Small businesses are being encouraged to switch to green energy after Google and Apple announced plans to reach a 100% renewable energy target as part of RE100.
RE100 is a global collaborative initiative of 83 of the world’s most influential companies. As well as Google and Apple, its partners include IKEA, Adobe, and Diageo. All of them are committed to increasing demand for, and delivery of, 100% renewable power – and influencing others to follow their lead.
Growing business case for green energy
There are compelling business and environmental reasons why small businesses should join this growing green energy wave, says UK energy and water consultancy Utilitywise.
“Switching to renewable tariffs is the biggest and easiest step small firms can take to show their commitment to the environment. You just switch to green energy and that’s it,” said Marketing Manager Tony HItchens from Utilitywise.
“Other benefits include the huge dent renewable tariffs make in your company’s carbon footprint. It sends a strong message to customers that you care about the environment. Going green helps smaller firms to save money by becoming more efficient and makes it easier to win new business. To win public-sector contracts, for example, you must meet certain environmental prerequisites.”
Reduce consumption for double benefits
Look deeply at the business actions that the RE100 companies have taken and you’ll see they are not switching to renewables in isolation. They recognise the importance of reducing energy and water use alongside green energy deals, to provide a powerful double whammy of benefits for the environment and business.
Utilitywise’s Long-Term Forecast shows that, in the next five years, electricity costs will increase by nearly 40%. But with a little time and effort SMEs can start to make savings now.
There are plenty of actions small firms can take immediately, from encouraging employees to switch off items not in use to changing to energy efficient lightbulbs.
Support to deliver energy savings
In addition to the many tips and information available online, small businesses can use energy brokers to help them take further energy-saving steps.
Utilitywise, for example, offers an energy and water audit that helps businesses to identify where savings can be made and prioritise energy and water saving projects with the best return on investment.
Its free smart technology, Utility Insight SmartDash*, is a monitoring and reporting system that helps businesses achieve efficiencies in gas, electricity and water by becoming more energy conscious.
The greatest hope of the RE100 initiative is that it has a ripple effect on other businesses, encouraging them to switch to green energy for business but also take steps to reduce consumption.
Michelle Crozier Yates, Director of Corporate Responsibility at Adobe, said: “The private sector accounts for more than half of the world’s electricity consumption. Collectively, we are the tide that raises all ships.”
• Get Utility Insight for free when you buy an energy contract through Utilitywise, which offers competitively priced energy from the main suppliers. Its network also includes suppliers that specialise in green energy.