America’s Largest Firms Are Always Aiming to Lower Carbon Emissions
Some of America’s biggest businesses have been implementing new ideas and working tirelessly towards reducing America’s carbon footprint and enhancing renewable energy for years. However, they recently hit a major hurdle when their President, Donald Trump, announced the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris Agreement.
They Won’t Give Up
Even with this withdrawal, over 800 of America’s largest firms and investors, such as Amazon, Facebook and Nike, have declared they are still in, and have pledged to continue lowering carbon emissions to meet the 26% lower emissions target by 2025.
These firms have made their commitment evident as they have developed plans to lower emissions and are now carrying out a number of wind and solar projects to enhance renewable energy that they wish to implement across the globe.
Leading the Way
Some companies have even signed power-purchase agreements (PPAs), whereby they commit to developing solar and wind farms at agreed prices, as opposed to buying the main amount of their power from utilities, which in many cases cannot guarantee energy is 100% clean.
Smaller businesses also signed PPAs, however, over half of America’s wind energy PPAs went to larger companies aiming to take advantage of a federal tax credit before its expiry date. Larger businesses have also pushed the development of 20GW of solar and wind farms in the US, that’s 4GW more than the entirety of offshore and onshore wind capacity in Britain.
The world’s largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch, has a variety of brands, such as Corona and Stella Artois, and counts a large number of millennials amongst its customers, many of whom take environmental issues seriously.
Electricity is used as part of the brewing process in order to refrigerate liquids, so much so that it accounts for a tenth of its costs. In March 2017, Anheuser-Busch set out to enhance the role of renewables in generating power from just 7% all the way up to 100% by 2025, 85% of which will come from PPAs.
The world’s greenest utilities company, Iberdrola, is building a 220MW wind farm in a blustery part of Mexico to supply Anheuser-Busch’s largest brewery with clean energy from 2019. This will even add an impacting 5% to Mexico’s renewable capacity. The brewer also expects other PPAs to follow in other countries around the globe, such as India, Brazil, South Africa and Argentina. Anheuser-Busch is also negotiating with its suppliers, especially those which produce aluminium cans, to encourage them to do the same.
Walmart and Apple
As well as Anheuser-Busch and Iberdrola implementing new sources of renewable energy, the world’s largest retailer, Walmart, also have plans to lower emissions. Back in March 2017, Walmart said it would require its own operations to lower CO2 emissions by 1bn tonnes by 2030. This is the equivalent to taking 211m passenger cars off of America’s roads for one year. This announcement went down very well with charities, who have decided to help Walmart’s suppliers work towards their targets.
Apple, the creators of the iPhone, released a statement in April 2017 saying that 7 of its largest global manufacturers have promised to power their Apple-related production with renewable energy by the end of 2018. This is helping its suppliers to improve energy efficiency, with hopes to bring 4GW of renewable power online by 2020.
A Positive Reputation
As so many business have signed PPAs and are aiming to make a positive change, many environmentalists now see businesses as allies in the fight against climate change. They also believe businesses are strong forces behind the global spread of clean energy, despite their respective governments’ policies or lack thereof.
2EA® are registered Low Carbon Energy Assessors, Consultants and ESOS Lead Assessors, offering both energy management and reduction services ranging from CCL/CHPQA Management to Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) and Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) consultancy.