The RE100 initiative is gaining steam. At Climate Week NYC this week already 10 companies from Apple to VF Corp (owner of The North Face, Timberland and other lifestyle companies) to Bank of America, annoyed that they will commit to 100 percent renewable energy.
That means more than 80 of the world's largest companies, including General Motors—which announced its commitment last week—have now joined the initiative. In doing so, they are increasing the use of renewable energy and the demand for it.
“It is widely acknowledged that we will not succeed in keeping a global temperature rise below two degrees without significant corporate leadership on energy, and that is what we are seeing here today,” said Damian Ryan, acting CEO of The Climate Group. The Climate Group and CDP introduced the initiative at Climate Week 2014 in New York City. “Dozens of world leading companies joining RE100 are showing there's a clear business case to invest in cleaner energy pathways that will accelerate the transition to net-zero emissions economies. Investors and policymakers must respond to rising corporate demand and ensure that supportive policies are in place.”
Since Friday at least 12 companies have joined the ranks of RE100 and more are expected to join this week. General Motors was perhaps the company with the largest amount of manufacturing to join. This week tech companies, including Apple, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, VMware and Rackspace joined the movement.
“Climate change is the defining issue of our generation and it’s incumbent upon us as large global businesses to take action and lead by example,” said Letitia Webster, vice president of Global Corporate Sustainability at VF Corp. Indeed for a lifestyle products company like VF, it may be even more important because climate change affects recreational activities. ”VF and our brands such as The North Face, Timberland, Vans, and Wrangler are committed to achieving our 100 percent renewable energy goal by 2025 and doing our part to address the global climate challenges.”
Apple, which has previously announced many of its green initiatives, also joined the RE100 movement. The company said that 93 percent of its global operations in 23 countries ran on renewable power last year. While it continues to invest in more renewable energy for its own uses, it’s also pushing for its suppliers and supply chain to green their energy supply. Currently, it estimates that roughly 77 percent of its emissions come from its supply chain.
"Apple is committed to running on 100 percent renewable energy, and we’re happy to stand beside other companies that are working toward the same effort", said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president for Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives. She added, “We’re excited to share the industry-leading work we've been doing to drive renewable energy into the manufacturing supply chain”, she added, “and as Tim Cook says: ‘We have to be the ripple on the pond….We can’t just be 100 percent renewable energy—we have to bring others with us.” She also called for carbon pricing to help push the drive for more renewables.Tweet