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Corporate green washing: core beliefs or virtue signalling?

Leading corporations are turning away from fossil fuels towards renewable energy to power their operations – all to reduce their carbon footprints, save money and improve their reputations. Are they as ‘green’ as they say or are they running ahead of the transition to renewables?

Heightened concern over climate change following the 2015 Paris Agreement – together with recent extreme weather events in the US and Europe and public climate activism – has raised awareness and sensitivity towards the consumption of fossil fuels.

Over the past few months, several countries, cities and states – including Denmark, Masdar in the UAE and California – have set 100 per cent renewable or zero-carbon energy goals. Furthermore, some companies, including Lego and Ball Corporation, are poised to achieve zero carbon emissions by building their renewable generating capacity or purchasing power directly from renewable power producers.

A matter of sustainability

“Sustainability is higher than ever on the business agenda,” states Juliette Sanders, head of media at Ørsted, and it now makes business sense.

Renewable energy is becoming price competitive with fossil fuels, while self-generation using wind or solar combined with energy storage ensures reliable power and control over energy costs. In the current environment, it is becoming imperative for companies to show their green credentials to customers, stakeholders and, increasingly, the investment community.

E&T investigates how easy, or hard, it is for power producers and electricity suppliers to produce and supply 100 per cent renewable power and for businesses to truly become green. Read more https://eandt.theiet.org/content/articles/2020/01/corporate-greenwashing-core-beliefs-or-virtue-signalling/

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