I believe business success should be used as a tool to make the world a better place, whether it’s through our charity work or our green initiatives. But even if I didn’t care at all about the fate of this planet, it would be bad business for me not to be pursuing green business initiatives. If your long term plan for your business doesn’t take energy efficiency and sustainability into account, that needs to change today.
Recently, human industry reached a tipping point where we’re consuming more resources than the planet can regenerate. We haven’t yet experienced the full effects of this, but before long our infrastructure is going to be forced to adapt to renewable sources of energy along with a sharp reduction in our energy usage.
Any business that isn’t currently making efforts or plans to reduce their energy consumption is going to be in for a rude awakening. Right now, green business is encouraged through various schemes but in the coming decades that carrot will switch to a stick as green initiatives become mandatory in response to the upcoming energy crisis.
Don’t wait until it’s too late. If you care about the future of your business, you’ll want it to be able to meet its own energy needs as much as possible, as soon as possible.
The biggest barrier to self-sufficiency is finding a renewable source of energy. At Magenta, we installed solar panels on our offices as part of our ongoing transition to being a self-sufficient business – and they’re not as intimidating an investment as you might think.
On average it takes between eight and ten years before solar panels provide a return on investment. For many businesses, that can be too long to feel confident about making a substantial investment. At Magenta, we looked at the bigger picture and realised that not only can solar panels reduce our carbon footprint, they could also start paying for themselves far sooner than average.
Solar panels may not seem feasible if you don’t change anything else but we combined them with a company-wide energy saving initiative that reduced our consumption from around £16,000 a year down to less than £2,000. By using less energy, we become more self-sufficient, letting our solar panels take care of more of our energy needs.
Another way to reduce the return of investment period for solar panels is to sign up for a feed in tariff, where the energy we produce is fed back into the national grid. Our energy supplier then pays us for every kWh of electricity that we generate, with our tariff levels guaranteed for 20 years. Once we have our return on investment for the solar panels, it’s pure profit.
By combining a company wide-energy saving policy and a feed-in tariff, our return on investment for our solar panels has been knocked down to just four years. That’s not long to wait to achieve self-sufficiency for our electricity, both massively reducing our carbon footprint while also saving or even making money in the process.
Using renewable energy sources is just one of the reasons that we won the Hounslow Business Award for Best Green Business. Back in June, I wrote about the other ways you can reduce your carbon footprint and do your part in looking after this world for the next generation. If you want to learn more about our green initiatives or want advice on starting your own, you can get in touch by calling 0800 772 3786 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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