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124. Germany embraces green, cooperative energy

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Coop Name: Greenpeace Energy eG N° of Employees: 75
City: Hamburg N° of Members: 21000
Country: Germany Year of formation: 2000
Website: http://www.greenpeace-energy.de Twitter: Link
Facebook: Link
About this coop:

Greenpeace Energy is Germany’s largest national, independent energy cooperative. We supply more than 110,000 customers, of which about 8,000 are business customers, with clean electricity. In 2011, the product range was supplemented with proWindgas, an ecologically superior alternative to natural gas, making Greenpeace Energy an all-round energy supplier. The business is organised as a cooperative with 21,000 members whose contributions provide a solid equity capital base and, thus, stability.

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Photo Credits: Fred Dott / Greenpeace Energy eG Sabine Vielmo / Greenpeace Energy eG

As January 1, 2000 dawned, Germans were able to greet the 21st century with green electricity. The story of Germany’s largest independent energy cooperative began in the days of liberalisation of energy markets back in the 1990s. Greenpeace Energy grew out of the environmental protection organisation Greenpeace’s desire to see high quality, green electricity embraced.

After Greenpeace’s subsequent campaign brought swathes of supporters looking for clean energy, Greenpeace started a public tender process. But when no one supplier could meet its criteria in total, the worldwide organisation set up – at arm’s length – a cooperative.

A year after green electricity was available, Greenpeace Energy began Planet energy, constructing clean power plants.

And how does a clean energy supplier set its ecologically-bound business policy in stone? It is a cooperative.

Business pressures to place profit before ecology are muffled – by the sound of the 21,000 members and customers of the Greenpeace Energy cooperative voting.

IYC Yearbook feature: http://ica.coop/en/iycbook

Author of this story
Kate Askew
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