Businesses fuelling drive towards 100% renewable energy

Businesses fuelling drive towards 100% renewable energy

Businesses fuelling drive towards 100% renewable energy

As organisations, governments and countries around the world continue the drive towards maximum sustainability and minimum environmental impact, one of the ultimate goals is 100 per cent renewable energy.

Businesses across the globe have an important part to play in this mission, and recent figures have suggested that many large companies are making strong progress on the renewables front. Bigger organisations could prove influential and inspirational for smaller firms looking to make eco-friendly improvements of their own.

'Actively reshaping the market'
In a report titled 'Approaching the tipping point: How corporate users are redefining global electricity markets', RE100 highlighted how an expanding coalition of multinational corporations are "actively reshaping the energy market" and driving progress towards a zero-emissions economy. RE100 is a global corporate leadership initiative led by The Climate Group in partnership with the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). The report's purpose is to track the progress made in 2016-17 by companies committed to 100 per cent renewable energy.

Key findings showed that 25 members of the organisation had reached 100 per cent renewable electricity by the end of 2016, including Autodesk, Sky, and Marks and Spencer. Coca Cola Enterprises and pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca were also among the biggest achievers of 2016, having recorded more than threefold increases in their share of renewable electricity.

The report also noted that the costs of renewable energy technology are falling. This has contributed to a notable move towards the direct sourcing of sustainable power, with members of RE100 increasingly developing their own renewable capacity.

Nearly nine out of ten respondents to the survey (88 per cent) said the "compelling economic case" for renewable electricity was a major reason for their organisation to adopt it. Thirty out of 74 firms said using renewables was a cost-competitive option or delivered significant savings on their energy bills.

CDP chief executive officer Paul Simpson said: "CDP data shows a jump in renewable energy procurement and that motivations are not only environmental but economic.

"With nearly 90 per cent of companies driven by the economic case for renewables, this demonstrates a fast-approaching tipping point in the transition to a zero-carbon economy.  These companies prove that energy is becoming a board-level issue across the globe and sustainability is essential for future business security. Now, it's time to tip the balance and make 100 per cent renewable the new normal."

The small business contribution
It's not just the biggest businesses that have an important part to play in the corporate mission to reduce emissions, raise efficiency and protect the environment. Smaller firms can also do their part by embracing renewable options such as solar energy, wind power and biomass systems. As the RE100 report pointed out, these measures are becoming more cost-efficient, and increasingly important as more and more industries move away from fossil fuels.

There are many other changes small and medium-sized enterprises can introduce to make their organisation greener, such as encouraging more positive practices in the workplace and collaborating with eco-friendly service partners.

Taking these sorts of actions can help companies of all sizes make a valuable contribution to global sustainability.


Image courtesy of iStock/Petmal