CVS Health Advances Sustainability Efforts With Green Energy Deals

June 27, 2023 by Kennedy Thomason
CVS Health Advances Sustainability Efforts With Green Energy Deals
CVS Pharmacy (Photo by Dan McCue)

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Health, the parent company of the CVS Pharmacy chain and Aetna, the health insurance provider, has signed a pair of clean energy purchase agreements to advance its long-term sustainability goals.

Through a deal inked with NRG Energy Inc. brand Direct Energy last week, CVS Health will purchase renewable energy credits derived from a wind facility located in Crockett County, Texas.

The purchase of an estimated 100,000 megawatt-hours of carbon-free energy credits is enough to cover the electricity use of more than 400 CVS Health locations in the Lone Star State.

In a separate agreement announced Friday, CVS Health will purchase 18 megawatt-hours of carbon-free energy credits from Constellation, equivalent to the annual electricity use of its 147 CVS Health locations in Michigan.

Both tie-ups will enable CVS Health to significantly reduce its carbon footprint, and together represent a reduction of greenhouse gasses equivalent to taking 12,884 cars off the road annually.

Renewable energy credits, also known as renewable energy certificates, are a market-based solution to a challenge that has existed ever since power generated by the sun, wind and other renewable energy sources has been integrated into the electricity grid — namely that there’s no real way to determine whether power coursing through a shared grid is coming from a renewable source or a traditional power plant.

Renewable energy credits are issued when one megawatt-hour of electricity is generated and delivered to the electricity grid from a renewable energy resource. The credits are then used to account for, track and assign ownership of renewable electricity generation and its use.

“We continue to see the impact the environment has on our health and well-being,” said Sheryl Burke, senior vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility and chief sustainability officer, CVS Health. 

“That’s why we’re focused on investing in clean, renewable energy and advancing our sustainability commitments to improve the health of our planet,” she said.

Speaking of the Texas agreement, Scott Hart, head of sales at NRG Business, said his company has long been committed to helping customers like CVS Health meet both their sustainability and budgetary goals.

“CVS Health is leading the way towards a cleaner energy future, and we are proud to further advance its renewable goals,” he said of the deal that will help the health care giant avoid approximately 90 million pounds of CO2 equivalent emissions.

Jim McHugh, chief commercial officer at Constellation Energy, said through its long-term agreement in Michigan, CVS Health is demonstrating its “commitment to combating the climate crisis while supporting the development of a new-build renewable asset.”

Under the terms of the agreement with Constellation, CVS Health will receive energy and renewable energy certificates from Swift Current Energy’s Double Black Diamond Solar Project in downstate Illinois. 

The company will purchase approximately 35,000 MWh of energy per year from Double Black Diamond, which is expected to help the company reduce its carbon footprint by nearly 17,000 metric tons annually.

Said McHugh, “We’re pleased to support CVS Health in its sustainability journey and offer a zero-emissions energy solution that advances their carbon reduction goals.”

CVS Health has established a company-wide goal of sourcing 50% of electricity from renewable sources by 2040.

Last summer the company entered into a 15-year agreement with Constellation to purchase renewable energy credits equivalent to the energy use of 309 CVS Health locations in Illinois and Ohio.

That agreement will help CVS Health reduce its carbon footprint by more than 38,000 metric tons each year. This is the equivalent emissions of nearly 7,400 homes’ electricity use in one year according to EPA estimates.

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