By setting greenhouse gas reduction and renewable energy sourcing goals, some of the world’s largest companies are saving close to 3.7 billion dollars annually, while preventing an amount of pollution equivalent to 45 coal-fired power plants. With these kinds of results, cleaner energy is proving to boost the bottom line.
Making the leap
With increased conversation surrounding climate change and environmental protection, the global benefits of transitioning to renewable energy are probably somewhat familiar. And with 48 percent of Fortune 500 companies setting clean energy goals, the transition is becoming the norm.
“American businesses are driving this transition to clean energy,” said Marty Spitzer, World Wildlife Fund’s Senior Director of Climate Change and Renewable Energy. “If the company’s setting goals, they are becoming ever more ambitious,” he adds. And each year, the amount of savings is increasing from the last. “Companies’ experiences with clean energy are paying them back so well, that they want to do more and more of it.”
With the increased awareness of the benefits, the accessibility of renewable energy is also increasingly more prevalent. The transition, Spitzer explains, “either saves [corporations] money, or it makes it much more predictable about what their energy bills are going to be.” When no longer reliant on fluctuating fossil fuel prices, companies are better equipped to make accurate financial plans and set attainable, long-term goals.
In addition to cost savings, improved customer attraction and employee retention are the positive side effects. These companies are the ones on the “right side of history,” said Anne L. Kelly, Director, Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy at Ceres. “It’s really notable that these companies have set these targets in a real and public way,” said Kelly, making corporations more accountable than ever.