These past few weeks I have attended two conferences, both relative newcomers as for both it was only their second annual edition.
Though very different in size, scope and composition, they do have a number of common traits. And probably to no surprise, I find some common take-aways from the two events.
Companies vs Climate Change 2018
Companies vs Climate Change (CvCC) second edition was hosted at ING’s Amsterdam HQ and gathered about 150 motivated delegates across industries, NGOs and solution providers. The stark wake-up call from IPCC published only a few days previous was a clear call for action stressing the need for accelerating initiatives. A particularity of CvCC is the number of corporations sharing insight into their sustainability strategies and journeys. People who would not otherwise get together share case studies setting the scene for quality discussions and cross-company learning. We had the privilege to hear from different industries leaders such as Microsoft, LEGO, Sky, Scania, Signify, Jacobs and more – each with their stories.
The importance of engaging supply chain
One recurring theme was the importance of supply chains’ work in combatting climate change. For many companies the complexity of starting a good supply chain program has been a barrier to get started. From Signify we got insight into how they have gone about their program supported by CDP. I was happy to present ECOHZ’ new and innovative platform which contributes to this effort.
Cooperation and sharing experiences
Another strong message was that no company alone can expect to solve all their climate challenges. Cooperation across industries, sharing experiences, involving NGOs and solution specialists is necessary. The case studies and discussions clearly highlighted this and showed how we are connected, often without knowing it. This awareness certainly initiated some new dialogs and new conversations that will hopefully lead to tangible results.
Welcome new and stricter policies and regulatory frameworks
A final, and strong message; companies welcome new and stricter policies and regulatory frameworks. Companies act, in increasing numbers, but clearer political structures on all continents are needed to widen the base and to accelerate the impacts.
On November 20-21 Europe’s largest corporate renewable energy sourcing event took place in Amsterdam. Following a successful first edition last year, RE-Source 2018 gathered no less than 800 delegates. The RE-Source platform, initiated and supported by key renewable energy stakeholders, is the prime meeting place for energy buyers to share experiences, projects, challenges and solutions. Joined by industry associations, NGOs, politicians and solution providers, different renewable energy options and solutions are presented.
RE-Source Declaration: removal of barriers to reach renewable goals
Heavy industry representatives were also present and signing the declaration for clear and positive policies. Interesting announcements were made from the chemical industry explaining a paradigm shift from fighting new regulations to embracing them and the need for renewable energy (RE) also in their sector.
Under the banner #100to100K the challenge to seriously widen a 100% corporate RE commitment was a key theme. Through the panel discussions and presentations consensus arises that lack of good and coherent policy framework is a major barrier for that goal. Many leading C&I companies are taking decisive steps, still the numbers do not yet add up. Or to quote Micheal Liebreich when he analysed the European RE growth projections toward 2030, “really!” Removing barriers, simplifying policies to serve as incentives for more investments and more consumer choice.
#100 to 100K movement
Cost competitive RE solutions will contribute to the #100to100K movement. However, in the short term, with the current PPA offers, we will not see 100,000 C&I buyers sign up for long-term complex PPAs. Innovation in this space is necessary. During the Guarantees of Origin session our CEO Tom Lindberg got positive response from the audience when he explained how this instrument is key to give access to a large number of consumers and importantly, documenting this demand will invariably drive more RE project investments.
The conference started by creating an arena for more people to have more conversations with new potential partners. Over the first 2 hours more than 250 B2B “speed-dating” encounters took place. From personal experience I can vow for the energy and the intensity in the meeting hall, and that indeed new connections and new conversations have started.
I look forward to build on the new relations created at CvCC and RE-Source and with my ECOHZ colleagues contribute our part in cross-sector cooperation to increase RE penetration by bringing more solutions to more buyers.