RE100 members Apple, Etsy and Swiss Re, and digital platform provider Akamai, have joined forces to develop two new wind and solar energy farms in Illinois and Virginia in the US. The projects will generate 290 megawatts of renewable electricity, enough to power 74.000 homes.
The collaboration is led by Apple and is making it possible for Etsy, Swiss Re and Akamai to buy renewable power at competitive prices from projects in a market which would otherwise have been difficult for the companies to access.
Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100, The Climate Group, said: “This is a fantastic show of collaboration between forward-thinking companies pioneering new ways of sourcing renewable energy. By partnering to buy renewable electricity, these RE100 members are able to leverage the bargaining power of their combined electricity demand. They are also sending a powerful signal that businesses want access to low-cost, clean power in all markets – and they’re not going to wait for utilities to deliver it.”
Leadership after 100%
As members of RE100, led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, Apple, Etsy and Swiss Re have all committed to source 100% renewable electricity for their global operations. Apple reached its target of 100% earlier this year and went further by committing its suppliers to the same, while also advocating for ambitious clean energy policy.
"At Apple, we’re proud to power all of our operations around the world with 100 percent renewable energy,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s Vice President of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives.
“In the process, we’ve charted a course for other companies and organizations to purchase renewable energy and transition their own operations to greener power. The collaboration announced today shows how companies of all sizes can address climate change by coming together.”
Stronger corporate ambition
The announcement of the new agreement between these companies follows a new report from Bloomberg NEF revealing that businesses and public agencies have broken 2017’s record for clean energy purchasing.
The report highlights RE100 member Facebook as the biggest corporate buyer of renewable power, followed by other members such as Microsoft and Walmart. These businesses are investing in long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) to secure clean energy at stable prices, avoiding the volatility of the wholesale power market.
Managing risk is key for Swiss Re. Commenting on the new collaboration to build wind and solar projects in the US, Brian Beebe, Head of Origination North America, Weather and Energy, Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, said: “As a leader in mitigating climate risk, Swiss Re aims to reduce its carbon footprint and support renewable energy, which is why we're so happy to be part of this collaboration."
“Etsy is excited to be a part of a project that will benefit both the planet and our customers,” added Rachel Glaser, Etsy Chief Financial Officer.
“This agreement will help Etsy to meet our goal of powering operations with 100% renewable electricity while also innovating by paving the way for small companies to participate in the renewable energy market.”
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