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Corporate clean power commitment unstoppable at Climate Week NYC, in spite of COVID-19

23 September 2020, 13:00 BST 3 min read

Corporate clean energy ambition is growing in spite of COVID-19, as yet more global companies from the US, Europe and Asia sign up to green their entire electricity usage.

Intel (information technology, US), ASICS (apparel, Japan), Sanofi (healthcare, France), SKF (bearing and seal manufacturing, Sweden), and VELUX Group (roof window manufacturer, Denmark) are all joining the RE100 initiative, led by international non-profit the Climate Group in partnership with CDP

The announcements come on the second day of Climate Week NYC – the time and place where the world gathers to showcase amazing climate action and discuss how to do more.

A growing movement

RE100 now brings together more than 260 of the world’s most influential companies committed to 100% renewable power, in more than 140 markets worldwide. Collectively, they are creating demand for 281 terawatt hours per year in renewable electricity – enough to power a G20 country (e.g. Australia (247.6 TWh/yr).

BloombergNEF estimates suggest RE100 companies, with a combined revenue of US$6.6 trillion, will need to invest over US$98 billion in clean energy to meet their RE100 goals – a vast source of finance for rebuilding a green economy.

“I’m thrilled to see more and more companies leading the way on 100% renewable power,” says Helen Clarkson, CEO, the Climate Group – organizers of Climate Week NYC. “COVID-19 isn’t holding them back – clean energy is here to stay and the time to invest is now. 

We have to halve emissions this decade to be within a fighting chance of reach net zero by 2050. As we work to rebuild greener, stronger economies, we’ll need many more companies to be seizing these golden opportunities.

Helen Clarkson, CEO, the Climate Group

Committing to 100% renewable power

Toddy Brady, Director, Global Public Affairs & Sustainability, Intel Corporation, which is targeting 100% renewable electricity by 2030, says, “We are encouraged by actions we have seen by companies, investors, utilities and governments to increase commitments in renewable energy supplies and are proud to sign on to RE100.”

“For decades Intel has worked to reduce our carbon footprint through the use of green power and alternative energy investments. Our hope is to further stimulate the market to make these options more accessible over the long term.”

Philippe Luscan, Executive Vice President, Global Industrial Affairs, Sanofi, says, “Sanofi is proud to join the RE100 initiative and is committed to sourcing 100% renewable electricity in its global operations by 2030. 

“Given the impact of climate change on health, Sanofi has made commitments to mitigate global warming. Its greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals, including indirect emissions from its value chain, have been recognized by the Science Based Targets initiative as ambitious. This reflects the company's commitments to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions and promote the use of renewable energies, with the aim of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.”

Earlier this week, PepsiCo also joined RE100, with a commitment to sourcing 100% renewable electricity by 2040. The company estimates this will save approximately 2.5 million metric tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – the equivalent of taking more than half a million cars off the road.

Jim Andrew, Chief Sustainability Officer, PepsiCo, said, “With the devastating effects of climate change being felt around the world, and the global food system under significant strain, accelerated action is needed. 

“We know the responsibility that comes with our size and scale, so transforming PepsiCo’s global business operations to 100% renewable electricity is the right step forward to deliver meaningful impact as we continue to advance our sustainability agenda.”

Companies pushing ahead

Also today, seven companies are being named winners of the RE100 Leadership Awards, for ‘going above and beyond’ in the transition to 100% renewable power.

Earlier this month, Dentsu Aegis Network reached its RE100 goal of 100% renewable electricity, and Google committed to sourcing 100% clean power 24 hours per day, seven days per week.