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Is backing renewables now vital to business reputation?

Is backing renewables now vital to business reputation?

Is backing renewables now vital to business reputation?

It is becoming increasingly clear that any business looking to build a strong brand and deliver on corporate social responsibility must make some sort of commitment to renewable energy.

Orsted, a green energy company based in Denmark, recently conducted what is thought to be the biggest ever survey on attitudes towards renewables, interviewing 26,000 people in 13 countries.

The Green Energy Barometer revealed that 82 per cent of all respondents felt it is important to create a world fully powered by renewable energy.

Three-quarters (75 per cent) of people said they would be proud of their country if it invests the time and money required to become a global leader in the green revolution.

A similar proportion (73 per cent) said producing more sustainable energy will provide a boost for economic growth, while 53 per cent predicted a reduction in health problems if their country becomes a green energy leader.

These findings suggest that ordinary consumers are attaching more and more importance to environmental issues, meaning the performance of private businesses is likely to come under increasing scrutiny in the near future.

Other key results from the study showed that climate change is seen as the second biggest challenge the world is currently facing, behind only terrorism and ahead of other issues such as access to healthcare and economic growth.

Henrik Poulsen, chief executive of Orsted, said the world has reached a "tipping point", with various countries showing "overwhelming public support for a shift from black to green [energy]".

"We owe it to the planet and to future generations to transform our energy systems from black to green," he added. "With the economics and public opinion now supporting a shift to renewable energy, there's no reason not to speed up the transformation."

An increasingly viable option

While many businesses may want to make the transition from traditional energy sources to renewables, one potential concern is the cost of installing or using sources such as wind and solar power.

However, there is cause for optimism on this front, with recent data suggesting that sustainable power is set to become substantially cheaper over the coming years and decades.

A report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, commissioned by the Renewable Energy Association (REA), indicated that the cost of generating energy from wind and solar is set to more than halve from today's levels by 2040.

The study also forecast that renewables will account for more than half of all electricity generation by the mid-2020s in the UK and Germany.

Dr Nina Skorupska, chief executive of the REA, said: "The study shows that wind and solar power are now the cheapest form of new-build generation in many cases, and costs will continue to fall dramatically."

She added that industry and government "must start planning now to ensure low-carbon, cost-effective ways of balancing demand and supply".

Private businesses that show their support for green growth by backing renewables and working with eco-friendly partners can prepare themselves for the future and boost their brand reputation in the process.

 

Posted by Julie Tucker

Image courtesy of iStock/Petmal