There is no longer any doubt that the systematically increasing concentration of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere is causing climate change and ocean acidification. Further, ever-riskier fossil fuel extraction methods are becoming increasingly disruptive to the environment. Examples include shale gas fracking and Arctic drilling.
By ensuring energy comes from renewable sources, companies do not contribute to the demand for fossil fuels and their associated emissions, nor to the over-harvesting of resources such as oil whose value to society extends far beyond combustion.
The goal is therefore to ensure that all energy consumed – as electricity, heat or fuel – is derived from renewable energy sources: solar, wind, ocean, hydropower, geothermal resources, and biomass. In contrast, non-renewable energy derives from sources that cannot be replenished, reproduced, grown or generated in a short time period through ecological cycles, such as: fuel distilled from petroleum or crude oil; natural gas and its derivatives; coal; and nuclear power.