BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 29 September '16

World’s most influential companies pledge to double energy productivity and go 100% renewable

A group of world-leading businesses from diverse sectors of the economy have made bold commitments to make better use of cleaner, smarter energy.

The announcements came from The Climate Group’s two leading corporate energy campaigns – RE100, the global initiative that works with companies committed to transitioning to 100% renewable power and EP100, a new global initiative that works with businesses committed to doubling their energy productivity.

100% renewable

RE100 announced eight new members, including IT solutions company Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE); cloud computing companies VMware Inc. and Rackspace Inc; VF Corporation – owner of clothes and footwear brands including The North Face, Timberland and Wrangler; global alcoholic beverage company Diageo and Norway’s largest financial services company DNB. Each company has committed to go 100% renewable.

The pledges follow hot on the heels of Apple and Bank of America, both of which joined RE100 at the Opening Ceremony of Climate Week NYC on 19 September. Amalgamated Bank and General Motors have also joined the initiative.

Doubling energy productivity

In addition to Dalmia Cement, the EP100 campaign also welcomed three more new members: Mahindra Holiday and Resorts India; global energy efficiency technology provider Danfoss Group and Chinese LED manufacturer Hongbo Group.

In the few months since its launch, EP100 has already attracted corporate sign-ups from India, China, Europe and the US. Research shows that in the US alone, doubling energy productivity by 2030 could save $327 billion annually in energy costs and add 1.3 million jobs to the economy, while carbon dioxide emissions would be cut by approximately 33%.

Two-pronged approach

The Climate Group’s two initiatives are designed to work hand-in-hand to help companies maximise the economic benefits of every unit of energy they consume – and to ensure that the energy they do use is renewable.

According to various studies, adopting both approaches provides the least costly decarbonisation pathway for businesses.

‘It is widely acknowledged that we will not succeed in keeping a global temperature rise below two degrees without significant corporate leadership on energy, and that is what we are seeing here today.

‘Dozens of world leading companies joining RE100 and EP100 are showing there’s a clear business case to invest in cleaner, smarter energy pathways that will accelerate the transition to net-zero emissions economies.

‘When it comes to renewables and energy productivity, investors and policymakers must respond to rising corporate demand and ensure that supportive policies are in place.’

DAMIAN RYAN
Acting CEO of The Climate Group

Driving demand

There are now 81 members of RE100: the 12 new companies that joined the campaign at Climate Week NYC 2016 are helping to drive demand for over 19.3TWh of renewable electricity. This takes the total demand being created by all RE100 members to over 100TWh.

Just two years since the launch of RE100 at Climate Week NYC 2014, existing members are already demonstrating progress towards their 100% goals. Re/insurance company Swiss Re, a founding partner of the RE100 campaign, has announced plans to build and operate its own solar power plant at the company’s US headquarters in Armonk, New York. Construction of the 2MW facility will begin in October 2016.

Global healthcare company Johnson & Johnson has strengthened its interim RE100 goal with a commitment to power its facilities with 35% renewable energy by 2020. The company has contracted usage of 100MW of wind energy from E.ON’s new wind farm in Texas, an agreement that will generate electricity equivalent to about 60% of its consumption in the US.

Click here to find out more about The Climate Group and its energy campaigns, RE100 and EP100.