Today business, industry and commerce accounts for half of the world’s electricity consumption. While many companies are already reducing their carbon emissions and energy bills, The Climate Group’s RE100 global campaign goes a step further and is helping the world’s most influential businesses go 100% renewable.
As part of our countdown to Climate Week NYC, Emily Farnworth, RE00 Campaign Director and Phil Levermore, Chairman, The Climate Group explain why RE100 is a leading example of how businesses can act on climate in the crucial run up to the UN's global talks in Paris and beyond, in two exclusive video interviews for our digital channel Climate TV.
Convened by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, RE100 is an ambitious global initiative to engage, support and showcase influential companies committed to using 100% renewable power. In the campaign, companies gain a better understanding of the advantages of being 100% renewable, and benefit from peer-to-peer learning as well as greater public recognition of their ambitions and achievements as they work towards their goals.
“Now is the time for businesses to take the lead and to step into the gap,” says Phil Levermore, Chairman of The Climate Group. “It makes complete sense for businesses to switch to renewables for a number of reasons: it’s good for the market, it’s good for their consumers, it looks great, it’s a great thing to say, and it shows the business’s commitment to a sustainable future for themselves and for their customers.”
Officially launched at Climate Week NYC 2014, RE100 brings together leading companies from all over the world spanning a wide range of sectors, such as Unilever, IKEA, Mars, Nestle and Swiss Re.
“We used to use the phrase, which I liked a lot, ‘carbon down, profits up’,” says Phil Levermore. “Businesses who are moving to a carbon-free or low carbon future are future-proofing themselves as companies, and best serving their stockholders and their customers.”
This year RE100 is also expanding outside of the US and Europe, with the first Chinese and Indian companies joining the ranks over the last few months.
“Businesses are making the commitment to go 100% renewable not just because it’s a nice thing to do, but because it makes perfect business sense,” underlines Emily Farnworth, RE100 Campaign Director, The Climate Group in a separate video interview. “This sends a message to businesses globally: this is not a difficult thing to do, it’s something every business should think about.”
“We have a technical working group,” explains Emily Farnworth, “and we are working with experts in the field. We are able to bring solutions around different opportunities for businesses to secure renewable energy – such as power purchase agreements or on-site generation – so they have much more information about what’s actually possible.
“Demonstrating that businesses want renewable power and highlighting it to policymakers, gives new opportunities to highlight how energy regulations can change in those part of the world where companies can’t necessarily access renewables.”
With the climate negotiations in Paris fast approaching, RE100 is a big opportunity to showcase what businesses are doing and to support the emissions cuts that are needed to keep global temperature rises below 2 degrees Celsius.
“This demonstrates that companies not only want to see a bold commitment to a long-term goal coming out of the negotiations in Paris, but also that they are prepared to put their own investment into delivering that,” concludes Emily Farnworth. “This is not just calling for a long-term goal: this is about demonstrating how we’re going to achieve that long-term goal.”
Our digital countdown to Climate Week NYC 2015 runs from September 1-20.
Each day The Climate Group is releasing exclusive conversations with key figures from the worlds of business and politics and beyond – through video, social media and blogs – as well as expert briefings. Follow @ClimateGroup for the latest.
See the full gallery of #CWNYC graphics and tweets to join the countdown, by clicking below.
Climate Week NYC is a key event in the international calendar that brings together leading governments, investors, businesses, innovators and opinion formers. The Climate Group launched Climate Week NYC in 2009, and has acted as the secretariat since its inception.
Host to more than 100 affiliate events from September 21-28, Climate Week NYC 2015 is the collaborative space for climate events in support of the UN Summit to adopt the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
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To learn more about this year’s Climate Week NYC, as well as receive regular announcements and updates on Climate Week NYC, follow #CWNYC and @ClimateWeekNYC. For media interviews, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Climate Week NYC is a cornerstone event in the international calendar that brings together influential global figures and new voices from the worlds of business, government and investors to lead the transition toward net zero-emissions. The Climate Group launched Climate Week NYC in 2009, and has since acted as the secretariat. Host to more than 70 affiliate events across the city, this year Climate Week NYC will also act as the collaborative space for climate events in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement.