As leaders in corporate social responsibility (CSR) and CSR strategy, we are often asked for our opinion on matters of most concern to the C-Suite. Here are some of the questions and the answers we’ve provided regarding Renewable Energy.
What are the main challenges for corporate renewable energy uptake in the US?
- Executives and Boards of Directors are unaware of the opportunities and, more importantly, the risk of not being energy diversified.
- 2. Arguments are still made based on cost and efficiency rather than risk and long-term stability.
- Getting past regulatory barriers in building infrastructure (one of the reasons we like portable solar solutions such as from Envision).
Where do the opportunities lie?
- Investment in VPPAs (virtual power purchase agreements)
- Technologies which supplement basic renewables infrastructure such as coatings on solar cells;
What are the main trends?
- A follow the leader mentality put to good use – For example, as server intense tech companies look to reduce cost and risks, others will follow.
- Dawning (in its infancy) awareness that renewable energy is a job leader
- Discussing energy as a critical piece of a comprehensive sustainability strategy! It’s moving out of the isolation of cost-savings and/or carbon emissions.
What do you think needs to happen for the industry to develop further?
Greater awareness of the job benefits in Renewables. Job creation drives policy. It is immediate and impacts employees and local stakeholders more than the political implications of dependency on foreign oil or long-term fears of climate change.
What would you focus on if speaking at an energy conference?
Nikos Avlonas, CSE’s president and founder, and many at CSE would speak to renewable energy’s role as a risk avoidance sustainability strategy. Such a strategy is significant for investors to see higher ESG rankings based on GRI reporting, including SDGs. Our research shows a direct connection between sustainability reporting and strategy and financial performance, partly attributed to investor confidence and brand loyalty. We attend and host events in which we can share our experiences and decades of expertise.
In addition, we host events which fall into two categories:
- CSE’s exclusive Sustainability (ESG) Leadership Training Workshop for C-Suite Executives, a Fast-Track training workshop especially designed to address key sustainability leadership challenges and equip business leaders with updated knowledge and practical tools to develop a sustainability vision and strategy, improve branding and ESG ratings, reduce stakeholder related risks and lead sustainable companies to deliver economic returns. (Next workshop – September 30 – October 1, 2019, in NYC).
- Certified Sustainability Practitioner Program (Advanced Edition 2019) is a foundation course on the pragmatic methodology and tools to implement a corporate sustainability program. This is the “how to” course for identifying stakeholders, material issues, goals, implementation and reporting (Next training – New York City, June 6-7, 2019).