NEW YORK: There are strong business advantages to becoming 100% powered by renewable energy say senior leaders from IKEA, Infosys and Marks & Spencer, in three exclusive video interviews for Climate TV, The Climate Group’s new digital channel.
Meeting at the Formula E ePrix earlier this year, sustainability experts from the multinational companies shared their energy transition journeys as partners of RE100 – a global campaign led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, to engage, support and showcase influential businesses committed to 100% renewable electricity – which was launched at Climate Week NYC 2014.
Today at Climate Week NYC 2015, The Climate Group celebrates yet more businesses publicly committing to become 100% renewable in order to reduce their CO2 emissions, with 9 new American partners announced today including Nike, Starbucks and Walmart.
One of the RE100 founding partners, IKEA Group, has invested heavily in renewable energy in order to be able to produce as much energy as it consumes by 2020. This investment allows IKEA to be energy independent and secure its business stability. Joanna Yarrow, Head of Sustainability in the UK and Ireland for IKEA, says “becoming 100% renewable is gearing ourselves up to be a successful business in the future.”
Adam Elman, Marks & Spencer’s Head of Global Plan A Delivery, urges other businesses to lead by example and join RE100: “One business alone isn’t big enough to make a difference, we have to work in collaboration, in coalition, like all things in sustainability. We want to get together, shout about it, hopefully inspire other businesses, share the lessons we have learnt along the way and show it can be done. These things aren’t as hard as they might seem.”
M&S is the first major retailer in the world to have carbon neutral operations and aims to achieve its 100% renewable power goal by 2020 as part of its ‘Plan A’ sustainability strategy.
Infosys, the first Indian company to join RE100, has set a target of becoming carbon neutral by 2018 by reducing energy use and switching to renewable power. “It just makes basic business sense,” says Mohamed Anis, Head of Energy and Services for Europe for Infosys, speaking about its target which has already saved the organization US$80 million just through electricity cutting measures alone. Commenting on the importance of RE100 he adds: “You have much more momentum to chase a goal that you yourself have declared in a very public manner.”
RE100 will play a key role in the lead up to the COP21 climate negotiations in Paris, with innovative businesses demonstrating to global policymakers they are committed to developing a low carbon economy.
Emily Farnworth, RE100 Campaign Director, The Climate Group, said: “The collective voice of all these businesses coming together to say they are going 100% renewable really sends a strong message to other businesses and policymakers; that this is the direction of travel that we are going to go in, this is the future for power and the more companies that do it, then the more quickly we will get there.”
There are now 36 members of RE100 including Alstria, Autodesk, BT Group, Commerzbank, (DSM), Elion Resources Group, Formula E, Givaudan, Goldman Sachs, H&M, IKEA, Infosys, J. Safra Sarasin, Kingspan, KPN, Johnson & Johnson, Marks & Spencer, Mars Incorporated, Nestlé, Nike, Philips, Procter & Gamble, Proximus, RELX Group, SAP, SGS, Starbucks, Steelcase, Swiss RE, UBS, Unilever, Vaisala, Voya Financial, Walmart and YOOX Group.