- With the Global Climate Strike taking place this week to demand an end to the use of fossil fuels, we take a look at the Aussie companies which have pledged to use 100% renewable energy.
- Atlassian, Commonwealth Bank and Westpac are among the list of local outfits which have signed the pledge to transition to renewables.
- Bank Australia is the only Australian bank that has reached its goal of using 100% renewable energy.
While the government drags its feet, some Aussie businesses are taking a stand against climate change.
On Friday September 20, the Global Climate Strike is taking place around the world, demanding an end to the use of fossil fuels. The strikes are being held just days before the UN Climate Action Summit on September 23 and will happen again on September 27.
“If we don’t act now to transition fairly and swiftly away from fossil fuels to 100% renewable energy for all, the injustice of the climate crisis will only get worse,” the Global Climate Strike website said.
“We need to act right now to stop burning fossil fuels and ensure a rapid energy revolution with equity, reparations and climate justice at its heart.”
In light of the climate strikes, we took a look at the Australian businesses that have committed to using 100% renewable energy. These companies signed on to the RE100 list, where they commit to using 100% renewable electricity by a specific year – 2050 at the very latest. Among the signatories are Google, Facebook, H&M, Microsoft, Sony and Nike.
These are the Aussie companies on the list:
The software company has set a target to achieve 100% renewable electricity globally by 2025. Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes also plans to attend one of the planned climate strikes.
Westpac is targeting 100% renewable electricity by 2025 – with an interim target of 45% renewable energy by 2021. In April 2019, it entered an agreement with Bomen Solar Farm near Wagga Wagga in New South Wales to source 63 gigawatt-hours of renewable electricity annually to power its operations globally. The solar farm is set to be operational in 2020.
Bank Australia aimed to use 100% renewable energy by 2020 and actually reached its goal in May 2019. It was the first bank in the country to do so.
“Being the first bank in Australia to switch to 100% renewable electricity is a huge achievement for us,” Damien Walsh, Bank Australia Managing Director said in a statement. “Our customers have told us they want to see clear action on climate change, and we’re pleased to show how business can lead on climate.”
Walsh added that by running on 100% renewable electricity, Bank Australia will be avoiding 780 tonnes of carbon emissions per year – the equivalent of taking 232 cars off the road.
Commonwealth Bank was the first Australian company to join the RE100 list and has a target of having its operations use 100% renewable energy by 2030.
“Around the world, forward-thinking companies want access to clean, cheap power that lowers emissions and increases competitiveness,” Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100 at The Climate Group said in a statement.
“As the first Australian business to join RE100, Commonwealth Bank will achieve exactly that, while helping to lead Australia’s transition to a clean energy future.”
Insurance company QBE pledged to have 100% renewable energy across its global operations by the end of 2025.
“As an international insurer, with insurance products covering a diverse portfolio around the globe, we are acutely aware of the risks and opportunities that climate change presents for our customers and our business,” QBE Insurance Group CEO, Pat Regan said in a statement.” This decision aligns with QBE’s support for the objectives of the Paris Agreement and our efforts to support the transition to a lower carbon economy.”
Domino’s partnered with Construction, Supply & Service (CCS) to launch a renewable energy strategy for the company’s stores around Australia.
The strategy included the installation of renewable solar power systems and the use of energy demand controllers, which de-energise non-essential electrical equipment during peak power use.
Since the strategy was implemented at Domino’s Aspley in 2017, there has been a 34% reduction in energy use and a 48% saving in electricity costs.
Now Domino’s has 70 stores with energy demand controllers installed, with more stores in the works.
“These stores have seen energy reductions of up to 22 per cent and electricity savings of up to 27 per cent in the past 12 months alone,” Domino’s Australia and New Zealand CEO Nick Knight said in a statement.
Carlton & United Breweries
Carlton and United Breweries (CUB) has a mission to source 100% of its electricity from renewables by 2025. The company said on its website that it expects to meet that goal well before 2025.
CUB, which owns Victoria Bitter, last week announced that its iconic beers will be produced using solar power.
The energy will be generated from the Karadoc Solar Farm in Victoria, with solar panels to be installed atop VB’s Abbotsford Brewery in Melbourne and Queensland’s Yatala Brewery by 2020.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated Atlassian’s target as 2020. It is actually 2025.
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