By Sophia McNab, Campaigns Officer, ShareAction
July 2017 marks a landmark moment in the global effort to transform our energy system – 100 companies have now joined the RE100 initiative, committing to power their operations with 100% renewable electricity. ShareAction coordinates an investor group in support of the RE100 initiative and we are delighted to celebrate this milestone.
ShareAction’s mission is to mobilise the investment system to be a force for good and galvanising investor action on climate change is a key part of our work. In the glow of the Paris Agreement, where 195 countries agreed on the need to keep global warming well below two degrees, in 2015 ShareAction brought together a fledgling group of investors equally passionate about that challenge. Since then, the investor group in support of RE100 has doubled in size, growing to 50 members and surging past the $1 trillion threshold.
Over the last year the investor group has engaged with 70 of the world’s largest companies in sectors and markets all over the world. By sending investor-endorsed letters, asking questions at company Annual General Meetings (AGMs) and talking through the challenges and benefits of renewable electricity procurement with these companies, we have helped to push sustainable power up the corporate agenda.
Since 2015, the investor group in support of RE100 has doubled in size, growing to 50 members and surging past the $1trillion threshold.
Against a backdrop of increasing affordability, some supportive regulatory changes and increasing public and investor scrutiny, corporate renewable electricity use has soared. This week four new companies joined the RE100 initiative – AkzoNobel, AXA, Burberry and Carlsberg Group. The 100 corporate members of the RE100 initiative are now creating demand for around 146 terawatt hours of renewable electricity annually – about as much as it takes to power Poland.
Today is the Burberry AGM and activist Bill Linton is attending to commend the company on its commitment to transition to 100% renewable electricity by 2022. When a company shows leadership on sustainability, that is something worth highlighting. We’ve been discussing RE100 with the Burberry team since June 2016, and we’re delighted that this week we can celebrate the company’s ambitious renewables pledge with them.
Against a backdrop of increasing affordability, some supportive regulatory changes and increasing public and investor scrutiny, corporate renewable electricity use has soared.
— RE100 (@theRE100) July 11, 2017
As we celebrate this milestone — 100 companies and 50 institutional investors backing RE100 – it is clear that renewable electricity targets have now entered the mainstream of the corporate community. For a company looking to position itself as a leader in the low-carbon economy, a pledge to 100% renewable power now needs to be teamed with an ambitious target date, a commitment to direct purchasing or on-site generation and proactive efforts to engage with their supply chain.
For institutional investors, ongoing engagement with investee companies on electricity procurement and broader climate targets must also become the norm. Better, smarter energy use is the mark of a company that recognises that sustainability and cost-effectiveness go hand-in-hand. The 100 RE100 companies, and early-movers joining the complementary EP100, are a promising sign that this message has caught on but more work remains to deliver on a low-carbon transition.
— RE100 (@theRE100) July 11, 2017
Thanks Sophia! To read more about our campaign in support of renewable electricity, click here.