REBA Member Highlight: Enel X and Eaton


Celebrating #REBAEarthMonth with Sustainability: Enel X and Eaton collaborate for a resilient future

As REBA focuses on Earth Day and the importance of sustainability throughout April, Enel X and Eaton are joining in the celebration. Both Enel X and Eaton work to help accelerate the energy transition, most recently by partnering to develop a microgrid in Puerto Rico. The project demonstrates how Enel X and Eaton are focused on helping customers and communities unlock a more resilient energy future.

Collaboration is Key to Success

Enel X and Eaton share a vision for improving sustainability and fighting climate change, bringing their unparalleled expertise and technologies to benefit customers and local energy ecosystems. That shared vision was crucial to the success of this project.

The microgrid is located at Eaton’s Arecibo plant in Puerto Rico, which manufactures circuit breakers for buildings, homes and industrial applications. The project features both on-site solar generation and battery storage. It will enable Eaton to generate, store and consume renewable energy while reducing stress on regional utility infrastructure. Eaton can also share clean energy back onto Puerto Rico’s electrical grid during periods of excess generation. 

The project will help Puerto Rico reach its latest renewable energy goals, after the Puerto Rico Energy Bureau, the island’s energy regulator, in 2020 released its Integrated Resource Plan, which includes a mandate for microgrids and renewable energy. The targets are 1300 MW of storage and 3500 MW of solar by 2025. The microgrid helps in accomplishing these goals on the island.

Enel X will build, own and operate the system on behalf of Eaton, while Eaton will provide installation expertise and key control technology for the microgrid system. 

A Benefit to the Community

Eaton aims to have a positive impact on its local communities with all projects, and the microgrid fit that mission. Because of the success of the project, Enel X and Eaton are looking to replicate it elsewhere—they’re examining additional opportunities in Puerto Rico to provide a microgrid-as-a-service approach together.

A “Postcard from the Future”

The project is one of the largest microgrids built on Puerto Rico, dubbed a “postcard from the future” by Wood Mackenzie for island communities and other centralized grid systems transitioning to more distributed resources. This microgrid model proves that clean energy and reliability go hand-in-hand as Puerto Rico and other communities double down on renewable electricity commitments amidst worsening extreme weather.


Get Involved

Hear more about innovative projects during the REBA Member Summit on May 4 – 20. Registration is open to REBA members, and non-members can purchase ticketed-access to select content.


Decarbonizing the Commercial Real Estate Sector


REBA’s Commercial Real Estate Principles, a foundational tool to support the Future of Real Estate Power program, leverage tenant and landlord demand for sustainable energy solutions to transform how owners and operators view emissions reduction potential of commercial buildings.

Commercial buildings are responsible for 16% of carbon dioxide emissions and 35% of electricity use in the U.S.1 Therefore, any strategy to significantly reduce corporate emissions must include the real estate sector. With sustainability leaders in the industry emerging, investors calling for action, and tenants seeking green solutions, the commercial real estate sector  is  poised  for  significant  investment in renewable energy. 

The Future of Real Estate Power (FoREP) is REBA’s newest program focused on developing solutions for landlords and tenants to accelerate renewable energy procurement in commercial real estate. 

REBA members will inform FoREP through the creation of resources and engagement opportunities that will address the toughest challenges of procurement in the industry, including:

“As a company that is uniquely positioned as both a landlord and tenant, WeWork is acutely aware of the challenges and importance of energy management in the real estate sector. Powering commercial real estate with renewable energy is crucial for our company, as well as many others, to meaningfully meet its sustainability goals. It is exciting to see organizations like REBA stepping up and creating programs like Future of Real Estate Power to address this immense challenge.” 

Illina Frankiv, Head of Energy & Sustainability, Americas, WeWork 

The Commercial Real Estate Principles are FoREP’s first resource aimed at powering commercial real estate with renewables. The Principles were created to galvanize landlords and tenants to accelerate renewable energy procurement, guide landlord-tenant collaboration, and demonstrate growing industry demand for sustainable solutions. Any company may sign the Principles; there is no fee or REBA membership requirement to sign on. Tenants may use the Principles to help inform their energy management requests to landlords. Landlords may use the Principles to develop sustainable energy solutions for tenants.    

