What are European green energy certificates, and how do they work?
The Guarantees of Energy (GoO) market is a parallel market to the electricity market. You can buy your electricity from your supplier, including or excluding a GoO. Avery Dennison decided to buy the GoO’s separately, as we believe this is more cost-effective and a way to foster clean energy. There are many different types of GoO’s available in the market for different prices.
What do you think the business case is for renewable energy?
We think about renewable energy in a few different ways:
Where can we find operational efficiencies? Manufacturing requires energy, and in a growing business, in certain locations and time of year, that energy requirement can be intense. Our first strategy is to use the minimum amount of energy to make a high quality product. Then, with that minimum amount of energy, how do we source?
Where it makes financial sense, directly source the renewable energy, as in the Turnhout example.
Where there is not a financial business case - typically due to the amount of renewable energy that can be generated in a geography (e.g. amount of sunshine in Cleveland) we have taken a strategy of investing in GoO or other PPA agreements where we are investing in "additionality," or new sources of renewable energy.
From your perspective, where are we in terms of energy consumption globally?
Over the last three years, after the Paris Agreement, every major manufacturer is aware of the link of energy and GHG emissions. Across the world, we are seeing companies work towards reducing energy and their emissions. And where companies are not paying attention, we are seeing legislation come into place to protect the communities surrounding the highest emission areas. (Eg. 2017 China shutdown 40% of factories.)
As a result of the focus on emissions, we also see the the utility markets are changing around the world given new technology and consumer focus on doing their part. In the past, a utility company and network delivered the electricity to your business or home, but now there are many different options. Businesses or homeowners can now produce all or part of their own energy demand via wind turbines, solar panels and/or heat exchangers. Batteries will play a larger role in the near future. When you produce electricity during the day via solar panels, you can store it in batteries (such as the battery of your electrical vehicle) and use it later.
We thank Maarten Eddes for his time and for sharing his insights about sustainability and Avery Dennison’s approach to green energy. As we work toward achieving our 2025 sustainability goals, we’re thinking bigger and reaching higher to serve as a force for good.
To learn more about our sustainability efforts, visit www.sustainability.averydennison.com.
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