THE CLIMATE GROUP LAUNCHES PIONEERING GLOBAL EV CAMPAIGN AT CLIMATE WEEK NYC
NEW YORK: The Climate Group launched a groundbreaking new campaign on electric vehicles (EVs) at Climate Week NYC 2017 on Tuesday at Spring Studios in New York City. EV100 aims to fast track the drive towards electric vehicles; by signing up, companies can use their collective buying power and influence to build demand, cut costs and remove barriers to adoption.
The campaign was launched at the ‘VELOCITY – Accelerating Climate Action’ event, which saw The Climate Group partner with Formula E, VICE Impact and Spring Studios to demonstrate the need for faster action, greater impact, and convergence across all sectors in the fight against climate change.
Ten leading companies - Baidu, Deutsche Post DHL Group, Heathrow Airport, HP Inc., IKEA Group, LeasePlan, METRO AG, PG&E, Unilever, and Vattenfall - were announced as members of the campaign –the first of its kind.
Opening the event, Helen Clarkson, CEO, The Climate Group, said: “We’re trying to gather companies to make global commitments on EVs and hit these goals by 2030. We want to make electric vehicles the new normal.”
Joining Helen on stage at the event were Pia Heidenmark Cook, Acting Chief Sustainability Officer, IKEA Group, Melissa Lavinson, Chief Sustainability Officer, PG&E Corporation, and Mike Lightfoot, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, LeasePlan. Together they discussed the value of EVs, remarking on how EV100 can significantly help to lower emissions.
Pia Heidenmark Cook said: “IKEA Group wants to show that a transition to electric vehicles is possible, bringing benefits for both the global climate and the local environment around our stores. That’s why we are excited to join EV100 as founding members, and accelerate the change towards more sustainable transportation.”
Wang Lu, Vice President, Baidu, said: “We are delighted to be the first Chinese company to join EV100. As one of the world’s leading IT companies, we are inspired to create a better future for all through technology innovation, and are committed to sustainability across our business operations. We have already made significant progress in promoting low carbon electromobility. We hope that other Chinese companies will follow our lead.”
Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E, and ambassador for the EV100 campaign added: “This is going to be as or more important than the digital revolution.”
THE US CLIMATE IMPACT DEBATE
Velocity also brought together Kyung Ah Park, Head of Environmental Markets, Goldman Sachs, Governor Jay Inslee (Washington), Mayor Jacki Biskupi (Salt Lake City) and Eric Roston, Bloomberg LP, in a discussion chaired by Vice Creative Officer, Eddy Moretti, on how state, city and business leadership can make up for the US Federal Government withdrawal from the Paris Agreement.
Governor Inslee passionately highlighted how US states and cities would continue to deliver on the agreement, saying: "Donald Trump cannot stop us from our ultimate destiny of leading the fight against…He can tweet, he can wave his arms around, but he doesn't have the authority to stop us"
Receiving a resounding applause from the audience, he went on to say, "climate deniers do not belong in any position in office, we have to deliver that message"
Looking at the business angle, Kyung Ah Park highlighted the need for collective action, to create a “market-driven pull that policy wouldn’t be able to stop”.
EVEN MORE CORPORATE COMMITMENTS
The event also welcomed even more RE100 members; global financial institutions Citi and JPMorgan Chase & Co. beverage company Califia Farms, and UK investment management company Jupiter Asset Management.
Run by The Climate Group, in partnership with CDP, RE100 brings together businesses committed to sourcing 100% renewable power across their global operations. The news follows last week’s announcement that The Estée Lauder Companies, Kellogg Company, DBS Bank and Clif Bar & Company have also joined RE100. The campaign now includes 110 of the world’s most influential companies who are generating demand for over 150 TWh renewable energy annually – more than enough to power New York State.
Matt Arnold, Global Head of Sustainable Finance, JPMorgan Chase & Co., said: “Business has an essential role to play in advancing the transition to clean energy and a safe climate. Our commitment to source renewable power for 100% of our global energy needs by 2020 – which is paired with a plan to facilitate US$200 billion in clean energy financing through 2025 – is driven by ‘out-of-the-box’ innovators and a commercial approach that will deliver a more resilient energy supply chain.”
LEADING ON CLIMATE ACTION
Later, global businesses and RE100 members Philips Lighting, DBS Bank, Kellogg Company, AB InBev, General Motors and JPMorgan Chase took to the stage in two sessions to discuss how and why businesses can accelerate commitments. Members of The Climate Group’s EP100 campaign on energy productivity, H&M and Mahindra, also participated in the session.
Diane Holdorf, Chief Sustainability Officer, Kellogg said the business risks posed by climate change impacts was a reason to act on renewable energy, and underlined that consumers expect global brands to act responsibly.
David Tulauskas, Director of Sustainability, General Motors, said that young people had high expectations of their employees, while Michael Norton, Managing Director of Real Estate, JP Morgan highlighted the cost benefits of taking action, and the falling cost of renewables being a key factor in the company’s decision to target 100% renewable power by 2020.
General Motors also announced that it would power its Ohio and Indiana plants entirely with wind energy, meaning that renewable energy will cover 20% of the automaker’s global electricity load. Helen Clarkson hailed the achievement as “a fantastic show of commitment at CWNYC- and all achieved in just a year since the company joined RE100".
Vanessa Rothschild, Sustainability Business Controller, H&M, said: "We want to make fashion sustainable and sustainability fashionable… First of all we reduce the amount of energy we use, then ensure what we do use comes from renewable sources".
Anirban Ghosh, Chief Sustainability Officer, Mahindra Group, said:"EP100 and RE100 work fantastically well together - and for an automaker that makes business sense."
The ‘VELOCITY’ event saw Formula E announce The Climate Group as an official international foundation partner. The partnership will focus on championing EV100 to global businesses, building on Formula E’s global success in turning technology ambition into successful global sports events. Formula E will also be a Global Ambassador for EV100.
Formula E’s vision is that one day every car in the world will be electric, with the transition making a significant contribution to addressing challenges like climate change and inner-city pollution. Collaborating at a global level with multiple stakeholders, Formula E is offering a R&D platform to accelerate the rate of technology development and enable a smoother transition toward clean energy.
Alejandro Agag, Founder & CEO, Formula E, said: “I’m delighted that Formula E has joined forces with The Climate Group’s EV100 initiative as a partner to promote electric, sustainable mobility. Our partnership with the EV100 campaign is proof that change is already happening and causing a positive shift in attitude towards cleaner transportation. Formula E shows that electric isn’t just the technology of the future - it’s the technology of today. I’m glad to see other leading companies follow suit as part of this new agreement.”
VICE Impact is also joined The Climate Group and Formula E to announce a multi-year collaboration to drive the program forward. VICE Impact will utilize its unique approach to information to help the partnership secure even greater numbers of businesses committed to EV100, and involve global audiences in following their progress from commitment to delivery and impact.
Katherine Keating, Publisher, VICE Impact, said: “EV100, along with RE100 and EP100, is shaping the global response to climate change. It captures the profound shift in pioneering companies' investment and long term strategies away from fossil fuels and towards electrification and alternative sources of energy. There is an environmental reality, but there is case for hope in the age of genuine business sustainability.”