“At Autodesk, we are constantly seeking ways to  improve  the environmental impact of our operations. To drive change and decrease building emissions on the broad scale that is required, landlords and tenants need to collaborate on solutions.  REBA’s Commercial Real Estate Principles provide crucial guidance and demonstrate industry demand for landlord-tenant collaboration.”

Claire FitzGerald, Sustainability Manager, Autodesk 

Tackling large issues often begins with taking small steps. We hear time and again from energy buyers that without smaller wins, larger achievements become much more difficult. For instance, many tenants and landlords struggle to simply determine whom to contact regarding sustainability or energy issues.  Collaboration between tenants and landlords is critical to address both major and minor obstacles in renewable energy procurement for commercial real estate and drive meaningful industry decarbonization. Therefore, landlord-tenant collaboration will be a focal point of FoREP’s strategy and resource development as it drives its objectives forward.  


Get Involved

To learn more about the Future of Real Estate Power program and how to get involved, or the Commercial Real Estate Principles and how to become a signatory, contact supplychain@rebuyers.org.  


A Statement from REBA’s CEO, Miranda Ballentine


Every leader has pivotal times in their career, where growth is inevitable.  As for many, 2020 was such a year for me, and the first quarter of 2021 has not exactly been smooth sailing either. Yes, leading through a global pandemic and the subsequent recession required a growth mindset. Yes, the rolling climate calamities from the western wildfires to the Atlantic hurricanes to the Texas polar vortex inspired me and us to think bigger and faster about REBA’s mission. Yes, the political upheaval of the last election year and the resultant insurrection against our democracy required tenacity.

For me as a leader, however, the racial reckonings of 2020 and 2021 have been one of the most transformative times of my career. From George Floyd’s murder to the locking up of Hispanic children to last week’s killing of Asian women, and so many other atrocities, those of us with privilege of any kind have to use our voices bear witness to those that face persecution, harassment, and even violence because of who they are. 

Ok, I’m going to get a little personal here, and truthfully, this is not easy. It is hard to acknowledge having not fully seen such glaring racial issues , but I feel compelled to start there because to transform REBA’s role, I first need to change myself as REBA’s leader.

When Obama was elected, the Nation was in the midst of the #MeToo movement, and the Air Force Leadership, where I worked at the time, included more men of color than women of any race, and I thought we had made more progress as a Nation on racial issues than on gender or immigration issues.

As the granddaughter of Sicilian, peasant immigrants with no more than third-grade educations who faced discrimination and incredible hardship because of their nationality, rough accent, and poverty, I didn’t think “white privilege” applied so much to me, since my ancestors played no part in the Nation’s slavery. And they, and I, have worked hard for every success in life.

Yet, it’s now clear to me that the color of my skin evened out those discriminations in one short generation… and in fact, my immigrant grandparents had a path to citizenship because they fit the legal definition of “whiteness.”

Until 2020, I ascribed “white supremacy” to a fringe group of individual people, not a mainstream system from which I benefited due to the color of my skin. Yes, I could see the statistics; yes, I had been disgusted and heart-broken at racially-based violence; but somehow, I believed it came down to individual bad apples.

Some of you may be thinking, “your head has been in the sand,” and some of you may relate.

For me, in 2020, what I learned was that:

No, just because we had an African American president before a female president, it was not an indication that racial equity had happened in this country. (And yes, gender issues are still an issue, as are so many other forms of bias and discrimination).

Yes, even as a ‘new’ European immigrant to this country, I still personally benefited from centuries of structural white supremacy thanks to the color of my skin and the European origin of my (relatively recent) immigrant ancestors.

Racism, white privilege, and white supremacy are not (just) individual personal “isms” that afflict other people—the bad apples—but are systems built over 400 years in the United States, written in the law, policy, and social norms. And every single person with light skin, including me, has benefited from such systems.

