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Andrew Burger headshot

Campaign Calls for 100 Companies, 100 Percent Renewable Power


A consortium of leading climate change nonprofits and multinational businesses have joined to launch an initiative that aims to see 100 of the world's largest companies power their businesses solely from renewable energy resources by 2020. Led by the Climate Group, the campaign -- dubbed RE100 -- counts Ikea, Swiss Re, BT, Commerzbank, Formula E, H&M, Mars, Nestlé, Philips, Reed Elsevier and J. Safra among its founding business members. The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) also are working with the Climate Group to see the RE100 through to fruition.

Launched Sept. 22 during Climate Week NYC, the RE100 campaign aims to lead by example. It will serve as a showcase that highlights the economic, social and environmental benefits businesses can realize by going 100 percent renewable -- and just how leading businesses are moving towards the goal of 100 percent renewable power. It will also assist companies looking to make the switch from fossil fuel to renewable energy sources, including “providing guidance as to selecting and implementing the best approach to utilizing renewable power, and information on the financial implications, risks and rewards of different options.”

“We are delighted with the ambition of leading companies to go 100 percent renewable,” Ben Ferrari, director of partnerships for the Climate Group, was quoted in a news release. “We plan to continue to grow this group and expand our outreach in China and India over the coming year. It is an exciting time for renewable power.”

Tackling climate change via clean energy

RE100 member Ikea has already generated 1,425 gigawatt-hours of clean, renewable energy. The company intends to invest some 1.5 billion euros (~$1.95 billion) more in new renewable energy projects to meet the 100 percent renewable power goal by 2020.

“Investing in renewable power makes complete business sense. It aligns with our corporate expectations on financial returns and our values. So far, we have generated 1,425 GWh of power from renewable sources. We plan to invest approximately €1.5 billion in new renewable energy projects to meet 100 percent goal by 2020 goal – and RE100 is a great way to tell our story.”

Jurg Trub, head of environmental and commodity markets at Swiss Re, added that the global insurance/re-insurance company views tackling climate change while meeting the energy needs of a growing and developing world as an urgent matter.
“This can only be done by improving energy efficiency and switching to low-carbon options including renewable energy sources. Therefore by showing leadership in investing in renewable energy we are supporting this drive towards a low carbon future and we can also take advantage of the growing market that exists with these climate change solutions.”

Mainstreaming carbon accounting and reporting

Carbon accounting, reporting and disclosure are integral -- and prerequisites -- to crafting and carrying out effective greenhouse gas emissions reduction and energy efficiency plans. That's where CDP's particular expertise comes in. “We know that defining and reporting on corporate renewable energy commitments is critical to ensuring the development of authentic renewable energy and avoid double counting,” Pedro Faria, CDP Technical Director, was quoted as saying.

“We are committed to working with the Climate Group and other NGOs working on this same issue to provide clear and consistent guidance for companies. This will ensure credible and transparent reporting of company commitments.”

Images courtesy of the Climate Group

Andrew Burger headshotAndrew Burger

An experienced, independent journalist, editor and researcher, Andrew has crisscrossed the globe while reporting on sustainability, corporate social responsibility, social and environmental entrepreneurship, renewable energy, energy efficiency and clean technology. He studied geology at CU, Boulder, has an MBA in finance from Pace University, and completed a certificate program in international governance for biodiversity at UN University in Japan.

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