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.
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
- Johnson & Johnson
- Proctor and Gamble
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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