International non-profit The Climate Group, in partnership with the 2021 UN climate change conference and the City of New York, is hosting Climate Week NYC 2021. This event showcases leading climate actions and facilitates discussions on how to do more for the planet, as quickly as possible.
We’re celebrating green corporate innovators to inspire companies worldwide
The winners of the RE100 Leadership Awards were announced this morning as part of the Climate Week program. The awards shine a light on RE100 companies from a range of sectors that are leading the way in clean energy transition. With a global membership of 300-plus industry leaders, the entries represented a diverse community opening challenging markets and pioneering new means of sourcing clean power across the globe.
“Each winner of this year’s awards has demonstrated ambition and leadership along their 100 percent renewable electricity journey,” said Sam Kimmins, head of RE100 at The Climate Group. “They have shown that setting corporate targets isn’t just a tick box exercise. It’s an integral part of corporate strategy and influences everything they do.”
Honors were awarded to Google, 3M, Novo Nordisk and The Esteé Lauder Companies.
The Changemaker Award
Recognizing ambitious broader energy goals alongside renewable energy objectives and implementation of the most impactful sustainable strategies.
In what it calls its “most ambitious sustainability moonshot yet,” Google is using innovative technologies and purchasing agreements coupled with advocating for policy change globally to reach a 24/7 clean-power strategy that will move the company from net zero to zero emissions by 2030.
“We’re just getting started and we have a lot of work to do to drive the electricity sector to carbon-free energy everywhere at all times, around the world,” said Google’s Global Head of Energy Michael Terrell in his acceptance speech. “And we look forward to working with everybody to help achieve that goal.”
The Market Trailblazer Award
Celebrating a commitment to driving market change, including where sourcing renewables remains impossible.
By creating synergies with municipal utilities and their co-op generators, and investing in local infrastructure, 3M turned challenges into opportunities when sourcing renewables for its rural operations around North America. Without that innovative approach, the company would have had to go off the grid, adversely impacting energy prices in surrounding communities.
3M hit 50% renewable electricity use this year, four years ahead of its schedule. “This accelerated progress can be attributed to our collaborative problem-solving approach and developing solutions that enable others to join us on the renewable path,” said Gayle Schueller, senior VP and CSO, in the company’s entry video.
In her acceptance speech, Schueller praised how 3M employees and local utilities worked together en route to the company’s 50% renewable-energy destination.
The Key Collaborator Award
Honoring collaboration with peers and suppliers, as well as publicly disclosing energy and emissions data.
Repeat-winner Novo Nordisk is a Denmark-based pharmaceutical company that produces all of its products with renewable power. Sharing how they do that and asking more of its 60,000 partners worldwide is a key priority. The company has set ambitious targets with suppliers that will reduce emissions by 300,000 tons of CO2 every year.
“Asking all of our direct suppliers to supply us using renewable power by 2030 is a key step towards our ultimate goal of having zero environmental impact,” said Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen, CEO, Novo Nordisk, in their entry video. “We strongly believe in the importance of collaboration to achieve this transition.”
“We are very proud to have received this award,” added Dorethe Nielsen, VP, Corporate Environmental Strategy. “It’s a key priority [for us] to share experience that hopefully can benefit other companies. And we hope that our journey with suppliers can inspire others to take action.”
The Enterprising Leader Award
Acknowledging outstanding leadership and going above and beyond to achieve goals regardless of operational size.
The Esteé Lauder Companies used an enterprising and holistic approach to source 50% of the organization’s power usage from renewable electricity. Solutions included on-site solar, virtual PPAs for wind, green utility contracts, pollinator diversity, employee education initiatives and EV infrastructure.
Nancy Mahon, senior VP, Global Citizenship and Sustainability, noted that the company’s goal is to develop long-term solutions that will positively impact both the planet and business through cross-sector collaboration.
“The recognition is thanks to the hard work of many teams across our business, who have enabled our transition to 100 percent renewable electricity,” Mahon said.