And if I want REBA to be a leader in solving these systemic issues, I, personally, as REBA’s CEO, need to think differently about what racism is… and isn’t.  About what diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice are… and are not. About the breadth of injustices, not just racial, but gender, sexual orientation, ability/disability, and so many others.

I have always been passionate about the value and benefit of diverse work forces, having experienced firsthand the benefits when working at Walmart with people from around the world of every race, religion, and political affiliation. I was proud to write REBA’s Commitment to Diversity and Equity from day one of our inception, and I worked hard to close any pay gaps and sought diverse candidates.  But it hasn’t been enough. 

Here are just a few updates on some of the activities REBA has undertaken since I wrote my blog in June to foster growth and learning.

  • We built an internal team of REBA staff called Project Together Task Force to build, refine, and launch REBA’s organizational policies, procedures, and practices to: increase the diversity of REBA’s workforce; ensure that equity and inclusion are built into the DNA of our organizational culture; and foster a spirit of partnership and continuous improvement.  
  • We initiated conversations with the REBA community on the topic DEI-J, taking a first, small-step toward understanding and developing pathways for REBA to do our part on solutions to the systemic barriers to DEI-J in clean energy.
  • REBA and Groundswell partnered to launch Corporates x Communities, funded by the JPB Foundation, to explore how large buyer renewable energy procurement can generate co-benefits for local communities, and are wrapping up the Working Wisdom Listening Tour.
  • We selected Dr. Nika White to help us on the journey.
  • I joined the CEO Pledge, partly because committing matters, but even more because learning from others accelerates progress.  Like REBA, this organization seeks to share best practices and mistakes so we can all improve.
  • We kicked off a board-level task force to assess pathways for diversifying REBA’s leadership.
  • We launched a new membership option for women and minority-owned.

What’s next for REBA on this journey?

  • We’re wrapping up an in-depth assessment of REBA’s own culture—fledgling as we are—so we can model DEI-J inside and out that will inform a 2-year plan at REBA.
  • REBA Institute, REBA’s affiliate, is leading a six-month series of dialogues as a part of the Beyond the Megawatt initiative with our members about DEI-J in our industry, and clean energy justice issues.
  • Together Tuesdays, a discussion platform for the member community to lead advancements of DEI-J in the renewable energy industry, is ongoing and will result in support in the form of guidance documents, case studies, and other resources.
  • We’ll be actively seeking diversity at the board level for both REBA and the REBA Institute.
  • To create equitable opportunities within REBA membership, we have lowered the financial barrier-to-entry to offset structural disadvantages.

The first step has been learning. Open, honest, and raw learning.  I’ve been inspired by my team, who meet together to grow, talk, and challenge.  I feel I am at the very beginning of an exciting journey, and as I continue to learn, I want to hear what has stood out for you.

Thank you for reading and I look forward to the journey ahead with those of you want to join.

Yours in our shared commitment to a zero-carbon energy future,

Miranda



Authors:

Miranda Ballentine
CEO
Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA)

REBA Member Highlight: McDonald’s


How are we defining and recognizing “impact” within the renewable energy industry?

McDonald’s is proud to be recognized as the 4th largest corporate buyer of renewable energy as a part of REBA’s Deal Tracker Top 10 list, having procured 750 MW of wind and solar throughout the year. Historically the sheer volume in MW has been the main metric used to define success within this space, and it is indeed an impressive and important achievement as it relates to our progress towards a zero-carbon future.  We must ask what are the other metrics define true impact –  and how can we incentivize and recognize small energy buyers that are making large organizational shifts and change management lifts to take their first step in renewable energy procurement?

With the recent publication of REBA and Salesforce’s whitepaper, Beyond the Megawatt, we begin to reveal other criteria buyers should consider when designing their renewable energy procurement strategy. The criteria cover a wide range of social, environmental, and economic categories – each with a respective impact weight, specific to each buyer. 

McDonald’s initially entered the world of large-scale renewable energy procurement from a sense of responsibility that we had to do our part in addressing climate change. As we make more progress towards our climate action goal through our virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) transactions, we have begun to peel back the layers as it relates to impact. Coincidentally, in July of 2020, McDonald’s announced a refresh to its set of company values: Serve, Inclusion, Integrity, Community, & Family. Our values don’t all revolve around serving the best burger to our customers, it’s about how we do our business. 

