companies that use renewable energy

Companies That Use Renewable Energy

In the modern world that we live in, going green is an important challenge for many companies across the globe. Some of the largest and most widely recognised companies are now realising that they must operate in a more responsible way. They must remain relevant and appeal to changing consumer behaviours that are seeking out good corporate citizenship. Going green undoubtedly contributes to helping them appear socially responsible for playing their part in reducing their energy usage. It can also help them to reduce their energy costs alongside the many advantages of renewable energy. As a result, the number of companies that chose to use different types of renewable energy is increasing.

Green Targets and Sustainable Initiatives

Companies are now creating green targets that they want to meet within a certain timeframe. This demonstrates that many companies are now showing more consideration for the environment. Through their commitments to green initiatives, they provide a clear indication as to how they plan to alter their ways.

Climate change is having an impact on every aspect of our lives including food, agriculture and even our health2. There’s no doubt that it is a significant challenge to mitigate the impact of our lifestyles, choices and big business on the environment. Given that many large companies have been contributing to the problem for decades, it’s now time for action to mitigate their previous ways. As consumers, citizens and leaders we can all play a part and choose to spend with and support those companies that are doing their bit.

At this moment in time, wind and solar energy are beginning to compete with fossil fuels when it comes to cost competitiveness. This has caused business owners and investors to take notice of the long-term impact that comes with using fossil fuels. As a result, the impact that they have had on the environment has been increasingly recognised at a corporate level and has since become an issue that many are eager to address.

Corporate Response to Renewable Energy

Consequently, businesses are now starting to embrace renewable energy on a grand scale. Many of the largest companies in the world rely on manufacturing processes that require a significant amount of energy. Whereas they have been contributing to the problem of climate change the introduction of new technologies and accessible renewable energy have provided alternatives and altered their approach.

An economy that uses the power of renewable energy is one that is better on so many levels. The decision to move across to green energy proves their commitment to making a difference. Large tech companies through to retailers are making a change.

Companies That Use Renewable Energy

So let’s take a look at a selection of some of the companies that have switched to renewable energy.

Intel

Intel, famous for manufacturing computer processors, has now become one of the largest companies in the world that has decided to make the switch. It is arguably leading the way when it comes to its use of green energy.

Each year, Intel uses around 3,100,000,000 kWh with the company drawing its energy from wind, solar, hydro and biomass3. Their commitment to going green comes with the installation of 3 million square feet of solar panels at sites in 9 countries according to their corporate responsibility report. The company states that since 2012 they have invested $185m across 2000 energy conservation projects. 100% of the electricity Intel uses in the U.S. and EU comes from renewable and green energy sources. That’s 73% of their global power use with further improvements planned.

The company will continue to move across to renewable power with the main target being that it operates on 100% green energy by 2020.

Intel solar panels

This 2017 photo shows an Intel site in Arizona where solar panels are erected over car parks, helping to keep cars cool and generate renewable energy. Intel has installed more than 8000 "solar parking spots" across the world. Photo Credit: Intel Corporation

Apple

The company uses around 635,000,000 kWh on an annual basis and they use this energy to deliver power to its electric operation needs for the manufacture and processing of its electronic devices.

Given that a lot of the manufacturing takes place in Asia, which is where more has to be done to tackle the problem of Co2 emissions1, it is no surprise that Apple is trying to create some form of balance elsewhere.

What sets Apple apart is the fact that it has an objective to become carbon neutral. It has acquired several solar farms, providing sustainable energy to its data centres.

As of 2018 all Apple retail stores, offices and data centres are running on 100% renewable energy.

Google

As one of the most innovative and forward-thinking companies in the world, Google is doing all it can to make a difference. So, it will come as no surprise that Google has been carbon neutral since 2007.

As Google evolves, the commitment to reducing all carbon emissions is becoming a priority. This ranges from cooling systems that reduce energy use by 30% to remanufacturing new servers from old servers. Google is considering all aspects of energy use and where it can make reductions. Each year, Google uses 735,000,000 kWh of green energy, most of which powers data centres.

Google is not just looking to make an impact in its own industry. It is also seeking new technologies and sources of green energy that be used in other power-intensive industries.

