SAP is now one of 15 global corporations that have signed on to the RE100 initiative. The goal of the campaign is to have 100 of the world’s most influential businesses commit to 100 percent renewable power by 2020.

SAP, IKEA, and Nestlé were among the latest companies to become part the RE100 initiative. The signings were announced at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi on January 19. Named for “renewable energy,” the RE100 campaign was launched in September 2014 by The Climate Group, a non-profit organization whose goal is a prosperous, low-carbon future.

SAP had already announced its commitment to 100 percent renewable electricity in its data centers and facilities worldwide at the beginning of 2014.

According to Daniel Schmid, chief sustainability officer at SAP SE, shifting customer systems to SAP’s “green cloud” also effectively neutralizes customers’ CO2 emissions arising from the operation of SAP software in their data centers.

“This [commitment to renewable power] has allowed SAP to expand its competitiveness in the cloud software market while further enhancing its sustainability leadership. Joining RE100 is a natural step and we are happy to share our practical experience with global sustainability leaders as well as to discuss challenges and opportunities associated with renewable energy,” he says.

Business Case: Sustainability

The decision to invest in green energy goes hand in hand with SAP’s sustainability strategy. In concrete terms, the company’s goal is to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions from its operations to levels of the year 2000 by 2020.

“Ambitious goals call for extraordinary measures,” Schmid points out. “Investing in renewable energy is one of them. Our mobility concept is another, exemplified by the launch of our e-car fleet.”

Participation in the RE100 initiative fits well with the results of the most recent employee survey: 91% of respondents said they want their company to pursue the issue of sustainability seriously.

But using power from renewable energy sources isn’t just good for business, the economy, and the planet. According to a report published in September 2014 by the University of Oxford and the London-based asset management service Arabesque, it can also boost performance on the capital markets. Eighty percent of the 200 studies they analyzed show that good sustainability practices positively influence stock prices.

RE100’s partners include the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and CDP, a non-profit organization that manages the largest collection globally of self-reported climate change data. CDP also scores participating corporations’ climate performance each year for ranking on its annual Climate Performance Leadership Index (CPLI).

As part of its mission, the RE100 campaign pushes the compelling business case for renewable power, addresses barriers to wide-scale adoption, develops transparent reporting mechanisms, and identifies the necessary regulatory reforms.

The following companies have already joined RE100: BT Group, Commerzbank, Formula E, H&M, IKEA, KPN, Mars, Nestlé, Philips, Reed Elsevier Group, J. Safra Sarasin Bank, SAP, SGS, Swiss Re, and YOOX.

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