83 international businesses have publicly committed to sourcing 100% renewable electricity by becoming members of the RE100. While the RE100 does not specify the date by which companies must reach their 100% target, many are realising the benefits of taking action now, including international fashion retailer H&M.

H&M’s commitments to renewable energy include achieving 78% total electricity use from renewables in 2015, a dramatic increase from 27% in 2014. With widely dispersed operations throughout the world, the company has created a portfolio of renewable energy certificates to match the countries where it consumes electricity wherever possible. The retailer has worked with Natural Capital Partners and ECOHZ to purchase a portfolio of North American Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), International-RECs (I-RECs) and European Guarantees of Origin (GOs). As part of its work to improve the availability of renewable energy around the world, H&M is committed to supporting I-RECs in all countries where the business operates and where they are available.

Companies setting and reaching immediate targets to reduce their emissions to net zero and source 100% renewable energy are already reaping business benefits. Recent research by consultancy Bain, found that one of the most critical features of successful sustainability programmes is setting clear and quantifiable public targets, creating a sense of commitment that engages internal and external stakeholders.

“We are constantly improving our customer offer and our commitment to run our business on 100% renewable power is part of that,” says Pierre Börjesson, H&M’s Global Sustainability Business Expert. “Through electricity reduction programmes and the purchase of renewable electricity certificates, we have managed to source more than 90% of our consumption from renewable sources. We are committed to reaching 100% and continue to contribute to a larger demand for renewable power throughout the world.”

“Climate leading companies like H&M are setting the bar high with a public commitment to 100% renewables. Through a portfolio of certificates, H&M is demonstrating demand for renewable energy and supporting the development of essential infrastructure for renewables in new markets, enabling other businesses to take advantage of these expanding renewable energy opportunities,” says Mark LaCroix, Executive Vice-President, Americas, Natural Capital Partners.

Prior to its recent purchase of renewable energy instruments, in 2015 and 2016 H&M bought 100,000 MWh of European GO2.  GO2 are GOs that allow businesses to contribute top-financing to named renewable projects. H&M’s purchase resulted in the construction of the Tågeröd Wind Power Plant on the Swedish west coast, which will become operational during the first half of 2017 with 6.6 MW installed capacity and around 19,000 MWh annual production.

Preben Munch, Director of ECOHZ Corporate Customers & Strategic Partnerships states that: “H&M’s recent purchase ensures that its stores, warehouses and offices use an increased amount of renewable electricity. This sends a clear message to the renewable energy market that there is a growing demand from large businesses for zero-emission electricity that needs to be met now, by scaling up renewable energy production around the world.”