Once inaccessible to many organizations, today’s renewable energy technologies make financial sense and companies are paying close attention.
TAEBC member Schneider Electric partnered with GreenBiz Research to release the State of Corporate Energy & Sustainability Programs 2018 report.
The findings are based on responses to an online survey completed by 236 energy and sustainability professionals representing diverse industries and companies, with $100 million to $10 billion or more in annual revenue.
Below is some compelling data from the report:
Renewable energy is key to a decarbonized future. Global energy-related Co2 emissions could be reduced 70 percent by 2050, and renewables would account for about half of the emissions reductions, according to research. (Another 45 percent would come from increased energy efficiency and electrification.)
Getting close to those projections requires widespread support from the business community, and the report shows that support exists. Companies are helping cut emissions en masse by shifting to more clean, sustainable resources.
A majority of respondents reported having renewable energy projects underway or planned. And the rate topped 60 percent in four sectors: education, health care, financial services and technology. Even the sector with the least amount of traction (industrial) still reported a respectable 39 percent adoption rate.
The movement toward renewables is likely due to C-level interest and support. Whether their role involves recommending, reviewing or approving projects, 82 percent reported being involved at some level in sustainability and renewable energy initiatives.
The impact on businesses is substantial because renewable energy projects help meet sustainability goals, build a stronger brand and benefit the bottom line. A recent study found that 72 percent of companies are pursuing renewable energy procurement, and 80 percent plan to build out their renewables portfolio via multiple types of transactions, such as offsite power purchase agreements and onsite generation.
It’s also important to mention financial return on investment has always been the obvious benchmark for energy and sustainability initiatives, but other criteria are now being widely considered. When asked about primary drivers for energy and sustainability efforts, cost savings was most often selected, 69 percent of the time, as one of the top three objectives. But other factors garnered high rates as well. Meeting internal and external goals ranked second (60 percent), and nearly half cited improving company brand, as well as mitigating environmental risks.