Microsoft

As far as technology is concerned, Microsoft is now the greenest company in the world. On an annual basis, Microsoft uses more than 1.3 billion kWh of green energy. Microsoft is an industry leader when it comes to thinking innovatively. It also constantly seeks new ways to meet its electric power requirements in a sustainable way. Utilising solar and wind power, Microsoft is also carbon neutral, with the green energy being used to provide sufficient power to software development facilities, data centres and manufacturing.

As a company that has been a force in the tech world for decades, it has pledged to reduce its carbon emission by 75% by 2030. The Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith, has said that renewable energy is playing a part in the development of the company as it is

“not only a clean power source but also it provides the company with better financial predictability”.

Adobe

Adobe is one of the largest software service provision companies in the world. It too, just like many of the other large corporations, is making strides to help make the world greener. To achieve this, it is using sustainable technologies. It delivers its digital service through the use of wind and solar power.

Adobe has also made a commitment to deliver its products through the use of renewable electricity by 2035. This is a target that the company will pursue to reduce its carbon footprint and create a sustainable future. In 2018 the company signed the first-ever renewable energy collaboration deal, procuring 10MW of wind energy or the equivalent of all of their Californian power usage.

Ultimately, using green energy is a path to success in the modern world and so, not only will the company appear to be assisting with the problem it will also be cutting down on the cost of operations.

Their Chairman, CEO and President, Shantanu Narayen says:

“We also partner with our digital supply chain to encourage them to adopt renewable energy goals, so that we can accelerate the transition to clean energy throughout our footprint. Through this collaboration, we can achieve much more than we could alone”

Walmart

Walmart has made great progress in moving away from its bad reputation by making the switch to green energy. As a result, it is using it in a way that is having a positive impact on the environment. The company chose to install 145 MW of solar capacity, making it one of the top performing companies in the US. In fact, Walmart is a Green Power Partner of the EPA and has been since 2009. It has consistently ranked highly on the National Top 100 list .

The sheer size of Walmart as a company means that it has to work extremely hard to change. Even though Walmart obtains an impressive amount of electricity from green power, it still only meets around 28% of its electricity needs.

Walmart Renewable Energy Solar

The roof of a Walmart store complete with solar installations., Walmart is working towards a goal of acquiring half of its electricity from renewables by 2025

Sony

Sony is one of the longest standing tech companies in the world. It purchases a large portion of its power requirements from renewable energy sources, which stands at 88,000,000 kWh. This accounts for around 37% of its annual consumption which is a commendable figure given the size of the company. The company is continuing to commit itself to reduce its environmental impact and carbon emissions and has made a firm pledge called “Road to Zero” working to an overall environmental footprint of zero by 2050.

British Telecom

Recognised as one of the largest companies in the UK, British Telecom handles all of the telecommunication needs of the UK. When it comes to using renewable energy, British Telecom has invested heavily in becoming as eco-friendly as possible.

By 2016, the company had a target to cut emissions by as much as 80% and they also have a global carbon intensity that they want to reduce by 80% by 2020. Along with this, the company is also investing in wind farm technology while also providing workers with access to flexible working as well as video conferencing in order to reduce the need to travel.

In Summary

Retailers, manufacturers and tech companies need to keep up with the needs of consumers. This has meant that almost every industry has contributed to global warming. However, many recognisable and powerful global companies are making a change. Companies have identified that their contribution to Co2 emissions had got to a point where the damage had been done. They are now seeking ways to make amends. Companies that use the various types of renewable energy are doing so in a way that is making a difference. Effecting their operations, market reputation and bottom line. However,  they also pave the way for other business to follow suit.

1Department of Economics and Finance, Ming Chuan University, Lu WC, Renewable energy, carbon emissions, and economic growth in 24 Asian countries: evidence from panel cointegration analysis. 2017 Sep 23. doi: 10.1007/s11356-017-0259-9
2Jonathan A. Patz, Diarmid Campbell-Lendrum, Tracey Holloway & Jonathan A. Foley. Impact of regional climate change on human health. Nature 438, 310–317 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1038/nature04188 DO
3Moore, Taylor. "Harvesting the benefits of biomass." EPRI Journal, vol. 21, no. 3, 1996, p. 16+. Academic OneFile, Accessed 5 June 2019.
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