With electric costs rising, and programs becoming available such as the solar tax credit, geothermal tax credit, and CHP tax credit, and increased pressure from the general public for large corporations to be more sustainable, now is the time to consider your corporate social responsibility. Have you made any sustainability efforts to this point? Do you have a CSR plan? Considering CSR is the first step but the next is to take action. Here are some helpful tips to get you started.
The next step: how to get started with CSR
There are several key strategies, both large and small in terms of scope and cost (depending on whether financing that your organization can implement to commit to adding corporate social responsibility into your operations strategy.
1. Make policy changes
Suggest employees make simple changes to their work life, such as: turning off lights in the office if rooms are not in use or installing motion detecting lights. Other appliances like computers could also be turned off when not in use instead of being left in sleep or rest mode.
2. Get an energy audit
Enlist a certified Energy Service Company to audit your facilities and your utility history to determine potential areas of improvement in your energy use. They will evaluate your lighting, thermal boundary, electric demand and usage, HVAC systems, and potential for renewable energy. Energy audits can cost anywhere from $3,000-5,000 but some ESCOs do provide them for free, and they can be very insightful. For example, you may find that your HVAC system has ran past its useful life and is costing your thousands annually. It’s worth it to get a full picture of the current status of your energy systems.
3. Consider adopting renewable energy
Installing commercial solar panels to specifically target and lower your electric demand spikes during peak hours of operation in the winter and summer months. High electric demand charges during the summer and winter months when air conditioning is used heavily and
4. Make a plan and set efficiency goals
Consult with your facility management team and upper management to create realistic goals for your facilities moving forward. Having targets such as “We will reach net zero electric by the year 2030″ defines a clear path for your organization to work towards.