Mars plans more renewables, says they are cost-neutral

When Mike reported on MARS inc's decision to purchase a massive wind farm, he noted it was part of a broader plan to achieve 100% renewable energy for all of its operations before 2040.

Now, in an interview with BusinessGreen, Chief Sustainability Officer Barry Parkin has gone on record stating there will be many more large-scale renewables purchases to come, most likely in the form of off-site generation capacity like the Texas wind farm.

As BusinessGreen notes, however, it's not just the size of Mars' commitments that are so compelling, it's the cost too:

However, arguably the most compelling aspect of Mars new renewables strategy is that the company insists it is proving cost-neutral compared to purchasing its energy from traditional sources. By picking locations that are well suited for renewables, Parkin argues Mars can "do renewables at cost parity". "It's great for the planet and it makes great financial sense for our business," he adds.

Given that I've already defended Tim Cook from "profits first" opposition to clean energy, there's a strong case to be made for paying more for renewables—both to bolster a company's environmental credentials and to advance its brand positioning as a leader.

But when companies start to find they can buy renewables at the same price as they can buy coal, all this talk of a carbon bubble really starts to take shape. And with MARS joining GM, HP, Wal-Mart and others in calling for market changes in renewable energy, it looks like the corporate sector is beginning to flex its muscle in the policy arena too when it comes to clean energy.

Tags: Corporate Responsibility | Renewable Energy

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