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Corporate Renewable Energy Purchasing Gets a Boost

wind turbineCorporations and governments intensified the renewable energy push last week. Six global companies joined RE100 with commitments to 100 percent renewable energy across their operations, coinciding with a government-led Corporate Sourcing of Renewables campaign that launched at the Seventh Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM7) in San Francisco.

The renewables campaign, led by the Danish and German governments, is encouraging business in CEM member countries to join RE100, a global initiative of top businesses such as Unilever, Starbucks, Nike, HP and Johnson & Johnson, committed to 100 percent renewable electricity. Led by The Climate Group and CDP, RE100 works with companies to help them transition to renewable energy sources.

The six new companies that joined RE100 are: global interconnection and data center provider Equinix, Swedish food processing and packaging giant Tetra Pak, Canadian financial leader TD Bank Group, carpet manufacturer Interface, global advertising group Dentsu Aegis Network, and global enterprise cloud applications provider Workday.

The new joiners take the total number of companies in RE100 to 65.

When they meet their 100 percent renewables goals, the six new companies will create demand for more than 4,000GWh of renewable energy per year, according to The Climate Group.

Also at CEM7, other RE100 companies made announcements about their progress toward 100 percent renewable energy.

Autodesk said it has achieved its target four years ahead of schedule by purchasing renewable energy certificates (RECs). The software company said it will now focus on procuring additional and local renewable energy to catalyze demand in all geographies where it operates. Additionally, Autodesk said it has set an internal carbon price.

Meanwhile, Microsoft reasserted its recent commitment to powering its datacenters with energy that is at least 50 percent wind, hydro and solar by 2018, and 60 percent early next decade. The carbon-neutral tech giant says this means moving beyond datacenters that are already carbon neutral to also having those datacenters rely on a larger percentage of wind, solar and hydropower electricity over time.

Microsoft is working through the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA) to meet its goals.

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 “cut costs and hedge the risks of relying on entirely on increasingly volatile fossil fuels.” The plan, which has been challenged in the courts, would cut carbon emissions by 32 percent by 2030, compared to 2005 levels.

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