In 2014, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the World Resources Institute (WRI) convened 34 leading companies to create the Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles. These companies, which included HP, Facebook, eBay, IKEA, Target, Bloomberg, 3M, P&G, Kaiser Permanente, Intel, Salesforce, Cisco, BD and Staples, became signatories to these principles to spur progress on resolving the challenges they face when buying renewable energy.
Now Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Energy has joined a dozen major companies, including Walmart, Apple, Bank of America, Cargill and GM, which have announced more than $140 billion in investments in low-carbon projects and other actions to support a shift towards renewable energy. Ruth Comer, a spokeswoman for Berkshire Hathaway Energy, a division of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., said that it is important that the world see that U.S. businesses are speaking with a strong voice.
With the White House in the midst of extensive negotiations aimed at an international agreement on climate change in Paris in December, the timing of the announcement by the corporate heavyweights was strategic. Berkshire Hathaway Energy used the opportunity to take a more explicit stance on investments in renewable energy.
The sustainable energy pledge taken by BH Energy includes:
- A nearly 16 percent increase in its wind holdings in Iowa
- A 1,000 MW increase in purchases of wind and solar power by one of Berkshire’s western U.S. holdings, PacifiCorp
- To retire more than 75 percent of coal generation capacity in Nevada in the next four years
Energy division of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. accounts for nine percent of the group’s earnings, or $1.88 billion in 2014, up 42 percent from two years ago. It sells electricity in 11 states, from Iowa to California, the largest geographic territory of any electric utility. BH Energy’s chairman and CEO, Greg Abel, said that the company has invested more than $15 billion in renewable energy and is targeting another $15 billion in investments.
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