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More European Companies Switch to Green Power

Submitted by: World Resources Institute

Categories: Renewable & Alternative Energy, Corporate Social Responsibility

Posted: Sep 14, 2007 – 12:01 AM EST

 

Sep. 14 /CSRwire/ - LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND - September 14, 2007 – A growing number of European companies are switching to renewable energy for their manufacturing plants, stores and office facilities. Renewable energy is allowing more companies than ever to power their operations while realizing a number of business benefits in the process.

The Green Power Market Development Group – Europe (GPMDG-EU) today announced the completion of its first 100 megawatts (MW) of green power projects at 50 corporate facilities across 16 European countries. GPMDG-EU, a coalition of leading European companies, made the announcement at the 5th European Conference on Green Power Marketing in Lausanne. GPMDG-EU is convened by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and The Climate Group, two leading international organizations dedicated to finding solutions to climate change.

"Working together, some of Europe's largest energy users are demonstrating the business case for renewable energy, setting an example that other companies can follow," said Jonathan Lash, President of WRI. "They are helping accelerate society's transition towards a diversified, sustainable and clean energy future."

The projects draw upon a variety of renewable energy technologies, including 46 MW of utility-supplied green power purchases, 40 MW of on-site biomass thermal energy, 9 MW of on-site wind power, 2 MW of on-site solar thermal, 2 MW of biomass power, and 1 MW of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) and geothermal heat pumps. They total 100 MW in generation capacity and produce the equivalent of approximately 500 million kilowatt-hours per year—enough to power more than 110,000 European households.

Companies that have switched to renewable energy are reporting a number of bottom line advantages, including reduced corporate greenhouse gas emissions, diversification of energy sources to hedge against fluctuating fossil fuel prices, as well as strengthening customer relationships and brand differentiation.

"Renewable energy plays an important and growing role in helping companies reduce their environmental impact whilst boosting profitability and competitiveness," said Steve Howard, CEO of The Climate Group.

Members of GPMDG-EU include BT, Dow, DuPont, General Motors, Holcim, IBM Europe, IKEA, InterfaceFLOR, Johnson & Johnson, Michelin, Nike (Customer Service Centre), Staples, Tetra Pak and Unilever.

John Harris, IKEA Goes Renewable Project Manager, said, "To get this far has required lots of information sharing and inspiration. The Green Power Market Development Group – Europe has provided a good forum for this. Now we have to make renewable energy our first choice and use fossil fuels as the last resort. More of our co-workers need information and inspiration if we are to achieve this."

For interviews and media inquiries, please call:

Diana Profir, project manager, Green Power Market Development Group – Europe, +44 (0) 7968 402 123, dprofir@wri.org or dprofir@theclimategroup.org

Nate Kommers, media officer, World Resources Institute, +1(202)729-7736, nkommers@wri.org

ABOUT GREEN POWER MARKET DEVELOPMENT GROUP – EUROPE

Green Power Market Development Group – Europe (GPMDG-EU) is led by World Resources Institute - a global non-profit environmental think tank that links analysis with engagement to protect the Earth and improve people's lives, and The Climate Group – an international organization working with government and business to advance leadership on climate change solutions.

GPMDG-EU seeks to demonstrate the business case for renewable energy, evaluate and deploy a variety of renewable energy technologies, and engage the marketplace to take green power to scale. GPMDG-EU members explore opportunities to install renewable energy generation systems such as solar, wind, and biomass at their corporate facilities and to purchase green power from their electricity suppliers, and are playing a role in building this emerging commercial and industrial market for renewable energy in Europe.

Further information about companies switching to renewables is available in "The Business Case for Corporate Use of Renewable Energy in Europe" at www.thegreenpowergroup.org/publications.cfm?loc=eu.

ABOUT WORLD RESOURCES INSTITUTE

The World Resources Institute (WRI) is an independent, non-partisan and nonprofit organization with a staff of more than 100 scientists, economists, policy experts, business analysts, statistical analysts, mapmakers, and communicators developing and promoting policies that will help protect the Earth and improve people's lives. WRI's mission is to move human society to live in ways that protect Earth's environment for current and future generations. WRI’s program meets global challenges by using knowledge to catalyze public and private action:

  • To reverse damage to ecosystems. We protect the capacity of ecosystems to sustain life and prosperity.

  • To expand participation in environmental decisions. We collaborate with partners worldwide to increase people's access to information and influence over decisions about natural resources.

  • To avert dangerous climate change. To promote public and private action to ensure a safe climate and a sound world economy.

  • To increase prosperity while improving the environment. We challenge the private sector to grow by improving environmental and community well-being.

    Since 2000, World Resources Institute has led a successful corporate green power buyers group in the United States that includes Alcoa, Dow, DuPont, FedEx, General Motors, Georgia Pacific, Google, IBM, Interface, Johnson & Johnson, Michelin, NatureWorks, Pitney Bowes, Staples, and Starbucks. For more information, visit www.wri.org.

    ABOUT THE CLIMATE GROUP

    The Climate Group is an independent, non-profit organization which works with government and business to advance leadership on climate change solutions. The Climate Group has offices in the UK, USA, Australia, India and China.

    Proactive companies, states, regions and cities around the world are demonstrating that the cuts in greenhouse gases required to stop climate change can be achieved while growing the bottom line. Using the work of these leaders as a catalyst, The Climate Group strives to accelerate international action on climate change with a new, strong focus on practical solutions.

    Since launching in 2004, The Climate Group has developed an interlocking program of sectoral leadership groups, research and publications, media engagement, and high-impact events. Its coalition of members has demonstrated that emissions reductions, while essential, can also be profitable. The Climate Group inspires further action and outreach and mobilizes business and sub-national governments to implement and support effective strategies and policies that mitigate climate change. For more information, visit www.theclimategroup.org.

  • For more information, please contact:

    Diana Profir Green Power Market Development Group – Europe
    Phone: +44 (0) 7968 402 123
    Nate Kommers World Resources Institute
    Phone: 202-729-7736
    Website: www.wri.org

     

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