Visa recently announced that the company has met its goal to use 100% renewable electricity by 2020 across its global operations, including 131 offices in 76 countries and four global processing centers.
Since setting the goal in 2018, Visa worked quickly across its global portfolio to meet its goal, using an advanced sustainable mix of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.
“At Visa, we see both a responsibility and an opportunity to make broad shifts toward a sustainable and inclusive future,” said Al Kelly, chief executive officer of Visa Inc, in the release. “I’m proud of the investments we’ve made in our infrastructure to reach this important renewable energy milestone. We will continue to prioritize advancing the role of our business and industry in transitioning to a cleaner global economy.”
The company worked to find the best renewable energy option in each country. Visa made local renewable electricity investments in markets where the company has major facilities, including four locations in the U.S. and the U.K. that account for 80% of its global electricity use. Specific actions by Visa included enrollments in renewable electricity programs offered by Total Energy in the U.K., Xcel Energy in Colorado, Austin Energy in Texas and Peninsula Clean Energy in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Visa has also joined and followed the guidelines of RE100, a global collaborative of influential businesses committed to 100% renewable power led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP; became a member of the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA); and signed the Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles.
By purchasing 100% renewable electricity, Visa is helping reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the electricity that the company consumes (Scope 2 emissions), reducing its operational emissions from its facilities, thus reducing emissions from its facilities and data centers by almost 90% versus the company’s 2014 baseline.
The company has taken other sustainability-focused actions, including a commitment to LEED-based building design and operations; lighting and HVAC upgrades; an efficient electronics policy that mandates at least 90% of new electronics in its largest corporate campus offices meet either ENERGY STAR or EPEAT certification standards.
“With the world’s growing focus on the global challenges of climate change, we recognize and understand the need to play a leadership role in helping build a more sustainable future,” said Douglas Sabo, vice president and head of corporate responsibility and sustainability at Visa Inc, in the press release. “For Visa, this achievement shows how we are dedicated to being a force for good and leading the way in sustainable business practices.”
In addition, Visa has been on the Dow Jones Sustainability North American Index since 2017, a FTSE4Good Index Member, and was named an ‘Outperformer’ in the Software and Services sector by Sustainalytics in 2018, a leading independent global provider of ESG and corporate governance research and ratings to investors.