BMW and Coca-Cola join wave of companies signing up to 100 per cent renewables push

Madeleine Cuff

Fresh round of companies sign up to RE100 pledge to source all their electricity from renewable sources, taking total number of committed firms to 53

BMW and Coca-Cola Enterprises are among the latest tranche of businesses to announce they will get all their electricity from renewable sources as part of the RE100 initiative, which encourages businesses to source 100 per cent renewable power.

The latest wave of pledges will be unveiled this morning as part of 'Energy Day' at the ongoing UN climate summit in Paris. The newest additions to the pledge join the likes of Microsoft, Nike, Marks & Spencer, and Walmart in moving towards 100 per cent renewable electricity use.

In total six more companies have pledged to secure 100 per cent renewable electricity: BMW Group, Coca-Cola Enterprises, International Flavors & Fragrances, Nordea Bank, Pearson and Swiss Post.

The time frames for achieving the target vary - Pearson has sourced all its electricity from renewable sources since 2012, while Coca-Cola has an interim target of sourcing 40 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2040.

It takes the total number of companies signed up to the campaign to 53. New analysis from The Climate Group and CDP suggests that the 53 RE100 participants will create demand for 90.1TWh of renewable electricity once they have made the switch - saving 56 million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.

The analysis also estimates that if 1,000 of the world's most influential companies switched to 100 per cent renewable electricity, it could save around 1,080 million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year, shaving 3.4 per cent off global carbon emisisons.

Emily Farnworth, RE100 campaign director, said the world's leading companies are creating a "thriving market" for renewable energy.

"Many companies are switching to renewable power at a remarkable rate, and encouraging their suppliers and customers to do the same," she said in a statement. "The RE100 campaign is sending a clear message to Paris that the technological solutions to tackle climate change already exist, and that business supports the switch to renewable power."

The news comes just days after media giant Bloomberg inked a major 20 year deal with EDP Renewables to purchase 20MW of clean power from EDP Renewables for its New York Offices.

Bloomberg agreed to buy over a quarter of the energy generated by the Arkwright Summit Wind Project in Chautauqua County, New York, making it the largest single corporate purchase of renewable energy ever recorded in the state. The project is expected to avoid more than 340,500 metric tonnes of carbon emissions over 20 years.

"This agreement will benefit our company financially, but it also reflects our commitment to sustainable business practices" said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg in a statement. "This new wind farm - just a short drive from a coal plant that Bloomberg Philanthropies helped phase out - will bring more clean energy onto the grid and power about half of our New York operations, helping to make our company one of the greenest in the state."

The deal means Bloomberg will power over half its New York State operations from clean energy sources once the project is complete

This article is part of BusinessGreen's Road to Paris hub, hosted in association with PwC.

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