate change already exist, and that business supports the switch to renewable power.“An ambitious and robust climate agreement will help accelerate the shift to the 100% renewable electricity future that everyone is calling for.”
Companies are increasingly recognising the business case for switching to 100% renewable electricity. It enables them to deliver on emissions targets, increase energy security, manage costs and make long term savings, while benefiting from brand enhancement and meeting customer demand.
Dr. Markus Schramm, Senior Vice President, Corporate Planning and Product strategy at BMW Group, said: “The BMW Group is continually reducing its energy consumption and is intensifying its efforts to produce more power in-house and to use energy from local renewable sources. The company also actively supports the expansion of renewable energy. This enables us to increase our autonomy and profitability.”
Hubert Patricot, European President at Coca-Cola Enterprises, said: “Climate change is one of the most significant material risks for our business. Tackling climate change is also the right thing to do for our planet and we believe that the transition towards a low-carbon economy can deliver significant long-term economic benefits. Committing to 100 percent renewable electricity will help us to grow a low-carbon business and deliver our wider commitment to reduce the carbon footprint of our core business operations by 50 percent by 2020. Working with like-minded organisations like RE100, we are convinced we can accelerate the pace of change.”
Andreas Fibig, Chairman & CEO of International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. (IFF) said: “Sustainability is foundational to IFF’s Vision 2020 business strategy. We are proud to join with RE100 and are committed to the use of renewable energy to support a low-carbon economy globally. We support an ambitious and robust climate agreement in Paris and look forward to partnering with RE100 members to positively impact world climate challenges.”
Gunn Wærsted, Group Executive Management & Head of CSR Committee at Nordea Bank AB said: “As the largest financial services company in Northern Europe, Nordea wants to play an important role in building the future of the societies where we operate. This means contributing to sustainable economic progress through the products and services we provide, but it also means ensuring that we minimize the environmental impact of our operations. We work hard to reduce the energy consumption in our offices and our Nordic operations have run on 100% renewable power since 2010. We are proud to now join RE100 and commit to powering the rest of our operations on renewable electricity going forward.”
Coram Williams, Chief Financial Officer of Pearson PLC said: “This is the last generation that can take meaningful action against climate change. One practical step that business can take is through the purchase of electricity from renewable sources. Pearson has acted and we already purchase 100% of our electricity globally in this way. We are now pleased to join RE100 as by adding our voice alongside other businesses, we can help shift this important market.”
Anne Wolf, Head of Sustainability at Swiss Post said: “Sustainability is a core value of the vision and strategy of Swiss Post. With our services in logistics and transport, energy issues and climate protection play a key role in our sustainability strategy. Swiss Post participates in the RE100 initiative because it has been entirely powered by renewable electricity since 2008 – and since 2013 by ‘naturemade basic’ certified renewable energy sources from Switzerland, meaning wind, hydro, biomass and solar.”
Pearson PLC has been entirely powered by renewable electricity since 2012. Coca-Cola Enterprises has an interim target of sourcing 40% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.Through its Technical Working Group and Knowledge Sharing Platform, RE100 will assist the other companies with the development of corporate roadmaps that enable them to meet their 100% renewable electricity goals.
There are now 53 companies in the RE100 campaign, including: Adobe, Alstria, Autodesk, Aviva, Biogen, BMW Group, BROAD Group, BT Group, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Commerzbank, DSM, Elion Resources Group, Elopak, Formula E, Givaudan, Goldman Sachs, Google, H&M, IKEA Group, Infosys, International Flavors & Fragrances Inc.(IFF), J. Safra Sarasin, Johnson & Johnson, Kingspan, KPN, La Poste, Land Securities, Marks & Spencer, Mars Incorporated, Microsoft, Nestlé, Nike, Inc., Nordea Bank AB, Novo Nordisk, Pearson PLC, Philips, Procter & Gamble, Proximus, RELX Group, Salesforce, SAP, SGS, Starbucks, Steelcase, Swiss Post, Swiss Re, UBS, Unilever, Vaisala, Voya Financial, Walmart and YOOX Group.