The future of renewable energy resources is fast approaching as municipalities and businesses recognize the importance of turning to clean energy sources. While there are some roadblocks in the way – namely a lack of incentives and the upfront cost of switching from fossil fuels – the practical reasons are starting to influence business executives into leading the way. For example, Apple is one of the companies that is operating 100 percent with renewable energy.
There are few arguments to be made in favor of holding on to dirty energy sources like oil and coal. Renewable energy sources hold the key to a cleaner and greener future for the environment. Clean energy policies are important to Millennials in particular, who represent a new generation of environmentally conscious consumers.
The benefits below explain why so many companies are starting to take renewable energy seriously.
1. Creates a New Marketing Approach
Business leaders understand how important image is for any company vying for goodwill from consumers. In a competitive industry where businesses seek a way to differentiate themselves from the pack and stand out as a clear winner worthy of a consumer’s trust, using renewable energy sources offers companies an enormous public relations advantage over competitors who still use fossil fuels.
Using renewable energy sources instead of fossil fuels has many documented benefits for the public’s health and for the environment. The Alternative Daily reports on a study published by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that found health costs of an estimated $361 to $886 billion are spent annually to treat conditions directly related to fossil fuel usage. Companies that use renewable energy sources show an interest in their community and in their customers’ and employees good health.
2. Eliminates Burnouts and Loss of Productivity
When the power goes out, so does a corporation’s productivity. Most employees can relate to this problem and have witnessed this delay firsthand. By using renewable resources, a company no longer has to depend on a third party utility company that is outside of the company’s control. This can provide a competitive edge to the competitor next door that loses power and man hours based on utility company inefficiencies.
3. Generates a New Revenue Source
Buying solar panels can represent a large expense upfront, but quickly pays for itself in savings by lowering energy costs for years to come.
Companies can generate new income by utilizing renewable energy sources. A company can sell excess energy back to the grid. For a large company, this number could represent a significant new income.
4. Attracts Millennials Who Are Predominantly Environmentally Conscious
Waste360.com cites a survey report compiled by The Shelton Group showing that 70 percent of millennials consider a company’s commitment to environmental health when making purchasing decisions. It is no secret that millennials spend a lot of time online conducting research before buying. Smart companies who value millennial patronage are beginning to realize the importance of “being green” and being loud about it. They are actively expanding their existing marketing strategies to appeal to this new generation of future buyers.
Some companies are posting information online that showcases their support for renewable resources and environmental concerns. They are often turning to certifications as a way to demonstrate their environmental sensitivity.
5. Stimulates the Economy
When companies switch to renewable energy, they are creating jobs. While the jobs are not created in that company, the entire economy reaps the benefits of a thriving economy. When consumers have more money, they spend it. This increased buying power drives consumer sales.
Renewable energy has been determined to be more labor intensive than fossil fuel production. Based on this information, as businesses shift to renewable energy sources with new business, new jobs will be created.
6. Positions the Companies as Industry Leaders
Company executives are starting to see the logic in becoming an environmental leader. Watching companies like Apple publicly “go green” encourages other companies to consider the same move. It is hard to see the downside of joining ranks with these powerful and beloved companies that all enjoy the spotlight, being touted as front runners who lead the way into the future.
What company does not want to be “part of the solution.” Having the most to lose with 50 or 60 years left to live on the plant, younger consumers in particular are extremely sensitive to environmental issues. What was once considered idealism has become a practical reality now acknowledged as a necessity by world leaders across the globe as temperatures continue to rise and threaten polar ice caps and the earth’s delicate ecological balance.
7. Improves Employee Morale
When a company decides to “go green,” employees feel a sense of pride by association. Considering that we all have to live in the world together, employees view a company’s commitment to the environmental health of the planet as showing they do care. Smart businesses involve employees in environmental initiatives.
Employees are less likely to leave a company that they feel truly cares about them and their future. Anytime a company gets the chance to create policies that are both employee and customer-friendly, it makes sense to seriously consider the change. The best and the brightest employees want a career working for a company they admire.
8. Meets and Exceeds Legal Compliance Standards
Laws on the books demand that companies comply with new environmental policies designed to protect the planet. While these policies can change based on political currents, they are always heading in the same direction. Necessary measures continue to be put in place to reduce carbon emissions and protect the planet.
By being proactive and making necessary changes before the deadline, companies can take their time to transition and spread out costs over a longer period of time. Being first instead of last to comply with environmental laws also promotes a positive image with the public.
Business leaders are proactive and take every opportunity to establish and promote their brand as environmentally conscious. Savvy businesses with an eye to public relations are investigating the logic behind leveraging the goodwill of “going green” to attract new customers. All in all, the future belongs to the companies that see the writing on the wall and make smart decisions that benefit customers and the environment.