Announcing the commitment at the COP21 talks in Paris, ACCIONA has pledged to achieve 100% carbon neutrality across its entire global operations by 2016 and increase its investment in renewable energy over the next five years.
Jose Manuel Entrecanales, chairman and CEO of ACCIONA, explains that the ‘mitigation of climate change will become ACCIONA's top strategic objective.’
The electricity producer, dedicated exclusively to renewable energy, says it has 8.614 GW of installed capacity in 15 countries and was recently named the "greenest utility in the world" by Energy Intelligence.
Entrecanales says the company plans to invest a further $2.5 billion in new renewable energy installations over the next five years – mostly in developing countries – and increase installed capacity to 10.5 GW.
On current trends, this will allow ACCIONA to avoid the emissions of more than 20 million metric tons of CO2 a year – the equivalent of the annual output of more than 4 million vehicles.
Since ACCIONA began investing in renewables 25 years ago, the company says, it has avoided the emissions of 125 million metric tons of CO2 – the equivalent of the 2014 carbon emissions of Denmark, Norway and Sweden combined.
In addition to its new renewable energy investment, ACCIONA will address the planet's growing water stress by building new drinking water plants to supply 5 million people, as well as waste water treatment facilities for a population of 8 million, by 2020.
Through ACCIONA's Microenergy Foundation, the company will also continue to contribute to the United Nations' "Sustainable Energy for All" initiative by providing solar home kits for remote rural hamlets in Mexico and Peru.
The new pledge to achieve carbon neutrality by 2016 follows the successful conclusion of ACCIONA's first five-year sustainability master plan, which reduced group CO2 emissions by 46% in five years and avoided the emissions of 68.5 million metric ton of CO2 – thanks to ACCIONA'S renewable energy production.