How Companies Benefit from Renewable Energy in their Brand Marketing
Based on current market trends, some of your favorite lifestyle products could be creating a much softer carbon footprint than many of your essentials. Big companies with large, loyal consumer bases have started to understand their massive influence on society, inspiring many of them to become thought leaders by retooling how they create their products.
Efforts to incorporate renewable energies into modern-day industry are commendable, regardless of what the brands ultimately sell to consumers. Case in point: Budweiser – the world’s largest beer brewing conglomerate set a 10-year goal to have the entire operation running off of solar power alone.
The Scope and Scale
Bud recently launched a record-breaking corporate solar power deal called the Virtual Power Purchase Agreement, or VPPA. As a fundamental part of the company’s 2025 Sustainability Project, goals include buying 100% renewable energy for generating electricity at all locations. Meanwhile, the brewer based in Leuven, Belgium will start getting its power through dual solar farming plantations in Spain – each of which have a combined output of over 200 MW (megawatts). Interestingly, with all breweries and brands accounted for, this undertaking represents the biggest Pan-European solar movement in the history of mankind. Cheers.
Brand ambassadors express their excitement for the upcoming shifts in the market, stating that they want their name to become associated with driving positive change. Their commitment to energy excellence has reach global proportions, with installations across the UK, Mexico, Russia, China, India, Australia and even the United States implementing their new VPPA guidelines. Estimates say that the resulting energy outputs from these two eco-friendly systems will be equivalent to powering nearly 700,000 single-family homes – enough to run the entire AB InBev operation and then some. Critics want to know if any of the energy run-off will be used to power surrounding communities, but for now, most of the focus is on launching the changes in a timely, efficient and cost-effective manner.
Solar Power Changes the Modern Marketplace
AB InBev, the makers of Budweiser, aren’t the only ones with renewable energy on the brain. Many consumers want greener choices when it comes to the products they buy, sell and use. Corporations that are on the forefront of eco-tech typically see greater brand loyalty, as opposed to corps that try to cling to old ways of doing business. So, while Budweiser may be one of the first major “legacy” companies to implement solar power into its overall model, chances are it won’t be the last. After all, consumers want renewable energy options because they want to play a role in combating climate change. Brands that offer this option, therefore, have a greater chance of repeat business because the consumer will feel good about their newfound purchasing power.
As a result, many other business are also starting to invest in solar energy. Just last year, more than 325 megawatts were harvested from systems around the country. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) claims that the impact has been enormous. U.S. solar produced enough juice to power more than 400,000 homes, offsetting over 2.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) along the way. No wonder why so many Fortune 500 companies are joining the eco revolution – it’s good for the planet, it makes consumers happy, and saves a bunch of money. At this rate, it won’t be surprising to see almost every business operating through solar power within the next decade or two.
Sustainability Through Solar Has Become the Ultimate Goal
With such tremendous advantages associated with going green, several major companies have begun using or planning to use solar energy to retool public perception, increase sales, drive down costs, and cut back on their carbon footprints. Many small, local businesses have already started collecting sunlight, it’s these larger brands that will make a more substantial global impact. Here are just four of the major businesses with a future so bright they have to wear shades:
Macy’s already has a solar capacity of nearly 40 megawatts annually, but they have plans to significantly increase that number within the next calendar year. They also have a goal to decrease waste sent to landfills by 70% or more, and projections look very promising for even more of a transition to energy self-reliance in the coming decades.
The IKEA Group is doing their best to produce as much renewable energy as they can, or at least enough to cover all their operations around the globe. On the business’s official website, executives candidly explain how they plan to not only source solar, but also things like wind and farmed woods as additional alternative energy sources.
Like Budweiser, Costco is cutting down on its carbon footprint in an enormous way. Their current model still uses non-renewable sources, but projections make room for photovoltaic power systems to be installed on the properties of at least 100 warehouses. Locations range from Japan to New York, thereby providing more sustainable energy sources on a global scale.
As the world’s foremost technology developers and manufacturers, Apple knows it has a big responsibility to the public. Their company’s facilities are currently powered by 100% clean energy, including both wind and solar sources. CEO, Tim Cook, said the business plans to create and implement more significant changes throughout all sectors of the company and milestones have already been set to make that happen.
With other large retailers like Walmart, Target and Kohl’s also jumping on the solar bandwagon, it will be interesting to see just how quickly the marketplace retools its energy grid to sustain an ever-increasing consumer base with a demand for an invisible carbon footprint.
Coastal Solar has extensive experience with commercial solar power projects around the globe and also recently announced a corporate and manufacturing sustainability program.