From clean energy start-ups to multi-national technology companies, the last decade has seen a definite shift towards corporate environmental consciousness. In an era of innovation, companies are looking for innovative ways to reduce their environmental footprint and “go green.”
Whether it be through switching to eco-friendly operations or developing eco-friendly products and services, there is clear value in this shift. Businesses valuing environmental integrity are likely to drive revenue whilst also protecting their local environment and benefiting local communities.
Why the shift?
Prices for fossil based fuel are rising, whilst advances in technology are causing renewable energy prices to drop. Businesses are becoming increasingly aware of this, and the important role they play in generating social change around society’s carbon footprint. Likewise, consumers are demanding corporate social responsibility (CSR) more than ever before.
Eco-innovations are no longer just performing a sustainability function, but are also increasingly affordable and convenient. Moving towards a “green” model, businesses can:
• Generate eco-efficiency and reduce energy, transport and waste costs
• Drive productivity and ‘do more with less’
• Generate new markets and networks
• Stand out from the crowd with a competitive advantage based on CSR
• Meet the increasing demand for social responsibility from customers
Meet the increasing demand for social responsibility from customers
Does consumer care convert to consumption?
There is no doubt that consumers are thinking about social responsibility. We are hearing consumers talking about recycling and choosing public transport over driving, but is this social responsibility interest really reflected in their purchase decisions? Nielson’s 2014 Global Corporate Social Responsibility Report found:
55% of consumers will pay extra for products and services from companies committed to positive social and environmental impact.
This is a significant amount – a big pat on the back to consumers! Of course, this is also fantastic news for socially responsible businesses.
Who’s doing it well?
Greenpeace released its 2015 Clicking Clean report last month, which features a spotlight on the clean energy status of global Internet companies and the importance of the industry engaging in environmentally sustainable practices. Apple is one of the world’s largest companies, and despite the challenges surrounding rapid expansion, still manage to lead the charge with regards to renewable energy efforts. Google and Facebook are close behind, working towards an energy efficient Internet. It’s great to see these large multi-nationals engaging in CSR, particularly having such a global presence and the potential to drive interest in broader society.
“If having the audacity to rely on grid power now puts a company at risk for public shaming, then the day is coming when every company’s energy usage will be viewed through a moral filter – similar to how its labour practices and foreign investments are viewed today.”
David Crane, NRG CEO.
Sustainability @ AFN
We are in an exciting time of change where businesses and individuals are appreciating the need to do something meaningful now in order to have something beautiful and lasting for future generations.
AFN Solutions is passionate about preserving the environment and believe it is everyone’s duty to find ways to do this, whether it’s as simple as recycling, or more advanced like taking your home or office off the grid with a combination of solar and wind technology. With new and more cost effective energy storage solutions, AFN encourage businesses to consider their environmental footprint and set an example for consumers to follow.
AFN have found success in a number of environmental solutions, from deploying solar technology to customers in areas where access to power is not possible, to facilitating clean energy storage with lithium Ion Phosphate (LiPo4) storage technology.