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14 September 2017

US major corporations demonstrate commitment to clean energy despite President’s Trump policies

A survey that was conducted by the information and research platform Smart Energy Decisions in 94 major corporations and institutions suggests that the US President’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement hasn’t affected their commitment to the clean energy transition.

The report was named ‘Post-Paris: The State of Corporate Renewable Energy Sourcing’ and it was published in 13 September from the research firm that specialises in commercial and industrial users.

The survey took place in June, shortly after Donald Trump’s announcement, and all 94 entities that participated were mainly located in the US and in Canada.

According to the survey results, 60 percent said that their company’s interest in renewable energy had increased over the past year.

Smart Energy Decisions underlined that the interesting element of the survey lies behind the reason that more and more companies commit to clean electricity.

According to the report, up until now, ‘green branding’ was considered to be the main factor in business investment in renewable energy, which is no longer the case.

The recent statistics indicate that for 29.1 percent of the respondents that have already purchased or are interested in purchasing renewable electricity, the most important factor is the energy cost reduction.

For 25.5 percent the main factor is meeting greenhouse gas reduction targets, and for 16.3 percent the main factor is meeting renewable energy targets.

On the contrary, only 8.1 percent of the respondents answered that ‘green branding’ is the most important factor affecting their commitment.

A small 6 percent indicated that consumer demand is their main driver.

John Failla, Founder and Editorial Director of Smart Energy Decisions said: "This finding explodes the myth that brand image/marketing value is the leading reason to source renewable energy”.

The report also underlines the importance of the ‘leapfrog effect’, for corporations and institutions attempting to invest to renewable electricity to feed their operational needs for the first time.

The new comers take advantage of the lessons learned from early adapters to make more effective decisions.

Although so far it was almost exclusively commercial companies who were investing in renewable energy electricity, the ‘the leapfrog effect’ has also encouraged the industrial sector,-which is significantly more energy-intensive, to turn to renewables.

Among the industrial companies surveyed, 22.2 percent are considering their first investment in renewable energy.

Smart Energy Decisions has commented that this finding verifies ‘chatter’ that this trend was beginning to earn ground, with large corporations such as Corning, General Motors and Toyota having announced ambitious carbon reduction target in the past years.

If you want to access the full ‘Post-Paris: The State of Corporate Renewable Energy Sourcing’ click here.

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