With the emergence of carbon mitigation mandates and renewable energy requirements for commercial and industrial properties, today’s business leaders recognize that a corporate sustainability plan is no longer a choice–it’s a business requirement.
Most business leaders are familiar with sustainability and understand that sustainability cannot happen without renewable energy. When your organization is establishing new sustainability goals, renewable energy should be your first go-to solution. Commercial and industrial businesses are reshaping their traditional energy mix to include wind, solar, renewable energy credits, or a combination of all.
In this blog post, we discuss how sustainability is driven by renewable energy and the four key steps to developing and executing your sustainability plan.
Sustainability Starts with Your Energy Data
Developing a sustainability plan starts with your organization’s unique energy usage data, a review of your utility bills, an analysis of your existing energy contract, and a plan to implement renewable energy. Your energy data can help you benchmark where you are now and develop a strategic plan to achieve your goals. Reviewing your energy data and contracts can reveal:
- Energy consumption and usage trends
- Opportunities to integrate renewable energy
- Opportunities to reduce carbon emissions
- Opportunities to reduce reliance on the grid
- Improved budgeting and cost efficiencies
Developing Your Corporate Sustainability Plan
- Leverage Predictive Energy Analytics
Implementing a sustainability plan requires a comprehensive view of energy consumption across all areas of your organization, establishing benchmark reports and ongoing reporting. Conducting a forward-looking analysis that incorporates a variety of energy options will allow you to prioritize, plan, and execute your sustainability plan.
- Develop Sustainability Goals
Establish both short-term and long-term goals. Examples of short-term goals include–running predictive analytics and reviewing your data, reviewing current supplier contracts for cost-saving opportunities, establishing a sustainability task force, and raising awareness throughout your organization. Examples of long-term goals include–integrating renewable energy into your corporate energy strategy, implementing energy efficiency and demand management programs, measuring energy usage and carbon emissions, meeting ongoing reporting requirements.
- Implement Internal Governance
A plan is not actionable without governance. Business leaders must identify stakeholders and gain stakeholder buy-in, determine the timing, budget, and responsibilities related to each sustainability goal, understand how your sustainability plan enables larger Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) outcomes. Governance is strengthened by establishing a corporate culture that supports sustainability and ESG criteria.
- Track, Analyze, and Report Your Progress
Track, analyze, and report your progress based on the sustainability goals you’ve established. Communication should include a clear explanation of your plan, your goals (e.g. emissions reduction, short-term goals, long-term goals), and how each aspect supports sustainability or resolves a challenge. It is also imperative that you understand the regional and federal carbon mitigation reporting requirements so your reporting can reflect that data.
Getting Started with Sustainability Planning
Many organizations don’t have the in-house expertise to measure and monitor their energy data, make informed decisions about renewable energy, and facilitate strategic contract negotiations. Leveraging an energy consulting service with comprehensive energy data capabilities and a broad supplier network can help you integrate renewable energy into your corporate energy strategy and establish a plan to achieve your organization’s sustainability goals.
Usource’s experienced energy analysts, consultants, and energy procurement experts can help you successfully develop your strategy to achieve your goals. Contact us today to request an energy analysis.