- February 5, 2021
- by Corey Orehek
The past year has caused organizations to explore futureproofing their operations in a way they haven’t yet had to – and many are turning to “sustainability” to find the necessary edge they need.
Sustainability – it’s a term that we hear more and more, and has grown from simply environmentalism to a more holistic approach driving long-term economic, social, AND environmental value. Sustainable business activities have the power to enhance operations, engage consumers, attract talent, and deliver long-term value to an organization’s bottom line.
Many companies, cities and schools all have integrated sustainability plans. But what does it mean and why do it? Here are few reasons to integrate sustainability as part of your organizational plan, if you haven’t already.
Reduce Energy Costs
Energy costs rank as a top line item on any organization’s Income Statement, and historically, there were few mechanisms to control these costs, since the utility monopoly structure offers little in the way of competition and transparency. However, as the energy transition has taken off, and sustainable operating practices have evolved, it’s becoming increasingly clear that companies now have a choice on how to source their energy. Companies like Wal-Mart, Target, and Google have all led the charge looking beyond the typical utility model, are leading the way in creating a more efficient, lower cost, and longer-term way to do business.
Detractors of sustainability claim that sustainable business practices eat into corporate profit; however, it’s quite the opposite. While “going green” takes thoughtful planning, and sometimes upfront cost, the cost benefits are typically quickly realized. For example, upgrading to energy efficient, typically seen as the “low hanging fruit” of sustainability, is a clear example of a common-sense business practice. By switching to LEDs, the initial capital expense is typically recouped in ~2 years, and will drive savings.
Going solar is another example of a cost savings measure that checks the sustainability box. With the availability of onsite energy generation, organizations can generate their own electricity and avoid buying from their local utility. By doing so, you fix all or a portion of your costs for over 20 years – a hedge not typical for energy procurement managers. Given the long-term nature (and low cost of ongoing maintenance), onsite solar is becoming a favorite way, for companies like Ikea, to reduce operating expenses.
Offsite solar is another easy way to go green, while saving green. At Nokomis Energy clients, we have community solar subscribers saving $65,000 annually. We have schools saving money on their utility bill that equals a teacher’s salary.
The bottom line is that energy procurement professionals have an increasing number of tools in their toolkit – thanks to “sustainability”. And it’s clear, the trend has been established by large national corporations, because it makes good business sense. But it’s not just for the large corporates — at Nokomis Energy, we deliver this value to our local community.
Consumer Demand - Improve Your Brand & Competitive Advantage
As consumer’s drive accountability and transparency, it’s clear that organizations who answer the call of social responsibility will win the battle for market share.
Customers, not only want affordability; they are increasingly seeking products and services that positively impact the society and the environment. Surveying more than 53,000 U.S. consumers, the Natural Marketing Institute discovered that 58 percent of consumers consider a company’s impact on the environment in considering where to purchase goods and services and are more likely to purchase from companies that practice sustainable habits. That translates into a client base of 68 million Americans who are favorably predisposed to companies showing positive track records in personal, social, and environmental values.
The City of Farmington subscribed to Nokomis Energy Community solar gardens to demonstrate to their citizens that they are committed to cost-saving, environmental change. The city is expected to save $293,000 with community solar.
Attracting Top Talent & Investors
Younger generations want to make a difference in the world, and they are increasingly making decisions on where to buy, or where to go to school, with sustainability as a prerequisite. At Nokomis Energy, we hear it every day when talking to our clients who are looking to standout when attracting top talent and top students.
But don’t take it from us, the investors have made it very clear – the investment community provides more competitive financing terms to companies who integrated sustainable practices into their organizations.
By building an onsite solar system on your parking lot, available ground or roof mounted system, you send a noticeable message to your audience that you are committed and engaged with the future, clean energy driven world.
Futureproofing Your Organization
With so much potential value to be gained, business and community leaders must take active roles within their organizations to demonstrate the importance of sustainability in driving long-term success. They must make available the tools, technology, information, and training to achieve results that engage and motivate their teams.
Integrating sustainable business practices establishes your organization as a leader in the community, and sends the message – we’re here for the long haul, and we’re fostering a responsible, efficient world for our future generations.
Let Nokomis Energy help.