American Brands Strengthen With Solar

Last Updated:
Mon, 2013-10-28 08:18

It has been said that sustainability and innovation go hand in hand - the pursuit of one typically leads to the other. As evidence of this, the recently released Solar Means Business Report from Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and the Vote Solar Initiative (Vote Solar) shows that companies across America are going green with solar and benefiting beyond the bottom line. Improved brand image, increased efficiency, reduced environmental impact, and more effective recruiting and retention are among some of the perks American brands are enjoying with a sustainable operations strategy that includes solar power.

 Solar Benefits Reach Various Industries

According to the report, Walmart, Costco, Kohl’s, Apple, IKEA, Macy’s, Johnson & Johnson, McGraw Hill, Staples, and Campbell’s Soup top the list of companies ranked by installed solar capacity. The top 25 companies with the highest solar capacity in America have deployed 445 megawatts of solar capacity, enough to power over 73,000 American homes.

solar ranking by industry

Growing Stronger

Some of America’s most recognizable brands are deploying solar to address challenges related to operating costs and environmental concerns, while also contributing to the greater good. “These iconic brands are leading the way when it comes to efforts to reduce our nation’s dangerous dependence on foreign energy sources,” said Rhone Resch, SEIA President and CEO. “They’re also helping to create thousands of American jobs, boost the U.S. economy and improve our environment. At the same time, they’re reducing operating expenses, which benefits both their customers and shareholders.”

Improved Value Proposition

  • The Solar Means Business Report reveals various reasons why solar has become more appealing to commercial users, resulting in an installed capacity increase of 40% over last year’s commercial solar deployment.
  • Electricity costs represent the largest operating expense for many companies, making savings from solar a viable option to reduce costs.
  • Innovative financing models and a continued decline in the cost of PV systems reduce up-front costs and allow for a faster return on investment.
  • Solar allows companies to avoid the risks of utility price volatility by locking in energy rates with long-term agreements.
  • Companies can offset tax liability with federal investment tax credits (ITC). It’s worth noting that during a recent Google+ Press Hangout to discuss the report, SEIA CEO Rhone Resch commented that he expected the solar ITC to be extended beyond its current 2016 expiration date.
  • As companies find that talented candidates are often interested in sustainable practices, solar investment is a boost to recruitment strategies.

Through solar investment, companies are able to set a positive example, protect the environment, give back to the community, strengthen brand image, and lower operating costs. The cost savings can be reinvested to support the core business and the future of the company. It’s nice to know that even when government operations stall or stop completely, corporate America continues to lead the way toward a more sustainable future and a stronger economy.

By Amy Malloy