Life sciences and materials sciences company Royal DSM is the latest European business to join RE100 and make a public commitment to sourcing 100% of its electricity from renewable sources of energy.

RE100 is an ambitious global initiative to engage, support and showcase companies committed to 100% renewable power, led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP.

The Dutch company has set itself an interim target to source 50% of its electricity needs from renewable energy by 2025, with a view to becoming ‘100% renewable’ in future.

The news comes during Climate Week NYC, where The Climate Group is gathering senior figures from across business and governments around the world to demonstrate leadership on climate change.

Fokko Wientjes, Vice President Corporate Sustainability & Public-Private Partnerships at Royal DSM, said: “In addition to developing and selling solutions that help enable a low-carbon economy, we at DSM feel a responsibility to reduce our own carbon footprint. Saving energy and increasing our sourcing of renewable energy are the two key priorities to achieve this. The RE100 movement is giving a clear signal that the transition to renewable energy is real. The world’s leading sustainable companies are getting prepared for this major change.”

Mark Kenber, CEO of The Climate Group said: “With DSM joining RE100 alongside Philips, Unilever and KPN, it is clear that Dutch companies are starting to recognize the business case for renewable power, and are leading by example in the transition to a low carbon economy. DSM is also the first science company on board the campaign and in this crucial year for climate action, I’m excited to see it develop a roadmap for becoming 100% powered by renewables.”

Two other European companies joined RE100 last week: Switzerland-based Givaudan, the global leader in the creation of fragrances and flavours, and Vaisala, a global leader in environmental and industrial measurement.

Givaudan already sources 33% of its electricity from renewable sources and is working to become 100% renewable, believing it necessary to reduce climate change impacts and ensure the long-term availability of resources that it needs for its work.

Vaisala has a RE100 goal to become 100% powered by renewable electricity by 2020, positioning itself at the forefront of the clean energy revolution as it shifts towards renewable energy across its manufacturing sites, data centres, and office facilities around the world.

Joe Fabbri, Global Head of EHS and Sustainability at Givaudan, said: “It is imperative that we take bold action to lessen the impacts of climate change and ensure the long-term availability of the raw and natural resources that we rely on for our creations. Our commitment to 100% renewable power is one means to deliver on our overall sustainability objectives and is also fully aligned with our ultimate aspiration to become a carbon free company. We believe in a low-carbon future and are keen to do our part to see this become a reality.”

Kjell Forsén, President and CEO of Vaisala, said: “We are ambitious not only in our technological advances, but also in taking action in ensuring a sustainable future for our customers and other stakeholders, and simultaneously creating a more sustainable business model for our industry. Vaisala is taking steps today, so that we can be competitive tomorrow. I am confident that our renewable energy commitment will encourage other companies to follow suit.

“Vaisala acknowledges that renewable energy is critical to the transition to a low-carbon economy. Not only do we see that the private sector should show leadership, we want to be in the forefront of developing technologies that makes it possible for industries to transition into efficient renewable energy sources.”

The developments show the wide range of industrial sectors commiting to going 100% renewable. Regardless of industry, making better use of renewable electricity offers multiple business benefits. As well as helping companies to meet their CO2 and energy goals, renewable electricity reduces risk and protects against price hikes – generating savings in the long-term.

27 companies from around the world have now joined RE100 and made a public commitment to 100% renewable power. More names are expected this week.