BT achieves 100% renewable electricity worldwide
In an announcement made by BT, the company reported its achievement of meeting its 100% renewable electricity worldwide milestone. The company announced its achievement at a Digital Impact & Sustainability Business Briefing for analysts and investors, alongside its announcement that its ‘Top Tips on Tech’ campaign has helped 5.7mn people in the UK to stay connected during COVID-19.
The switch to renewable
BT - the UK’s joint largest private purchaser of electricity - plans to run its global operations on renewable electricity where markets allow, purchasing the remainder from neighbouring markets and collaborating with members of the RE100 initiative until a local solution can be found.
The company's transition to renewable electricity has been achieved by supporting the development of local renewable energy markets. Out of the 100% renewable electricity, 16% is supplied by corporate Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) while the remainder comes from high quality green tariffs or renewable certificates.
BT reports that making this switch will help the company reduce its carbon emissions in March 2021 by an estimated 54,000 tonnes compared to the last financial year.
"As an organisation that consumes nearly 1% of the UK’s electricity, it is important for BT to demonstrate its commitment to a green recovery. Our team has worked hard to secure renewable electricity contracts for our sites globally, a crucial step towards the Paris agreement’s 1.5°c target,” commented Cyril Pourrat, Chief Procurement Officer at BT.
“We congratulate BT on their tremendous work to switch entirely to renewable electricity. BT was an early pioneer in setting a 100% goal, and has made impressive progress. Now, by transparently sharing not only their successes but also the challenges they face in a few remaining markets, BT is helping to accelerate local solutions and unlock clean energy use around the world,” added Welcoming the news, Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100, the Climate Group.
Four CPG giants to fund sustainable accelerator programme
Breakthrough ideas can come from anywhere and anyone. That’s the premise behind the coming together of The Coca-Cola Company, Unilever and Colgate-Palmolive in the funding and support of world-leading brewer AB InBev’s 100+ Accelerator program.
These four consumer packaged goods multinationals will leverage both their size and resources to fast-track a shift toward sustainable solutions by mobilising some of the world’s sharpest thinkers to solve some of the world’s most pressing sustainability challenges.
The aim of this collaboration is to “supercharge adoption of sustainable solutions by funding the accelerating fantastic innovations that will change the world by making all of our businesses more sustainable”, says Tony Milkin, chief procurement, sustainability and circular ventures officer at AB InBev.
“Sustainable business is smart business, and we are working to solve huge problems that no one company can handle alone. With our combined global reach, we can accelerate progress towards a more sustainable future.”
What is the 100+ Accelerator program?
Originally launched in 2018, 100+ Accelerator is a global incubator program that aims to solve key supply chain challenges across water stewardship, circular economy, sustainable agriculture and climate action.
It offers size and scale to passionate entrepreneurs to help bring their solutions to market faster, and the program’s first two cohorts have already piloted 36 innovations in 16 countries, with participating startups raising more than US$200m to help them scale globally.
Among the established innovators are those already creating huge impact on sustainability, with projects including the first solar thermal plant in Africa, recycled electric vehicle batteries that store renewable electricity in China, and upcycling saved grains from the brewing process to produce nutritious foods in the US.
- The implementation of green cleaning solutions to reduce water and energy use in brewing operations in Colombia
- Solutions delivering traceability and insurance for smallholder farmers in Africa and South America
- The collection of more than 1,000 tons of glass waste in Brazil
- Piloting returnable packaging in the United States
- Recycled electric vehicle batteries that store renewable electricity in China
- The ability to upcycle saved grains from the brewing process to produce nutritious foods in the United States
- The first solar thermal system to be installed at an AB InBev plant
How will the new program work?
So, how does it work? Applications are invited from entrepreneurs or small businesses (deadline for cohort 3 is May 31 2021) and the partners will choose 20-25 ideas which are then provided with funding.
Project aligned with goals of the CPG multinationals
The participation by all three consumer packaged goods giants is in line with each of their own sustainability goals, with each passionate about transforming global supply chains towards a greener future, and knowledgeable that “we can achieve our purpose faster and more effectively with equally committed partners”, says Patricia Verduin, CTO of Colgate.
Since launching its World Without Waste sustainable packaging platform, Coca-Cola has actively engaged the startup community for inspiration and innovation and is an inaugural investor in Circulate Capital, a fund launched in 2019 focused on ventures, infrastructure and innovations preventing the flow of plastic into oceans.
The program’s social inequality component is also aligned with Unilever’s values. “This year, we made commitments to ensure that everyone who directly provides us with goods and services receives a living wage by 2030,” says Marc Engel, chief supply chain officer of Unilever. But that’s not all. “We’re increasing our spend with suppliers from underrepresented groups and committed to train 10 million young people.”