Citigroup announced today that it will be powered by 100% renewable energy by 2020. This adds to the company’s previous vow to finance $100 billion in clean energy, infrastructure and technology projects that build a more sustainable economy.
The financial giant is looking at onsite power generation, power purchase agreements and renewable energy credits to help reach the company’s goal by 2020.
Citi is a very energy intensive corporation. The company owns or leases more than 57 million square feet of real estate in 94 countries, consisting of over 7,900 properties. Its new global headquarters currently under construction in New York City, however, is being targeted for LEED Platinum, the highest level of certification under the U.S. Green Building Council.
Earlier this year, Citi entered into a contract to provide Green-e certified renewable energy for 50% of the power needs at its Roanoke, Texas, data center. The deal provides a renewable source of energy as well as price certainty to one of Citi’s key data centers and is the result of a collaboration between Citi Realty Services, an internal unit responsible for the company’s facilities, and Citigroup Energy Inc., a Citi subsidiary, to meet its renewable energy needs.
“We’re committed to using renewable power sources for our global operations while continuing to provide financing for our clients’ renewable energy and energy efficiency projects around the world,” said Citi CEO Michael Corbat.
Citi is joining RE100, a global initiative led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP and part of the We Mean Business Coalition.
Bank of America is another financial institution following similar initiatives. The company has financed $1.3 billion for commercial and industrial energy efficient buildings between 2013 and 2016. In a new report, “Banking on a Low-Carbon Economy,” Bank of America outlines the amounts of funding it has invested across a variety of environmental activities, as well as the economic benefits that have resulted from its financing of such projects through lending, investing, and capital raising.
In short, large global companies are increasingly committing to using renewable energy and lessening their global footprint. The Guardian reported this summer that renewable energy capacity worldwide was boosted by a record amount in 2016 and delivered at a significantly lower cost. Last year’s newly installed capacity of 161 gigawatts was up nearly 10% over 2015 and actually cost $242 billion — 23% less than in 2015, according to the REN21 Renewables Global Status Report.