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2. Renewable Energy Purchasing

Another popular way of reducing environmental impacts is to buy renewable energy for your business. Large, multinational companies like Apple and Google now run on 100% renewable electricity for their global operations, and many other companies are following suit. While the main way large companies achieve this goal is through signing power purchase agreements with renewable energy developers, smaller companies can accomplish the same goal through a few different mechanisms:

  • Renewable Energy Credits (RECs)
    • RECs are generated from renewable energy facilities (hydro, wind or solar) and sold into the market so that an entity can claim the environmental benefits of adding that power into the grid
    • In Canada, the largest and most popular supplier of RECs is Bullfrog Power; however, many other companies and utilities provide this product
    • RECs vary in price from $1-30 per megawatt hour (MWh)
  • Leased Building Programs
    • If your business operates in leased properties without direct control of your electricity, you can still purchase RECs or you can reach out to your landlord to see if they operate their own renewable energy program
    • Many large landlords operate their own programs as a value-add (e.g., LEED certifying their building)
    • If your landlord is not currently considering sustainability, one of the most impactful things you can do as a tenant is letting your landlord know that sustainability is important to your organization and that they should consider their own energy efficiency or renewable energy strategy
  • Green Tariff Programs
    • Green Tariffs are utility-run programs which allow you to purchase all of your electricity from a utility-owned renewable power facility
    • These programs are becoming increasingly common as utilities adapt to new client demands. Check with your utility to see if they currently offer this service
Incorporating Sustainability into your Small Business

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