Question: It’s a huge trend for companies to talk about sustainability strategies but do they actually follow through on these plans? Or is it all talk for a green image?

Answer: While we can’t speak for all companies, we do our best at BizEnergy to recognize businesses that follow through on sustainability and energy efficiency initiatives. And yes — in fact, 2014 seems to be the year even more companies are getting on board with sustainability strategies and executing them well!

 

The good news is companies are starting to understand that their impact on the environment is significant and are owning up to the responsibility of putting sustainability strategies on the front burner.

Climate change, a growing issue, is beginning to haunt the world as extreme weather events have been taking over the sky all over the place.  From a business perspective, the unpredictable environmental changes are affecting decisions when it comes to operations and supply chains — sustainability strategies for some companies have to be made.

While some businesses are just beginning to green their image, let’s talk about how some companies such as IKEA have succeeded with energy efficiency and have done well with prioritizing the planet.

IKEA is a sustainability role model

Over a year ago, the Swedish furniture giant put out an ambitious sustainability strategy they called “People & Planet Positive”. Taking it seriously, IKEA has since been making excellent progress as the second-largest private commercial solar owner in the US is taking clean energy and the environment seriously, according to CleanTechnica in a review of IKEA’s 2013 Sustainability report.

IKEA’s long-term sustainability strategy is to get as energy-efficient as possible through their buildings before achieving 100 per cent renewable energy status by 2020. The company has put to use as many renewable energy sources as possible — from photovoltaic power and wind turbines to geothermal heating and cooling.

“The program dedicates over $2 billion-three times as much as originally planned-to clean energy investment through 2015,” reports CleanTechnica, “It’s designed to protect the company from price shocks related to energy and other costs and to tap into customers’ desires for a greener lifestyle.”

Need more evidence that sustainability strategies work? Since getting their energy efficiency on back in 2010, IKEA has managed to save them $54 million.

But it’s not just retailers that can follow through with sustainability initiatives

Sourcing sustainable food options and making it a priority to reduce waste is becoming a trend for businesses in the food service and accommodations sectors also. Following through will only benefit your business whether it be through long-term cost-savings or your better environmentally responsible, green image that will attract more business. Bigger picture, it also makes your company more socially responsible and a considerate one.

For businesses that are working on their sustainability strategies, we have incentives.

 

Image credit: PeteTsai