(3BL Media/Justmeans) – As more companies recognize the benefits of clean energy in reducing costs and improving competitiveness, a growing business trend to adopt renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions has emerged in recent years. A 2014 study by Ceres, along with Calvert Investments and the World Wildlife Fund, found that 60 percent of Fortune 100 companies have set their own clean energy targets, saving over $1 billion a year in the process.
California is in the midst of its fourth straight year of drought, the worst one on record. The majority of the state is in exceptional drought, the worst category. Reservoirs are dangerously low and the dry conditions are causing wildfires across the state.
Methane is a greenhouse gas with a warming potential 23 times greater than carbon dioxide. Methane emissions in the U.S., which contribute to climate change, increased three percent in 2013 over 2012, according to data released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency EPA.
(3BL Media/Justmeans) - Hillary Clinton has just rolled out her climate change plan, which would rapidly expand our use of renewables, tripling the number of installed solar panels to half a billion by the end of her first term. That’s certain an ambitious goal. In her statement she indicated her intention to rely heavily on tax credits to accomplish this. Whether or not that will be sufficient remains to be seen, but another announcement made yesterday by SolarCity, should certainly help.
The California-based company announced a new plan that would target small and medium sized businesses (SMB) as a huge untapped for solar energy systems. Focusing initially on owner-occupied businesses in California, the rollout contains a new pricing model that will allow these businesses to pay anywhere from 5-25% less for electricity than they currently pay, depending on usage and current cost, with no upfront charges. Twenty-year fixed rate financing will lock in savings, even if utility prices go up.
There are currently 28 million small and medium businesses in the US, which account for 99% of all businesses. It’s difficult to get a breakdown on what portion of energy use that amounts to, though this report from EERE suggests that this segment accounts for roughly 40% of all commercial building square footage (including government offices, but not malls). The report also highlights the substantial opportunities in energy efficiency while noting that California has been far more successful in reducing energy use than the rest of the country. This falls in line with the conventional wisdom that suggests that improving efficiency first, before installing renewables, is the more efficient path.
(3BL Media/Justmeans) – For many companies around the world, corporate sustainability primarily means making a conscious effort to support local environmental protection, employee welfare and community programs. However, a few companies such as IBM are driven by a mission to make a pervasive impact across the global environmental, social and economic landscape and transform the planet.