Low CO2 heroes: 5 brands embracing renewables
UK-based healthy fast food chain LEON has just committed to using 100 percent renewable electricity via a green energy contract with Opus Energy. In the spirit of sustainability, we are highlighting five other companies which have made similar commitments to going ‘green’.
The world’s largest furniture retailer is one of the founding partners of the RE100 campaign, which sees major global corporations pledging to use 100 percent renewable electricity and increase demand for renewable forms of generation. At present, the company produces 53 percent of its energy from renewable sources and has some 700,000 solar panels installed atop its stores and distribution centres. It aims to produce as much renewable energy as the total energy it consumes in its buildings by 2020.
Coca Cola Enterprises
According to the beverage producer, electricity accounts for over 60 percent of all the energy it uses, with the vast majority being utilised in manufacturing operations. Coca Cola Enterprises is planning to reduce the carbon footprint of its drinks by one-third and the absolute carbon footprint of its core business operations by half by 2020.
The food and drink giant also has an established 2020 objective: reduce greenhouse gas emissions from manufacturing operations by 35 percent when compared to 2010 levels. In the near future the company plans to increase its use of natural refrigerants — which purportedly have negligible climate impacts — in its freezers and refrigerated trucks.
Starbucks has been setting, and achieving, emissions reductions targets for half a decade. In 2011, the coffee chain succeeded in purchasing the renewable equivalent of 50 percent of the electricity used in its cafes worldwide. By 2015, it purchased renewable energy equal to 100 percent of the electricity used in company-owned stores.
Johnson & Johnson
At present, seven percent of the health care company’s electricity is generated via ‘clean’ sources, though it has vowed to up this percentage to 20 by 2020. At the end of last year, it had 54MW of renewable energy installed in its facilities, including two fuel cell projects in California.
By 2050, Johnson & Johnson has said it aspires to power all of its facilities using renewables.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.