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How Energy Programs Can Increase Brand Awareness and Business Success

Many companies have embraced better approaches to energy efficiency and conversions from fossil fuels to electric vehicles and equipment. While businesses benefit from cost savings and achieving sustainability goals, they can also look to energy programs as a portal for improving their brand awareness and image. Energy efficiency programs can also invite a culture of innovative thinking, attract customers and talent, help businesses forge relationships with a growing ecosystem of sustainability stakeholders, and assist compliance with emerging legislation.

Programs to save energy do far more for businesses than saving money and can often be overlooked when planning for success.

Energy efficiency improvements can bolster a company’s overall brand awareness and image, invite a culture of innovative thinking, attract customers and talent, and help businesses forge relationships with a growing ecosystem of sustainability stakeholders.

Improve a Company’s Public Image

Some energy projects are clearly visible to the public, such as EV charging. While there are other energy projects not as clearly visible to the public, there are many opportunities and venues to publicly document an organization’s commitments to enlightened energy initiatives. These include:

  • Company websites
  • Social media posts (paid and/or organic)
  • Annual reports
  • Employee recruiting posts and materials
  • Business correspondence
  • Letterhead
  • Literature
  • Articles or white papers
  • Press releases
  • Blogs
  • Digital and print advertising
  • Trade shows
  • Professional association meetings and publications

Attract Customers to Your Store and Increase Foot Traffic 

Adding EV charging can help businesses attract customers who are EV drivers and increase in-store time while their vehicles charge. Shoppers are also attracted to retail locations with more comfortable environments and are more likely to spend additional time shopping once they arrive. So heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) upgrades can also be very good investments for boosting sales.

Create More Business Opportunities

Energy projects add to a company’s sustainability track record and can position the company to win more business in competitive business-to-business bid situations where sustainability may be a selection criterion. A 2021 study of U.S. supply chain professionals by Software Advice revealed that 54% of small businesses source from sustainable manufacturers.1 And a 2021 global survey of C-level executives by Deloitte concluded that 46% of larger businesses require suppliers and business partners to meet specific sustainability criteria.2

Some of these new opportunities can arise from relatively simple local networking initiatives. For example, a press release about a company’s energy projects distributed to local or regional business publications might attract the attention of nearby potential business partners. Participation in local business or industry associations may offer the potential for speaking engagements or networking opportunities to connect a business to like-minded enterprises.

Energy Projects Create a Rally Point for Progressive, Innovative Thinking

Many energy projects are even more visible to employees than customers and business partners. Good internal communication about the value of sustainability and futureproofing can be an important part of more broadly encouraging a work culture of mutual support and innovative thinking.

Attract and Retain Talented Employees

Almost any energy project can contribute to attracting good talent, especially as younger generations move into and upward in the workforce. Millennials and Gen Z individuals are far more likely than prior generations to consider a potential employer’s sustainability record. And this phenomenon isn’t brand new. A 2016 study by Cone, a Porter Novelli public relations agency, found that 64% of millennials consider a prospective employer’s corporate social responsibility commitments. And 64% would not work for a company lacking strong corporate responsibility values.3

The availability of EV charging also makes workplaces more attractive. Companies that provide amenities such as on-site EV charging improve their chances of attracting the growing cadre of individuals who are switching to EVs and are looking for charging solutions.

Create Safer, Healthier Work Environments

Electrification of vehicles and equipment can improve employee safety because they create less noise and vibration. Operators can be better aware of their working environment and avoid excessive fatigue caused by noise and vibration. Drivers quickly appreciate the differences, as they describe in this video.4

Electric vehicles and equipment also significantly reduce harmful emissions in indoor and outdoor workspaces, improving work environment air quality to benefit employee health and even improve air quality for neighboring businesses or residences. They also reduce employee exposure to fuels and lubricants used in combustion-powered vehicles.

Upgrading commercial HVAC equipment for greater energy efficiency can also improve indoor air quality and comfort levels in offices and other commercial environments. New HVAC equipment typically comes with much-improved digital control technology that provides more uniform temperatures throughout interior spaces. And many forced air systems include better particulate filtration.

Lighting can also play a role in enhancing worker safety. Upgrading lighting in poorly-lit or infrequently used areas can help reduce the potential for accidents.

Energy Projects Create Connections With Governmental and Regulatory Entities

Engaging in energy projects frequently connects businesses with governmental and regulatory agencies, forging good relationships and better connections to additional programs or opportunities that can benefit businesses in many different ways, even if they are not sustainability-driven.

Energy Efficiency Legislation Is Gaining Momentum

In many cases, improving energy efficiency and sustainability are no longer purely discretionary. Between 2020 and 2022, for example, more than 40 cities and counties in Missouri have passed local building electrification policies and building efficiency standards. One very notable example is the City of St. Louis Building Energy Performance Standards ordinance. Enacted in 2020, it requires commercial, multi-family, institutional and municipal buildings of 50,000 square-feet and above to reduce energy use to meet an energy performance standard by May, 2025.5

Get Going With an Energy Project That Can Make a Difference For Your Business

Businesses of almost every size and description can enjoy the multi-faceted benefits that come with smarter energy use. From simple lighting efficiency upgrades to truck fleet electrification, there are myriad ways to save energy and money and add a progressive, future-forward element to your brand image.

1Montgomery, Olivia, How SMBs Are Creating More Sustainable Supply Chains in 2021, October 6, 2021, Accessed 1/22/2023, Software Advice, https://www.softwareadvice.com/resources/how-smbs-are-creating-sustainability-in-supply-chains/

2Deloitte 2022 CxO Sustainability Report, 2022, Accessed 1/22/2023, Deloitte, https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/xe/Documents/sustainability/2022-deloitte-global-cxo-sustainability-report.pdf

32016 Cone Communications Millennial Employee Engagement Study, accessed 12/7/2022, Cone a Porter Novelli Company, https://conecomm.com/2016-millennial-employee-engagement-study/

4Drivers Love Electric, Accessed December 7, 2022, Run On Less – Electric initiative, North American Council for Freight Efficiency in partnership with RMI, https://runonless.com/videos/drives-love-electric/

5Building Energy Performance Standards, May 2020, The City of St. Louis, MO, https://www.stlbenchmarking.com/Building-Energy-Performance-Standards#:~:text=The%20ordinance%20covers%20municipal%2C%20commercial,users%20in%20each%20property%20type

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