Smart Business: Fortune 500 companies are leading the way in terms of renewable energy investments

More and more leading American companies are turning their attention towards renewable energy and energy efficiency. A new report, published this week, from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Ceres, Calvert Research and Management (Calvert), and the CDP, finds that Fortune 500 companies in America are increasingly taking steps to reduce their climate impact.

The report indicates a clear increase in corporation’s ambitions relating to climate change, with a range of companies committing to 100% renewable power. Science-based targets aligning with the 2015 Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise well below two degrees Celsius are also widely adopted.

Despite the growing apathy advertised by the new Trump Administration, the report finds that 63% of Fortune 100 companies have at least one clean energy target, and 48% of Fortune 500 Companies have at least one climate or clean energy target, representing an increase of 5% from 2014.

Overall, 23 of the Fortune 500 companies have committed to 100% renewable energy targets, while 19 are signatories of the 100% renewable energy initiative. The report also shows strong commitment among the smallest 100 companies within the Fortune 500, with 44% of them setting goals in at least one category.

Technology giant, Apple, and the business software company Salesforce, are leading the way on clean energy uptake and emissions reduction, and many are joining the trend. Walmart, General Motors, Bank of America, and Facebook also being cited in the report for their bold efforts.

“American businesses are leading the transition to a clean economy because it’s smart business and it’s what their customers want,” said Marty Spitzer, WWF’s senior director of climate and renewable energy. “Clean energy is fueling economic opportunity from coast to coast without regard for party line. Washington policies may slow this boom, but these companies are making it very clear that a transition to a low-carbon economy is inevitable.”

The report clearly highlights the financial benefits companies receive from their renewable energy investments. Nearly 80.000 emission-reducing projects by 190 Fortune 500 companies reporting data showed close to 3.7 billion USD in savings in 2016. Technology giants IBM and Microsoft are among the companies saving tens of millions of dollars annually through their energy efficiency efforts.

But it is not solely the giants that are planning to benefit from renewable energy investments. Small companies (around 100 members from the fortune 500 group) have also joined in turning their attention to the benefits of renewable energy investments. This shows that demand for renewable energy across the US is growing quickly and efforts from Washington to sideline action on climate change have failed to catch on.

Access the original report here.

Judith Gruendler, 27. April 2017, 16:15

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