Renewable energy is no different: we must consider how we are procuring our renewable energy and it must deliver the most impactful results in all categories. In October of 2020, McDonald’s announced that it would be creating a brand-new department, led by a brand new Chief Impact Officer role, that would be filled by Katie Beirne Fallon – former White House Director of Legislative Affairs. The department was created because our CEO said that “none of us have the luxury of sitting on the sidelines anymore” and that we do in fact, have the responsibility to use our scale to do good. 

These organizational shifts paired with support from leadership that truly believes McDonald’s has the responsibility to do the right thing has given our renewable energy work new life and the tailwinds we need to move beyond reaching our ambitious climate goal (we announced that we are approximately halfway there). It’s not just about the megawatt. It’s about so much more: It’s about working closely with the communities our projects are in to identify meaningful impact we can have together. It’s about working closely with organizations involved with legislation on environmental justice to address the inequity of access to clean energy and to ensure momentum towards a zero-carbon future doesn’t slow. It’s about incorporating human rights standards, diversity equity, & inclusion standards, and environmental standards into our procurement processes in order to affect systemic change in the industry and ensure that our suppliers are aligned with our values of doing the right thing. The possibilities are endless, and McDonald’s is just getting started on finding our impact areas beyond just (but in addition to!) “volume of megawatts procured”. 

Do not misunderstand me- volume of procurement must continue to increase year over year, but I want to challenge you in thinking that volume is just one metric of success that we are measuring in a world of possibilities where the renewable energy industry is uniquely positioned to affect positive systemic change across countless impact areas. 

As a REBA community, let’s start recognizing impact beyond volume. What are your organizations impact areas and how can McDonald’s and REBA help?


Get Involved

Reach out to me, Emma.Cox@us.mcd.com or education@rebuyers.org to continue the conversation. 


The Elephant in the Room: Scope 3 and Upfront Carbon


Embodied, upfront, associated – what do all these words have in common?  They are all used to describe the carbon emitted to create buildings, products, and even renewable energy infrastructure before they are operational. Wind turbines and solar panels give us zero-carbon electricity, but that does not mean they have a zero-carbon footprint. The upfront carbon comes from the production of steel, aluminum, and various minerals that make our zero-carbon electricity possible.  If we want a zero-carbon future, we must address these emissions that exist deep in supply chains.

The REBA Institute, an affiliate of REBA, sat down with Ryan Spies from Saint-Gobain and REBA Board Chair, and Phil Rausch from Hemlock Semiconductor (HSC) to understand the challenge of upfront carbon and discuss how companies can work together reduce emissions in some of the most carbon-intensive, heavy industrial sectors.  Upfront carbon from industrial commodities and related heavy-duty transport represent 30% of annual carbon emissions globally, and in many cases become part of long-lived infrastructure like buildings or solar panels.  Because of this, Ryan noted, “what we do 50 years from now is not nearly as important as what we do today.”

For many companies, upfront carbon also shows up in their Scope 3 emissions, which can be larger than Scope 1 and 2 combined, and harder to tackle for individual companies. As Phil said, the “Scope 3 emissions bucket is the elephant in the room that everyone wants to address but doesn’t know how.” 

Ryan and Phil both identified a major challenge as the lack of communication between the consumer of end products and the producer of industrial commodities at the beginning of the supply chain. Producers do not hear the demand-pull from consumers; therefore, they are not incentivized to supply low carbon materials.  The REBA Institute’s new initiative, Decarbonizing Industrial Supply Chain Energy (DISC-e), aims to solve this problem by aggregating and amplifying the demand-side voice for lower carbon industrial commodities.  

The DISC-e initiative is leading a series of workshops with stakeholders to identify an industrial commodity or supply chain where companies can collectively have the greatest impact and reduce the upfront carbon that ends up in their buildings, products, or solar panels.  In the final two DISC-e workshops, participants will align on one or two focus areas and then transition to developing a strategy for impact in the spring. 


