From On-Site Solar to Customer Engagement: The Top Trends in Clean Energy
As wind and solar power continues to get more affordable, and the environmental benefits become increasingly apparent, more organizations are voluntarily investing in clean energy projects. In December, the EPA highlighted some of these efforts in their Green Power Leadership Awards.
As this GreenBiz article explains, two of the biggest new trends are on-site power generation and long-term contracts with wind or solar farms. These efforts are helping corporations, communities, and universities around the country support renewable energy development and lighten their carbon footprints.
The EPA noticed a third trend as well – customer, supplier, and citizen engagement. For example, REI and Herman Miller are educating customers and employees about their clean-energy commitments and why they’re important. REI has asked its suppliers to track their sustainability performance, and Herman Miller holds educational seminars to help suppliers meet green-power requirements. Communities are also using engagement to build support – Beaverton, Oregon, is encouraging community members to invest in the city’s on-site solar project, and Portland residents can take advantage of sustainability classes and renewable energy workshops.
Sustainability efforts are more powerful when they’re shared. Just saying you’re committed to climate-friendly practices isn’t enough – people to be shown how those practices will make a difference. By letting your audience (whether they’re citizens, students, employees, or customers) know how they can contribute to and benefit from your climate solutions, you give them a stake in the success of your program.
To learn more about sustainability best practices in your sector, join MomentUs and connect with other like-minded leaders.
Melissa Klein, contributor to GreenBiz
Like no time in the past, organizations now have choices about where and how their electricity is generated. Many are looking to make a difference by voluntarily buying green power to reduce the risk of climate change and the environmental impacts associated with their electricity use.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership, a national program that supports organizations in procuring green power, has seen several exciting trends emerge as an increasing number of organizations install new projects. We at the EPA define green power as electricity produced from solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, eligible biomass and low-impact small hydroelectric sources.
Some organizations are developing projects on their own and others are entering into long-term contracts. Both approaches offer advantages beyond simply using green power; they also contribute to new capacity and, for some, provide valuable economic benefits.
Image credit: REI