Visionary solutions to climate change are more likely to come out of a board room than a legislative chamber. According to a recent article published by GreenBiz, corporate clean energy initiatives are expected to be the near-term driving force toward adopting clean, affordable energy choices. The article is an excerpt from a larger report (The State of Green Business 2017) and says 71 of the Fortune 100 companies and 215 or the Fortune 500 currently have renewable energy or sustainability goals—often independent of government mandates.
However, aiming for 100 percent renewable energy, or adopting more modest corporate renewable energy targets, is not limited to big businesses alone. The article also cites recent initiatives by smaller companies (or other entities) pooling resources to access clean energy.
From the article:
“Right now, several aggregation models are emerging, providing access to large-scale renewable energy projects for smaller businesses, real estate developers and institutions such as universities and hospitals.”
Large or small, there are other avenues to access clean, renewable energy. Green tariffs, renewable energy credits (RECs), and power purchase agreements (PPAs) can all factor into an organization’s answer to how it reduces its carbon footprint.
Reducing energy costs while promoting social and environmental responsibility are great motivators for companies to adopt corporate clean energy policies. But the article also points to some more pragmatic reasons to go green:
“Locking in energy prices and reducing an organization’s carbon footprint are two key drivers of corporate renewables procurement. But so is resilience. In areas vulnerable to natural disasters and other risk issues, microgrids — small and discrete hyperlocal electrical grids composed of primarily renewable energy sources — may become more of a corporate priority, as they can act independently of the grid when necessary.”
The report goes on to cite the mounting pressure on utility companies to accommodate these growing renewable energy demands. Failure to do so could have some of their largest energy customers developing their own solutions. Whether the motivation is financial, social, ecological—or a combination of each—businesses are taking the lead in shaping the future of renewable energy.