Posted on: 18/04/2016
Getting your organisation on board with switching to renewable electricity can be a challenge, especially as it can cost more. Mike Shirley explains some unexpected benefits that could help the business case. Mike Shirley explains some unexpected benefits that could help the business case.
The transition to a low-carbon economy is well underway for most businesses. The question of buying renewable electricity is now a matter of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’. But with such a big budget involved and a lot of complexity, it can often seem easier to just continue with the existing contract and put off the decision.
If you want to get renewable electricity right to the top of your organisation’s agenda, there are four key non-financial benefits to focus on. But first, the question of cost needs to be addressed. The good news is that buying renewable electricity costs less than you think.
We supply more than 500 businesses in the UK with renewable energy. From that, we know it typically adds less than 1% to the overall bill. This covers the procurement of origin certificates which prove the source of every megawatt hour of the electricity. Much of this money goes back to the renewable generators themselves so it supports the wider industry.
To justify that extra cost, real business value needs to be extracted from buying renewable. Here are some other benefits that strengthen the business case:
1. Reduce carbon footprint
Buying certificate-backed renewable electricity allows your organisation to report zero Scope 2 carbon emissions. It’s the quickest and easiest way to reduce emissions and show that you are committed to sustainability.
2. Meet sustainable investment criteria
Investors are increasingly aware of the reputational benefits and risk factors associated with climate change. A commitment to renewable electricity sends a clear signal that boosts investor confidence and supports company valuations.
3. Appeal to the growing wave of conscientious customers
Committing to sustainability can tell a powerful story which builds brand loyalty. Our own research shows that almost four in five consumers are more likely to buy from a consumer brand with a positive approach to sustainability.
4. Kick-start internal energy efficiency programmes
Switching to renewable electricity can form the centrepiece of an energy-saving strategy. Organisations can save up to 10% on energy costs by investing 1-2% of energy spend on an effective employee engagement campaign, according to the Carbon Trust.
Pulling together all these benefits makes a compelling case for switching to renewable electricity. If your organisation is truly committed to sustainability, these reasons should make decision-makers take notice.
Read our Business and the Renewables Revolution report to find out more about the benefits of switching to renewable electricity - click to download: