Member Highlight: 3Degrees’ Actions on Principles for Purpose-Driven Energy Procurement

Why did your organization get involved with the Beyond the Megawatt initiative?

The Beyond the Megawatt initiative is perfectly aligned with our internal compass – we’ve been working with clients to bring sustainability writ large into their energy procurements over a decade, including our earliest work on PPAs.

3Degrees views this initiative as an opportunity to join other industry stakeholders to amplify a set of thoughtfully agreed purpose-driven procurement practices, broadening their reach and making them more commonplace. We fully embrace this work, and collaboration across the industry is essential to building its success; CEBI has done an amazing job orchestrating the collaboration and curating its final result.

What impact will the Principles for Purpose-Driven Energy Procurement have on the clean energy industry?

Some organizations, including many of our clients, are already leading the way and embracing purpose-driven energy procurement; however, many others seek guidance to understand how to incorporate such best practices into their work. These principles serve both market leaders and newer market entrants by providing a framework of aspirational considerations to help maximize clean energy procurement benefits. We hope this initiative brings these important topics to the forefront so more organizations see how resilience, sustainability, and social considerations can become essential components of a procurement process. Ultimately, we hope the principles will create a new “base case” for positive renewable energy development.

How do the principles influence the broader transition to clean energy?

Many corporations join the energy transition from the sustainability lens; they seek to create a world where their business and all its stakeholders can prosper. Clean energy development is still development, and involves land use, technology, and economic decisions by many stakeholders. We believe these principles – and the climate leadership from those who are signing on – create a compelling statement of intent, asserting that generating clean energy is simply not enough to effect a sustainable energy transition. This will provide a path for companies just entering the space, broadening the lens about buyers using their collective power to drive change. Not all corporate buyers will automatically adopt these principles overnight and it may be difficult to understand how to apply these ideas in practice. Guidance and documentation provided by respected groups like CEBA, coupled with valid case studies from respected companies, will help spur action among companies.

How will you consider the principles during your clean energy procurement process?

3Degrees supports a range of customers with their clean energy and carbon reduction strategies. The Principles for Purpose-Driven Energy Procurement and its signatories provide a hugely helpful benchmark for companies who may be hesitant to adopt “non-standard” procurement criteria; it gives us support when we recommend a broader view of these important procurement decisions.

While many elements of these principles have long had a place among the factors we consider in these engagements, we recently documented a social mission that explicitly states our goal of pursuing the principles of a just transition through our work, which goes hand in hand with our commitment to the Beyond the Megawatt initiative.

Interviewee: Erin Craig, Vice President, Customer Solutions & Innovation, 3Degrees