RE100, the global initiative committed to 100% renewable electricity, now boasts 100 companies from around the world all committed to the goal of securing 100% of their electricity needs from renewable energy sources, after AA, AkzoNobel, Burberry, and Carlsberg Group all signed on this week.

RE100 is a global initiative created by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP (formerly the Climate Disclosure Project), as part of the We Mean Business Coalition. The initiative’s goal is to advocate for and support companies aiming to secure 100% of their electricity needs from renewable energy sources. Launched at Climate Week NYC 2014, the campaign now has companies from all over the world — in Europe and the US, India, China, and most recently, Japan.

Together, the 100 companies now partnering with RE100 represent a total of 146 terawatt-hours (TWh) annually of renewable electricity demand — a long way from the 13 companies representing 19 TWh the initiative started with.

The four new additions include French insurance company AXA, global luxury fashion brand Burberry, one of the world’s largest brewers the Carlsberg Group, and Dutch paints and coatings company AkzoNobel.

  • AXA wants to procure 100% of its renewable electricity by 2025, and will seek to use a range of options, including buying electricity directly from providers and compensating for non-renewable electricity.
  • Burberry is aiming to source 100% of its electricity from renewable energy sources for the company’s whole business by 2022
  • The Carlsberg Group has committed to 100% renewable electricity at all its breweries by 2022, and is aiming to become carbon neutral by 2030
  • AkzoNobel has committed to being carbon neutral and using 100% renewable energy for electricity and heating by 2050

“Business leadership is key to addressing climate change, so we must all step up and take bold collective action,” said Cees ‘t Hart, Chief Executive Officer, Carlsberg Group.

“Through RE100, we are joining forces with other like-minded companies to lead the change towards a low-carbon future.

“Switching to 100% renewable electricity offers a sustainable business case with financial, social and environmental benefits. Hopefully together, we can inspire others to step up and do the same.”

Have we, however, reached a tipping point, “whereby a transition to a renewable electricity system becomes unstoppable, and the end of fossil fueled power becomes a medium-term certainty?” Sam Kimmins, head of RE100, thinks maybe we have.

So maybe we have already hit that elusive tipping point. How will we know? Gigawatts of new renewable installations have exceeded new fossil fuel installations every year since 2012. It’s likely that the fossil fuel power industry has already hit its ‘Kodak Moment’, after which its decline and replacement by new technology becomes an inevitability.

“But a 200-year-old fossil fuel habit can be hard to shake off, even when it makes great business sense.”

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