In a world with an increasing emphasis on sustainable business, firms now have more choices than ever on how they can become more environmentally sustainable. One common sustainability framework enacted by companies such as DHL and Patagonia is the triple bottom line; where social and environmental impacts receive as much attention in decision making as the traditional economic bottom line. In this article, we look at how onsite solar can have a significant impact on your business’s triple bottom line.
Triple Bottom Line Framework for Sustainability
The Triple Bottom Line sustainability framework is an attempt to emphasize corporate social responsibility and environmental concerns just as much as profit in business. Triple Bottom Line thinking is usually associated with the 3 P’s: People, Planet and Profit.
Companies can choose to adopt this framework to varying degrees with some going as far as creating numeric accounting for each, while others choose simply to engage social and environmental equality without stringent metrics. Companies such as IKEA have committed to the Triple Bottom Line Framework in their business strategy. Their commitment is reflected in their decision to add onsite solar to their stores, including the one in Canton, MI
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The People Bottom Line
Onsite solar can send an incredibly powerful message about your company’s values and priorities to your employees, shareholders and the local community; demonstrating a commitment to clean energy technology. Compared to other environmental business investments, Solar panels have the advantage of being tangible so they are easily recognized and appreciated by an organization’s people. Going solar can have unanticipated impacts on an organization's human capital; from improving employee satisfaction to attracting top talent in your industry to opening new opportunities for your business because of shared values - the list goes on.
The Environmental (Planet) Bottom Line
Utilizing onsite solar to supplement electricity consumption can vastly reduce a firm’s carbon emissions as well as improve regional air quality and reduce local pollution. By opting to harvest energy from the sun your business would consume less fossil fuel-fired electricity resulting in a reduction to your business’s carbon emissions. Electricity generated carbon emissions coming from coal and natural gas power plants are often the largest regional polluters, so any reduction in a building’s use of this electricity results in less regional air pollution; which ultimately is the air that your employees and their kids’ breathe.
The Profit Bottom Line
Investing in onsite solar can allow your business to be more profitable and flexible in the future. By supplementing your energy consumption with a solar array you are in essence improving your bottom line by offsetting the cost offset of electricity. Depending on a variety of variables, at some point during its lifecycle the solar array will provide a return on the investment you’ve made; most solar arrays in North America will return on their investment in under a quarter of the systems expected life.
Another more intangible and prospective value solar brings is additional revenue. More and more customers are “voting with their dollars” for environmentally friendly companies when choosing where to spend their money. Additional sales, a new supplier agreement, or simply maintaining your current supply chain status are all examples of how solar can add to a business’s profitability. Without question investing in onsite solar electricity generation can lead to a more profitable business.
When it comes to triple bottom line thinking, onsite solar is one of the most qualified opportunities to enhance your business model. Having a distinct impact on all areas of the sustainability framework, solar can really brighten up the outlook of any business! Contact us to see if solar is a good fit for your business.
If you or another business is interested in having an undeniable impact on your triple bottom line give us a call for a free consultation to see if solar is right for you! Call (248) 923-3456 or request a Free Online Solar Analysis for Your Business.
Michigan Solar Solutions is a commercial and residential solar installer and electrical contractor that has served the lower peninsula of Michigan since 2007. We have installed thousands of panels and have a happy customer near you, check out what our customers think of us Guild Quality.
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