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Published on July 17th, 2014 | by Jake Richardson

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12 Mainstream American Corporations Want More Renewable Energy

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July 17th, 2014 by  

Just a couple of weeks ago, we reported that a number of mainstream American companies are saving about $1.1 billion a year by using renewable energy. Now, 12 prominent and very large corporations have combined their voices to say they want more renewables.

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Renewable energy might seem like a marginal part of American society, even something for ‘hippies,’ but if you believe that take a look at some of the companies that want more of it.

  • General Motors
  • Walmart
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Proctor and Gamble
  • Sprint
  • Intel
  • Hewlett-Packard
  • Bloomberg
  • Mars
  • Novelis
  • REI
  • Facebook

According to Sprint director of corporate responsibility and sustainability Amy Hargroves,

We know cost-competitive renewable energy exists but the problem is that it is way too difficult for most companies to buy… Very few companies have the knowledge and resources to purchase renewable energy given today’s very limited and complex options. Our hope is that by identifying the commonalities among large buyers, the principles will catalyze market changes that will help make renewables more affordable and accessible for all companies.

No one would say any of these companies are ‘radical,’ so it seems that renewable energy, like solar and wind are definitely mainstream now. In other words, it’s not for ‘kooks,’ ‘granolas,’ ‘socialists,’ ‘treehuggers,’ or ‘vegans’.

The twelve companies listed above are brands recognizable to almost any  American. They are thoroughly mainstream and some are even part of American history. Take Johnson and Johnson, for example. This huge corporation was founded in 1886.  Similarly, General Motors was founded in 1908. These two companies are part of American culture and have been around for over one hundred years.

The dozen very mainstream companies didn’t only ask for more renewable energy, they mentioned over six things they want to help them run their businesses more efficiently.

Let’s look at one here:

We know renewable energy can already achieve cost parity, or better, compared with traditional energy rates. When purchasing renewable energy directly we would like to be able to buy renewable energy that accurately reflects the comprehensive costs and benefits to the system. Many of us are willing to explore alternative contract arrangements (e.g. entering into long term supply arrangements with utilities and other suppliers to provide revenue certainty) that can bring down the cost of capital.

They are making a big statement because comprehensive costs are not just about money. Burning coal creates much air pollution that is harmful to humans and to other creatures. A Harvard study found that the true cost of coal usage is hundreds of billions of dollars each year, due to things like illness, mortality and environmental damage.

The 12 American corporations did not go as far as spelling out this cost, but they did at least mention that there are such costs.

What do you think of their public statements about needing more renewable energy?

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About the Author

Hello, I have been writing online for some time, and enjoy the outdoors. If you like, you can follow me on Google Plus.



  • Brian Delight

    This is a great article, I see a lot of positives from big corporations throwing their weight behind renewables. This should continue to move renewables toward effective financing options and increase the number of projects in the future. Their desire to work with utilities doesn’t move renewables toward creating ‘prosumers’ but that is something I believe will unfold organically and not in the near future.

  • Bob_Wallace

    Kooks was a commonly used put down that conservatives used for people who started taking about saving the Earth several decades ago. Hippies.

    Hippies were viewed as granola eating, sandal wearing, long-haired, treehuggers.

    Which sort of described us….

    Tree hugging is mostly associated with actions taken to preserve old growth forests. A lot of dedicated people spent a lot of time protecting our old friends. But sitting trees (for months and even a year at a time) proved more successful than simply hugging them at ground level where it was easier for the goons to get at you.

  • Eric Lukac-Kuruc

    English is not my primary language. Can someone explain me the meaning of “kooks” and “granolas” in the context of this article? Thank you.

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