Why the World’s Largest Companies are Investing in Renewable Energy
With discussions focusing on renewable energy at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi this week, a recently-released report from Calvert Investments, Ceres and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) shows that most of the world’s largest companies aren’t waiting on governments to embrace renewable energy and lower emissions.
The report, Power Forward: Why the World’s Largest Companies are Investing in Renewable Energy, shows that a strong majority of Global 100 companies have set a greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction commitment, a renewable energy commitment, or both.
“Nearly two-thirds of the largest global companies have committed to reduce emissions and increase their use of renewable energy. It’s more obvious than ever that businesses recognize that clean energy makes good business sense,” says Samantha Smith, head of WWF’s Global Climate and Energy Initiative. “They see value in diversifying their energy supply, securing long-term energy price certainty that protects them from volatile fossil fuel prices, and realizing large cost savings, particularly on energy efficiency investments.”
Through two dozen interviews with Fortune and Global 100 executives and analysis of public disclosures, the report finds that clean energy practices are becoming standard procedures for some of the largest and most profitable companies in the world. Among other key findings, the report shows that:
- 102 companies from the combined 171 companies in the Fortune 100 and Global 100 have set GHG reduction goals (60 percent).
- Of those, 24 companies have set specific goals for renewable energy use (14 percent), with others using renewable energy to meet their GHG goals.
- Many companies are shifting from purchasing short-term, temporary Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) to longer-term investment strategies like Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) and on-site projects, indicating a long-term commitment to renewable energy and reaping the benefits of reduced price volatility.