Commercial, Finance, Sourcing Renewables  -  September 20, 2017

Citi, Morgan Stanley commit to 100% renewables

The big banks are going all-in on renewable energy. 

Citigroup Inc. on Sept. 19 joined a fast-growing list of major corporations that have committed to sourcing renewable power for 100% of their global energy needs. 

The banking giant said in a news release that its new goal is "an important next step" in its continued efforts to reduce the environmental impact of its operations and finance $100 billion in clean energy, infrastructure and technology projects. 

The next day, Morgan Stanley announced its own new goal to reach carbon neutrality for its global operations by 2022. On Sept. 20, Morgan Stanley said its long-standing commitment to reducing energy consumption, improving energy efficiency and procuring renewable energy underpin that goal.

Morgan Stanley plans to source 100% of electricity needs from renewables as part of its carbon neutrality goal, and said it will consider onsite power generation, power purchase agreements, renewable energy credits and carbon offsets as part of its strategy.

In order to meet the target by 2020, Citi similarly said it will consider onsite power generation, power purchase agreements for energy-intensive properties such as data centers, and appropriate use of renewable energy credits, as well as a continuing focus on energy efficiency as a critical component of its strategy. The bank said meeting its goal will require the participation of several groups within Citi, many of which are already collaborating on renewable energy projects.

Earlier this year, Citi entered into a contract to provide Green-e certified renewable energy for 50% of the power needs at its Roanoke, Texas, data center. The deal provides a renewable source of energy as well as price certainty to one of Citi's key data centers and is the result of a collaboration between Citi Realty Services, an internal unit responsible for the company's facilities, and Citigroup Energy Inc., a Citi subsidiary, to meet its renewable energy needs.

"With a focus on innovation and efficiency, we continue to challenge ourselves to improve our facilities and operations around the world," said Don Callahan, Citi's Head of Operations and Technology. "We're exploring new approaches and partnerships to meet this ambitious renewable energy goal, and are excited to do our part to support the transition to cleaner energy sources."

As part of its own announcement, Morgan Stanley also updated its energy reduction targets, aiming to achieve a 20% reduction in energy usage by 2022 from a 2012 baseline, on an absolute basis. The goal to become carbon neutral covers Scope 1 and 2 emissions and Scope 3 business travel, as defined by the GHG Protocol. 

Citi and Morgan Stanley's announcement follow similar commitments from their peers in the banking industry, including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs.

Speaking at Climate Week NYC event hosted Smart Energy Decisions, JP Morgan's Gary Levitan, vice president of global sourcing for energy and sustainability said the banking sector's commitment to using renewable energy should be a boost of confidence for other sectors of businesses. 

"The big banks are here," he said. "Every time a bank makes a commitment to 100% renewable energy, I think it validates the economics to the broader market." 

 

Tags: Citi, RE100
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