Companies and Institutions Call for More Renewable Thermal Options


March 20, 2019

CONTACT: Isabel Harrison, David Gardiner and Associates


New statement sends powerful signal to market about large buyers’ demand for clean energy

BALTIMORE — Companies, cities, and institutions supporting the Renewable Thermal Collaborative today issued the Renewable Thermal Buyers’ Statement at the Climate Leadership Conference. By signing on to the Statement, a wide range of large buyers are indicating their demand for market-ready, sustainable, renewable thermal solutions to meet their economic, greenhouse gas emission reduction and renewable energy goals.

Energy used for heating and cooling accounts for approximately 50 percent of global final energy demand and 39 percent of energy-related carbon emissions. Yet, the market has not caught up with consumers’ demand for sourcing renewable energy to meet their heating and cooling needs, impeding progress.

“Ambitious mid-century climate goals mean we must achieve reductions in every economic sector. We see a tremendous national and global market behind thermal energy, and that means there’s great potential to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions and significant economic opportunity in converting industrial, institutional, and commercial thermal energy use to renewable thermal energy,” said Bob Perciasepe, President of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), one of the co-hosts of the Climate Leadership Conference.

Leading companies working closely with the RTC turned to the renewable electricity market for an encouraging example of what’s possible when market stakeholders collaborate. Over the past 5 years, voluntary commercial and industrial renewable electricity purchasing has expanded to more than 13 gigawatts. Many of the large buyers that worked to drive forward the electricity market are looking to leverage similar collaboration for renewable thermal energy.

Current signatories of the Statement include Amy’s Kitchen, Cargill, Chemours, Clif Bar & Company, Envision Gundersen, General Motors, HP, L’Oréal USA, Mars, Novo Nordisk, Novozymes, the City of Philadelphia, Procter & Gamble, and the University of Maryland.

“Mars is using or purchasing renewable electricity to cover 53% of the total electricity needs within our direct operations globally. While we continue to make progress on renewable electricity, it’s time to crack the code on renewable thermal solutions in order to achieve net-zero GHG emissions in our direct operations by 2040,” said Kevin Rabinovitch, Global Vice President of Sustainability at Mars, Incorporated. “We’re delighted to be working with the Renewable Thermal Collaborative to accelerate transparency, access to technology and collaboration.”

“At Cargill, to reduce our operational footprint, we’re focused on using the right kinds of energy in the most efficient way. This involves increasing our use of renewable thermal energy, which helps us address our GHG emissions. We hope to expand our use of renewable thermal solutions to help us meet our target of reducing our absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent by 2025,” added Peter Dahm, Sustainability Director, Operations & Natural Resources, Cargill.

The statement is a call-to-market for suppliers, developers, utilities, regulators, and policymakers to advance and clarify a menu of simpler solutions. Specifically, it calls on the market to:

  1. Accelerate cost-effective renewable thermal technologies
  2. Create market approaches and instruments
  3. Increase market transparency
  4. Standardize renewable thermal energy products
  5. Create innovative financing and project structures
  6. Expand collaboration among market stakeholders

“After harnessing their purchasing power to open up the market for renewable electricity, large companies and cities are tackling the next enormous frontier in addressing the climate challenge—renewable solutions for thermal energy. These major players are making their needs crystal clear, and service providers and policymakers should hurry to follow suit,” said Marty Spitzer, World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) senior director for climate and renewable energy.

Additional industrial, institutional, and commercial thermal energy users are invited to sign on to the Statement. This includes companies, colleges and universities, and local, regional, and national government agencies.

“It will be impossible to achieve long-term climate and energy goals without dramatically increasing the use of renewable heating and cooling. We look forward to engaging with additional large buyers to advance this important endeavor,” added David Gardiner, President of David Gardiner and Associates.

The Renewable Thermal Collaborative invites all parties interested in learning more to:

Additional Quotes from Large Buyers:

“Thermal energy unlocks the power of chemistry and gives us the resources we need to grow our business while also contributing to the UNSDGs. We are committed to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, even as we expand our manufacturing footprint – and renewable thermal energy is a powerful tool that will empower our company to balance growth and responsibility,” said Mark P. Vergnano, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Chemours Company.

“At L’Oréal USA we are proud to have found an innovative solution to address our thermal emissions and achieve scope 1 and scope 2 carbon neutrality for our U.S. Operations this year,” said Jay Harf, Vice President of Environmental Health & Safety, L’Oréal Americas. “Advancing thermal technologies is critical to the fight on climate change and we are proud to join with other buyers in support of the Renewable Thermal Buyers’ Principals.”

“Thermal energy plays a vital role for Novozymes production facilities. As we continuously seek to minimize our customers CO2 footprint as well as our own, more opportunities within renewable thermal energy is essential,” said Lene Aabo, Vice President Sourcing & Facility Management, Novozymes A/S.


About the Renewable Thermal Collaborative:

The RTC was launched in September of 2017 under the umbrella of the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance to help manufacturers, cities, and environmental organizations tackle barriers to renewable thermal energy. The RTC is led by its current Members—Cargill, General Motors, Kimberly-Clark, L’Oréal USA, Mars, P&G, and the City of Philadelphia—and is facilitated by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, David Gardiner and Associates, and World Wildlife Fund.