PARIS; Dec. 10, 2015 – Leading companies have pledged to enhance their energy efficiency with an estimated impact of 62,000 gigawatt hours (GWh) over the next five years, enough to power the city of Paris for nine months, according to a report by Sustainable Energy for All and Accenture (NYSE: ACN). However, many companies are facing challenges in turning commitments into effective strategies.
Some 775 companies, more than 130 national, regional and local governments and over 100 financial institutions have committed to ramping up energy efficiency measures and investments under SE4All’s 100/100/100 campaign, contributing to both economic growth and the fight against climate change.
The details of private sector commitments are published in ‘Sustainable Energy for All, We Commit.’
The campaign by SE4All, a unique multi-stakeholder partnership backed by the United Nations and World Bank to catalyze action for universal access to sustainable energy, is building momentum to double the rate of improvement in energy efficiency by 2030 – one of SE4All’s three objectives and a target under the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 7 on energy. The International Energy Agency estimates that targeted energy efficiency measures have the potential to contribute up to half the savings in greenhouse gas emissions needed to keep the global temperature rise to less than 2 degrees Celsius.
The campaign’s effort to drive private-sector engagement, ‘We Commit,’ was led by Accenture, which has developed a framework that accepts a range of energy efficiency commitments from companies. The framework prioritizes quantifiable commitments to improvements within companies and their supply chains, but also includes non-quantifiable commitments, such as robust energy efficiency strategies.
In just six months, the private-sector segment of the 100/100/100 campaign has secured commitments from around 100 large corporations and 675 small and medium-sized enterprises in 33 countries across all continents. Of these, 75 pledges that can be quantified and tallied represent a total energy saving in 2016-2020 of 62,000 gigawatt hours (GWh), resulting in large cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.
In the financial sector, more than 100 banks and institutional investors, managing close to $4 trillion in both developed and developing countries, have committed to a major increase in energy efficiency lending in their portfolios in a drive led by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the United Nations Environment Programme.
“Energy accounts for 60 percent of today’s greenhouse gas emissions and global demand for energy continues to rise,” said Jean-Marc Ollagnier, group chief executive, Accenture’s Resources operating group. “Direct emissions from energy usage are expected to double or triple by 2050 compared to 2010. To help offset that expected impact, the efforts and commitments of private sector companies through this program will help achieve SE4ALL’s goal of doubling the rate of energy efficiency.”
“Whether it’s better equipment, cleverer systems or new business models and new financing, we need faster results,” said Rachel Kyte, designate Chief Executive Officer of SE4All and Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Sustainable Energy for All. “Energy efficiency is essential in growing low carbon economies and in allowing us to meet the goal of energy access for all. We can live in a cleaner world and business can compete to be resource efficient and succeed," added Ms Kyte, who is currently the World Bank Group’s Vice President and Special Envoy for Climate Change.”
The report notes that although many companies have set carbon reduction targets, they often struggle to implement strategies to achieve them, principally due to operational and structural challenges. The report suggests that doubling the rate of energy efficiency can only succeed if individual commitments are accompanied by cross-industry efforts. It calls on multi-national companies to collaborate on setting targets and on designing effective implementation programs.
The commitments under the 100/100/100 campaign build on a range of initiatives that were announced at the 2014 Climate Summit in New York, including SE4All’s Global Energy Efficiency Accelerator Platform. This offers one of the biggest global platforms supporting energy efficiency action across the public sector, private sector and civil society, with a particular focus on reducing energy use in six key areas: appliances, lighting, buildings, industry, vehicle fuels, and district energy systems.
Read more on Accenture’s insights into the COP21 climate change conference.
About Sustainable Energy for All
Launched in September 2011 by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, SE4All has three main objectives by 2030: to ensure universal access to modern energy services, to double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency, and to double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. The Sustainable Energy for All initiative also acts in support of the 2014 2024 Decade of Sustainable Energy for All as declared by the UN General Assembly. Visit us at www.se4all.org.
Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions – underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network – Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With more than 358,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at www.accenture.com.
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