Earlier today, HP announced a goal to double its global purchases of renewable power from under 4 percent in 2008 to 8 percent by 2012. While this is a good first step, we believe more must be done to chart a 21st Century green-energy economy.
Dell currently sources about 20 percent of its global energy use from green energy provided by utilities. In August, we announced that we met our carbon-neutral goal more than five months ahead of schedule by taking inventory of our greenhouse gas emissions and implementing strategies to reduce and eliminate them. We began with aggressive energy-efficiency initiatives, then took steps to invest in green energy and verified offsets for our remaining emissions. Since 2004, our investment in green electricity from utility providers, including wind, solar and gas-energy conversion has grown from 12 million kWh to 116 million kWh (approximately 33 percent of our U.S. electricity usage).
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency publicly lists Fortune 500 green-energy purchasing figures on its Web site.
More than ever, business must take the lead in building the 21st Century green-energy economy. For companies thinking of investing in renewable power, here are a few initial points to consider:
1) Less is More – Energy efficiency is still the most effective way to drive down costs while helping the planet. If you look across your organization, you’ll likely find a number of ways to reduce energy consumption.
2) Partner with your utility provider – Until we transition to an economy run entirely on green power, it’s important to tell your utility providers how they can help assess your needs and implement a comprehensive green program.
3) Be transparent – It’s important for every company to communicate goals and definitions of green power in the clearest of terms. Customers and stakeholders expect no less.
We encourage HP to take today’s announcement a step further and commit to being carbon neutral. This would drive new efficiencies throughout its business, further engage employees and lead to a much higher level of green-energy investment worldwide (100 percent, according to the company’s 2007 definition).
The impact of facilities is only part of the answer in a comprehensive climate strategy, of course. Companies should actively partner with suppliers to help them consider how to reduce emissions and deliver energy-efficient products that both save money and help improve the environment.
In the end, everyone has a role to play. Let us know what you think. You can share your thoughts here or join the conversation at ReGeneration.org. Together, we’ll continue to make a world of difference!