In just two years since our commitment we have reached 50 percent renewable electricity consumption. This has been achieved through a combination of initiatives, including the purchase of International Renewable Energy Certificates (I-RECs) and solar power installations at our own facilities.
Tetra Pak has six solar panel installations worldwide and we see onsite solar power as an area where we can make a positive impact within the communities in which we operate.
The International REC Standard (I-REC) is an international standard for issuing, tracking and redeeming renewable energy certificates (RECs) in countries where tracking systems for RECs do not yet exist. In markets where renewable energy infrastructure is not yet developed it is a challenge for companies to source electricity from renewable sources. Sourcing renewable energy certificates allows us to invest in renewable energy projects close to the areas where we operate, encourage the development of the renewable energy industry, reduce our carbon emissions and at the same time support the local economies.
When sourcing renewable energy certificates, and especially in high risk areas, we always ensure we are exceeding standard practices, setting minimum environmental and social criteria that need to be met. Eco-labels such as Gold Standard and Ekoenergy enable us to apply the same stringent quality criteria across different regions.
Our goal to source 100 percent renewable electricity means we are often either the first or one of the first to demand renewable power in markets around the world. In 2018, 33 out of 56 production sites had 100% renewable electricity contracts in place.
Being a first mover matters because it helps establish the standard and demonstrate demand. We were the first to source Gold-Standard I-RECs in Thailand, where our local factory will soon also generate an additional 1MW renewable electricity from solar panels. Elsewhere in the world, we are a major purchaser of I-REC certificates in China, and were the first to source Ekoenergy solar power in South Africa.