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How this environmental consultant is getting Apple, Etsy, and others to jointly fund renewable energy sites

How this environmental consultant is getting Apple, Etsy, and others to jointly fund renewable energy sites
[Illustration: Artur Tenczyński]


Erin Craig, of the environmental consultancy 3Degrees, is getting businesses to work together to reduce the effects of climate change. Last year, Craig secured the funding to develop a solar array in Virginia and a wind project in Illinois by wrangling a joint agreement from four corporations—Apple, cloud-services provider Akamai, Etsy, and insurance giant Swiss Re—to finance and purchase energy from these sites. The deal established a model that makes renewable-energy procurement cost-effective for companies both large and small. (Until now, tech titans with large energy loads, like Google, have dominated the growing field.) “Not everybody is a giant energy user. Not everybody has a big bucket of money,” Craig says. Partnerships can bridge the gap. By the end of 2019, the Apple-Akamai-Etsy-Swiss Re sites will have brought 290 megawatts of renewable energy online, enough to power 74,000 homes. Craig already has a pipeline of future deals involving five companies, with more expected. “There’s recognition that climate change is an actor in the world economy,” she says. “[It’s something] that companies are grappling with across the board.”

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