Going solar could enhance your company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) image. By installing photovoltaic (PV) panels on your commercial property, you can demonstrate to your stakeholders that you take sustainability and environmental protection seriously. Instead of relying on fossil fuels, you’ve opted to power your business with clean and efficient solar power.
Will your green commitment make an impact on your bottom line? There are compelling arguments for and against the role CSR plays in generating sales:
On the one hand, many consumers prefer supporting businesses that reduce their negative impact on the environment.
On the other hand, customers often vote with their pocketbooks. They choose to buy whatever products or services offer the most value.
So which one is it? There is no doubt that customers will appreciate your sustainability efforts, but is there a link between solar-powered CSR and higher revenues? We believe so – and corporations agree. In research by Centrica Business Solutions, 68% of sustainable business leaders recognised that sustainability can help them to succeed and remain profitable in the long run. Yet only 29% of followers recognised that sustainability could benefit their organisation.
The link between CSR and profits is well-documented. And it’s not simply customers that your solar PV installation will attract. Commercial solar energy can also help your business in other surprising ways:
1. Attract more customers
According to a 2021 sustainability study produced by Simon-Kucher & Partners, 85% of people globally have moved towards buying into brands which are more sustainable over the past five years. In addition, one-third of consumers are willing to pay more for a sustainable brand. Proving an increase in sustainability could increase consumer pull.
2. Recruit (and retain) better talent
It may be speculated that the benefits of CSR stop at consumers, but it could help to attract top talent too. Findings from the IBM Institute for Business Value study in 2021 found CSR continues to increase attraction of potential candidates for a role. Two-thirds of surveyed employees state they are more likely to apply and accept a job from an environmentally responsible employer with 71% finding sustainable companies more attractive.
3. Improve corporate performance
In addition to consumers and employment rates, a 2020 academic study from Coventry University found that CSR assists companies in achieving competitive advantages. Striving for fulfilment of CSR also helps business leaders to achieve their financial objectives by satisfying stakeholders interests and demands.
Improving the bottom line
Installing solar PV panels can improve your bottom line. Going solar allows you to generate your own clean and efficient electricity onsite, rather than rely on expensive grid energy. This lowers your operating expenses and allows you to forecast energy spend.
Good press connecting with your stakeholders
As outlined above, your customers do care about your solar power investment. The same goes for employees and investors. But even without these well-documented benefits, commercial solar can improve profitability in other ways.
For example, going solar provides many more opportunities to connect with stakeholders – even if you don’t have new products to announce. Your carbon savings are newsworthy updates worth publishing in periodic press releases.
Differentiate your organisation in the market
Going solar also provides a way to differentiate your business – especially if you work in a highly competitive industry. In terms of price and quality, your products may be similar to your competitors. But with your solar power investment, you’re setting a cutting-edge example – one that immediately distinguishes you and provides a competitive advantage.
Building competitive advantage
A recent guide by Centrica Business Solutions summarises how we can guide companies in the right direction. The practical guide outlines the pathway to net zero, helping to strive toward their CSR and therefore a better future for their company. 75% of surveyed organisations plan to implement decentralised energy systems, don’t let your company fall behind the rest.
Across all industries, businesses with advanced energy solutions – like solar – are experiencing these benefits. Learn how solar can boost business performance and yield a competitive edge. Contact us to find out more.
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