RE100: How to get to 100% renewable energy
Nearly 200 leading global corporations are now members of the RE100. Each member has publicly committed to transition to 100% renewable energy, most within the next decade. We’re very proud of our customers have joined the RE100, with many on the verge of making their goal ahead of schedule.
Before sharing their stories, here is what you’ll want to know about the RE100.
Why 100% renewable energy as a strategic goal?
Approximately 200 global corporations have joined the RE100.
Most point to the negative environmental impacts of burning fossil fuels as a primary motivator. The burning of fossil fuels has been recorded as harmful as far back as the mid 1800s, during the heart of the First Industrial Revolution. As emissions have continued to rise, so have the negative impacts of climate change worldwide.
As we begin the Fourth Industrial Revolution, where artificial intelligence, robotics and big data drives everyday human enterprise, people are seeking ways to mitigate (and potentially repair) the worst of climate change.
Many RE100 members are also establishing science-based targets, which are GHG emissions reductions goals aligned to create enough decarbonization to prevent a temperature increase of more than 2 degrees celsius (3.6 degrees fahrenheit) versus “pre-industrial” temperatures. These commitments to lower emissions are contributing to the accelerated shift to renewable energy now taking shape nationwide and around the world.
What does it take to make the RE100?
In 2014, The RE100 was launched as one branch of The Climate Group, a non-profit, global organization dedicated to taking action on climate change since 2004. Today, the RE100 focuses on commercial and industrial corporations operating in China, Europe, India and the United States — areas that account for over two-thirds of the world’s energy use.
With this in mind, joining the RE100 is fairly straightforward. Your business needs to:
- Commit to transitioning operations to 100% renewable energy
- Report progress, leveraging resources from CDP.net, a non-profit charity that creates a global disclosure system on environmental issues.
- Be prepared to be held accountable for the commitment and to provide information, usually through annual reports, that help highlight policies and other roadblocks that can help other organizations learn from your experiences — both good and bad.
RE100 Example: Founding Member IKEA
The global retailer has already invested nearly $2 billion (USD) into renewable energy projects, with the installation of 327 wind turbines and more than 700,000 solar panels to help power its stores and distribution centers. Learn what it means for IKEA stores to go solar.
According to IKEA Chief Sustainability Officer Steve Howard, “New (RE100) members are coming on board all the time and setting ambitious, broad time frames that are stimulating the market for the deployment of renewables. By joining the campaign, other like-minded businesses can help to show that going 100% renewable is simply good business sense.”
RE100 Member: Schneider Electric
Schneider Electric is a REC Solar partner, delivering low-to-no emissions microgrids in communities spanning the US. It is also a REC Solar customer in places like Andover, Massachusetts where REC Solar | Duke Energy Renewables operate ground-mount and rooftop solar arrays connected to a Schneider Electric microgrid system. The microgrid also incorporates a natural gas generator as an anchor resource, allowing the solar panels to operate during grid outages to maintain critical operations.
It’s a company best recognized for its solutions for digital transformation of energy management and power automation. As a RE100 member, Schneider Electric is committed to sourcing 100% renewable electricity across its global operations by 2030 (80% by 2020).
How the RE100 tap different renewable energy sources – and are more profitable
Members of the RE100 — and virtually any size business — have many choices of clean energy solutions. From solar power and wind energy generation (now often combined with battery energy storage and microgrids) to hydroelectric, bioenergy and geothermal energy, renewable energy sources reached global parity with traditional fossil fuels in cost comparisons, per an International Renewable Energy Agency or IRENA report published in May 2019.
As costs have dropped, the reach of renewable energy has increased across corporate operations. Report structures used by the RE100 help benchmark, track, and plan for corporations to transition to 100% renewable energy across all operations — from office buildings and retail stores to manufacturing, distribution, financial outlets, and data centers. Renewable energy is also important to spur emissions reductions in employee commutes or transitioning delivery and service vehicle fleets to electric (EVs).
A recent report shows that RE100 members are outperforming their peers financially too. Using 2016-17 data from 3,500 companies, the study shows how those committing very publicly to 100% renewable electricity outperform on both net profit margin and EBIT margin (Earnings Before Interests and Taxes). It’s a significant difference, as much as 7.7 percentage points, that performs regardless of business sector.
It’s our goal to help the RE100 leaders continue to outpace the market and help them reach 100% renewables targets faster!
About REC Solar
REC Solar, a Duke Energy Renewables company, is a nationwide solar, energy storage, microgrid and EV charging provider that has committed to delivering a positive impact for more than two decades. We find new opportunities for energy innovations every day, including building, operating, and maintaining more than 750 commercial solar sites across the US. Like those in the RE100, we believe that to change the world, you have to lead the way.