Calvert News & Commentary

Leading Companies Address Climate Change, Energy Supply with Clean Energy

New report analyzes corporate investment in renewable energy


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Despite climate and energy policy inching forward in Congress and at UN climate change negotiations, a new report from Calvert Investments, Ceres and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) shows that most of the world’s largest companies aren’t waiting on governments to embrace renewable energy and lower emissions. The report, "Power Forward: Why the World’s Largest Companies are Investing in Renewable Energy," shows that a majority of Fortune 100 companies have set a renewable energy commitment, a greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction commitment, or both. The trend is even stronger internationally, as more than two-thirds of Fortune’s Global 100 have set the same commitments.

According to the report, large corporations are increasingly turning to renewable energy to power their operations. Companies are investing in renewable energy because it makes good business sense: renewable energy helps reduce long-term operating costs, diversify energy supply and hedge against market volatility in traditional fuel markets. It also enables companies to achieve greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction goals and demonstrate leadership on broader corporate sustainability and climate commitments.

A number of Calvert holdings are profiled in the report. Google is among leading companies in the Global Fortune 100 that disclose both renewable energy and GHG emissions commitments, seeking to power its operations with 100 percent renewable energy and achieve a zero carbon footprint. AT&T also sets targets for clean energy and GHG: the company has committed to purchase 5 MW of renewable energy by 2012 and reduce absolute emissions by 20 percent by 2020. Coca-Cola is committed to a 5 percent absolute emissions reduction in developed countries by 2015, and its North American subsidiary, Coca Cola Refreshments USA recently announced a purchasing agreement with combined heat–and-power project that will provide most of the power used by Coca-Cola's Atlanta Beverage Plant.

The majority of leading climate scientists recommends that the global economy must achieve GHG emissions reductions of 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. Getting started now will be easier and cheaper—companies that wait will face risks to their competitiveness. The report includes recommendations for companies to set renewable energy and GHG reduction commitments and calls on policy makers to promote renewable energy through provisions like the Production Tax Credit for wind that help level the playing field with conventional energy sources.

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