Germany industrial conglomerate BayWa AG has joined the global corporate renewables initiative the RE100, officially committed itself to meeting its electricity requirements with a 100% clean-energy supply from 2020 on.

The Munich-based company, which trades in the agriculture and building materials markets and whose energy business division last autumn produced a flagship corporate renewables survey of 1,200 executives in Europe, aims to achieve the target through power purchase agreements (PPAs) and investments in its own renewable energy projects.

“Companies can only remain successful if they transfer global connections and developments into their actions and assume responsibility for the consequences of their business activities,” said BayWa AG CEO Klaus Josef Lutz.

"We want to support [the Paris Agreement’s] ambitious goal [of limiting global warming to 1.5C above pre-indsutrial levels] with all our strength. Renewable energy plays an important role in this.”

BayWa AG, which established its renewable energy business unit in 2009, currently has a 2.5GW portfolio of wind and solar projects.

The head of the RE100, Sam Kimmins, added: “BayWa AG’s ambitious commitment to reach 100% renewable electricity by 2020 sends a clear message that going all in on renewables is a sound business decision.

“With solar and onshore wind increasingly providing the cheapest sources of new electricity generation, there’s no reason to delay – clean power is good for both the bottom line and for tackling carbon emissions.”

The RE100 in its latest report, found a “dramatic upsurge” in the move toward renewables-powered operations. Growth among its membership is showing a better than 40% year-on-year increase in the amount of green electricity being sourced, including 37 of its adherents now deriving 95% of their electricity consumption from wind and solar, helping shift energy demand away from fossil fuels in around 140 markets globally.

To date, corporate renewable energy PPAs have been inked for more than 6GW of new power sourcing in Europe, with almost a third of this capacity contracted in 2018 alone. Globally, over 180 companies have committed to source 100% of their electricity from renewables in the near- to mid-term, via the RE100.