Apple, BoA start Climate Week with renewables pledge

At an event in New York, two of the US’ largest corporations agreed to use 100% renewable electricity by 2020.

Two US corporations, Apple and Bank of America (BoA), made lofty clean energy pledges on Monday at the start of Climate Week NYC.

At an event in New York City hosted by international nonprofit The Climate Group, senior executives from the two companies said their businesses were joining the RE100 campaign, a group of major global businesses committed to using 100 percent renewable electricity to power their operations.

The Climate Group event, ‘America Means Business: US Leadership in a post-Paris World’, brought together US officials and business leaders to reaffirm the COP21 pledge agreed to ten months ago to lower carbon emissions, a task that the Obama administration has said will require commitment from major US businesses.

“We’re joining RE100 to help keep these critical issues at the forefront of the business agenda, recognising the role of the private sector in addressing challenges associated with climate change,” Andrew Plepler, BoA’s global ESG executive, said at the event.

BoA also made the pledge to reach carbon neutrality for its operations. It said it will work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent, energy use by 40 percent and water uses by 45 percent across its global operations by the end of the decade. “These new commitments build on our existing environmental strategy for both our operations as well as our business activities,” Plepler added.

Earlier this year, BoA launched the Catalytic Finance Initiative to partner eight institutional investors together to raise $10 billion for innovative finance structures and clean energy investments.

Apple also announced it had completed a 50MW solar farm in Arizona. The company has been a leader in the US tech community for investing in renewable energy and recently said it had built so many solar and wind projects to power its operations that it would begin reselling excess energy it produced.

Both Apple and BoA joined President Obama’s American Business Act on Climate Pledge last year. The pledge was a voice of support leading up to the COP21 conference in Paris last year and a promise to take climate action through clean and efficient business practices.