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Meet the Businesses Aiming for 100% Renewable Energy

Sustainability chiefs gather at the Formula E eprix in Battersea Park, London, calling for the uptake of renewable power

Sustainability chiefs gather at the Formula E eprix in Battersea Park, London, calling for the uptake of renewable power across the private sector.'

From left to right: Phil Levermore, Chairman of The Climate Group; Mohamed Anis, Head of Energy and Services for Europe - Infosys; Penny Cross, Director of Communications - CDP; Emily Farnworth, RE100 Campaign Director; Julia Palle, Sustainability Manager - FIA Formula E; Adam Elman, Head of Global Plan A Delivery - Marks & Spencer; Joanna Yarrow, Head of Sustainability in the UK and IE - IKEA.

RE100 logoFollowing the webinar last week on Sustainable Cities Collective about the many cities committed to aimng for 100% Renewable Energy, leading businesses are publicizing their own commitment to the same target and chalenging others to follow their example, citing the many benefits of doing so.

The group of sustainability and energy leaders include Formula E, IKEA, Infosys and Marks & Spencer – all partners of RE100, the global initiative led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP to engage, showcase and support the world's most influential companies committed to using 100% renewable power.

They also said that renewable power should be a priority for governments taking climate action.

They made the announcement on Saturday June 27, at the FIA Formula E eprix in London. Speaking ahead of the final race of the Formula E season, Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E, said: "Formula E is the first ever all electric cars racing series and it is extremely important to us that the cars are powered cleanly thanks to glycerine - an innovative zero emission fuel - because we know that to reach the full potential of electric vehicle benefits we need to use renewable energy. This is why it is important for us to be part of RE100 and that we are very happy to welcome them at our London ePrix."

Scandinavian furniture firm IKEA recently announed it plans to spend €1bn ($1.13bn) on renewable energy and steps to help poor nations cope with climate change. It has an aim of sourcing all its power from renewable sources by 2020.

Joanna Yarrow, Head of Sustainability in the UK and IE for IKEA, one of the Founding Partners of RE100, said in her short speech that: "Climate change is one of the world's biggest challenges and we need bold commitments and action to find a solution. That's why we are going all in to transform our business, to ensure that it is fit for the future and we can have a positive impact. This includes going 100% for renewable energy, by investing in wind and solar, and converting all our lighting products to affordable LED bulbs, helping many millions of households to live a more sustainable life at home."

Mohamed Anis, Head of Energy and Services for Europe, Infosys, which recently became the first Indian company to join RE100, said: "We've taken great strides in the past seven years to become sustainable across our operations, and with the renewable energy market opening up now in India, we aim to source all our electricity from renewables by 2018."

Marks & Spencer is another company with a pledge to become 100% sustainable on energy use that it announced in May. Since the launch of its environmental 'Plan A' in 2007, M&S has lowered its carbon emissions by 19% and has become carbon neutral across its worldwide operations. It now has a target to improve its UK and ROI energy efficiency by 50% by 2020 and to source 50% of its gas from certified green bio-methane sources.

Adam Elman, its Head of Global Plan A Delivery, , said: "Through our sustainability programme, Plan A, we're working hard to cut our impacts and already directly source 100% renewable electricity in the UK and ROI. This includes electricity produced from the UK's largest single roof mounted solar array on our Castle Donington distribution centre. Being part of RE100 gives us an opportunity to share what we have learned and encourage other businesses to switch to renewable energy."

Phil Levermore, Chairman of The Climate Group referred in his speech to the upcoming climate talks in Paris. "We need to secure a strong agreement at the climate talks in Paris later this year, but even if we do, it won't kick in till 2020 – which leaves us with a gap. This is an opportunity for business to show real leadership on climate by joining RE100. With more than half the world's electricity being used by the industrial and commercial sectors, this is our chance to shift the global energy market in favour of renewable power – helping us transition to a prosperous, low-carbon future."

There are now 20 corporate members of RE100, including Autodesk, BT Group, Commerzbank, Elion Resources Group, Formula E, H&M, IKEA, Infosys, KPN, Marks & Spencer, Mars Incorporated, Nestlé, Philips, Reed Elsevier Group, J. Safra Sarasin Bank, SAP, SGS, Swiss Re, Unilever and Yoox Group.

RE100 launches in China next week and is an action of the We Mean Business coalition.

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