Business scholars have been debating ethical responsibility since companies first grew big enough to influence society. Corporate social responsibility is voluntary by definition and many socially responsible business practices attain advanced certifications and launch work-life balance programs. These feel-good programs contribute to a positive corporate culture and stronger business.
As a business owner, you are an influential member of the community. Had you ever considered if small to medium sized business owners have a responsibility to keep the doors open? There are reasons to adopt socially conscious business practices other than mandated directives. Of all of the socially responsible projects to take on, the most cost effective is to invest in a solar energy array. If you are soul-searching over your decision to go solar, here are some points to consider:
Before we think about ecology, think about the ripple effect your business has on the local economy. Your staff and their families rely on you for employment, as does your community at large. Your business creates a ripple effect because employees stimulate the local economy, as does the sales tax you collect. Whether your property is in an industrial park or you have a storefront on Main Street, shuttering because you could not keep up with operation costs contributes to blight.
Investing in a solar energy system results in lower operating costs plus lower taxes and valuable solar energy credits. You can use the budget surplus to grow your business; create more jobs or make more investments. To go solar is the most effective way to do right by the community that supports you.
Using electricity and natural gas seem like perfectly clean energy sources to the untrained eye. The byproducts of producing energy from fossil fuels are not immediately visible. Climate change is affecting our health and putting measurable strain on the places we live. Switching to clean energy has the most measurable and literal impact on climate change as well as air pollutants like smog and soot. Studies show that investments to reduce pollution are returned sevenfold as healthcare cost savings.
When you use renewables like wind power and solar, demand for other energy sources drops. Think of it like voting with your checkbook. In fact, when you choose renewables over fossil fuels you create demand for good that are safer than mining and drilling – a hybrid of an economic and ecological reason!
When you open a business, you set out for success with a vision in mind. Every business owner has core values, whether you expressed them into a formal statement or not. If your company mission statement mentions the community, or any such nods to the greater good, it’s important to consider your impact on the environment and take action. A mission statement plaque in your lobby talks the talk, whereas the panels on the roof walk the walk. Being a thought leader is invaluable.
Growing your business with clean energy speaks volumes about you and your business. If you look at the impact you can make if you go solar, it is no wonder that people are in favor of solar energy tax incentives. Earn the everlasting support of your customers, your workforce, and your local business development agencies by being a clean, responsible neighbor.