Relying on renewable energy is more than about saving on energy costs these days; it is also about keeping up with customer demand and surviving in tough economic times. In a recent Fulterra survey of consumers in the U.S. and the U.K., a whopping 96% of people felt that actions such as buying ethically could make a big difference to the planet.
Further, a study by IBM and the National Retail Federation revealed that nearly 70% of people in the U.S. and Canada think it is important that the brands they support be sustainable or eco-friendly.
If your business is ready to make the shift to renewables, what companies are setting the standard and how can the big switch benefit you, your employees, and your clients or customers?
Companies Leading the Way
Just three companies setting a high standard when it comes to the reliance on renewables are Intel, Apple, and Walmart. Intel is the U.S.’s largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy, relying on the latter for 100% of its activities for the past few years.
Apple, meanwhile, has a comprehensive climate change plan and recently committed to using 100% renewable energy. Walmart, too, has ambitious plans to curb greenhouse gas emissions, setting a goal to be powered 50% by renewable energy by 2025.
Benefits for Small and Medium Businesses
Small and medium businesses wishing to turn to renewable energy such as solar may worry about the commercial solar panel costs upon installation. While the total costs will depend on the size and type of system installed, companies should research the myriad of government programs and incentives that can lower the cost of commercial panels.
Between tax credits, bonus depreciation, and savings in energy costs power year, a commercial solar system costing in the region of $80,000 actually pays for itself in a little over six years and generates a 14% internal rate of return.
Improving Your Brand Reputation
Relying on renewable energy can improve your brand reputation in many ways, with research by The New York Reputation Institute finding that consumers choose around 60% of the products they buy based on brand awareness and reputation.
A good reputation also boosts referral rates by 6.5%, brings in 5% more sales, and doubles the quality of performance compared to the overall market. Relying on renewable energy can help establish your company as one that is committed to the community.
This is because renewable energies such as hydroelectric, solar, and geothermal energy all require more manpower than traditional fuels. As more companies opt for renewable energies, there will be a corresponding increase in the number of available jobs in the sector.
Renewable energies, which are more stable and widely distributed than traditional energy sources. can also boost customer loyalty by lowering levels of service disruption.
If you are a small or medium business, researching grants and other forms of aid that can help you make the switch to renewable energy is important. Sustainability is a key value among modern customers, so going green can boost customer loyalty for many reasons. One is the positive environmental impact you will be making. Additional reasons include higher referral and sales rates, and the creation of more jobs for members of the community.