Iconic brands buy renewable energy

An iconic chocolate maker, an infrastructure giant and blue ribbon universities are among Melbourne’s big brands joining forces for a landmark purchase of renewable energy, spurred by their membership of climate change pledge network, TAKE2.

RMIT University, Deakin University, CBUS Property, ISPT Property, Fulton Hogan, Citywide’s North Melbourne asphalt plant and Mondelez Australia (owner of Cadbury and Oreo) have announced they will combine their purchasing power to source electricity from a large-scale renewable energy project in Victoria.

The Melbourne Renewable Energy Project (to be known as MREP2) will be led by the City of Melbourne – one of the founding partners of TAKE2, Sustainability Victoria’s climate change pledge program. TAKE2 invites individuals, government, business and other organisations to pledge to take action on climate change, supporting them to help Victoria achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

Deakin University, RMIT, Fulton Hogan and Mondelez are members of the TAKE2 network, which paved the way for the new purchasing agreement. The TAKE2 business membership alone represents more than 400,000 employees and generates a total annual revenue of more than $278 billion – and offers businesses the chance to take collaborative action on climate change and demonstrate their commitment to sustainability.

Infrastructure and construction firm Fulton Hogan pledged in June 2017.

“Fulton Hogan pledged to investigate renewable energy options. With the support and partnership of the TAKE2 program we were introduced to Melbourne City Council and the MREP2 project that has now enabled Fulton Hogan to do more than just investigate an opportunity.

“We are now part of a group of prominent universities and businesses that will source their Victorian electricity needs from renewable sources supporting the renewable energy sector and reducing our carbon emissions by approximately 6,000tCO2 per year, which equates to taking more than 2,300 cars off the road in Victoria every year,” said Rory Bracken, Fulton Hogan’s Sustainability Manager.

The seven organisations participating in MREP2 aim to use their collective purchasing power to source 113GWh of energy, which is enough to power more than 22,095 households in Melbourne for a year.

MREP2 builds on the success of the original Melbourne Renewable Energy Project (MREP1) in November 2017 and is driven by the City of Melbourne’s goal to facilitate power purchasing agreements for businesses across the city, and to see Melbourne powered entirely by renewable energy.

MREP1 was the first time in Australia that a group of large scale energy users collectively purchased renewable energy through a group purchasing model. The group constructed an 80MW, 39-turbine wind farm near Ararat.

Currently, 18.3 per cent of Victoria’s electricity is derived from renewable energy.

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