Get Involved

If your company would like to join this effort or stay apprised of progress, you can join the January 19 workshop or reach out to jen@reba-institute.org for more information.


2020 Recap: Greening the Grid for All


A look back at how REBA’s members advanced policy and market evolution to support clean energy.

REBA’s Innovations team set a transformative goal to green the grid for all by advocating for policies and market structures that dramatically increase the amount of zero-carbon energy delivered to all energy consumers.  

In 2020, two big trends underpinned our efforts: 

  1. Companies willingness to step up and out on energy policy issues, ranging from weighing in on Federal renewable energy incentives to backing a call for organized wholesale markets to expand all regions of the country. 
  1. Leading companies evolving approaches to shift from procuring renewable energy to match their annual consumption, to consuming zero-carbon energy, when and where they use it on the grid. 

Paving the way for REBA’s long-term policy and markets strategy to elevate the energy buyer voice in policy discussions and advance evolving needs was the release of the REBA Institute’s (a REBA affiliate) Renewable Energy Policy Pathways Report. The analysis found that ultimately retail choice has the greatest technical potential for increasing access to renewable energy while decreasing costs, but all three pathways analyzed, including utility programs and increased RPS, have vital, complementary roles to play in expanding renewable energy access. Importantly, the analysis determined that participation in organized markets makes any pathway cheaper and more efficient.  

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Source: Data compiled by Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance©

The release of REBA’s Organized Wholesale Market Principles gained notable traction across the energy market further emphasizing the important role markets will play in accelerating a zero-carbon energy system by equipping key market stakeholders with pathways that support ambitious energy goals.  

While this year was unprecedented due to COVID-19, the pandemic reaffirmed our work and the importance of driving a clean energy economy and recovery. REBA joined over 30 industry leading companies, many of whom are REBA members, in submitting a letter urging Congress to include clean energy provisions in a COVID-19 relief and recovery spending package.  

Additionally, the Innovations Team, along with several REBA members, participated in the MISO transmission planning process, ensuring the buyer voice was present at meetings and conveying to policymakers the market barriers transmission congestion poses to renewable energy access.  

The 2021 policy pendulum will swing in the favor of clean energy, and we have the chance to make dramatic progress on zero-carbon future complementary policies and market evolution. The Innovations team will partner with REBA members to ensure the priorities of energy buyers accelerate are heard and understood by key policymakers and the incoming Administration. Advancing the work to green the grid for all will focus on wholesale marketsutility data harmonization, and action on clean tech innovation and deployment.  


Get Involved

We’re heading into 2021 with renewed effort for meaningful climate action and we hope you’ll join us.  


2020 Recap: Energy Buyers, Renewables, and a Resilient Market


A look back at how REBA’s members advanced renewables purchasing during a global pandemic.

As we turn the page on 2020 and look ahead to a new year filled with hope—for the climate, for public health, and for the economy—we can also reflect on what went right this year for large energy buyers, renewables, and climate action.  

A Year to Grow and Support 

In 2020, REBA added over 70 new members largely fueled by energy buyers that accounted for 70% of membership growth. These new buyers are a diverse group representing the commercial and industrial sector, ranging from a global leader in chemicals, BASF, to a rapidly scaling agriculture tech company, AppHarvest. REBA also added over 20 new supply-side members, split between energy providers and intermediaries.  

Despite the good news growth story, economic uncertainty has affected many REBA members, especially those in the hospitality, travel and tourism space. We at REBA feel deeply for the individuals who have faced furloughs or seen their sustainability budgets slashed. We’re committed to supporting the REBA community through flexible engagement options, and will continue to partner with members on how to position the enough market through economic recovery.  

A Diverse Community 

Another notable trend of 2020 was the increasingly diverse makeup of REBA’s corporate members. While many think of corporate renewables as a project for the biggest companies in the world, only 34% of all REBA members are in the Fortune 500 today, and only 15% of the Fortune 500 are participating in REBA. Large technology companies comprise 24% of REBA buyers, but as of this year, are no larger the largest single business sector at REBA. That top spot now belongs to consumer discretionary, representing 27% of REBA buyer members and 30% of all new buyers joining REBA this past year.  

