World Environment Day: Businesses Renew their Renewable Energy Commitments

In commemoration of World Environment Day (5 June), a number of large and small companies from around the world have announced new pledges to combat climate change. This was achieved by signing up to the Climate Group's leadership initiatives on renewables (RE100), electric vehicles (EV100) and smart energy use (EP100).

A number of businesses and even one government department has signed up to various projects that will stimulate cleaner and smarter energy consumption.

The Climate Group has provided confirmation that ONO Pharmaceutical, a Japanese company, has joined the RE100 initiative through its commitment to source 100% renewable energy by 2050. German technology company Continental and e-commerce retailer Zalando, are also aiming for 100% renewable energy by 2040 and 2025 respectively. Novozymes, the world's largest provider of enzyme and microbial technologies has also pledged to reach 100% green energy by 2030.

Furthermore, Japan’s Ministry of Defence has now enlisted as an ambassador for the RE100 project. This makes it the third Japanese ministry to do so. Previous commitments were made by the Ministry for Environment and Foreign Affairs.

Helen Clarkson, the Climate Group’s chief executive said the following: “On World Environment Day, it's encouraging to see such a display of corporate leadership on accelerating climate action and government endorsement of our RE100 initiative. By working together, businesses and policymakers can get us on track to achieving net-zero emissions by the middle of the century.” 

Closer to home, at least five UK businesses have marked World Environment Day by signing up for the EV100 initiative. This is a commitment to switch a business’ fleet to all electric.

Currently, more than 80,000 low-carbon vehicles are now on the road thanks to the EV100 scheme. By 2030, the target has been set to 2.5 million vehicles. If successful, this will save an estimated 42 million metric tons of CO2, or the equivalent emissions of 11 coal power plants, according to the latest report.

Recently, OVO Energy signed up for the EV100 initiative, along with Drover, Rentokil Initial, Tarmac and Tusker.

OVO Energy has committed to transitioning its business fleet to electric vehicles by 2030, and installing charging capacity at its offices to encourage employees to adopt electric vehicles (EVs). Members will be able to reduce their home energy waste and cut carbon emissions through a carbon tracker. EV drivers will also be able to take advantage of EV Everywhere, a renewable energy tariff.

Kate Weinberg, OVO’s director of sustainability said: "We all need to take action towards a world beyond carbon, and businesses need to lead the way. In our sustainability strategy, Plan Zero, we pledge to achieve net-zero carbon emissions from our operations by 2030. So we're proud to sign up to EP100 and EV100 crystallising our commitments to electrify our fleet and improve energy productivity."

Today, 13 businesses have also signed up to the Climate Group’s EP100 initiative. This is a worldwide initiative with the aim of bringing together corporate entities to increase energy productivity. This will be achieved by producing a higher economic output per unit of energy consumed.

The number of companies, cities, states and regions that have committed to delivering zero-carbon buildings has more than doubled, according to the latest report. It has also been confirmed that 95 signatories are working towards its Net-Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment.

As we head towards a sustainable future, energy suppliers in the UK will offer tariffs that are 100% renewable. Some providers already do this, however not all of them have said ‘no’ to traditional fuel sources.

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