Sustainability and the health of our environment are essential to many consumers and businesses today. Many people choose brands, products, and employers that are committed to delivering greener solutions.
Sustainability -- especially sustainable energy -- makes good business sense. Energy comprises a significant percentage of commercial expenses -- $60 billion in total per year. Savvy brands conduct an audit each year to better understand their costs and how they can ultimately save money, reap tax benefits, and do their part to help the environment.
What is Sustainable Energy?
Sustainable energy is defined as “a form of energy that meets our today’s demand for energy without putting it in danger of getting expired or depleted and can be used over and over again.” Wind and solar power, geothermal heating and cooling, and a combination of natural and LED lighting are some common examples.
In 2019, for the first time in over 130 years, sustainable energy surpassed other energy sources. The benefits of sustainable energy far outweigh the downside. Although cost used to be a factor in decision-making, many companies are finding that they are actually saving significant expense over time -- and improving sales -- by incorporating sustainable options in their decision-making.
Your company will benefit from:
- Cost-savings, which free-up investment dollars for business growth
- Brand perception from establishing yourself as a business that cares about -- and contributes to -- the environment
- The ability to attract and engage the right employees
- Long-term and robust relationships with other companies in the sustainable energy community can serve as great referral sources and give you even more ways to save money and the planet. Brands like Walmart, Apple, and Microsoft have adopted sustainable energy, and so have SMBs. Small- and mid-sized businesses use about 20 percent of the nation’s energy output.
The Path to Sustainable Energy
Step 1: Know Your Facts
Health, cost savings, and employee retention are all critically important to businesses today. As noted above, an audit of your current energy use and the major energy-related expenses will give you insights into your current status. Engage your employees and trusted business partners in this process.
Look to other businesses like yours that have made significant strides in energy efficiency. Attend industry events to learn more about trends and how companies like yours have benefited from sustainable energy solutions.
Step 2: Make Changes That Make Sense
Engage partners that have a broad and deep understanding of sustainable energy options. The top three energy uses for companies today are:
- Refrigeration and HVAC
- Computers and Office Equipment
Each of these represents an area where you can make decisions regarding sustainable energy that will save you thousands, if not millions of dollars.
Create a short- and long-term action plan for converting to cost-efficient systems. You may find that some strategic partners will subsidize the cost of conversion. For example, FES has switched companies over to LED lighting and, not only does the business not pay for the change, but they might make money from a buy-back program.
Speak with financial advisors and energy companies about tax credits and rebates that you can enjoy by committing to sustainable energy.
Big brands have started to create “buying co-ops” to get discounts on energy. Soon, smaller businesses will follow suit, pooling their collective purchasing power to get even more significant discounts on equipment, sustainable construction, and lighting. Vendors who work in the sustainable energy space can offer tremendous discounts due to their considerable buying power.
Step 3: Share Your Successes Internally and Externally
Your employees, the communities in which your business operates, and even the media need to know how your company has committed to environmental health.
Close to half of your customers and prospects say they will change your buying behavior based on a company’s commitment to sustainability practices. Develop an effective marketing and communications campaign. Some brands have even turned their sustainability efforts into community-wide movements.
Look to the Future...But Start Today
The World Economic Forum predicts that by 2050, the entire world could be powered by sustainable energy, resulting in:
- Cost savings and efficiencies for businesses
- Less pollution, saving as many as 7 million lives
- Fewer natural disasters (which ultimately cost businesses billions of dollars)
These are ambitious goals, and you may be thinking, “What I can I do NOW to move that agenda along?”
Even small steps like examining your HVAC system, committing to ENERGY STAR equipment, and installing energy-efficient LED lighting can put us all on that path to the sustainable energy future.
Take that first step. Get your FREE sustainable energy audit and plan today.