More and more we are hearing of powerful businesses switching to renewable energies, particularly solar power. In addition to the obvious environmental benefits renewable energy yields, CEOs and owners are realizing the financial benefits to upping their sustainability efforts. With utility prices varying and generally rising, the use of renewable energy not only stabilizes, but lowers operating costs, while increasing the value of the company. Rob Olsen, IKEA CFO has said his company invests in renewable energy, "not only because of the environmental impact, but also because it makes good financial sense," (Lyn Meany, GreenBiz.com.)
We have blogged recently about IKEA's Kansas City store being built with a rooftop solar array that will rank second among all in Kansas, one example among many solar arrays IKEA can boast of. Along with other energy efficiency initiatives such as LED lighting and geothermal heating and cooling technologies, the furniture giant can now add wind energy to their green portfolio with the recent purchase of a 49 turbine wind farm in Illinois. The wind farm is expected to generate 380 GWh per year, which is almost one and half times as much energy as needed to power all of IKEA's U.S. locations.
Microsoft, Facebook, and the green initiative leading Google all have similar wind farm purchases in the works as well that are set to power a local data center for each company with 100 percent electricity needs. Additionally, with the purchase of this 407 MW of wind energy, Google will have committed more than one gigawatt of renewable energy. Other companies like Kohl's, Wal-Mart, and Intel have also made substantial pledges to renewable energy as well, showing the progress companies are making in the green direction.
Awareness continues to grow as seen in the results of a green energy business report. According to the 2013 findings, almost half of the survey's respondents said that, "a company’s environmental reputation had some to major impact on their decision about whether to buy its products," (Meany.)
Consumers are proving they care about a business' environmental stake, and the trend is only rising. Business owners are taking notice and implementing strategies to make their companies more desirable, while saving on utilities at the same time.
Source: Lyn Meany, GreenBiz.com