Why your company needs an energy strategy that creates new value

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Is your company’s energy use a good topic to engage employees on?

In a recent edition of Harvard Business Review, authors Andrew Winston, George Favaloro and Tim Healy make the case for a proactive role for the C-suite on energy (see: Energy Strategy for the C-Suite, Harvard Business Review, Jan.-Feb. 2017).

Involving employees in energy strategy has tangible and intangible benefits. […] Companies can boost employee engagement with energy strategy by rewarding participation in efficiency activities.

The article covers a broad range of environmental, energy and workplace benefits that come with a C-level mandate that integrates energy into the company’s vision and operations. Companies as diverse as Unilever Canada, The Co-operators and MEC have made strong renewable energy commitments with Bullfrog Power that align their brand with a forward-thinking position on energy and the environment.

One factor that has brought this issue to prominence in recent years is the growing importance of socially-conscious Millennials that businesses need to attract and retain. The article quotes a 2015 Morgan Stanley study that “found that Millennials are up to three times as likely to want to work for (and buy from) companies that share their values and manage environmental and social issues as well.”

With the mainstreaming of climate change and a host of environmental issues, energy, once an esoteric topic, is becoming an opportunity to shape internal culture and build brands. As the article’s authors conclude:

All companies should aggressively communicate their energy and climate strategies to these groups [customers, communities, investors, and partners]. Demonstrating good environmental stewardship not only protects a company’s social license to operate but also drives sales to customers trying to manage their own climate impacts.

If you are looking for ways to use renewable energy and sustainability to build an authentic and environmentally-conscious culture, you may want to download our free e-book 5 ways CSR can attract, engage and retain employees:

5 ways CSR can attract, engage & retain employees