Visa has announced the company has met its goal to use 100 percent renewable electricity by 2020, furthering the company’s commitment to lead responsibly and sustainably across the company’s global operations, including 131 offices in 76 countries and four global processing centers.
Since setting the 100 percent renewable goal in 2018, Visa achieved quick action across its global facilities portfolio by advancing to a sustainable mix of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind.
“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. “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.”
Working with local utilities and competitive electricity market providers, Visa leveraged renewable electricity options available in each market that best fit the country’s approach to renewable electricity. 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 percent 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.
With a commitment to support the broader renewable electricity transition, Visa also joined and followed the guidelines of RE100, a global collaborative of influential businesses committed to 100 percent 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 percent renewable electricity, Visa mitigates the greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity the company consumes (Scope 2 emissions), reducing its operational emissions from its facilities and data centers by almost 90 percent versus the company’s 2014 baseline.
“We congratulate Visa on their exciting announcement that they have reached 100 percent renewable electricity – it shows that it is possible for companies to switch to clean energy at speed,” states Amy Davidsen, executive director – North America, The Climate Group. “What’s also really impressive is that Visa worked with other key stakeholders to increase renewable electricity capacity in the areas they operate. Leadership action like this helps accelerate market change and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.”
Visa will continue its commitment to foster a more sustainable future inside its operations and in the broader ecosystem of commerce. Within its operations, Visa locations around the world have implemented energy efficiency measures to meet this commitment, including a commitment to LEED-based building design and operations, lighting and HVAC upgrades, and an efficient electronics policy that mandates at least 90 percent 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. “For Visa, this achievement shows how we are dedicated to being a force for good and leading the way in sustainable business practices.”
This achievement builds on Visa’s broader sustainability strategy, which has received industry recognition. 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. For additional awards and recognition, please visit Visa’s 2018 Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability report.
Visa’s commitment to sustainability extends outside the company as well. Among the many efforts underway, the company has:
- Worked to remove friction of public transit and urban mobility
- Partnered on a 25-country study on consumers and healthy and sustainable living
- Helped launch Travalyst, an initiative focused on sustainable travel and tourism
- Joined purpose-led brands as a founding partner of Brands for Good, an initiative to build a movement to make sustainable living more attractive, rewarding and attainable