Wells Fargo & Co., Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and VF Corporation – owner of many apparel and footwear brands including The North Face, Timberland, and Wrangler – are among a group of world-leading businesses from diverse sectors of the economy that on Tuesday, during Climate Week NYC 2016, joined RE100 with commitments to 100% renewable power.
They follow hot on the heels of Apple and Bank of America, both of which joined RE100 with announcements on stage at the Opening Ceremony of Climate Week NYC yesterday. Amalgamated Bank has also joined the initiative just days after General Motors did the same.
Speaking on their RE100 announcement, Mary Wenzel, Senior Vice President and Head of Environmental Affairs at Wells Fargo, said: “We are very pleased to have joined RE100 and be in the company of others who have also committed to using 100 percent renewable electricity for their operations.
“Learning from RE100 experts and other members is going to be critical as we work toward meeting our 2020 sustainability commitments, including our goal of powering 100 percent of our global operations with renewable electricity by 2017 and transitioning to long-term agreements that directly fund new renewable electricity projects by 2020.”
Letitia Webster, Vice President of Global Corporate Sustainability at VF Corporation, said: “Climate change is the defining issue of our generation and it’s incumbent upon us as large global businesses to take action and lead by example.
“VF and our brands such as The North Face, Timberland, Vans, and Wrangler are committed to achieving our 100 percent renewable energy goal by 2025 and doing our part to address the global climate challenges.”
Damian Ryan, Acting CEO of The Climate Group, welcomed the new commitments: “It is widely acknowledged that we will not succeed in keeping a global temperature rise below two degrees without significant corporate leadership on energy, and that is what we are seeing here today.
“Dozens of world leading companies joining RE100 are showing there’s a clear business case to invest in cleaner energy pathways that will accelerate the transition to net-zero emissions economies. Investors and policymakers must respond to rising corporate demand and ensure that supportive policies are in place.”
There are now 81 members of RE100. The 12 new companies joining the campaign at Climate Week NYC 2016 are helping to drive demand for over19.3TWh of renewable electricity, almost enough to power the whole of Long Island (21.6TWh). This takes the estimated total demand being created by all RE100 members to over 100TWh.
Demonstrating progress against goals.
Just two years since the launch of RE100 at Climate Week NYC 2014, existing members are already demonstrating clear progress towards their 100% goals. Re/insurance company Swiss Re, a founding partner of the RE100 campaign, today announced plans to build and operate its own solar power plant at the company’s US headquarters in Armonk, New York. Construction of the 2MW facility will begin in October 2016. Here, Lasse Wallquist, Senior Environmental Management Specialist at Swiss Re, explains why investing in solar PV makes environmental and economic sense.
Global healthcare company Johnson & Johnson last week strengthened its interim RE100 goal with a commitment to powering its facilities with 35 percent renewable energy by 2020. The company has contracted usage of 100MW of wind energy from E.ON’s new wind farm in Texas, an agreement that will generate electricity equivalent to about 60 percent of their consumption in the U.S.
Cleaner, smarter energy
Also on Tuesday, new joiners were announced to EP100, The Climate Group’s new global initiative run in partnership with the Global Alliance for Energy Productivity that works with businesses committed to doubling their energy productivity.
The Climate Group’s two corporate initiatives RE100 and EP100 are designed to work hand-in-hand to help companies maximise the economic benefits of every unit of energy they consume – and to ensure that what energy they do use for power, is renewable.