Companies are going 100% renewable with their supply chains as new energy procurement tools emerge

This article was first published on WePower - Medium
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Photo by Tiger Lily from Pexels

Corporate sustainability initiatives are increasingly important as corporate and industrial clients account for two-thirds of the global energy consumption. Various organizations such as RE100 and Science Based Targets unite climate-conscious corporates with the goal in mind that everyone reaches their targets.

Science-Based Targets holds pledges from more than 400 companies committing to net-zero emissions targets by 2050. These companies represent more than $8.6T in combined market cap. RE100 consists of 290 large global businesses committed to 100% renewable electricity. Two-thirds of RE100 members forecast to reach 100% renewable electricity by 2030. Among them, 53 companies have already announced reaching 100% renewable energy targets.

While these numbers look impressive, the actual energy market data doesn’t paint quite the same picture. Bloomberg projects a 269TWh clean electricity shortfall for the current RE100 signatories. According to Bloomberg, global PPA (power purchase agreements) volume last year made up only 6% of the 393GW needed yearly installations until 2050. These projections show that even the global companies will likely struggle to source new green energy for their direct needs, let alone their supply chains.

Before I share our experience as to how these projections can be turned around, I will touch upon the supply chains’ topic. For there to be a tangible impact, we need to look at the entire supply chain’s sustainability. According to McKinsey, an average consumer company’s supply chain accounts for far greater social and environmental costs than its own operations. More than 80% of greenhouse-gas emissions and more than 90% of the impact on land, air, water, biodiversity, and geological resources sit on the supply chain side. So when a consumer company claims to have gone 100% green while not asking the same from its supply chain, it means nothing.

On a global scale, electricity and heat ...

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