October 16, 2018
The desire for renewable energy among companies is growing. Customers, business partners, employees, stakeholders, and environmental advocates are increasingly demanding more socially and environmentally conscious companies. With this increased demand, it’s no wonder the World Wildlife Fund estimates 63% of Fortune 100 companies have set one or more clean energy targets.
The benefits of promoting these goals can reap more green for your bottom line (including ROI on your investment), and potentially attract more customers, gaining your company the competitive advantage. So, if your company is in the process of setting sustainability goals, how do you promote your investment in renewable energy?
Define your “So What?” As a company, your sustainability goals have satisfy more than just your bottom line. Your customers and partners have to authentically believe that you are choosing a green initiative with their interests at heart. Show them that this is a long-term business strategy, and not a marketing gimmick. Before moving forward with any promotional plan, ask yourself:
– What are the company’s long-term goals?
– Why is your company doing this beyond cost savings for your bottom line?
– How does it affect your local area or global environment?
– How does it affect jobs and economies?
– Is your procurement “additional” (a new project) and what does that mean for your company?
– How is your procurement “impactful”, beyond environmental stewardship? (will the project create tax revenue for the local community, create jobs, provide income for farmers)
Failure to create a trustworthy and authentic campaign can damage your reputation. False claims or fabricated interests could cause you to lose credibility. Therefore, it’s important to establish a solid “why” that feels right for your company, your customers, and your business partners.
Involve your employees. Word-of-mouth marketing is the best kind there is, and if your employees are integrated in the process, they will help spread the word. While consumers may be a bit skeptical of press releases or commercials, you have access to a huge network of advocates that are your customers’ friends, neighbors, and community members.
Develop an open and trustworthy relationship with your employees. If possible, make sustainability part of your culture. Share all changes in your processes and how they will be affected. More importantly, celebrate all your wins and talk about your failures. Transparency with your employees is key.
Educate your customers and business partners. Education is always key because your customers and business partners need to know more about what you are doing so that they can understand the impact. Remember that renewable energy is still relatively new, and the terminology can be confusing. Most are not familiar with terms like Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) and power purchase agreements (virtual or physical). Use language that is simple, clear, and free from jargon.
Once you’ve developed a clear, accurate, and verifiable story for your customers, it’s time unveil the news. Your story should be available on multiple channels and touchpoints, including:
– Digital properties: Your website, social media, digital ads or editorial pieces
– Physical properties: Marketing materials and ads, press releases, signage, business cards, packaging, and vehicle graphics.
Embracing a renewable energy plan and setting sustainable energy goals should be celebrated and shared. With prior planning, as well as employee, customer, and business partner education, you can benefit from increased consumer loyalty and achieve a competitive advantage. Geronimo Energy can help you make an actionable plan to maintain, uphold, defend, and profit from that decision, including the promotion of your renewable energy partnership.
Want more information about how to promote your renewable energy success? Check out these resources below to help you harness the power of your company’s renewable energy procurement.
– Describing Purchaser Impact in U.S. Voluntary Renewable Energy Markets, by World Resources Institute
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