3. Set an ambition level
The next step is to define the realistic ambition level of the company and its stakeholders, as well as understand the compliance requirements for standards or charters which they may have committed to.
There are ways to support renewable energy other than onsite installations. This can include certificates with green attributes, which represent the rights on the environmental, social and other non-power attributes of renewable energy generation. Examples include renewable energy certificates which are available for Hong Kong businesses who wish to support local renewable energy development, and green energy certificates which are more commonly issued across Mainland China. Alternatively, green tariffs such as EnergyAustralia’s PureEnergy programme are electricity rates offered to customers who wish to source their electricity from renewable resources.
Furthermore, businesses can also consider corporate power purchase agreements. There are two main types of corporate power purchase agreements. Physical power purchase agreements are contracts for the purchase of power delivered through the grid along with associated green attributes generated from renewable energy. In comparison, virtual power purchase agreements, which are also commonly referred to as contracts for differences, involve no physical delivery of power from renewable energy projects, and are instead financial hedges where buyers are guaranteed power price stability and can at the same time claim rights on green attributes.
In cases where emissions cannot be avoided, offset programmes are available to help companies achieve carbon neutrality. Companies may consider bundling certain options together based on their budget to achieve the best outcome in meeting their environmental targets.