Walmart, Fortune 500 companies take 100% renewable energy pledge

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On Wednesday, the world’s largest retailer and a group of seven other companies pledged to get 100% of their electricity from renewable energy, as part of The Climate Group’s RE100 campaign.

The other seven include investment bank Goldman Sachs and other well-known brands such as Johnson & Johnson, NIKE, Procter & Gamble and Starbucks. In addition to these eight a ninth company, Steelcase took the pledge despite already reaching 100% of its electricity sourced from renewables in 2014.

Organizers of the 100RE campaign stress that the move to renewable energy is a benefit not only to cmpany brands but also their bottom line.

“The most ambitious companies have seen a 27 percent return on their low carbon investments – no wonder new names keep joining RE100,” noted Climate Group CEO Mark Kenber. “Lowering risk, protecting against price rises, saving millions and boosting brand is what shaping a low carbon economy is all about.”

The timelines of these companies to reach this goal vary from 2015 for Voya Financial to 2050 for Johnson & Johnson, with Goldman Sachs setting a 2020 target and Nike a 2025 target. The nine bring RE100 to 36 companies that have taken the pledge since the initiative was launched in 2014.

The timing of Walmart’s pledge is unclear, and the company did not respond to pv magazine inquiries by press time. However, Walmart already has the most solar PV deployed on its facilities of any U.S. company, with 105 MW deployed in 260 projects as of November 2014.