Renewable energy is a major topic of discussion in the business world right now. Incorporating sustainable practices and environmental awareness into business models is taking on ever greater significance for many companies and institutions.
This, of course, poses many questions regarding how businesses can ensure that they are operating in a way that prioritizes sustainability and reduces carbon emissions, whilst also maintaining profitability and productivity.
Government-mandated targets such as Net Zero are forcing many businesses to look more closely at how they can adapt their business practices to reduce carbon emissions and preserve the planet.
However, for some small businesses, who may not have the cash flow or support systems in place to be able to make the transition to renewable energy, and who may already be feeling the effects of rising prices, the prospect of this large-scale change to how their business operates may be daunting.
This article will look at how achievable renewable energy for small businesses can be and how some small businesses can adopt environmentally friendly strategies which can have positive effects on the environment without requiring large-scale upheaval.
Also Read: How to Make Your Business More Energy Efficient (4 Ways)
In this time of global economic instability, many businesses are feeling the pinch, as they face a combination of rising energy costs and inflation. Therefore, it makes sense that many would consider switching to renewable energy sources so that they can generate their own clean energy and become less reliant on imported fuel sources.
Renewable energy sources such as solar power and wind power allow a business to make huge energy savings and will also protect the company against future price rises. The cost of renewable energy can be expensive upfront, but it can be a smart financial investment when you consider the significant long-term savings that can be made.
There are also government grants and support schemes available to small business owners, which subsidize the cost of implementing renewable energy sources, as well as provide funding for sustainable development initiatives.
Leading on from this, there are also supply issues in regard to fossil fuels and it is likely that this will continue to be an issue for some time to come. 2022 saw increasingly disrupted supplies of traditional fossil fuels such as oil, which has in turn driven up prices worldwide.
Renewable energy sources may therefore be more attractive to small businesses as they can be more reliable and less likely to be affected by national and international shortages.
They are easier to obtain for smaller businesses and may also have positive benefits for the international fossil fuel market; By switching to a green tariff, would lower overall demand for fossil fuels and may help to ease pressure on oil and gas suppliers.
This means that you can play your part in reducing the environmental damage caused by the usage of fossil fuels, while still getting the energy that you need to power your business and its operations.
In terms of options for renewable energy sources, businesses should seriously consider solar panel installation. Solar panels have been a long-established, reliable method that allows you to create clean energy from the power of the sun, which can then be used to power your business operations and significantly reduce your electricity bill.
As they operate during daylight hours, which in most cases will coincide with common business and trading hours, this means that they are highly efficient and you will only be paying for the energy you require and the energy you use.
Solar panels were once a significantly costly business investment, however, their increased availability and accessibility mean that they are becoming more affordable to the small business owner, and with the help of the aforementioned business grants, they are a financial investment that will help your business to improve its bottom line in the years to come.
Before signing off on installing them, however, it is important to check local regulations as planning permission may be required.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Alongside its environmental positives, it is also worth considering the impact that renewable energy can have on your company’s brand and image. Social responsibility has become an increasingly popular buzzword in business, and customers and investors now pay closer attention than ever to how businesses operate and how conscious they are of social, economic, and environmental factors.
The increased environmental consciousness of consumers and increased industry competitiveness are just some of the challenges facing small businesses in modern times, so embracing renewable energy is a smart way to improve your reputation and attract new customers, investors and partners.
Incorporating renewable energy into your business practices offers employers the chance to redevelop their company’s ethos regarding sustainability and environmental awareness, and this can bring about further change at all levels of the company, for example, other corporate responsibility initiatives such as carpooling or recycling may help to contribute to your company’s performance and morale within the team, as well as positively influencing your brand image.
Moving to renewable energy might be daunting for a small business, and it is important to be aware of the costs and logistics involved, but if the right kinds of support are accessed, it can bring numerous benefits by increasing your reach to new clients, improving your company’s reputation and brand image, whilst also playing a decisive role in increasing awareness of environmental concerns and protecting the planet.