Why going green is good for business
31 October 2018
How choosing certified 100 per cent clean renewable power can improve your bottom line
Clean renewable energy comes from zero-carbon sources – wind turbines, solar panels, and other technologies such as biogen or hydro power. With the UK committing to reduce its carbon emissions to 80 per cent below levels taken in 1990 by 2050, transitioning to clean, renewable energy is key to achieving this goal and tackling climate change.
A clear advantage to choosing clean energy to power operations
Embracing renewable energy brings many benefits to businesses. It enables them to report a lower carbon footprint, increasing competitive advantage as large businesses look to procure goods as part of a sustainable supply chain model.
Going green is also a boost to business reputation, making a company a more attractive place to work and ensuring it is truly living its values. Creating a sustainable work culture keeps people engaged – 62 per cent of millennials want to work for a company that wants to make a positive impact, according to Global Tolerance, The Values Revolution 2015.
How can buying renewable energy help win more business?
Going green really appeals to businesses which sell directly to consumers. A recent international study by Unilever revealed that a third of consumers choose to buy from brands doing social or environmental good. Tellingly, an estimated £860billion opportunity exists for brands that make their sustainability credentials clear, through choices such as clean energy.
Having a demonstrable lower carbon footprint can help companies crack into big business supply chains too. Today, more than ever before, the UK’s largest companies are working to minimise their energy and CO2 impacts – to appeal to consumers, improve brand reputation and ethically to do the right thing. Creating sustainable supply chains is the new buzzword in business, with large retailers increasingly choosing suppliers who can match their own green credentials and actively demonstrate a commitment to lowering their own carbon footprint.
More than 140 big business corporates, including IKEA and Aviva, have made commitments to use 100 per cent clean, renewable energy through the Climate Group’s RE100 initiative. Similarly, 28 of the UK’s biggest retailers, including Sainsbury’s, M&S and Aldi, have signed up to the Better Retail: Better World commitment led by the British Retail Consortium. This commitment is mobilising the British retail industry to meet some of the biggest challenges of the coming decades, a key challenge being to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
It is no extra work for the top players, as they have to procure anyway. But by choosing to procure from supply chain organisations that actively manage their carbon emissions, big businesses can reduce the carbon intensity of their end-to-end operations, helping to green-up their brand, while accelerating the UK’s low-carbon economy. It’s a compelling, tactical opportunity for SMEs to stand out and win business.
In addition, sustainable credentials will soon need to be published. From April 2019, a new government scheme, Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR), will require large and mid-sized businesses to report on the energy they use and the CO2 they produce. The report will be published within a company’s annual accounts, so it’s more important than ever before to enhance a business’s reputation by switching to clean energy.
Which clean energy tariff should businesses choose?
Clean energy offers compelling and wide-ranging business benefits, and this applies to UK organisations, from smaller SMEs all the way up to international corporates. However, it’s not always easy to understand the difference between “green” energy tariffs when choosing a provider.
The central issue is around how renewable electricity is certified, under the regulator Ofgem’s Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin (REGO) scheme. REGO certificates are issued for every unit of electricity from a renewable source. However, those certificates can be purchased independently from the energy produced, at a very low cost: a policy loophole which some suppliers are using to label their electricity as “100 per cent renewable”, regardless of how the power was generated. This process is known as “greenwashing”.
These suppliers are doing nothing to encourage more renewable generation in the UK, and nothing to add more clean energy to the UK grid.
Good Energy only provides 100 per cent REGO-backed, UK-generated electricity, which is purchased directly from more than 1,400 independent generators. This means that for every unit of energy used, Good Energy buys a unit directly from its network of 1,400 renewable generators, alongside the REGO certificate it relates to.
So as well as benefiting a business and its reputation, the decision to be powered by clean energy is also actively supporting the growth of the UK’s renewable energy industry – great news for people, business and the planet.
What to do next?
Switch to Good Energy and ensure your electricity comes from UK-based, natural sources like sunshine, wind and rain. Good Energy are experts in both clean energy and the UK’s transition to a low-carbon economy. Call us to switch to clean renewable energy and start measuring and recording renewable energy business impacts and winning more sustainable supply chain business.