How consumers view your brand can make for a profitable or disastrous quarter. But having—and keeping—a good corporate reputation doesn’t have to be hard. Customers want to know a company is a good global citizen and puts humanity before profits to a reasonable degree. Google put it best years ago when their corporate code of conduct was simply: “Don’t be evil.”
Instead of being seen as purely profit-driven, companies are increasingly trying to show they genuinely care about the world, their employees, and humanity. More C-level execs are outspoken proponents of sustainability, with many publishing “going green” pledges with deadlines in the near future. Putting sustainability at the forefront isn’t just altruistic; it’s also good for your bottom line in many ways, including enhancing your brand.
One “green” industry growing at a record rate and ready for business adoption? Solar power—an infinite power source that doesn’t generate greenhouse emissions. Here are four reasons why you should consider going solar to boost your brand.
1. POSITIVE PERCEPTION
Lots of events can have a negative impact on a company’s reputation. It could be an environmental disaster or an unfortunate tweet by an intern. That’s why communicating your commitment to sustainability is important. Customers often have a more favorable opinion of companies that use sustainable practices.
2. GOING GREEN CAN KEEP YOU IN THE BLACK
Sustainability can lead to profits. In fact, one study found that “products marketed as sustainable grew 5.6 times faster than those that were not.” The question is, while major corporations are using their going-green efforts to help boost their brands, is this something small and mid-sized businesses can embrace while still being fiscally responsible? Yes.
According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, 15 times more solar capacity is installed today compared to a decade ago—meaning your location might be solar-eligible. Further, two-thirds of all corporate solar capacity has been installed in the last six years, with onsite capacity installed in 2019 totaling a record 844 megawatts.
Couple that with the falling costs of installation and you can see why companies are giving substantial consideration to powering their facilities with this energy source.
Besides lower costs for installation, the rate of return on solar power for businesses is notable. According to Paradise Energy Solutions, the average rate of return for a commercial installation is 13.9%.
3. GENERATE EMPLOYEE PRIDE
With staffing concerns and the Great Resignation front of mind, it’s important to cultivate a culture that resonates with staff. Showing you take your corporate environmental responsibility seriously and actively working toward reducing your carbon footprint is a point of pride for your employees. They are more likely to feel good about where they work, potentially producing more investment in the company, longer tenure, and a better work environment.
4. DEMONSTRATE COMPANY LONGEVITY
Investing in solar now means you intend to be a powerhouse for the long-term. Converting even one location to an entirely different energy source is an intensive process. If a company is dedicated enough to execute this type of project, it conveys that it intends to be in business and in that location for a long time. This resonates positively with consumers and media, and can make for great PR opportunities as well.
ENTERPRISES AND MOM AND POPS CAN GO SOLAR TOO
The commitment big brands like Amazon and Walmart have made to sustainability is admirable. But is it possible if you are a startup operating out of your home or a small rental space? Yes! Whether you’re reconfiguring the power source for a startup run out of your home or you have a much larger operation, solar is the way of the future. Each panel is one step in the right direction, and many companies are doing what they can to help put scalable transition processes in place.
More installations are occurring than ever before. It’s becoming the norm, especially considering that more governing bodies are putting sustainable regulatory requirements and incentives in place.
When planning your goals and strategy for 2022, make sure going green isn’t left off the list. Clean energy initiatives are a great way to boost your brand, especially as corporate and consumer responsibility continues to trend into the new year. Isn’t it great when marketing strategies align with taking care of the planet?
Shama is the CEO of Zen Media, a B2B PR and marketing firm for technology-driven B2B brands, a best-selling author, & a keynote speaker.