IKEA, Swiss Re, BT, Formula E, H&M, KPN, Mars, Nestlé, Philips and Reed Elsevier were among businesses that joined a powerful group of NGOs and clean energy experts during Climate Week to launch of a multi-year initiative to encourage major companies to commit to using 100 percent renewable power.
With the goal that “by 2020, 100 of the world’s largest businesses will have committed to 100 percent renewable power,” the RE100 campaign will highlight the business and reputational benefits enjoyed by companies that make the commitment to use power exclusively from renewable energy sources. It will also help companies that wish to switch to renewables by providing guidance on selecting and implementing the best approach to utilizing renewable power, and information on the financial implications, risks and rewards of different options.
Businesses need a secure, reliable and affordable energy supply. While fossil fuels have historically provided this, drawbacks of using depleting and polluting resources make seeking alternatives critical. Renewable energy sources are a smarter option — providing an affordable, clean, reliable and guaranteed future power supply.
Leading businesses, NGOs and renewable energy experts have now come together in a coordinated effort to accelerate businesses across the world to commit to using 100 percent renewable power. Led by The Climate Group, in partnership with CDP and in collaboration with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and others, the RE100 campaign will provide a powerful network to support and celebrate businesses that are increasing their use of renewable power.
IKEA, Swiss Re, BT, Commerzbank, Formula E, H&M, KPN, Mars, Nestlé, Philips, Reed Elsevier, J. Safra Sarasin and Yoox have all made firm commitments to using renewable power — recognizing the environmental and business benefits.
RE100 will showcase how businesses are making the journey towards 100 percent renewable power. The campaign will engage business leaders, policymakers and financial institutions to encourage their role in accelerating a clean energy future.
“Investing in renewable power makes complete business sense — it aligns with our corporate expectations on financial returns and our values,” said Steve Howard, Chief Sustainability Officer at IKEA Group (pictured, left). “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.”
Juerg Trueb, Head of Environmental and Commodity Markets at Swiss Re, said his company also recognizes the business opportunity of renewable energy: “We decided on a 100 percent renewable power approach because as a leading wholesale provider of reinsurance and insurance we believe that tackling climate change while meeting the energy needs of a growing and developing world is 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.”
Ben Ferrari (center), The Climate Group’s Director of Partnerships, highlighted the focus for the campaign in the coming year: “We are delighted with the ambition of leading companies to go 100 percent renewable. 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.”
In July, Mars was among another dozen companies, looking to increase availability of cost-competitive renewable energy to run their businesses, that signed the Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles to better communicate their purchasing needs and expectations to the marketplace. The companies — Mars, Bloomberg, Facebook, General Motors, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, Novelis, Procter & Gamble, REI, Sprint and Walmart (which has committed to running 100 percent on renewables by 2020) — hope the principles will open up new opportunities for collaboration with utilities and energy suppliers to increase their ability to buy renewable energy.