With everything from the news to water-cooler conversations revolving around climate change and the environment, it’s no surprise businesses face increased pressure to adopt sustainable business practices. Because the energy you use is the primary component of most businesses’ environmental footprint, your energy procurement and management strategy is the place to start when planning for sustainability.
While the environmental benefits of sustainable business practices are significant, your organization can benefit as well. Here’s why energy is the critical component to not just your sustainability goals but to your business’s overall success:
The math is basic: The less you spend, the more you save. The problem is harder to solve: Where can you cut costs? Adjusting your energy strategy is a great place to start. For example, the decreased cost from consuming less energy combined with the infrastructure and efficiency improvements or the savings from implementing sustainable energy microgeneration methods like solar or wind can do fantastic things for your bottom line. By keeping energy and sustainability at the forefront of your business planning conversations, you can cut operating costs and increase your revenue from the same business volume.
You may make these sustainable energy decisions because you are motivated to do less environmental harm, but saving money is a fantastic additional benefit.
Drawing in more customers
Other companies and consumers are having these same conversations about decreasing their carbon footprint. They are looking for more ways to be sustainable and decrease the environmental harm from their operations or consumer choices. When you offer them the ability to receive the products and services they need from a company contributing to environmental progress rather than environmental damage, you can attract new customers and create additional loyalty from existing patrons. That means you can see more money per transaction and an increased number of transactions as well, thanks to sustainability efforts.
As you increase your focus on your energy use, you naturally find ways to use less power. Less consumption leads to less waste and lower costs. Efforts to identify and implement ways to reduce wasted energy are where commercial energy audit companies can be extremely valuable. They will look at your facilities, equipment, and operations and look for opportunities for decreasing waste and increasing efficiency. An energy consultant can help you form a plan to tighten up your energy use.
You can also enlist the help of your employees, encouraging them to point out areas of waste or suggest process improvements that would increase energy efficiency.
Outside investment funds
If you need–or may ever need in the future–funding from an outside investor, sustainability matters. Because it attracts customers and can decrease costs, sustainable energy procurement can draw in the investment funds you need to grow your organization. Businesses with sustainability plans can attract more investors than those who overlook the effect their energy use has on the environment.
Employee morale, motivation, and retention
Embracing sustainability can enhance the positive work experience for your team. If their weekend was spent under the haze of wildfire smoke or the threat of severe storms, working at a place they know contributes to those problems can be demoralizing.
Workplace sustainability affects how employees feel about their employer. Are they excited to go to work for a business they know is trying to contribute to solutions toward climate change? Or do they feel guilty and even ashamed that their employer is contributing to the problem? The answer to these questions depends largely on the choices you, as a business leader, make about sustainability. Being sustainable means being a company people want to work for and help succeed. You reap the benefits of higher employee morale, productivity, and retention.
Many governments offer tax incentives on a local or federal level for sustainable choices. There may also be incentives or rebates available for investment in green decisions like upgrading equipment to more energy-efficient models or installing on-site sustainable energy generation. While your focus is on improving your business’s sustainability, you may qualify for significant tax benefits in the process.
Preparation for the future
Energy markets and pricing fluctuate based on a variety of factors, making it impossible to predict what the future holds. Integrating sustainable choices into today’s business decisions can insulate your company against possible price increases on non-sustainable energy. You are also setting up your organization to be prepared for future regulations that may require companies to be more sustainable. Staying ahead of regulatory demands means you won’t be scrambling to meet deadlines or paying penalties if you can’t comply quickly.
More than ever, companies are feeling pressure to act on their contributions to climate change. Sustainability is at the forefront of energy procurement decisions, and rightfully so. Addressing your energy use is the best way to make your business more sustainable. While you can make meaningful changes on your own, many businesses benefit from working with energy efficiency companies, which can help find ways to shift current operations toward more sustainable practices.
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