How HP Plans to Reach 100% Renewable Energy Across Global Operations
HP has committed to powering its global operations with 100 percent renewable energy â€”Â and says it plans to reach the 40 percent renewable electricity mark by 2020 â€” because, as Nate Hurst, HPâ€™s chief sustainability and social impact officer says, â€śboth cost-effective and low carbon sources of energy are essential to the future and the growth of HPâ€™s business.â€ť
To help the tech company reach its goal, HP has joined RE100, a global initiative of top businesses such as Unilever, Starbucks, Nike and Johnson & Johnson, committed to 100 percent renewable electricity. Led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project, RE100 works with companies to help them transition to renewable energy sources.
On April 1 RE100 member companies Adobe, Ikea, Mars, Google and Microsoft filed friends of the court briefs supporting the Clean Power Plan, which the businesses say will help â€ścut costs and hedge the risks of relying on entirely on increasingly volatile fossil fuels.â€ť The plan, which has been challenged in the courts, would cut carbon emissions by 32 percent by 2030, compared to 2005 levels.
â€śWe know that using renewable electricity sources at our facilities reduces the consumption of natural resources, lowers costs and provides a hedge against rising fossil fuel prices,â€ť Hurst told Environmental Leader. â€śBy demonstrating the corporate demand for renewable electricity, we and the other industry leaders that are part of RE100 can help drive the creation of more renewable energy in the grid that is available to us and others, including our customers and partners.
Hurst says the companyâ€™s current global energy mix includes about 13 percent from renewable sources. Of this 13 percent, about 1 percent is generated on-site at HP facilities. In addition to saving the company money on electricity bills and reducing its climate-related risk, HP expects the shift to 100 percent renewable energy will increase revenue through new business.
â€śWe want customers who care about ethics, sustainability and diversity to recognize HP as the brand for them,â€ť Hurst explains. â€śOur legacy is one of strong sustainability performance and our pledge to reach 100 percent renewable electricity in our global operations is just one way of ensuring our legacy comes with us to the new company.â€ť
In November, Hewlett-Packard split into two companies: HP and Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co.
Hurst says HP has a three-phase strategy to reach its 100 percent renewable energy goal:
- Reduce energy consumption by optimizing operations/building efficiency and implementing new efficiency projects. This includes retrofitting facilities with new LED technologies.
- Increase the use of on-site renewable power. As an example: HP is investigating the use of on-site solar power at its Singapore facility.
- Acquire or generate off-site renewable power to offset brown power emissions, including the use of renewable energy credits and power purchase agreements.
Hurst says improving the companyâ€™s energy efficiency is the most effective way to reduce its direct energy use and related greenhouse gas emissions, while saving money. Thatâ€™s why itâ€™s the first phase of the companyâ€™s renewables strategy.
In 2014, the most recent publicly reported year, HP performed a full recommissioning of the corporate headquarters in Palo Alto, California, with energy savings of 1 million kWh per year. It also substituted a chiller at its Corvallis, Oregon site with a variable speed drive unit, saving 1 million kWh of energy annually. Worldwide, HP replaced aging building management systems at several sites, including Santa Fe, Mexico; Lyon, France; Dublin, Ireland; and Barcelona, Spain; achieving energy savings of 2.1 million kWh per year.
These and other such efforts helped HP operations reduce consumption to 3,852 million kWh of energy in 2014 â€” 4.1 percent less than in 2013, and an 11 percent decrease from its 2010 baseline.
In fiscal year 2016, HP is investing about $2 million in energy and water conservation projects. These include:
- Upgrading HVAC control sequences for more efficient equipment operation at its Boise, Idaho and Corvallis, Oregon sites.
- Installing variable speed drives on existing constant speed pumps and fans at the Boise site.
- Retro-commissioning â€” this includes making sure critical sensors are calibrated, occupancy schedules match the current building usage, and otherwise optimizing existing equipment â€” at the San Diego, California site.
- Adding the Boise and Palo Alto into HPâ€™s existing Smart Building Application. This is a fault detection and diagnostic software that automatically looks for equipment that is performing inefficiently and then notifies the technicians that energy is being wasted and corrective action is required.
- LED lighting retrofits at the Palo Alto site and at two Singapore sites.
- Automatic water meter readers at its Palo Alto, Bulgaria and Romania sites.
From a business standpoint, the switch to renewables makes sense, Hurst says.
â€śRenewables make business sense because they can improve our competitiveness by decoupling growth from impact, driving efficiency and better positioning the company for future energy markets (such as costs, sourcing options, etc.) and regulatory conditions,â€ť he says. â€śThe private sector accounts for aroundÂ half of the worldâ€™s electricity consumption. Switching this demand to renewables will accelerate the transformation of the global energy market and to a low carbon economy. It is important to HP and to many of our customers that we aid in this transformation.â€ť
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