Thursday, October 1, 2015

Why the Corporate World is Embracing Renewable Energy

Renewable energy is looking increasingly attractive to corporate America. There was a time when the corporate world would scoff at renewable energy.  However, the rapid expansion of renewable energy combined with declining price points lends credence to the belief that we truly have a viable alternative to fossil fuels.

It is with good reason that the corporate world is falling in love with renewable energy. According to a report put out by Ceres, David Gardiner & Associates, Calvert Investments, and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) clean energy has saved Corporate America more than a billion a year.

As explained by the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Christiana Figueres, "Investing at scale in clean, efficient power offers one of the clearest no-regret choices ever presented to human progress."

A host of studies and articles including those from Morgan Stanly and the Market Mogul make a convincing case for sustainable investing and renewable energy. UNEP's "Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2015", indicates that green energy investments were up 17 percent to $270 Billion in 2014.

As pointed out by Ceres, fifty-nine percent of the Fortune 100 and nearly two-thirds of the Global 100 have set GHG emissions reduction commitments, renewable energy commitments or both. Many companies have set public, voluntary renewable energy commitments. These include globally recognized brands like AT&T, Dow Chemical, General Motors, Google, HSBC, Procter & Gamble and Walmart. 

Market forces are driving the growth of renewables. Companies are investing in renewable energy because it makes good business sense. renewable energy helps reduce long-term operating costs, diversify energy supply and hedge against market volatility in traditional fuel markets. It also enables companies to achieve greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction goals and demonstrate leadership on broader corporate sustainability and climate commitments.

Driven by the desire to minimize risk and maximize returns, Blue Chip companies like Goldman Sachs, Citi and Berkshire Hathaway are investing hundreds of billions in renewable energy.

"These investment decisions are more fueled by logic, rather than a desire to fulfill a social responsibility. The renewables market delivers high rates of return on investment...future growth in the renewables sector looks promising, and could possibly create numerous jobs and contribute greatly to global economic growth."

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