New Reports on Climate Impacts: RE100 and the business case for making change

November has been a busy month for climate reports. From the Fourth National Climate Assessment to The Met Office releasing their 2018 Climate Projections  with heavy emphasis on the impacts of climate change on our health and economy.

It is inspiring to see that companies are making strides to reduce emissions in order to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon future. In a report released this month by The Climate Group, the progress of the RE100 campaign’s 155 global member companies is documented. Collectively, these companies are creating demand for 188 TWh of renewable power per year – equivalent to the 23rd largest country electricity consumption in the world.

What is RE100?

RE100 is led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP and brings together influential businesses committed to 100% renewable power. The RE100 commitment is for a company to use 100% renewable energy across its global electricity supply. RE100 members believe that sourcing 100% renewables future-proofs their business operations and lowers risk. By joining RE100, companies are sending a strong signal to policy makers and regulators that easy access to renewable energy is a competitive advantage in a globalized economy.

Why commit to RE100?

There are many reasons why committing to RE100 can benefit your business. Committing to RE100 will allow your business to:

  • Meet your emission reduction goals
  • Reduce your exposure to energy price volatility
  • Enhance your reputation by demonstrating leadership
  • Benefit from the correlation between RE100 committed companies and achieving above average financial performance

A Capgemini report found RE100 members consistently perform better than their peers on two key financial performance indicators: net profit margin and EBIT margin (Earnings Before Interests and Taxes). The difference is significant, ranging from 0.3 to 7.7 percentage points (excluding outliers).

The benefits of the campaign expand beyond individual companies. Bloomberg estimates that leading businesses are providing a new source of finance to drive demand for renewable energy around the world. To reach their 100% goals, approximately $94Billlion in renewable energy investments will be required, adding up to 100 gigawatts of wind and solar energy to the grid.

This fourth edition of the RE100 annual report shows the increased use of renewable energy, and expansion of the campaign in global market.  According to the report, the average target year for RE100 members to become 100% renewable is 2026, and more than 3/4 companies aim to get there by 2030. Nearly a quarter of the total membership (37 of 155 companies) sourced over 95% of their electricity from renewables in 2017, and almost half of the 155 RE100 members achieved above 50% of energy form renewable sources. This means that RE100 members are far ahead of the global average of 26.5% and ahead of leading countries such as Spain (33.7%) or the UK (26%).

Who is committed?

Globally RE100 has 155 members from a variety of sectors. Members include Fortune 100s and household names like Apple, Google, Ikea, Unilever, and ABInBev.

More than 20 companies sourced all their electricity from renewable sources in 2017. Six new companies reached their 100% target including Amalgamated Bank, Capital One, Google, Gurmen Group, Jupiter Asset Management, and Wells Fargo, with Jupiter Asset Management reaching its goal one year ahead of target. Apple also announced having reached its 100% renewable electricity target last year.

For companies committing to ambitious targets, many have set and achieved their interim targets.  Others are seeking support along their journey. Carbon Credentials has worked with a large financial service company supporting them with reporting on their significant economic, environmental and social impacts.  Carbon Credentials also supports The Crown Estate who returns 100% of its annual profits to the Treasury for the benefit of the public finances. It has a target to source 100% renewable electricity by 2022. In their own words:

“Over the past six years The Crown Estate has depended on Carbon Credentials for the reliability of its environmental data. Carbon Credentials’ persistence and willingness to investigate and collaborate with all parties concerned has given us improved quality and accuracy of data.”

Jane Baptist, Impact Reporting Lead, The Crown Estate

What can your business do next?

Businesses are in a powerful position to play a meaningful role in mitigating climate change and we can see that the actions of the private sector and RE100 are very positive harbingers of changes underway.  There are several sourcing options available for companies to begin the RE100 journey including:

  1. Contracting with suppliers (green electricity products)
  2. Buying unbundled energy attribute certificate purchases
  3. Purchasing from on-site installations owned by a supplier
  4. Purchasing from an off-site generator through a direct line and with no grid transfers
  5. Onsite generation where possible.

What can you do now?

Further information is available in the RE100 Technical Criteria and if you are interested in learning more about RE100 and building your own roadmap for emissions reduction, please reach out to Johanna Goetzel, Senior Strategy Consultant, Johanna.goetzel@carboncredentials.com