London: Low carbon business growth was re-affirmed as the FIA Formula E championship came to an exciting close this weekend in London, where Nelson Piquet Jr was crowned ePrix champion.
Energy and sustainability experts from leading companies including Formula E, IKEA, Infosys and Marks & Spencer gathered at the electric motor racing final on Saturday, where they shared the business case for renewable power and called for bolder climate action from governments.
Phil Levermore, Chairman, The Climate Group joined partner companies at the ePrix final, stating: “We need to secure a strong agreement at the climate talks in Paris later this year, but even if we do, it won’t kick in till 2020 – which leaves us with a gap. This is an opportunity for business to show real leadership on climate by joining RE100.
“With more than half the world’s electricity being used by the industrial and commercial sectors, this is our chance to shift the global energy market in favor of renewable power – helping us transition to a prosperous, low carbon future.”
See more photographs here
As the price of both wind and solar energy is predicted to keep falling – with wind already the cheapest form of new generation in Europe, Australia and Brazil – businesses are increasingly seeing the case for investing in renewable power. Indeed, a recent We Mean Business report shows companies are already seeing a 27% internal rate of return on average for their low carbon investments.
A leading example is global retailer IKEA, a RE100 Founding Partner, which is making ambitious investments in renewable energy which allows it to stabilize costs by being less reliant on fluctuating global energy markets.
Infosys, a major IT company which recently became the first Indian company to join RE100, is also funnelling more finances toward renewables. Mohammed Anis, Head of Energy and Services for Europe, says Infosys is now focused on going 100%: "We've taken great strides in the past seven years to become sustainable across our operations, and with the renewable energy market opening up now in India, we aim to source all our electricity from renewables by 2018."
One of the aims of the Formula E race is to showcase the potential of renewables across sectors. As part of its own journey to being 100% renewable as a partner of RE100, Formula E is also developing batteries and more efficient storage solutions to help drive wider renewables adoption.
The second ePrix championship, which begins this September, will be an ‘open championship’ with the aim of encouraging and showcasing electrical energy innovation.
The RE100 initiative is supporting and accelerating the shift in demand for renewables, and now has 20 corporate partners around the world. They include Autodesk, BT Group, Commerzbank, Elion Resources Group, Formula E, H&M, IKEA, Infosys, KPN, Marks & Spencer, Mars Incorporated, Nestlé, Philips, Reed Elsevier Group, J. Safra Sarasin Bank, SAP, SGS, Swiss Re, Unilever and Yoox Group.
By Frankie Mayo