Climate change impacts every aspect of our lives. As such, mitigating its effects will require a significant change in our lifestyle. Whether as individuals or business entities, we must take steps to stop the destruction of the environment that we ourselves are causing.
Fortunately, more big businesses are taking action. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of their buying habits’ environmental impact as well. Businesses in the manufacturing industry, which contributes to the problem of climate change, have begun using cleaner energy sources to compensate for their damage. On the other hand, consumers are now choosing businesses that support social and environmental issues.
That said, this must be a sign that your small business should use renewable energy, too. You may think your operations aren’t big enough to impact the earth, but you’re leaving carbon footprints all the same. If you’re in retail, the shipment of your goods alone joins the mass of other shipments emitting toxic gases in the air.
The Impact of Using Renewable Energy for Your Business
A 2017 study on corporate social responsibility (CSR) found that in 1,000 Americans, 87% will perceive a company more positively if it supports social and environmental issues. 88% will be more loyal to a company that does the same, and 92% will be more likely to trust a company that does the same as well.
This study and others confirm that many Americans are expecting companies to be involved in resolving social and environmental issues. They are now concerned about the future and realize that their finances the driving force to instigate change.
Millennials, in particular, are the demographic most likely to talk about CSR with their peers and family. They are also the market that will most likely give a company direct feedback. Hence, if your business targets millennials as its audience, using renewable energy will increase your chances of success.
The study also found that creating an environmental awareness plan is effective in growing your customers’ purchasing power, and gaining their trust and loyalty. Below are some actions that you may include in such a plan:
- Using renewable energy
- Using recyclable packaging
- Choosing reusable materials
- Having eco-friendly educational materials
- Implementing waste reduction policies
- Implementing energy conservation policies
Customers are becoming more aware of consumer goods’ environmental impact. Hence, they demand industries to mitigate their negative effects on the planet. And as they become more enlightened over time, they’ll expect more from businesses for the sake of the future generation.
By using renewable energy now, you’ll have the momentum to upgrade your efforts, until you become a fully-fledged green business.
Businesses That Started Using Renewable Energy
As of 2017, Intel has built over 8,000 solar parking spots around the world. They had invested $185 million for 2,000 energy conservation projects in 2012. Moreover, 100% of Intel EU’s and U.S.’s electricity come from green energy sources. And they are aiming to use 100% renewable energy and to produce zero waste by 2030.
Apple shared their goal to become carbon neutral. As such, they acquired several solar farms to supply clean energy to their data centers. In fact, as of 2018, all Apple retail stores, data centers, and offices are already using 100% renewable energy.
Always ahead of their time, Google is already carbon neutral since 2007. Today, they are seeking new technologies and renewable energy sources that other power-intensive industries can use.
Microsoft is considered the greenest company in the world. They use over 1.3 billion kWh of green energy per year. They are also carbon-neutral, and has further plans to reduce their carbon emission by 2030.
Impacts of Renewable Energy To Your Costs
We’re no stranger to the fact that solar panels and other renewable energy systems are expensive. But you’ll only feel the strain on your finances during your initial investment. By the time your renewable energy starts powering your electronics and appliances, you’ll see a lower electricity bill. From then on, you can expect to pay a meager amount of utility bills every month.
With more finances saved and an improved reputation, your business will thrive. As such, you can create more jobs and grow your team. Your energy source itself will also demand more workforce, so you can offer jobs to professionals in the renewable energy sector.
Renewable energy also reduces the likelihood of service disruption during a power outage. As a result, you can continue your operations and avoid losing money to blackouts.
Note that it’s crucial to hire an experienced licensed commercial electrician to install your renewable energy system. Though some people DIY it, your business can’t risk the potential effects of doing such. When a professional works on your system, you can ensure that you’ll save money on maintenance and repairs. Most of all, you can anticipate a hefty return on investment.
Be a role model for your fellow entrepreneurs by demonstrating your environmental awareness. If the biggest emission producers can alter their effects, then so can you.