Climate change is altering the world as we know it and all businesses will need to undergo a transformation in order to remain viable. Customers are demanding sustainable practices from the businesses they buy from, governments are enforcing goals of the Paris agreement and investors want climate-risk disclosure.
Here are 4 reasons why your business needs to go green in 2020:
Beyond the positive environmental value of renewables, they can help businesses to reduce their energy costs by a significant margin. The average small-business energy bill is said to have risen by 80% in the last decade and this trend is only set to continue.
In comparison, the cost of buying and installing solar is decreasing and has become the most cost-effective and sustainable option for business owners. On average businesses pay off the cost of buying and installing solar panels in around three to seven years. The real benefit of going solar starts after this period as businesses can enjoy free electric supply for 25 to 35 years, the lifetime of a solar system.
As well as saving money on your energy costs, it is also possible to make money on renewables. If your renewable facilities create more energy than you use, you can actually sell your surplus energy back to the grid via a feed in tariff. This will help you to pay back to cost of the system even faster.
Improve Your Public Image
Customers hold all the control in today’s crowded market, they have the luxury of choosing brands that align with their values and avoiding those that don’t. Businesses need to show that they care about their consumers and the community in order to win their loyalty.
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency spoke to businesses and consumers to establish whether the use of renewables really has an effect on the public image of a business. They found that 57% of corporates believed consumers had no expectations around renewables. In reality, however, 76% of consumers said they would choose a product or service made with renewable energy over a comparable one that wasn’t. With 64% of people saying they would pay a premium for products made with renewable energy.
The report highlights how far behind Australian businesses are in the adoption of renewable energy compared to the rest of the world. In the US nearly two-thirds of Fortune 100 and nearly half of Fortune 500 companies have set ambitious renewable energy or related sustainability targets. Seven of the world’s largest companies have said they are aiming to be powered by 100% renewables in the medium to long-term. Australian businesses have nowhere near this level of uptake.
With rising energy costs, the falling cost of renewables and the current climate crisis, it seems apparent that all businesses will eventually make the switch to renewable energy. Choosing to switch before it has become mainstream in Australia positions your company as forward-thinking and agile, making you stand out in your industry and pushing you ahead of your competitors.
Protect the Longevity of Your Business
Most business owners don’t start a company with the intention that it will be a short term venture, they put in hard work and long hours to make it a success for the foreseeable future.
Switching to renewables can help protect businesses from volatility in the energy market, with prices changing suddenly and severely. The instability of gas and electricity prices is a growing issue for all businesses, not only those who traditionally require large amounts of energy. Renewable energy helps protect businesses against the risks of price fluctuations and makes it easier to predict forecast costs with certainty.
In a broader sense, if we don’t make a change to a more sustainable world then the climate crisis is only going continue to cause more natural disasters and extreme environments. This will have a knock-on effect on the economy and in turn put many companies out of business.
Not only do businesses have a responsibility to decrease their impact on the environment, but it makes good business sense for companies to look at increasing their uptake of, and investment in, renewable energy.
Create Jobs and Stimulate the Economy
When the economy thrives, businesses thrive with it. By switching to renewables, you’re encouraging growth in that industry and creating new jobs for people.
Solar energy, hydroelectric energy and geothermal energy require more manpower than fossil fuels. This means switching to renewables creates more demand for that energy source, encouraging the creation of more jobs.