Food and beverage giant Nestlé has agreed a deal to build a new wind farm in Scotland that will be used to power its operations in the UK and Ireland.
The wind farm is currently under construction at a site near the south western Scottish town of Sanquhar and consists of nine large turbines.
It is being built by UK based company, Community Windpower, with whom Nestlé has signed up to a 15 year arrangement, during which the price that Nestlé will pay for the power generated will remain fixed, although it has not yet been revealed what this price will be.
All that has been said is that, according to Nestlé’s head of environmental sustainability, Andrew Griffiths, “the rate is very competitive in the short term but it will actually make significant economic sense in the medium to long term.”
Nestlé’s sites will not be directly hooked up to the new wind farm, rather the energy will be sourced through the grid.
Nestlé is currently working towards a target of reducing its carbon emissions by 40% within the next four years, and with this latest development the company is confident that this goal will be met, if not exceeded. Indeed editorial notes of a press release announcing this new deal claim that “Nestlé is now on track to achieve at least a 60% carbon reduction by 2020 vs 2010 baseline”.
The company’s further aim is to become completely reliant on renewable sources for their grid-supplier power, although the timeframe is not set for this the aim is for it to be the case ‘as soon as possible’.
Nestlé UK and Ireland’s CEO Fiona Kendrick said: “We announced back in April that all of our grid-supplied electricity is coming from renewable sources but today’s announcement takes things a huge step further.
“This is a newly commissioned wind farm, generating new energy, creating capacity that didn’t previously exist and capable of providing half of our electricity needs. It’s a proud moment for us and means we have reached another key milestone in our efforts to become a sustainable business.”
Nestlé’s aims of becoming wholly reliant on renewable energy are part of its obligations that come from signing up to the RE100 initiative.
RE100 was started by non-profit organisation The Climate Group, and is “an ambitious global intiative to engage, support and showcase influential companies committed to using 100% renewable power.”
Commenting on Nestlé’s deal with Community Windpower, the RE100 campaign director Emily Farnworth said: “Nestlé recognises that climate change impacts pose a risk to the business, and sees renewable energy as part of the solution. Today’s announcement takes the company a step closer to its goal of sourcing 100% renewable electricity across its global operations, and reinforces the strong market signal – sent through RE100 – that business demand for renewables is rising.”
Other companies that have signed up to the RE100 initiative include Ikea, Marks and Spencer, Mars, Microsoft, BMW and Walmart.