On Thursday October 25 2018, 31 major companies including Unilever gathered in Sydney for the first Australian meeting of RE100 – the global corporate leadership initiative on renewable electricity.
An initiative of The Climate Group, in partnership with the Carbon Disclosure Project, RE100 is focused on increasing demand for and delivery of renewable energy by asking signatories to commit to 100% Renewable Electricity. Unilever was a founding signatory of the global initiative in 2014, ahead of the Paris Agreement.
Since the launch of RE100 four years ago, a total of 154 global companies – including many of the biggest in the world and with a combined electricity demand nearly as big as Australia’s main grid – have committed to sourcing the equivalent of their entire demand through 100 per cent renewables.
Author, broadcaster and Arup consultant Jon Dee facilitated the RE100 gathering. Sam Kimmins, the global Head of RE100 at The Climate Group spoke, alongside speakers from Mars Australia, Unilever and Fujitsu – all of whom are existing members of RE100.
Christoph Frei, the Secretary General and CEO of The World Energy Council and Monica Richter from WWF also spoke.
“It’s really encouraging to see the business community unite to drive the uptake of renewable electricity” explains Alex McDonald, Sustainable Business and Communications Manager Unilever Australia and New Zealand.
We recognise that growth at the expense of people or the environment is both unacceptable and commercially unsustainable. Sustainable growth is the only acceptable model for our business. Our Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP) is central to our business model. Through our USLP, our carbon positive (in manufacturing) ambition means we will:
- Source all our electricity purchased from the grid from renewable sources by 2020
- Source 100% of our energy across all our operations from renewable sources by 2030
- Eliminate coal from our energy mix by 2020
- Directly support the generation of more renewable energy than we consume, making the surplus available to the markets and communities where we operate by 2030.