Big businesses that are getting serious about renewable energy

More and more big companies around the world are embracing renewable energy in a big way.

With solar and wind power achieving cost competitiveness with fossil fuels, and investors seeing the long-term risks of powering their businesses in ways that impact the environment, addressing the climate crisis has become an economic imperative.


In April, Tesco pledged to go 100 per cent renewable in the UK this year, and by 2030 worldwide.

Tesco says it has spent more than £700m in energy efficiency, reducing its carbon emissions by 41 per cent and also cutting its electricity bill by £200 million a year.

In its statement, Tesco said: “As a food retailer, our supply chain and long-term business success depend on the health of the natural environment.”

“As citizens and members of the community, our customers and colleagues expect Tesco to play its part in caring for the planet.”

The supermarket giant added: “From 2017, we’ll switch to 100 per cent renewable electricity in the UK and Ireland, supported by renewable certificates.”

“In Thailand, we invested £8m in on-site solar generation in 2016, with plans to grow this in coming years.”


Similarly, Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) has started sourcing 100% of its electricity from renewable sources with the launch of its new solar energy farm to support production at its Yorkshire site.

Coca-Cola predicts that it would save 3,800t of carbon dioxide per year, thanks to the new solar farm and its existing energy saving systems.

“The Wakefield solar farm is a long-term sustainability project for CCEP, capable of producing up to 5MW of energy at full capacity”, says Nick Brown, Head of sustainability at CCEP.

He added: “We’ve been collaborating with partners across Great Britain to build our renewable energy credentials and have enjoyed working together with a number of local groups and businesses in Wakefield to support this.”

Whitebread (Costa Coffee & Premier Inn)

Joining the list is U.K. hospitality giant Whitbread, who have committed to 100 per cent renewable energy.

The business – which owns Costa Coffee and Premier Inn – said that since the beginning of April this year, all its brands had been sourcing their purchased electricity in the U.K. from renewables.

“As the UK’s largest hospitality brand, we have a responsibility and an opportunity to drive change within the industry which is why we have made this decision for the business,” Whitbread’s director of sustainability, James Pitcher, said in a statement.

“Whitbread is committed to minimising its environmental impact and operating in a way that respects people and the planet and we hope this will be a landmark step in helping to set the industry standard,” Pitcher added.


Going even further, LEGO reached its 100% renewable energy target three years ahead of schedule.

The children’s toy company achieved this ambitious goal due to the completion of a 258 megawatt offshore wind farm in the Irish Sea, building a giant wind turbine made entirely of LEGO to celebrate.

“We work to leave a positive impact on the planet and I am truly excited about the inauguration of the Burbo Bank Extension wind farm,” said Bali Padda, CEO of the LEGO Group.



Also read: A new record for renewables in the UK



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