Investors and businesses searching for ways to benchmark their investments in clean energy are suddenly spoiled for choice.
After years of complex and cumbersome research requirements for those seeking investment portfolio exposure to alternative energy, companies are rushing out newly public index products and data sets that investors large and small can begin to use in their search for returns that aren’t correlated to traditional energy investments.
There is a one to one correlation between what is good for Vestas and what is good for the planet. – Morten Albaek
Studies and data gathering efforts are moving away from environmental, social and governance (ESG) units at companies and into core business functions, allowing for better ranking, clearer comparisons and eased insight into the broad sector.
“Transparency in renewable energy will not only be good for society and future generations; it will also be good for business,” Senior Vice President Morten Albaek of wind energy company Vestas said. Albaek is part of a trans-Atlantic release of a Global Consumer Wind Study this week; the results were announced in London on June 28 and in New York City today.
Vestas’ study is being released alongside the launch of a Corporate Renewable Energy Index on Bloomberg’s widely-used financial data terminals. The Index, which will be available under the symbol CREX, ranks large corporations by their use of renewable energy, allowing investors to find companies that are exposed to clean energy markets without relying on thinly traded small companies or seeking out high-risk investments in alternative energy firms with high technology and operational risks.
Leading companies in the CREX include Whole Foods Market, New Corp., Vestas, Plum Creek Timber, Kohl’s, CLP Holding (a Hong-Kong based energy firm), Toronto Dominion Bank and Adobe Systems.
Vestas hopes the transparency provided by the survey results and the index will pressure companies to improve their reporting and increase their uptake of renewable fuels.
“There is a one to one correlation between what is good for Vestas and what is good for the planet,” Morten Albaek told Breaking Energy.
In as little as three to five years Vestas is hoping increased adoption of wind energy will put generation from wind on par with traditional generation sources like oil and gas, Albaek said.
There’s Wind In This
The wind study’s release comes shortly after the Vestas-backed launch of the Windmade label, designed to help consumers choose products that are made with wind power.
“The Global Consumer Wind Study provides insight into the role of renewable energy, in particule wind, in relation to the products and services consumers buy,” Vestas President and CEO Ditlev Engel said in announcing the study’s results.
“This in turn should drive the adoption of renewable energy sources by the corporations that sell these products and services.”
Photo: Ditlev Engel, President and CEO of Danish company Vestas is pictured during a press conference in London on April 28, 2009.