Philips Lighting has become the first major international company to secure renewable electricity through renewable energy certificates in the Gulf region, as one more step in the company’s goal towards sourcing 100% of its energy needs from renewable energy sources.
Philips Lighting is one of the world’s leaders in lighting technology, and is also a member of RE100 — The Climate Group and CDP’s leadership initiative committed to advocating and supporting 100% renewable energy power. Philips Lighting is aiming to source 100% of all its energy needs from renewable energy sources by 2020, and also aims to be completely carbon neutral by that same year.
Announced this week, Philips Lighting has taken a big step towards this goal, and made history to boot. The company announced that, in collaboration with ECOHZ, Philips Lighting will now purchase traceable renewable electricity from Dubai Electricity and Water Authority’s (DEWA) Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai (which CleanTechnica has covered extensively), using the pioneering International REC Standard (I-REC) — which documents that 1 MWh of renewable energy has been produced. I-REC is a global standard for documenting renewable energy consumption in countries where no local Renewable Energy Certificate scheme is in place.
Philips Lighting thus becomes the first major international company to purchase Renewable Energy Certificates in the Gulf region, by purchasing RECs from the Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence (Dubai Carbon).
“If we look around us, we see an ever increasing need for more energy,” said Nicola Kimm, Head of Sustainability, Environment, Health & Safety at Philips Lighting.
“Through the sales of our energy-efficient lighting, we contribute to reducing lighting’s share of all global electricity consumption from the current 15% level to 8% in 2030. However, this alone is not enough. To keep our planet on course with the Paris agreement to mitigate climate change, we must fully switch to renewable sources of electricity. Partnering with ECOHZ enables us to keep to our part in this fiduciary duty.”
In an interview with ECOHZ, Nicola Kimm explained why Philips Lighting chose to pursue I-RECs in the Gulf region, and how they will help the company meet their sustainability and renewable energy targets:
Since I-RECs in the Gulf region are issued by a local issuer that has full overview of local regulations, Philips Lighting can be sure that no double counting is taking place. Also, we need a flexible solution, and using I-RECs means that Philips Lighting can easily expand or adjust the agreement according to our operations in the Gulf region. Ultimately, I-RECs are an efficient way of meeting our sustainability and renewable energy targets.
In a region dominated by oil and oil profits, seeking out renewable energy options is a big deal for an international company. The Gulf region is definitely growing their own renewable energy capacity and experiencing the business case benefits of transitioning to renewable energy, but the leadership of companies like Philips Lighting will not only push competitors and peers, but will provide further demand for renewable energy capacity in the region.
“Currently, around 1% of electricity in the Gulf region is generated from renewable sources,” added Tom Lindberg, Managing Director at ECOHZ. “Looking at the great interest in renewable energy from multinationals operating in the region, this is not enough. Philips Lighting is taking a bold first step and is a great example of how corporate action can show this demand for traceable, credible renewable electricity.”
“It is inspiring to see Philips Lighting working to source renewables in an oil dominated market,” said Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100 at The Climate Group. “Going 100% renewable makes business sense, and solutions are available – wherever operations are based. Together, RE100 members are creating change, and accelerating progress to a low carbon economy.”