Whole Foods, Intel, Kohl's Use the Most Renewable Energy of All Corporations

Whole Foods, Intel, and Kohl’s top the list of publicly traded corporations that run on renewable energy, according to a survey released today by Bloomberg New Energy Finance and commissioned by Vestas Wind Systems A/S.

The results are part of a new global ‘Corporate Renewable Energy Index’ (CREX) that creates transparency on the amount of renewable energy used by the world’s largest listed corporations.

The CREX makes available for the first time information about the type and amount of energy used by corporations, providing insight that can be used to inform people about climate-friendly purchasing decisions.

"For years, we have focused so much of our attention on the generators of clean energy," says Michael Liebreich, CEO of Bloomberg New Energy Finance. "For this report, we shift the lens just a bit to look at who is buying this electricity. The CREX brings transparency to the renewable energy use of major global corporations, and will be a useful tool for energy investors."

Among North American- based companies, Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) bought 1,493 GWh of renewable energy in 2010, the highest among all companies that disclosed their data. Kohl’s (NYSE: KSS) ranks highest in terms of renewable procurement on a percentage basis, with 100% of its electricity coming from renewable energy. Whole Foods Market (Nasdaq: WFMI) tops the ranking for wind-specific procurement, with all of its electricity consumption coming from this technology.

Among companies outside North America, CLP Holdings (HKG:0002), which owns utilities across Asia and Australia, bought the most renewable energy in 2010 (953 GWh), and Swiss Re (VTX:SREN), one of the world’s largest reinsurance companies, generates 78.1% of its electricity from renewables.

In terms of wind energy, after Whole Foods, Toronto-Dominion Bank (TSE: TD), one of the largest banks in North America, runs on 78%, followed by Adobe Systems (NASDAQ:ADBE), the prominent U.S. software company, which runs on 65% wind. 

In the 2011 ‘Corporate Renewable Energy Index’, industry leaders using the most renewable energy on a percentage basis are: News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWSA) (Communications), Plum Creek Timber (NYSE:PCL) (Basic Materials), Kohl’s Corporation and Whole Foods Market (Consumer), CLP Holdings (Energy & Utilities), Toronto-Dominion Bank (Financial), Vestas Wind Systems (CPH:VWS) (Industrial) and Adobe Systems (Technology).

The results of the ‘Corporate Renewable Energy Index’ are based on surveys conducted by Bloomberg New Energy Finance of the world’s 1,000 largest corporations by market capitalization. The study is the first to cover global corporate renewable energy procurement, Bloomberg says. 176 companies responded to the survey in 2009 and 2010. 

CREX covers total energy consumption as well as renewable energy as a share of total energy consumption, listing absolute figures and relative percentages of corporate renewable energy consumption for electricity.

The index also includes how corporations buy renewable energy, such as through Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), green pricing, carbon offsets, and direct investments. The renewable energy technology breakdown covers geothermal, solar, wind, hydro, waste energy, and a national blend of different technologies.

The index can be used by corporations to evaluate their performance on renewable energy procurement compared with their competitors. They can also see how industry leaders in sustainability use renewable energy to reduce emissions in their operations and value chains.

CREX will be available to investors on the Bloomberg Terminal (type CREX), providing crucial information about how corporations are contributing to the transition to a low-carbon society.

"Transparency in energy consumption enables consumers to make informed choices about the products and services they buy," says Ditlev Engel, CEO of Vestas. "It is this need for visibility regarding energy consumption that has prompted Vestas to undertake a number of initiatives, including working with Bloomberg New Energy Finance to create the CREX."

Vestas is also one of the founding members of WindMade – the first wind certification label for consumer products.

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