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Corporate Green Power On the Rise in Europe

Today the Green Power Market Development Group-Europe (GPMDG-EU) announced in Lausanne, Switzerland completion of its first 100 megawatts (MW) of green power projects at 50 corporate facilities across 16 European countries.

They've issued a press release with some of the details, along with comment from WRI's Jonathan Lash and John Harris, project manager of IKEA Goes Renewable. The GPMDG-EU is convened by both WRI and The Climate Group.

Here's a closer look at the kinds of efforts they are facilitating:

Nike's Customer Service Center

To help meet their global corporate commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions Nike installed 9 megawatts of on-site wind turbines to power its European distribution center in Laakdal, Belgium.

It is one of the largest-if not the largest-corporate on-site wind installations in Europe. Six 1.5 MW wind turbines began operations there in June 2006, and generate 22 million kilowatt-hours of power annually, the equivalent of powering 4,700 European households.

The project makes Nike's Laakdal customer service center 100% powered by green electricity.

In order to minimize their capital expenditures and receive cost-competitive green power, Nike partnered with independent power producer Seeba to finance the project.

Tetra Pak

International packaging material manufacturing company Tetra Pak, as part of its goal of reducing its global greenhouse gas emissions ten percent below 2005 levels by 2010, switched several of its European factories to green power:

  • 100% of its Dutch factory is now operation with green power.
  • 100% of its German factories signed contracts for green power.
  • 50% of a processing equipment site in Denmark is now operating with green power.

Tetra Pak company is not pursuing just any type of green power. Instead, it prefers to buy green electricity that meets the requirements of the EUGENE (EUropean Green Electricity NEtwork) Standard where possible. This standard ensures that the green power used comes from generation facilities that meet specific requirements. The facilities must be new, the power is additional to power receiving significant government support, and has been independently verified as "green."

These kinds of green power purchases help build new renewable electricity capacity in Europe.

Nike CSC's 9 MW wind park in Laakdal, Belgium.
Source: Photo courtesy of Nike.

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