Kellogg, Estée Lauder, and DBS Bank Join Growing Ranks of RE100 Clean Power Initiative

Photo-illustration: Pixabay

The global RE100 initiative has added yet more high profile companies to its ranks this week, after Kellogg Company, Estée Lauder, DBS Bank, and Clif Bar & Company all pledged to source 100 per cent of their power from renewable sources across their worldwide operations.

The latest additions to the group mean there are now 106 corporates committed to the RE100 scheme, which is operated by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP.

This week’s commitments take the total renewable electricity demand from the group to around 150TWh annually – enough to power New York State for a year.

Helen Clarkson, CEO of The Climate Group, said companies were committed to climate action through the RE100 initiative due to the clear business benefits.

“They’re not doing it out of the goodness of their hearts – renewable power makes business sense, and corporate leadership is absolutely key to delivering on the Paris Agreement at speed,” she said.

Beauty, skin care, and fragrance giant Estée Lauder, which sells products in 150 countries, has said it will source all its electricity globally from renewable sources by 2020, representing a significant jump from the 45 per cent renewable power share achieved across its operations in 2016.

Organic food and drink firm Clif Bar & Company, meanwhile, has already been purchasing renewable electricity certificates equivalent to 100 per cent renewable power for the past decade.

However, the firm said it now plans to explore more direct means of sourcing clean power.

DBS Bank, a leading financial services group in Asia, said it plans to reach the 100 per cent renewables target by 2030 across its Singapore operations, which account for 65 per cent of its global business. It will then explore options for sourcing clean power across the remainder of its global business.

And while Kellogg currently sources more than 20 per cent of its electricity from renewables through local utilities contracts in Europe, it has now pledged to raise its share to 40 per cent by 2020 and 100 per cent by 2050.

Diane Holdorf, Kellogg Company’s chief sustainability officer, said the firm had also already invested in energy efficiency measures and low carbon technologies through its separate commitment to science-based climate targets.

“Going 100 per cent renewable is the obvious next step; lowering business risk, generating financial savings, and helping other companies make the switch as well,” she added.

The latest renewables commitments came as confectionary brand M&M’s launched its ‘Fans of Wind Energy’ campaign yesterday aimed at raising awareness of renewable wind power among consumers.

Part of parent company Mars Inc.’s recent $1bn Sustainable in a Generation plan to invest in tackling climate change, the customer focused campaign will see the M&M’s ‘Red’ and ‘Yellow’ branded characters act as “enthusiastic advocates for renewable wind-powered energy” with limited edition wind-power branded M&M’s available to buy in US stores, the firm said.

The campaign comes in support of Mars’ goal to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions across its own operations by 2040.

Tanya Berman, VP for chocolate at Mars Wrigley Confectionery US, said it was rare to see product personalities become the voice of a cause, but the firm believed the tactic could help consumers better relate to the campaign.

“Consumers are increasingly aware of the big issues our planet faces and expect the brands they care about to take action,” said Berman. “This is one way we can raise awareness and bring colour to the conversation around how renewable energy can counteract climate change.”