Well-Known Worldwide Brands Go Green, But Half of European Firms Don’t Have Plans to Mitigate Climate Change Risks
As talks about the climate change and risk for the environment are becoming more frequent and fierce, more and more big worldwide brands like Google, Nike or Walmart are announcing their strategies to, within their limits, change the situation, and go green. Despite that, many of European companies still refuse to play their part and cut down on the damage their activities cause to the environment. According to a new CDP report, “half of European companies have no plans in place to reduce carbon emissions” (source: linkedin.com). SoliTek is offering its aid in helping such companies become more socially responsible as well.
The Appearance of Renewable Energy
Humanity has come a long way since people have first started debating their influence over the environment and the need for its sustainability. One of the possible solutions that was come up with was the generation and usage of renewable energy – using the sunlight, geothermal heat, wind, tides, water, and various forms of biomass to generate energy, instead of the traditional means that not only deplete the earth of precious resources but is also harmful for the environment.
A Mindset Change
Despite the availability of Green Energy alternatives, for a longest time, only a handful of corporations chose to take social responsibility for their impact on the environment and operate while using the renewable energy. To this day, “more than half of European companies have no carbon reduction targets in place despite 75 percent of those surveyed believing their business will be meaningfully affected by climate change” (source: cnbc.com) However, we are happy to say that some companies, especially the well-known ones, are changing the situation! More and more worldwide corporations are announcing their intentions to go 100% green.
One of such companies is Nike with their plans of operating on 100% renewable energy across Europe by 2020. Nike has recently signed a renewable power purchase agreement with Iberdrola, a global wind developer, which will help them build a wind complex in Spain. Nike has already contracted for 100% renewable energy in North America in 2018 and it is pleasing to hear that they are spreading their renewable energy horizons to Europe as well. (source: windpowerengineering.com)
Another great example of a big company following this trend is Walmart. Walmart is taking active measures of going green by setting official goals of being powered by 50% renewable, mostly solar and wind, sources by 2025; reducing emissions from the collective value chain by a total of one gigaton by 2030; working to zero waste and enhancing the environmental sustainability of key commodities. One of the company’s ultimate goals is being powered by 100% renewable energy. (source: energymanagertoday.com)
This goal has already been achieved by Google in 2017, when it signed contracts to purchase 3 gigawatts of output from renewable energy projects, allowing all of its energy consumption come from renewable energy sources (greentechmedia.com). Today, they are the world’s largest corporate buyer of renewable power, with commitments reaching 2.6 gigawatts (2,600 megawatts) of wind and solar energy (sustainability.google). What is more, Google has supported and funded green energy projects by buying and installing numerous windmills and solar panels. (conserve-energy-future.com)
Sony successfully follows the movement by joining the RE100 initiative with a goal of having all the energy it uses come from renewable sources by 2040. The company has already achieved this goal in Europe, but most of the group’s energy consumption is in Japan. Their renewable energy goal would be achieved by installing solar panels atop production facilities and purchasing green-certified power. Sony plans to gradually increase use of such energy, aiming first for a rate of 30% in 2030. (source: asia.nikkei.com)
While Apple is not the largest consumer of green energy, it is said to be one of the most efficient ones. Apple utilizes 626,315,500 kWh of green power annually and aims to have a neutral carbon footprint soon. It has recently taken steps such as the purchase of several solar farms to make its data centers entirely sustainable and is working towards the goal of making its entire stores 100% energy efficient by the use of green energy. (source: conserve-energy-future.com)
To this list we can also add Microsoft, already qualifying as one of the greenest technology companies in the world, due to it utilizing more than 1.3 billion kWh of green power annually. Microsoft’s green energy comes mostly from solar and wind power, allowing the company to remain carbon neutral. (source: conserve-energy-future.com) In their website the company claims to have goals of increasing their use of clean energy over the next decade and having projects in three continents—North America, Europe and Asia—providing approximately 1.2 gigawatts of energy. Microsoft also expressed their interest in creating new models and investing in new energy technologies that can bring the benefit of renewable energy to companies and communities of all sizes. (source: microsoft.com)
Another leader in the going green movement is Intel with its annual utilization of 4.1 gigawatts of renewable energy, coming from solar, wind, hydro, and biomass energy sources and allowing the company to operate on 100% green energy (source: epa.gov). Intel even operates 18 on site solar panels with a capacity of 7,000 kW. The green energy is used to power the electric operation requirements in the manufacture and processing of processors as well as other computer accessories (source: conserve-energy-future.com). Intel also invests in conservation projects and sets companywide environmental targets, seeking to drive reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, water use and waste generation. The company works with others to apply technology to environmental challenges such as climate change and water conservation (source: newsroom.intel.com)
HP (Hewlett Packard) expressed their intentions of following the movement by joining RE100, with a goal of transition to 100% renewable electricity in the future, hence demonstrating its commitment to integrating sustainability into its core business strategy. Currently the company’s nearest goal is sourcing 40% renewables by 2020. According to Nate Hurst, HP’s Chief Sustainability & Social Impact Officer, HP joining the RE100 represented a significant milestone for the company and allowed them to continue moving toward a business that is powered entirely by renewable electricity. HP plans to approach its goal of using 100% renewable energy in 3 ways – reducing energy consumption by increasing energy efficiency; increasing the use of on-site renewable energy generation, and using Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) to offset any fossil fuel emissions.
The company will also focus on increasing capacity and developing opportunities for renewables in countries which currently have little or no feasible options (source: theclimategroup.org).
Other Major Players
The list of big companies aiming to go green just goes on, with companies like McDonald’s, Dell, Honda, Coca-Cola or Starbucks, working on reducing their waste, energy consumption or carbon footprint, as well as, taking measures to encourage their stakeholders to act responsibly and participate in the environment sustainability goals with them. (source: conserve-energy-future.com)
Following the environmental sustainability trends, SoliTek is happy to claim that it has been green, that is, operating using renewable energy, since the very beginning of its days in 2013, when the factory was built. The company satisfies most of its manufacturing energy needs using the own patented PV-Geothermal heating and cooling system, consisting of 1MW Geothermal power and 150kW Photovoltaic (PV) power. This allows us to save over 400 tons of C02 from emission each year, which is an equivalent of planting 2000 trees every year.
We believe it is our responsibility to sustain the world we live in, as it should be a responsibility of every person in this planet. Therefore, we are happy to aid everyone interested in taking a part in this quest, by providing them with high quality solar solutions, altered to their situations and needs. Being a high quality solar panels manufacturer, SoliTek can help generate clean solar energy, be it for for small household needs or large corporations. Let’s make the world a better place together.