Australian companies are committing to corporate energy responsibility and 100 per cent renewables through the newly-launched Australian arm of RE100.
The first Australian meeting of the global corporate leadership group on renewables was recently hosted in Sydney.
So far, 154 RE100 companies worldwide have committed to 100 per cent renewables. Seventy-five of these have operations in Australia including Fujitsu, Mars Inc and Unilever.
Big companies take corporate energy responsibility lead
Earlier in 2018, food giant Mars entered a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) in Australia. As a result of this, it pledged to source 100 per cent of its electricity from renewable energy by 2020.
The surge in Australian electricity prices has pushed business towards renewable energy. That’s the verdict of Barry O’Sullivan from Mars Australia.
The food group also aims to eliminate greenhouse gases from its operations by 2040. It will do this by using clean energy like solar power.
Meanwhile, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency is funding a corporate online marketplace. The first platform of its kind in Australia aims to boost corporate renewable uptake.
The $1.74 million Business Renewables Centre (BRC) project will make it easier for corporations and local authorities to enter into a clean energy PPA.
Clean energy companies officially outperform peers
A Capgemini report released in September this year shows pioneering companies are increasingly promoting clean energy as a part of corporate energy responsibility.
Global companies contracted 7.2 GW of renewable electricity through PPAs in the first half of 2018. This is already more than 2017’s record of 5.4 GW for the whole year.
Yet the report also shows that companies committed to 100 per cent clean energy have a financial edge over their peers.
The study analysed data from 3,500 companies between 2016 and 2017. Results show RE100 businesses consistently perform better than non-members. This is judged on net profit margin and EBIT margin (earnings before interest and taxes).
Smart Energy Council on board with RE100 pledges
Smart Energy Council CEO John Grimes also attended another RE100 gathering in Canberra this month.
Australian businesses have been left exposed by lack of federal guidance on energy policy, Grimes says. They are therefore committing to 100 per cent renewables because Australia has reached a tipping point in favour of wind and solar installations.
Companies now know clean energy is good for business as well as the environment. Committing to renewables will also help them to be globally competitive in the long term.