BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 16 July '17

100 companies – with a combined clout of $2.5tn – have committed to 100% renewable power

The Climate Group’s RE100 initiative has reached its 100 members milestone after AkzoNobel N.V., AXA, Burberry plc and Carlsberg Group joined the commitment to 100% renewable power.

RE100 members, which operate in sectors ranging from IT to car manufacturing, have a total revenue of $2.5 trillion. Together they are creating around 146 terawatt-hours (TWh) in demand for renewable electricity annually – about as much as it takes to power Poland.

Burberry to Carlsberg

AkzoNobel, which consumes around 16 TWh annually, is the second biggest electricity user to join RE100 after Walmart. 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.

‘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 favour.

Paul Simpson, chief executive of CDP, said transitioning to 100% renewable electricity through RE100 ‘shows true leadership’ in our new sustainable economy, adding that it’s ‘hugely encouraging’ that so many members are reporting clear progress so quickly. He added that 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.’

‘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.’

HELEN CLARKSON
CEO of The Climate Group

Reasons to be cheerful…

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.

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.

Equipment prices for solar PV fell by 80% between 2009 and 2015.

Solar and wind power is now either the same price or cheaper than new fossil fuel capacity in more than 30 countries.

765 companies and investors are now committed to climate action through We Mean Business.

The number of people employed in the renewable energy sector in 2016 was 9.8 million.

Capacity from renewable sources is expected to grow faster than oil, gas coal or nuclear power in the next five years.

Click here for more on RE100.