When Big Businesses Unite

Everyone has been calling for more action to address climate change, and many have responded. The corporate sector is one of them. A report revealed that roughly 43 percent of companies belonging to Fortune 500 have set their strategies on helping the environment either through greenhouse gas reduction, renewable energy consumption or energy efficiency.

Businesses have an obligation to provide their clients with quality services and products. But it’s not only the obligation that they have. It is also imperative to provide value to customers by committing to a greater cause: helping improve the lives of many.

And gladly, big firms are doing just that by committing to use renewable energy in their operations under the RE100 initiative.  From soda makers, search engines and clothes manufacturers. It is heartwarming to know that some of our favorite brands are part of a global initiative that is committed to using 100 percent renewable energy.

Here are some of them:

AstraZeneca

This pharmaceutical firm is committed to sourcing 100 percent of its power requirements globally by 2025. In the meantime, it has set a goal of using 100 percent RE for Europe and the US by year 2020.

Bloomberg

A provider of business and financial information, Bloomberg has its vision of using 100 percent RE by 2025.

BMW

German luxury car maker and motorcycle and engine manufacturer wants to buy 2/3 of all its power requirement from RE sources by 2020 and eventually consume 100 percent of RE power in the future.

Coca-Cola

Everyone knows (and probably consumes coke), but few know that this cola manufacturer intends to power its operations using RE by 2020.

Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.

This global investment bank and securities and investment management firm has the goal of using 100 percent RE by 2020.

Google

The number 1 search engine is also the largest firm to use RE and is committed to source 100% of its energy needs from renewable sources. It has also made a commitment to purchase 2.5 GW of RE and invest $2.5 billion in RE projects.

H&M

This fashion retailer is not only a favorite shopping destination in malls, but also a committed firm that intends to go 100 percent RE in the near future.

H&P

One of the biggest computer and print systems maker, H&P wants to increase its RE consumption to 40 percent of its total needs by 2020 and eventually go 100 % RE in all its operational needs in the future.

Johnson & Johnson

The health care company has made a mission of helping individuals and families live longer and healthier. And part of its vision of healthier individuals is its commitment to help address climate change through 100 percent us of RE use by year 2050.

Marks and Spencer

UK-based multinational retailer is already using 100 percent RE in UK and intends to source 100% of its energy needs from RE soon.

Microsoft

Bill Gates- led Microsoft has been using 100 percent RE since 2014 via purchase of renewable energy certificates and offset plus power purchase agreements. The firm is able to generable some amounts of power via their solar panels found in the rooftop of its campus in Silicon Valley.

Nestle

Swiss-based manufacturer Nestle wants to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 35% and plans to increase its consumption of RE to achieve this goal.

Nike

Popular for its athletic shoes, Nike also wants to purchase all its energy requirements from RE sources.

P&G

P&G boasts of the strongest household name brands and operates in around 70 countries. It plans to power up its full operations through RE, and in the meantime wants 30 percent of its power requirements sourced from RE by 2020.

Unilever

British-Dutch multinational company and a direct competitor of P&G proudly uses 100 percent RE in Europe and the US. It also aims to source all of its energy needs through RE by 2030, as well in other areas where it operates. In the interim, it intends to use 100 percent of all electricity bought from the grid from RE by 2020.

Wal- Mart

A global retailer with more than 11,000 stores in the world in some 28 countries has a target of buying 7,000 GwH of renewable energy by 2020 and eventually fuel its 100% of operations by renewables.

google-logo

Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System near the California-Nevada border. Google is one of the major investors of the plant. Photo c/o http://www.ibtimes.co.uk

Choosing to go renewable is a task that requires careful thought. Corporations at first must decide on their targets.  They can choose either to set a percentage target of their overall energy consumption (i.e. power up 50 percent of their total operations through RE sources by 2022); choose to set a procurement target in absolute numbers (i.e. purchase 100 MW by 2022), or identify an investment level ( i.e. spend some $1 billion in renewable energy resources by 2022).

Aside from setting targets, the private firms also have to choose how to execute them. RE targets, after all, may come in the form of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), Power Purchase Agreements or Direct Investments.

RECs are tradable commodities in the United States. A certificate is the proof that one megawatt of electricity was sourced from a renewable energy source and was connected and passed through the grid. On the other hand, purchase power agreements are commitments to buy power from an RE supplier or developer for a negotiated price at a specified time period while direct investments pertain to firm’s strategy of developing and operating their own RE power plants.

Clearly, the choice of going green is not a process completed overnight. But just the same, such initiatives of these global brands must not go unnoticed. Reducing our carbon footprint is the responsibility of all. And happily, the private sector is doing its part.

References:

https://www.google.com/green/energy/

https://www.microsoft.com/about/csr/environment/renewable_energy/

http://there100.org/re100

https://www.ceres.org/resources/reports/power-forward-why-the-world2019s-largest-companies-are-investing-in-renewable-energy

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