News / 4 ways to make sustainability a no-brainer for Finance

4 ways to make sustainability a no-brainer for Finance

8th August 2018

Being seen as an ethical company committed to sustainability could give your business a competitive edge. But first you need the buy-in of your Finance department…

At Haven Power, we believe that sustainability is good for the world and good for business. We back up this belief by offering 100% renewable electricity as standard and by providing a range of energy services.

However, we’re aware that the concept of sustainability can be easier to sell to your PR people than to your finance department. According to a survey in The Guardian, middle management and finance are the two parts of businesses that tend to hold back the sustainability agenda. Haven Power’s own research found that 23% of businesses think the biggest barrier to implementing sustainable change is uncertainty about how to discuss the issue with senior management. *

On the basis that it’s easier to persuade doubters if you speak their language, here are four financial benefits of sustainability that could help you ‘sell in’ the idea to those holding the purse strings.

1. You can reduce your electricity costs

UK electricity prices for businesses can represent a significant proportion of your costs, so any opportunity to reduce them is welcome.

If you generate and use your own electricity, its power you don’t have to pay for through the meter. What’s more, you don’t have to pay any third party costs on it. So, by adopting a sustainable agenda through self-generation, you could reduce your electricity costs overall.

In addition, if you store self-generated energy in batteries, you could use that stored electricity during times of peak demand. This approach would allow you to avoid paying premium ‘red’ charges for your electricity.

2. You can sell any excess electricity you generate

Your business could make money by selling any unused electricity you generate back to the grid.

Schemes such as Feed In Tariffs or Demand Side Response reward businesses for switching the way they use electricity.

3. Sustainability can add to the value of the business

Rather than being seen as something ‘desirable’, sustainability is increasingly regarded as part of the valuation that investors put on companies. However, this is only true if a company can demonstrate two things. Firstly, it needs to show the positive impact that sustainability is having on cash flow (traditionally, the cornerstone of any valuation). Secondly, its senior managers must be able to explain how sustainability supports the company’s purpose; investors want a company’s quarterly and annual results to complement its longer-term goals (including sustainability). For more info, see this McKinsey&Company article.

4. It can help your business stand out

Outdoor clothing and equipment retailer Patagonia is just one company that differentiates itself in the eyes of prospects and customers through a commitment to sustainability.

Showing your customers that you behave ethically and source your materials in the right way can help convince people that your values align with theirs. It can also persuade them that it’s worth paying a premium for your products or services, and even make it easier to recruit and retain staff.

To find out how Haven Power can help your business with any aspect of sustainability, please use our contact form.

*Research conducted on behalf of Haven Power, by OnePoll in July 2018. 1,000 Utility Decision Makers age 18 or over were surveyed

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