In this video, Alexander Quarles of Schneider Electric ESS sits down with Robbert Slooten, Signify's Global Sustainability Program Manager, to talk about why Signify chose a renewable VPPA to reach its goals and how Schneider Electric's expert advisory team helped them along the way.
Signify, the world leader in lighting, signed the first publicly announced VPPA in Poland, supporting renewables in a national market dominated by fossil fuels. Signify’s Polish facilities are responsible for more than 25% of its global electricity footprint. This VPPA marks a major milestone in Signify’s commitment to become carbon neutral in 2020.
A video transcription is also available below. For more detail on Signify’s recent power purchase agreement, view the announcement here.
Alexander Quarles: I am Alexander Quarles of Schneider Electric's Cleantech team and I'm joined by Robbert Slooten of Signify, who are involved in an exciting new renewable energy project in Poland. Before we discuss that, Robbert, why don't you tell us who are Signify and what are your sustainability goals and your renewable electricity goals?
Robbert Slooten: Signify, formerly Philips Lighting, is the world leader in lighting and we have very ambitious sustainability goals. We have set approved science-based targets in line with the Paris Agreements and the 1.5 degrees scenario. By next year, in 2020, we'll become carbon neutral and achieve our RE100 commitment of sourcing only renewable electricity.
Alexander Quarles: Signify is active around the world. Why did you prioritize the Polish market?
Robbert Slooten: Poland was a no brainer for us. We have our largest industrial footprint in Poland. Over 25% of the global electricity consumption we have is consumed there. Poland is currently the dirtiest grid in Europe, with the majority of electricity being generated from burning coal.
So, combining the two made it for us very clear. We had the biggest opportunity there to progress our internal target, as well as support the renewable energy transition within Europe and certainly Poland.
We chose the VPPA structure because it's familiar to us, and it allows us the flexibility between sourcing renewable electricity over a 10-year contract, but still have the flexibility within the physical supply of electricity within the same period and changing requirements we have in the market. We chose a VPPA with Green Investment Group, because they are one of the largest investors in renewable electricity and have a clear mission to accelerate the transition to a more green global economy.
Alexander Quarles: How did Schneider Electric help you along the way?
Robbert Slooten: Schneider helped us run the contractual process, if you will. So, select projects from the market, shortlist them, and run risk mitigation scenarios based on pricing structure and different contractual agreements.
Next to that, you also were of big support in educating our internal stake holders to truly understand what a virtual power purchase agreement means and how it can help us achieve our renewable electricity targets.
Alexander Quarles: With this new project, Signify is making significant progress towards your ambitious hundred percent renewable electricity goal. Reflecting on that, what would you like to say to other businesses? How can they help accelerate the corporate impact on climate solutions?
Robbert Slooten: We call on our peers to set equally ambitious targets as we did. Set a science-based target that's in line with the Paris and the 1.5 degrees scenarios. We call on governments, cities, and states to set stable policy frameworks in which we can act and support a transition to a more sustainable green electricity grid.
Alexander Quarles: Robbert, I'd like to thank you for your insight. Good luck with the rollout of this new project.
Robbert Slooten: Thank you, my pleasure.