The Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) launched the Advanced Energy Buyers Group, a consortium of Fortune 500 companies committed to increase the proliferation of renewable energy throughout the US and global economy. The group, which includes Apple, Amazon, Walmart and Lockheed Martin, was formed to advocate for pro-renewable energy policies that make it easier for companies to fulfill their clean energy goals.
Already 71 Fortune 100 companies and 215 Fortune 500 companies have adopted sustainability and renewable energy goals, according to AEE’s 2016 Corporate Advance Energy Commitments report. Showing that larger corporations' clean energy purchases are becoming common practice and can also serve as models for smaller businesses to follow. The report also shows that sustainability goals are not only marketable for firms’ public image, but ultimately saves them money.
"A growing number of companies have made a commitment to advanced energy by setting renewable energy or energy-related sustainability targets, but antiquated market and regulatory barriers stand in the way," said Malcolm Woolf, SVP of policy at AEE, which will facilitate the work of the new group.
Members of the Advanced Energy Buyers Group, like Microsoft and Salesforce, will interact with local, state and federal agencies to remove barriers to procure and develop more renewable energy sources. Many US states do not have policies in place or lack the amount of renewable energy capacity to fulfill corporate clean energy demands.
But increasingly companies are making choices on where to locate facilities on state's clean energy policies or thier ability to purchase clean energy in the states. Amazon, for instance, has been building new facilities in Virginia and it's been making arrangements with utitlies to build giant solar farms for it in the state.
"As Microsoft buys more renewable power, we are looking for ways to make these energy sources more affordable and accessible for ourselves as well as other businesses and households," said Rob Bernard, chief environmental strategist at Microsoft. "We've made good progress, but more work needs to be done to advance policies that make it easier and cheaper for more companies, schools, hospitals and families to buy clean energy. These policies help support businesses, create new jobs, strengthen our electricity grid and create a more sustainable future."
Advanced Energy Buyers Group members are already making significant progress towards sourcing power from renewables. Microsoft and Walmart made the Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership List of Fortune 500 companies for consuming the most renewable energy in 2016. The EPA estimates that Microsoft, ranked second, used almost 3.5 billion kilowatt-hours from a combination of solar and wind in 2017. Walmart, ranked 8th, also consumed over 826 million kilowatt-hours generated from solar, wind and biogas.Tweet