In the midst of rampant climate-change talks and discussions, the environment, specifically taking care of it, should certainly take center stage in business agendas.
Businesses should take the necessary time to consider and generate solutions for the current climate emergency rather than contribute to it further. These solutions do not necessarily have to be ground-breaking or innovative, but rather, they can simply be tried-and-tested methods.
A great example of this is using renewable energy. A great way for businesses to lessen their environmental and climatic damage is by switching from non-renewable sources of energy (e.g., coal, oil, and other fossil fuels) to renewable sources such as solar. Importantly, using renewable energy sources will not only benefit the environment but the business itself too.
Read on to learn why your business should invest in renewable sources of power and the many benefits associated with them.
1. Renewables can help mitigate climate change
For humans to continue to inhabit the planet peacefully and utilize its resources, we must not abuse our home. Unfortunately, the current way in which many humans are currently living and using resources is extremely unsustainable. This has triggered anthropogenic (human-caused) climate change.
If you are not already aware, climate change brings about many dangers and uncertainties. Some of the consequences of climate change on humans and the planet are detailed below.
Global warming – the rate, scale, and intensity of global warming is unprecedented. Climate change has resulted in the world becoming a much warmer place.
While this may not seem like that big of a deal, it is. This is because even the slightest increase in the average temperature of the planet can cause dramatic, often detrimental, transformations to planet Earth. For example, global warming can cause the air to become dirtier, increase wildlife extinction rates and cause more severe and severe weather.
Rising sea levels – as glaciers are melting due to global warming and climate change, sea levels are rising. This will have an impact on almost everyone, whether indirectly or directly. Countries and islands that are low-lying are particularly vulnerable as they risk being flooded.
As the world has become increasingly globalized, more places and countries have become connected. So, the problem of one country will undoubtedly become the problem of another. Countries that rely on tourism, such as The Maldives, and different resources will feel and experience the negative impacts, too.
Spread of diseases – believe it or not, climate change is expected to increase the cases of infectious diseases such as malaria and dengue fever. This is because mosquitoes love warm climates and so, with the world warming up, there will be even more cases of these diseases.
The bulleted points above only tell a snippet of the full story. However, they were used to illustrate just how severe the climate situation is and the importance for businesses to act. Emphasis and responsibility are being placed on businesses, companies, and organizations as they play large roles in climate change. So, pressure must not be solely placed at the individual level, but the larger, organizational one, too.
One way in which businesses can make a significant difference is by switching to renewable energy sources. This seemingly easy switch comes with many benefits:
- Renewable energy significantly lowers the production and emissions of greenhouse gases.
- Renewables help to keep the air clean as they do not release harmful and toxic pollutants into the atmosphere, so air quality will be improved.
- They are renewable. It says it in the name. This means they are an infinite resource and will not run out, no matter how much they are used.
Examples of renewable technologies include biomass energy, wind power, hydropower, and solar energy. All of them come with associated pros and cons in terms of choosing between them.
It is important to note that this does not mean you should not invest in them because, in life, there are pros and cons to everything! In comparison to fossil fuels, renewables are infinitely better for the environment and your business.
Solar power can have many advantages for businesses. For example, it has the potential to:
- Generate income.
- Impress eco-minded current and future employees.
- Boost the business’ reputation (people will align your business with one that is eco-friendly and environmentally conscious, which will likely attract more customers).
- Enable the business to achieve the leadership in energy and environmental design certificate.
- Give you power when nobody else has it. If there happens to be a power outage, your business will already be one step ahead of everyone as you can use solar panels as the primary and backup energy source. If your business is located in an area that is particularly prone to natural disasters, such as hurricanes and floods, this may be particularly important for you. If the power (operated by fossil fuels) runs out, you can always rely and depend on your solar power with battery backup.
So, your business should definitely consider investing in renewables such as solar power. There are many options to choose from, you just need to know where to look. For instance, there are Solar Companies in Tucson, which can provide high-quality solar panels and energy solutions at affordable prices.
2. Reduce energy bills
Renewables can also drastically reduce electricity bills. This is because they rely on the energy already present in the environment (i.e., sun, wind, and water, which are free). So, once you have purchased the required technology (i.e., a wind turbine or solar panel), there will be relatively few further costs involved with running and operating it.
Fossil fuels, on the other hand, are the exact opposite of this as they require constant and regular financing. Note also, the energy that you are likely paying for at present will diminish at some point (since fossil fuels are non-renewable, there is a limited amount available to use and access) and so you do not own it. You are essentially paying for something which is fleeting.
Additionally, in the long-term fossil fuels will become increasingly expensive as they become harder to come by. So, if you envision and plan to build a business that will last through generations, it is a smart idea to start investing in renewable technology now. As the saying goes, it is better to be safe than sorry.
3. Renewables can be used for multiple, diverse purposes
Additionally, renewable energy comes with the added benefit of flexibility. You can use them to produce energy in areas that do not have access to the electricity grid.
Sticking to the example of solar power, it can be used to perform essential tasks such as distilling water in regions with restricted access to it and even power space satellites. Obviously, the latter uses and applications of renewable technology will become more or less relevant for your business depending on the sector. However, the point remains the same.
Renewable energy can be used to power a range of different processes, in different ways and for different reasons. So, using them provides your business the opportunity to expand and become multidimensional.
4. Low maintenance costs
As hinted above, renewable technology often comes with low maintenance costs. The main costs associated with keeping and operating them in the long term are that of cleaning. Cleaning will not take up that much capital away from your company since it is a relatively straightforward task.
Of course, you will need to hire specialists to ensure that the job is done properly, but apart from this, it should not be an exhaustive or difficult task. Further, the renewable technology will likely only have to be cleaned a few times in a year, as opposed to regularly. Again, this keeps the cost down.
5. Boost company reputation
Also, if your company uses renewable energy, the environmental credentials associated with your business will improve. This has the potential to strengthen your brand and attract not only customers but different stakeholders too.
This is particularly effective in today’s climate and age where people are increasingly interested and passionate about taking care of the environment. So, put yourself ahead by making the necessary changes to combat climate change and sit back to watch your business grow.
It is also important to note that these changes, as mentioned at the start, do not need to be revolutionary. If your company is not willing to make the switch to 100% renewable energy, then even a 10 percent switch will be more than enough. At the end of the day, every little helps.
If every company, business, and organization made a small switch or transformation, together we can combat climate change. What is important here is to act and make the necessary changes. It is, therefore, better to make a small change than none at all. So, make sure your business is playing its role in combatting climate change by switching to renewables.
Given that climate change forecasts are best guesses, we cannot afford to be complacent, as a forecasting error in the wrong direction could have devastating effects on the planet and its inhabitants, including us.
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I am Adeyemi Adetilewa, a media consultant, entrepreneur, husband, and father. Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Ideas Plus Business Magazine, online business resources for entrepreneurs. I help brands share unique and impactful stories through the use of public relations, advertising, and online marketing. My work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Addicted2Success, Hackernoon, The Good Men Project, and other publications.