Sian Crampsie

An increasing number of global multinational brands are ‘realising the business benefits of using green energy’ and signing up to a global initiative known as RE100, according to the Climate Group.

AzkoNobel, AXA, Burberry and Carlsberg Group have become the latest members of the RE100 initiative by pledging to undergo a transition to the use of renewable energy across all their global operations.

The latest signings follow in the footsteps of other major brands such as Ikea, Apple, Coca-Cola, Diageo and Google, and brings to 100 the number of companies backing the pledge.

“By championing the compelling case for business action, we have reached 100 members three years earlier than expected,” said Helen Clarkson, CEO of the Climate Group, which founded RE100 with CDP. “Changes in the market such as the falling cost of renewables have also worked in our favour.

“We are increasingly seeing large multinationals such as Google, Ikea and Dalmia Cement demonstrating real leadership on renewables because it makes business sense – as well as helping to lower emissions, providing stable energy costs and increasing competitiveness.”

The Climate Group says that there are now 30 Fortune 500 companies among its signatories. It wants signatories to put pressure on suppliers and peers to follow their lead.

AkzoNobel is the second biggest electricity user to join RE100 after Walmart, consuming around 16 TWh annually. The Dutch paints and coatings company aims to be carbon neutral and use 100 per cent renewable energy – heat as well as electricity – by 2050.

AXA is targeting 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2025, while fashion brand Burberry is aiming to procure 100 per cent of electricity from renewable resources to power its whole business by 2022.

The Carlsberg Group, one of the world’s biggest brewers, is switching to 100 per cent renewable electricity at its breweries by 2022, as a step towards its target to become carbon neutral in 2030.