Sustainable Growth Coalition Fosters Collaboration to Reach Renewable Energy Goals

  • December 1, 2020
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  • Nick Martin & Erin Woodward

Last month, Uponor and Xcel Energy announced a new renewable energy agreement to use solar and wind power to reach nearly 100 percent renewable energy sourcing in Uponor’s Minnesota facilities. This collaborative effort is a big step forward that will help Uponor reach its goal of using 100 percent renewable energy globally by 2025.  

The partnership is a purchase agreement for renewable energy from Xcel Energy’s Windsource and Renewable Connect programs, providing Uponor electricity with the accompanying Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) to underpin Uponor’s exclusive claims to that renewable electricity. In addition, Uponor will take advantage of a new methodology developed by Xcel Energy, Certified Renewable Percentage (CRP), which factors in the percentage of renewable energy in the standard Xcel Energy mix for all retail customers. 

Sustainable Growth Coalition key to energy partnerships 

To build a thriving, circular economy, businesses and institutions cannot work in silos. This vision takes collaboration, partnership and sharing best practices to drive solutions, reach our shared goals and drive meaningful systems change. It’s a primary reason that Uponor North America and Xcel Energy are members of the Sustainable Growth Coalition. We understand the value of partnership and know we can better achieve clean energy outcomes, keep our businesses competitive by reducing cost and risk, cut carbon emissions and address climate change when we work together.  

The successful Xcel Energy and Uponor partnership was spurred by leadership within the Coalition, which helped design and workshop CRP with Coalition members, helping companies better understand how utilities can be an asset in reaching ambitious corporate clean energy goals. For Uponor, that meant exploring innovative approaches with Xcel Energy and other utility partners to take advantage of the increasing renewable share of electricity on the grid. This Coalition-led dialogue and capacity-building engagement opportunity also spurred Uponor to reach out to other utility partners Dakota Electric Association and Hutchinson Utilities Commission about their renewable options as well. Xcel Energy and the Coalition paved the way for these conversations and partnerships between customers and their utilities.  

Many Sustainable Growth Coalition members have set significant goals around clean energy use and carbon emissions reduction—often well beyond state and federal requirements. Companies set these goals for numerous reasons, from being responsive to the needs of communities to investor demand to reducing risk across supply chains.  

For Uponor as a manufacturer, it would be more difficult to reach 100 percent renewable energy goals without utility partnerships. As members of the Coalition, Uponor and Xcel Energy are excited to collaborate across industries, learn from one another, build lasting partnerships and explore new opportunities and ideas that will drive the Sustainable Growth Coalition’s shared clean energy, water and materials visions, and advance a more circular economy.  

We are excited to share this Uponor and Xcel Energy announcement, and know that the Coalition will continue to foster innovation and collaboration amongst its members, so we can be more resilient and adaptive to twenty-first century challenges, and drive solutions in the private sector.  

Nick Martin is the Manager of Energy and Environmental Policy at Xcel Energy and Erin Woodward is the Brand and Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at Uponor North America.