The share of renewable energy purchased voluntarily by companies in the Corporate Renewable Energy Index grew from 14 percent in 2009 to 16 percent in 2011, indicating corporations are increasingly shifting the focus of their sustainability strategy from energy efficiency to renewable energy, according to the 2012 CREX study.
CREX, an index of more than 300 companies that use renewable energy voluntarily, was prepared by Bloomberg New Energy Finance for Vestas. The CREX ranking is based on the amount of renewable energy (in MWh) procured by the companies in 2011 as a percentage of their total electricity purchases in the same period.
More than half of the companies in the latest index plan to buy more renewable energy in the future.
The majority of companies use only a small amount of renewable energy. Nearly 30 percent of companies in the CREX use less than 5 percent renewable energy.
However, the 2011 index shows an emerging group of 35 companies that source all their electricity from renewables, at the other extreme. These companies, which includes retailer Kohl’s, financial firm Ernst & Young UK and technology company Adobe Systems, tend to buy purchase renewable energy certificates and tend to be in consumer-facing sectors such as financials, consumer services and consumer goods.
Kohl’s, Adobe Systems, News Corporation and Whole Foods have been sector leaders in renewable energy purchasing in previous CREX indices.
“The pace of growth in companies’ use of renewable energy will depend on the level of political and regulatory support, and on further progress in the cost-competitiveness of these technologies,” said Bloomberg New Energy Finance CEO Michael Liebreich.
Nearly 40 percent of renewable electricity purchases in 2011 were made through direct investments in on-site generation. Direct investments are particularly popular with companies in countries where the grid supply is at times restricted, such as India, and those with large electricity demand in the industrial, consumer goods and basic materials sectors, the CREX study said.
The CREX is one of two Vestas-commissioned studies published today. Both the CREX and the Global Consumer Wind Study 2012, produced by TNS Gallup, are part of Vestas’ 2012 Energy Transparency Campaign, which aims to increase transparency of consumers’ energy preferences and influence companies’ energy procurement.