BMW and Coca-Cola join 100 percent renewables wave

BMW and Coca-Cola join 100 percent renewables wave

Coca-Cola headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia
ShutterstockKatherine Welles
Coca-Cola headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.

BMW and Coca-Cola are among the latest tranche of businesses to announce they will get all their electricity from renewable sources as part of the RE100 initiative, which encourages businesses to source 100 percent renewable power.

The latest wave of pledges for Monday morning are part of "Energy Day" at the ongoing U.N. climate summit in Paris. The newest additions to the pledge join the likes of Microsoft, Nike, Marks & Spencer and Walmart in moving towards 100 percent renewable electricity use.

In total six more companies have pledged to secure 100 percent renewable electricity: BMW Group, Coca-Cola, International Flavors & Fragrances, Nordea Bank, Pearson and Swiss Post.

The time frames for achieving the target vary — Pearson has sourced all its electricity from renewable sources since 2012, while Coca-Cola has an interim target of sourcing 40 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2040.

It takes the total number of companies signed up to the campaign to 53. New analysis from the Climate Group and CDP suggests that the 53 RE100 participants will create demand for 90.1TWh of renewable electricity once they have made the switch — saving 56 million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.

The analysis also estimates that if 1,000 of the world's most influential companies switched to 100 percent renewable electricity, it could save around 1,080 million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year, shaving 3.4 percent off global carbon emisisons.

Emily Farnworth, RE100 campaign director, said the world's leading companies are creating a "thriving market" for renewable energy.

"Many companies are switching to renewable power at a remarkable rate, and encouraging their suppliers and customers to do the same," she said in a statement. "The RE100 campaign is sending a clear message to Paris that the technological solutions to tackle climate change already exist, and that business supports the switch to renewable power."