BMW and Coca-Cola join latest wave of RE100 pledges

Carmaker BMW and soft drinks producer Coca Cola Enterprises are among the latest companies pledging to source all of their electricity from renewable energy sources as they join The Climate Group's RE100 initiative.

Four other companies have pledged to secure 100% renewable electricity as part of the campaign – International Flavors & Fragrances, Nordea Bank, Pearson and Swiss Post – taking the total number of companies signed up to RE100 to 53. 

The pledges were announced yesterday (7 December) during the COP21 climate talks in Paris, where RE 100 founding partner IKEA is showcasing the campaign’s success story.

Pace of change

Hubert Patricot, European president at Coca-Cola Enterprises, said: “Climate change is one of the most significant material risks for our business. Tackling climate change is also the right thing to do for our planet and we believe that the transition towards a low-carbon economy can deliver significant long-term economic benefits.

“Committing to 100% renewable electricity will help us to grow a low-carbon business and deliver our wider commitment to reduce the carbon footprint of our core business operations by 50% by 2020. Working with like-minded organisations like RE100, we are convinced we can accelerate the pace of change.”

The Climate Group estimates that, when the 53 companies are operating with 100% renewable energy, they will create demand for 90.1TWh of renewable electricity, saving around 56 megatonnes of CO2 annually. If the world’s 1,000 most influential companies were powered 100% from renewables, they could save 1,080 Megatonnes of CO2 each year, according to The Climate Group.

Emily Farnworth, RE100 campaign director at The Climate Group, said: “Many companies are switching to renewable power at a remarkable rate, and encouraging their suppliers and customers to do the same.

“Our analysis of the private sector’s electricity consumption and carbon emissions indicated that a switch to power from renewable sources could cut global CO2 by nearly 15%. By acting together, the world’s leading companies are creating a thriving renewable energy market that will help keep a global temperature rise below two degrees.”

Last week, Microsoft and Adobe announced they were joining the RE100 pledge alongside Google, which also announced it was adding 842MW of renewable energy capacity.

The timeframes for the pledges vary. Pearson, for example, has already been sourcing all of its electricity from renewable sources for the past three years, while Coca-Cola Enterprises aims to source 40% of its energy from renewable sources by 2040.

Global manufacturing emissions in 2014 were an estimated 5.55 million metric tons – 21% lower than the business-as-usual forecast but 16% higher than the 2004 baseline.

Matt Mace

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