Nearly three-quarters of Australian consumers expect companies to target 100 per cent renewable energy as part of their responsibility to tackle climate change, a new survey has found.
The Ucomms poll, commissioned by Greenpeace Australia Pacific, shows that the shift to solar and wind power by corporations is being driven not only by good economics, but also public expectation.
The survey showed 78.9 per cent of those polled agreed Australian companies should be using more solar and wind to power their operations, while 65.7 per cent said they would be more likely to buy a product or service from a company that used renewables.
And just under 70 per cent (68.5%) of those polled agreed that Australian companies should set a goal to source 100 per cent of their energy from renewable resources as part of the broader global effort to limit dangerous global warming.
“This poll clearly shows that the overwhelming majority of Australians want businesses and corporations to step up and take action on climate change,” said Lindsay Soutar, senior campaigner at Greenpeace Australia Pacific.
“The biggest driver of climate change in Australia is coal, which is still burned to make a large amount of our electricity.
“As some of Australia’s biggest users of electricity, businesses and corporations have an obligation to clean up their act and make the move to 100% renewable energy,” said Soutar.
As reported on RenewEconomy and One Step Off The Grid, more and more companies are committing to surge 100 per cent renewable energy, both through the installation of commercial rooftop solar, and via power purchase agreements with solar and wind developers.
One of the most prominent examples in Australia has been major brewer CUB, which expects to be 100 per cent renewable by next year after signing a 12-year deal to buy the output of the 112MW Karadoc solar farm in Mildura in Victoria.
The brewer has even made its shift to solar the new selling point for its iconic Victoria Bitter beer, with the release of a solar themed take on the brand’s equally iconic advertisements.
Earlier this month, major Australian insurer RACV announced an offtake deal with the retail arm of utility Snowy Hydro, to help it reach 100 per cent renewables across all its operations starting next year.
Other recent examples include L’Oreal Australia, the City of Sydney, Monash University, and the University of New South Wales.
“With bushfires raging across the country, AGM season in full swing, and increasing pressure on big businesses to clean up their act in light of the climate crisis, this is an important point of reflection for executives and board members,” said Soutar.
“When it comes to climate change, companies can go from being a big part of the problem to being a big part of the solution. In Australia and overseas, many companies are already leading the way and proving that 100% renewable is 100% doable.”