A global effort
The magnitude of the task that businesses across all industries face is best summarised through alliances such as the RE100, a global corporate leadership initiative with the key goal of “Bringing together major companies committed to sourcing 100% renewable electricity globally in the shortest possible timeline and by 2050 at the latest.”
The alliance was founded in New York in 2014 and the initiative has since expanded across Europe, North America, India and China, whilst also seeing rapid growth in Japan and Australia. It contains in excess of 170 of the world’s most influential companies who are genuinely committed to achieving and continuously practicing with 100% renewable power energy sources, with famous names including HSBC, ING and Goldman Sachs, RE100’s purpose is to accelerate the change towards zero carbon grids at a global scale. “
By setting a high standard for corporate leadership on renewable generation, the RE100 does not shy away from holding members to account whilst also celebrating their achievements and encouraging others to follow, particularly as they effectually communicate an incredibly compelling business case for renewables to companies, utilities, market operators, policymakers and other key influencers.
The RE100 initiative requires all members to make a public commitment to the consumption of 100% renewable electricity, this may include sources such as biomass, geothermal, solar, water or wind and it must be sourced either from the market or be self-produced.
The Barclays Energy and Climate Change Statement, published in January 2019 recognises how “climate change represents one of the greatest challenges faced by the world today,” as “Banks have an important role to play in ensuring that the world’s energy needs are met while helping to limit the threat climate change poses to people and to the natural environment.”
As the RE100 published in June, Barclays has set goals to back up this pledge having now committed to sourcing 100% renewable electricity for its global operations by 2030, with an interim goal of 90% by 2025, as well as reducing its global emissions by 80% by 2025, once the interim target is reached.
Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100, stated that; “When one of the world’s largest banking institutions commits to 100% renewable electricity, the message is clear – sourcing clean power makes financial sense.”
Barclays is not alone, in excess of 25 financial groups consisting of banks, insurers and financial advisory groups have registered with RE100 under the 100% renewable electricity pledge.
Elsa Palanza, Global Head of Sustainability and Citizenship at Barclays, believes “Banks have a broad environmental and social impact – both through our own operational footprint, as well as through the ways that we mobilise capital, advise clients, and develop products. Joining RE100 and committing to sourcing 100% of our electricity needs from renewable sources enables us to minimise our direct carbon emissions while we continue to work with our clients to help facilitate the global transition to less carbon-intensive sources of energy.”