A World-class Marketplace 

In 2020, REBA’s ~130 energy buyer members represent approximately 80% of all corporate-backed renewable energy deals in the U.S. This adds up to 7.3 GW of a total 9.1 GW of newly announced, large scale renewable energy deals this year. REBA continues to be the place where deals happen, whether they are VPPAs, physical or nonspecific PPAs, green tariffs, or large-scale on-site deals (3%).  

Looking Ahead 

We couldn’t be prouder of the resiliency our members and the broader community presented in 2020. During a year when we were all tested, personally or professionally, the success stories from REBA members could fill many more pages than just this blog. We will celebrate the small victories of our most affected members right along side the record-breaking deal announcements of 2020 – and we’d love to hear from those of you that found a way to drive renewables forward


Get Involved

We’re heading into 2021 with renewed effort for meaningful climate action and we hope you’ll join us.  


2020 Recap: Demand signals for deep decarbonization

A look back at how REBA’s members have sent demand signals across supply chains and international markets for clean energy.

In 2020, the number of companies committing to take climate action by setting science-based targets (SBTs) surpassed 1,000 worldwide – and this number continues to grow! Consistent with this rise, we have also seen increased interest from companies in addressing their scope 3 emissions – or the emissions produced from upstream and downstream activities within a company’s full value chain.1  

Throughout the year, we have seen companies working more closely with their supply chain partners on energy sustainability. REBA’s Supply Chain and International Collaboration team published the Supply Chain Partner Engagement Roadmap to accelerate meaningful supply chain climate action with step-by-step guidance for energy buyers engaging their supply chain partners.  

Energy buyers have also been motivated to address tough supply chain sectors that are challenging for individual companies to decarbonize, such as leased spaces. REBA’s Lessor Sustainable Energy Network (LESSEN) was established to train landlords and data center owners on sustainable energy strategies to help reduce emissions from buildings and meet energy goals. The Future of Internet Power (FoIP)continues to evolve with support from key stakeholders to develop solutions for energy management and renewable procurement by data service providers. 

If you’re noticing an emerging trend of companies eager to drive impact in markets beyond the U.S., you’re right, and if you guessed that it can be daunting to navigate the complexities of deep decarbonization in nascent international energy markets you get bonus points. 

The Decarbonizing Industrial Supply Chain Energy (DISC-e) initiative launched in 2020 to address industrial sector emissions, which are a primary driver of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions growth globally. The initiative will partner with key market leading companies to identify the industrial commodity with the highest emissions reductions impact, and partner with these companies to send demand signals to supply chain partners. REBA’s International Connection Platform was created to foster buyer-to-buyer connections in energy markets worldwide, as was a monthly discussion series,Worldwide Wednesdays.  

In 2021, we will build on the foundation created in 2020 and continue to support REBA members with their supply chain and international procurement goals. Equipped with the tools, resources, and community of the SCIC program, REBA members and their supply chain partners will be a leading force driving the rapid transition to a cleaner, prosperous, zero-carbon energy future in markets worldwide. 


Get Involved

We’re heading into 2021 with renewed effort for meaningful climate action and we hope you’ll join us.  


2020 Recap: Energy Market Connections


A look back at how REBA connected energy industry stakeholders to accelerate the uptake of renewable energy.

When REBA asks its members about how we can bring them value, we always hear the same thing: connections. REBA events help forge connections between renewable energy professionals. REBA primers and guides help practitioners see the connections between their everyday work and a larger vision of a zero-carbon energy future. REBA members are experts at what they do, but with hundreds of companies all focused on their own priorities, it is those connections that keep our community driving toward our common goal of ensuring a viable, expedient, cost-effective pathway to renewable energy for every organization.  

The Education & Engagement (E&E) team was bowled over by the determination of the community to push the market forward no matter the challenges of 2020. 

