Some of the world’s largest businesses have announced plans to fully transition to using renewable electricity, providing a further boost to the global renewables market.
Nine well-known firms – Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, Goldman Sachs, Nike, Starbucks, Salesforce, Steelcase, Voya Financial and Walmart – during the annual Climate Week in New York announced that they have joined the global campaign RE100, which encourages businesses to source 100% renewable power.
All the firms have pledged to secure all their electricity from renewable sources, although the time periods for achieving the new target varies by company. For example, Goldman Sachs has pledged to source all its electricity from renewable sources by 2020, while Nike has pledged to go fully renewable by 2025.
Similarly, Len Sauers, vice president of global sustainability at Procter & Gamble, said the firm was aiming to source 30% of its energy from renewables by 2020, with a longer-term aim to be fully powered by renewable energy later down the line. “Efforts like RE100 are key to helping scale efforts and allow peer-to-peer networking with like-minded companies,” he said.
Mark Kenber, chief executive of NGO The Climate Group, said companies that commit to investing in low-carbon power will see significant business benefits.
“Lowering risk, protecting against price rises, saving millions and boosting brand is what shaping a low carbon economy is all about,” he said. “Today these companies are signalling loud and clear to COP21 negotiators that forward-thinking businesses back renewables and want to see a strong climate deal in Paris.”
The nine new RE100 members join the likes of IKEA, Unilever and Marks & Spencer, which have all previously committed to sourcing all their power from renewables. In addition, life sciences and materials company Royal DSM joined RE100 earlier this week, while fragrance creator Givaudan and environmental and industrial measurement firm Vaisala joined last week. In total, 36 companies have now joined RE100 since its launch in 2014.
The news follows a high-profile update on the global divestment push, which was announced on Tuesday at the launch of New York Climate Week. Leonardo DiCaprio became the latest high-profile figure to announce he is to divest his multi-million dollar fortune, as new figures revealed total fossil fuel divestment pledges have now exceeded $2.6tn globally.
We also saw the UN launch a new initiative, dubbed Climate Neutral Now, which is designed to encourage more firms and individuals to offset their emissions using UN-approved carbon credits.