Is A Renewable Energy Goal Right For Your Company?

Is A Renewable Energy Goal Right For Your Company?

This is the seventh in a series of blog posts about renewable energy options for retailers. 

As retailers look to reduce their environmental footprint and grow renewable energy investments, RILA continues to hear from our members that understanding the ever-changing renewables procurement landscape can be challenging. That's why we are developing a new renewable energy guide, which highlights fundamentals of different procurement options and key considerations, specifically for retailers. 

In a series of blog posts, we'll be outlining various topics featured in the guide; the next chapter in our series, Renewable Energy Goalsetting, is outlined below. We are excited to share the chapters one by one, and to work with partners like Edison Energy in their development. 

What is a Renewable Energy Goal? 

A renewable energy goal is a target for a company’s procurement of renewable energy (RE) that is typically bound by a specific timeframe. RE goals can be external- or internal-facing, and often come in one of four forms including: 

  • A percentage of renewable energy procured or generated relative to a company’s overall annual energy or electricity demand.  
  • A number of renewable energy installations or buildings with renewable energy.  
  • An absolute amount of renewable energy procured or generated. 
  • An absolute amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduced (in carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalents) beyond what is achievable through efficiency and non-RE, low GHG fuel sources. These may incorporate scope sources of emissions

Public goals show the company’s authentic commitment to its customers, employees, and investors, helping promote the company’s values. Creating RE goals involves many internal stakeholders ranging from the energy manager to the CEO   supporting enterprise-wide accountability. 

Who uses them/What are the key benefits? 

Creating a RE goal demonstrates the company’s commitment to reducing its carbon impact and unites other departments across the organization. 

Across the globe, universities, cities and companies are all increasingly setting RE goals. Retailers like Apple, Estee Lauder, H&M, IKEA, Nike, Starbucks, VF Corporation, and Walmart are among the over 130 companies that have set targets to purchase 100% renewable energy .  Over half the 2017 Fortune 100 list of companies has set greenhouse gas and/or renewable energy goals. 

Is pursuing a Renewable Energy Goal right for you? 

Advantages: 

  • Sustainability leadership 
  • Positive reputation 
  • Internal accountability 
  • Potential cost savings and stability 

Downsides: 

  • Complexity 
  • Project size and term 
  • Locking in energy prices 

Ready to move forward with a Renewable Energy Goal? 

Like any renewable energy initiative, it is important to identify what commitments have been made in the past and their outcomes. By engaging stakeholders across the organization that have been involved with past commitments can help improve the process for a new goal. 

Industry groups. Environmental initiatives, and NGOs can help benchmark strategies and understand the goals your peers are making. Examples include RILAEPA’s Green Power Partnership, and The Climate Group

Advisors such as Edison Energy or Schneider Electric can helps strategize, set, and execute goals by finding and negotiating the best solutions that fit your needs. 

To learn more about setting a renewable energy goal, if it is a worthwhile consideration for your company, and next steps for moving forward, access the full chapter in the renewable energy guide here and all the chapters published so far here. For more information about RILA's renewable energy initiatives, contact Erin Hiatt.

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