Global companies are driving the low-carbon transition

A new RE100 report shows that an ever-growing group of multinational companies with a combined revenue of $2.75 trillion are driving the transition towards a low-carbon economy by investing in renewable energy to power their businesses.

Approaching the tipping point: how corporate users are redefining global electricity markets is the latest progress report from RE100, a global corporate leadership initiative led by CDP and The Climate Group.

As the report shows, more companies than ever are following through on their commitment to 100 per cent renewable power. For instance, 25 RE100 members had already reached their 100 per cent renewable energy target by the end of 2016.

The biggest achievers in 2016 included Bank of America, Astra Zeneca and Coco Cola Enterprises, whose share of renewable electricity increased more than threefold.

The report also recorded a fourfold increase in the proportion of renewable electricity being sourced via power purchase agreements in 2016. What’s more, the quantity of renewable electricity sourced from onsite generation increased 15 times via supplier-owned projects and 9 times via member-owned projects.

This means that more and more RE100 members are directly growing renewable energy capacity.

Leading this trend is the strong business case behind growing green: 88 per cent of companies said their are motivated by the “compelling economic case” for renewable electricity, with 41 per cent of companies reporting that renewable electricity was either cost competitive or delivered significant savings on their energy bills.

“CDP data shows a jump in renewable energy procurement and that motivations are not only environmental but economic,” said CDP CEO Paul Simpson in a statement announcing the report’ release.

“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.”

RE100 brings together 122 global companies with a combined revenue of over $2.75 trillion and operations spanning six continents. Together they represent over 159 TWh per year of demand for renewable energy, meaning if RE100 were a country it would be the 24th biggest in the world in terms of electricity demand.

Its members now source 32 per cent of their electricity from renewable sources.

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