Arcadia, a monthly subscription service that connects renters and homeowners across the US to wind and solar energy through their utility accounts, today announced a new partnership with Biogen, a pioneer in neuroscience, that will offer all US-based Biogen employees access to 100% renewable energy in their homes. Biogen is covering Arcadia membership costs for US-based employees, adding a new benefit that advances its Healthy Climate, Healthy Lives™ initiative, a commitment to meaningfully engage its employees in its efforts to go fossil fuel free and improve public health. Arcadia’s renewable energy offering is a key component of the employee engagement goals for this initiative, through which Biogen became the first Fortune 500 company committing to become fossil fuel free across its operations by 2040.
In markets where regulation allows, such as Massachusetts, where Biogen is headquartered, employees can further increase their impact by signing up for community solar through Arcadia. Community solar lets customers route a portion of their energy bill to support a local solar farm.
Millions of American employees are using electricity at home rather than in the office. Arcadia’s residential energy data shows an average 2% increase in energy usage and a 6% increase in electricity bills for households in 2020. Due to limited mobility in the pandemic, home electricity use has become the greatest contributor to climate change for many employees. Arcadia is working with businesses such as Biogen to get employees easy access to renewable energy and community solar to reduce their environmental impact.
“It’s never been a more important time to fight for a renewable energy future and take action against climate change,” said Alexa Minerva, Senior Director of Partnerships at Arcadia. “Companies are paying more attention to their corporate sustainability goals and making climate-conscious decisions. It’s great to see Biogen leverage Arcadia’s platform to do good for its employees and the planet.”
“We are excited to collaborate with Arcadia and enable employees to make the switch to 100% renewable electricity at home,” said Nicole Murphy, Senior Vice President of Global Manufacturing and Technical Operations at Biogen. “In 2014 we achieved carbon neutrality through our commitment to purchase 100% of our electricity from renewable sources. Now, as part of Healthy Climate, Healthy Lives, we want to further address our Scope 3 emissions. By creating opportunities for our employees to engage and advance our goals for climate, health and equity we aim to be a catalyst for positive change globally and reduce their impact.”
For Biogen employees participating in the company’s Renewable Electricity Opt-in Program, Biogen will cover the cost premium of purchasing 100% renewable electricity. The company has a goal to have all employees participate in this program by 2030 to help transition towards a world without fossil fuels. US-based employees have the option to participate in the Arcadia subscription program, while those in the US and international locations that have already signed up to a 100% renewable electricity contract with their home energy supplier can receive a fixed annual reimbursement of $200 USD. For employees that cannot enroll in renewable electricity programs due to regulatory restrictions, who do not pay their electricity, or that want an alternative to the fixed annual reimbursement, Biogen will purchase and retire 11 megawatt-hours of renewable energy credits, an amount equal to the average household usage.