Companies Save Billions by Going Green
(3BL Media/Justmeans) – The Paris climate agreement in 2015 sent a clear message to markets and businesses worldwide: a low-carbon future cannot be denied. While it was a wake-up call for some companies, for many others it was an affirmation that cleaner growth was not only possible, but also good for their bottom line.
Now there is growing evidence that renewable energy and energy efficiency are thriving sectors for business. In 2016, 190 of the Fortune 500 companies together saved close to $3.7 billion through their collective renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives.
Large companies such as Google and Apple have publicly committed to using 100 percent renewable energy by the end of this decade, with Google on track to do so by this year, and Apple by 2020. In India, clean energy could yield more than 300,000 much-needed jobs over the next five years.
A recent study found that companies could unlock $12 trillion by 2030 in business savings and revenue by pursuing sustainable, low-carbon business models. Investors, too, are taking note, as low-carbon portfolios and green bonds are increasingly seen as smart investments.
Proctor and Gamble signed up to meeting science-based targets to reduce its emissions. Energy efficiency measures have already saved P&G $500 million. Nearly 300 other companies have also signed on to similar science-based targets, including Coca-Cola, Pfizer and Sony.
The market for green bonds investing in renewable energy projects or other low-carbon solutions grew from $3 billion just five years ago, to $81 billion last year. It is estimated to reach $150 billion by 2017. Barclays found that bond portfolios with strong sustainability attributes have outperformed those with weak environmental indexes over the past seven years.
In India, hundreds of business leaders and investors have gathered for the Business and Climate Summit in New Delhi. More than 140 leading Indian businesses – from Ambuja Cement to Jet Airways and from ITC to Godrej & Boyce – have undertaken efforts to formally measure and manage their emissions and drive more profitable, competitive and sustainable businesses through the India GHG Program.
Tata Motors, part of the Tata Group and India’s largest auto manufacturer, committed to going 100 per cent renewable because it would both reduce emissions and increase financial savings. They are planning to launch their first electric car this month and are trialing electric buses, an important step in reducing urban emissions.
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