Visa pledges to use 100% renewable electricity by 2019

Digital payments multinational Visa has become the latest firm to join The Climate Group's RE100 project with a pledge to use 100% renewable across its operations by 2019.

One-third (35%) of Visa’s global electricity usage currently comes from renewable sources, while three-quarters of its carbon footprint comes from the company’s data centres and office buildings.

Visa will invest in renewables particularly in the US and UK, where four facilities account for 80% of its global electricity use. The firm has sought to speed up the process through measures such as improvements to data centre infrastructure and energy-efficient lighting and controls.

“We are proud to play a role in driving the adoption of renewable energy,” said Visa chief executive officer Al Kelly. “For Visa, this announcement is an example of our longstanding commitment to operate as a responsible, ethical and sustainable company, while fostering economic growth.”

Visa has vowed to support broader industry progress in this area, and as such has joined the US-based Business Renewables Center and become a signatory to the Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles.

Energy source of choice

RE100 is led by The Climate Group in partnership with non-profit CDP, to scale-up corporate demand for renewables. Visa joins the likes of NikeTelefonicaKellogg’s and Schneider Electric in targeting a transition to 100% renewables.

Upon the group in January, telecoms firm T-Mobile signified an intention to source 100% renewable electricity by 2021, in a move that will see the company save around $100m in energy costs.

A recent report from the Climate Group noted that renewables are becoming the energy source of choice for corporate electricity users. RE100 members such as Marks & Spencer, Sky PLC and Elopak Inc, were among the European companies that hit a target of sourcing 100% of their electricity from renewables in 2016.

On a global level, the biggest achievers in 2016 included Bank of America, Astra Zeneca and Coca Cola Enterprises, whose share of renewable electricity increased more than threefold.

George Ogleby

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