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Fortune 500: clean energy target increase

Nearly half of Fortune 500 companies—48%—have at least one climate or clean energy target, according to a report from WWF, Calvert Investments, CDP and Ceres. This is up 5% from an earlier 2014 report.

Power Forward 3.0 also found that the top companies the Fortune 100 continue to take the lead in tackling climate change with 63% of Fortune 100 companies have set one or more clean energy targets.

However, the research found that there has also been a strong improvement among the smallest 100 companies in the Fortune 500, with 44% setting one or more clean energy goals up 19 percentage points from the 2014 report.

The report states that early 80,000 emission-reducing projects by 190 Fortune 500 companies reporting data showed nearly $3.7 billion in savings in 2016 alone while the annual emission reductions from these efforts are equivalent to taking 45 coal-fired power plants offline for one year.

The energy reduction improvements reported in Power Forward 3.0 comes as there remains concerns about the commitment of the Trump administration to the Paris climate change agreement. There is a fear that if the US decided to pull out that it would destabilise the entire agreement.

Fortune 500: clean energy target

Campaigners are concerned about US climate change policy under President Trump

Ceres reported that there was a key Whitehouse strategy meeting due to take place soon and urged for more support to keep pressure on the Trump administration to continue to be part of the deal. During his election campaign last year Trump suggested that he would pull the US out.

Trump’s record on the environment, after his first 100 days in office has already been detrimental according to Ceres. Trump has cancelled and put on hold US Department of Energy and Department of Interior grants for clean energy research and land conservation as well as signing executive orders to reopen areas of the Arctic and outer continental Arctic to drilling for oils. Additionally, Ceres said that the US Environmental Protection Agency had removed mentions of climate change from its website.

Meanwhile in Europe a coalition of businesses, non-governmental organisations and universities has said that the continent must lead on cutting greenhouse gas emissions from existing buildings. Under the 2012 Energy Efficiency Directive, the EU required each member state to establish a ‘national renovation strategy’, a long-term strategy for renovating homes and commercial buildings to high standards of energy efficiency.

These strategies had to be delivered for the first time by 30 April 2014, with strengthened strategies to be submitted every three years thereafter, with the latest deadline having just passed on 30 April 2017. The World Building Council said its 13 Green Building Councils in Europe have just played a leading role – through BUILD UPON, an EU Horizon 2020 funded project – helping national governments to create strong and robust updated strategies that will see their countries unlock the energy saving potential in their buildings.


What do you think?