Growing demand for renewables at Climate Week Paris

RE100, an initiative for the use and provision of sustainable energy supplies was further boosted at Climate Week Paris last week. Indian tech giant Infosys, consumer goods company Unilever and clothing retailer Marks & Spencer announced that they would join Swiss Re and 15 other Fortune 500 companies in their quest to source power 100% from renewable sources.

The announcement comes in the wake of many other statements in recent weeks in the run-up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP21) in December 2015 which aims for a universal climate agreement to combat global warming.

Fighting rising temperatures is a must because it is likely to cause more extreme and frequent weather events, resulting in greater loss of life, damage and higher insurance losses. For these reasons addressing climate change has been a strategic priority for Swiss Re for more than 25 years.

Swiss Re partners with Fortune 500 companies on climate change

Avoiding climate change requires concerted action. This is what Swiss Re's CEO Michel Lies called for by signing, together with 42 Fortune 500 CEOs, an open letter to world leaders seeking concrete steps toward a global climate deal at the 2015 COP21 conference.

But a call for action is not enough. What is also called for is leadership by example. This is why Swiss Re joined RE100. "Walking the talk on climate change is as important as sharing our know how on climate issues with the world." says Mark Way, Head Sustainability Americas Hub. "By joining forces with other Fortune 500 companies we show that we are committed to the issue and that powering our operations with renewable energy is a realistic proposition".

Partnering for solutions in the energy field

To find some answers to our energy and climate challenges Swiss Re joined forces with the World Energy Council and Marsh McLannen in the project "Financing Resilient Energy Infrastructure (FREI). It's aim is to work out options to solve the Energy Trilemma of having secure energy supplies which are accessible and affordable across the population and are produced from renewable and other low-carbon sources.

"All these partnerships are meant to push the world forward in the direction of a more sustainable future" says Mark Way. They show that business is willing to do its part – now COP21 has to deliver a solid and ambitious agreement upon which companies can base their business decisions on.

Published 28 May 2015

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