Australian business urged to join global embrace of 100% renewables

Australian companies are being urged to join the global RE100 movement – a corporate shift to 100 renewables that leaves state and national targets trailing in its wake.

A total of 154 global companies – including many of the biggest in the world – have committed to the pact since its launch four years ago.

Many of those have operations in Australia, including the likes of Mars, Fujitsu and Carlton United Breweries (owned by InBev).

But an Australian-owned business is yet to follow suit.

“We don’t yet have an Australian member of RE100 …. but the renewable potential in Australia is enormous,” said Sam Kimmins, the head of the program for the Climate Group.

Kimmins says RE100 was initally seen as an opportunity for companies to do the right thing, and ticking the box on corporate social responsibility (CSR), but now it has a much more powerful driver – economics.

As a result, the combined annual electricity demand of the RE100 members is now 184TWh, just a little short of the total annual demand of Australia’s main grid, the National Electricity Market.

“Last year …. the most important reason for buying renewable electricity and being a member of RE 100 was the economics of renewable electricity,” Kimmins said.

“We are really here on a fact-finding mission to understand the needs of Australian companies, and what role RE100 can play.”

Giles Parkinson