REBA members turned out in force during our inaugural REBA Virtual Member Summit. Over four months, our members delivered 70 hours to 371 attendees.  REBA at VERGE connected our community with the broader sustainability world. Of the 634 unique attendees at REBA-led sessions, about 65% were from outside our membership.  Despite the distance, an enthusiastic team of experienced energy buyers, legal experts, and procurement professionals served as faculty for our in-depth, interactive REBA Boot Camps

REBA members leveraged our ever-evolving digital platform, the REBA Member Portal, to connect to their peers and fellow renewables professionals.  

Innovative thought-leaders across our membership connected with renewable energy practitioners seeking to make a larger impact through their energy procurement.  In March, members learned from Google and Green Strategies about 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy in an interactive online workshop. The resulting Accelerating the Decarbonization Impact of Energy Procurement Primer showcased decarbonization strategies for energy buyers in pursuit of next-level energy goals. 

In October, REBA member Salesforce released its More Than a Megawatt paper that focused on embedding social and environmental impacts in the renewable energy procurement process by leveraging industry expertise. Through a generous Salesforce grant, the REBA Institute will launch a new initiative to build on this workstream, which includes a collaborative partnership with Groundswell to drive community engagement throughout the energy procurement process. 

In 2021, the REBA E&E team will be expanding on many of this year’s efforts. Like in 2020, we are sure to see some curve balls, but the team is excited about working with our fantastic community to adapt to whatever comes next to keep those connections going.  


Get Involved

We’re heading into 2021 with renewed effort for meaningful climate action and we hope you’ll join us.  


REBA Member Highlight: McDonald’s


We must find a way, through our collective scale to democratize clean energy for all. We all must use our scale for good to make our work meaningful and impactful for the rest of the world.

I think we can all agree, 2020 has been quite an impactful year. Our world has been through its fair share of challenges – from a devastating pandemic and health crisis, to coming to terms with and addressing the racial injustice and disparity within our society, just to name a few. However, through these turbulent times, it has remained abundantly clear that we must not waver our focus on investing in the health of our planet for future generations. Despite all of the challenges, I am grateful that our renewable energy work at McDonald’s has not only remained steadfast, but it has continued with added commitment and voracity. I feel proud to work for a company that believes in the long-term investment in sustainability and climate action—not just for the McDonald’s system, but for our customers and communities around the world.

When we initially set our science based target in 2018, it became apparent that renewable energy would have to play a large role in getting us to our goal. In 2019, McDonald’s USA signed two long-term VPPA transactions, one wind and one solar, located in Texas. On December 7th, 2020, we announced the addition of three more deals in the U.S. With the addition of these deals, To date, McDonald’s USA is #2 among US corporate buyers of renewable energy in 2020.

The three new projects (two wind farms and one portfolio of solar projects) are slated to be built in Illinois, Oklahoma, North Carolina and Ohio.

Combined, McDonald’s share of the five projects will have a total capacity of 1130 megawatts – how much energy does that actually represent? That’s enough to power about 8,000 McDonald’s restaurants. The solar panels alone would cover the surface area of New York’s Central Park seven times. McDonald’s share of the projects will help prevent about 2.5 million metric tons of greenhouse gases per year once online –  equivalent taking 500,000 cars off the road for one year. 

Collectively, the impact of these deals also represents a sizable step toward our global restaurants and offices climate action target to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 36% by 2030, from a 2015 base year. Once online, the emissions reductions from these five deals will take us about halfway to our target.

As you can see from the sheer volume of our renewable energy procurement over the last two years, impact is the name of the game… but are we capable of more?

While we at McDonald’s are very proud of our own progress in renewable energy procurement, the next chapter of our work is really focused on continuing that momentum, but with more collaboration. We must collaborate with:

  • Brands, both big and small,
  • Governments, to advance clean energy legislation,
  • Utilities and electricity suppliers, to improve on and expand infrastructure, and
  • Communities that need the benefits that come with having access to clean energy.

We must find a way, through our collective scale to democratize clean energy for all. We all must use our scale for good to make our work meaningful and impactful for the rest of the world.

McDonald’s is committed to collaboration for greater impact, are you?


Get Involved

Learn more about key resources available for REBA members pursuing climate and energy goals.