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Retailers Take on Global Renewables Procurement

This is the fifth in a series of blog posts co-developed by Schneider Electric and RILA about renewable energy options for retailers. To read the first on the opportunity for onsite PPAs, click here. To read the second on owned onsite systems, click here. To read the third on aggregates renewables, click here. To read the fourth on renewable energy certificates, click here.

As retailers look to reduce their environmental footprint and grow renewable energy investments, understanding the ever-changing renewables procurement landscape can be challenging. That’s why RILA is developing a new renewable energy guide, which highlights the fundamentals of different procurement options and key considerations, specifically for retailers. In this excerpt from the guide, we discuss the opportunity for companies to procure renewable energy from emerging global markets.

What is global renewables procurement?
While the U.S. and Europe have historically dominated the global renewable market, policy advances, technical developments, and price decreases have fostered the emergence of renewable energy markets in Australia, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Now, multinational retailers can also match their international load with credible, clean energy options.

Who uses it/What are the key benefits?
Companies with multi-national operations can use global procurement to achieve their renewable energy targets, comply with requirements under the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Scope 2 Guidance, and take advantage of PPA schemes in emerging markets.

Corporate energy buyers are reaching beyond the borders of North America to purchase energy attribute certificates (EACs)—an umbrella term for renewable energy certificates (RECs), guarantees of origin (GOs), International RECs (I-RECs), and other certificates of origin—and pursue onsite and offsite renewable energy projects.

Leading retailers are exploring and advancing the developments of renewable markets worldwide. Apple has invested directly in solar projects in China, Mongolia, and Singapore. GM, Volkswagen, and Walmart have each completed offsite power purchase agreements (PPAs) in Mexico. Google, Nestle, and Mars have all signed renewable energy deals in Northern Europe.

Is the procurement of a global renewable the right solution for you?

  • Favorable economics
  • Compliance is key
  • Numerous co-benefits
  • Potential incentives


  • Market maturity varies internationally
  • Matching contractual instruments to operational markets can be challenging

Ready to move forward with global renewables procurement?

Like any renewable energy initiative, resources and advice can help improve and develop your company’s strategic energy plan. By engaging with a renewable energy advisor like Schneider Electric, insight from the Center for Resource Solutions, and communicating with the RE100 on how many influential companies are engaging with global markets, your company has the tools to move forward with global procurement.