The time for businesses to make meaningful climate decisions is now. This was made abundantly clear with the recent release of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report titled Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis. Starker than the previous reports, this report concludes that it is “unequivocal” that humans have warmed the planet. The links between human-caused warming and increasingly severe extreme weather are now “an established fact.”
According to the report, global warming is expected to hit 1.5C in the early 2030s. Without net-zero carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and a sharp reduction of other greenhouse gases (GHG), the climate system will continue to warm.
If past reports were at all unclear about the urgency of the climate crisis, the Sixth Assessment Report clearly outlines what is at stake. However, despite the bad news, the report shows that human behavior has the potential to determine the course of climate change. The authors are confident that near-term emissions cuts can significantly reduce the rate of unprecedented warming.
Of course, everyone can make small yet important changes in their daily lives to reduce their personal carbon footprint. Businesses and organizations in particular are well-positioned to lead on deep-decarbonization efforts. With warehouses, parking lots, and climate controlled facilities, businesses have the opportunity to reduce CO2 emissions on a much larger scale thereby having an even greater impact on the fight against climate change.
Going solar is a great way for any company to reduce its carbon footprint, and it can be especially powerful for high-emission industries such as packaging, plastics, and manufacturing. Here we will look at how switching to solar energy can help businesses advance their sustainability goals.
The Problem: Deep Fossil Fuel Dependence
By now it is common knowledge that fossil fuels are a major factor contributing to climate change. However, many industries were built on a foundation of fossil fuels long before it was well understood how they negatively impact the environment. Now, many industries are struggling to extricate themselves from their dependence on fossil fuels.
As an example, let’s look at the plastics industry. Plastic is an extremely versatile material that has contributed to many tremendous technological advancements over the past century. The modern plumbing system that makes your home comfortable; countless medical devices that save people’s lives; durable, lightweight car parts that improve fuel efficiency; the computer or phone that you are reading this article on right now – all of these technologies and many others exist thanks to plastic.
The catch with plastic, however, is that 99% of the chemicals used to produce it are derived from fossil fuels. So, how can a plastics manufacturer reduce their use of fossil fuels when they are literally the building blocks of their products? Thankfully, industry-leaders like those in the Sustainable Packaging Coalition are exploring this very issue. While material assessments can require restructuring the supply chain, power generation is an area ripe for immediate decarbonization.
While industries like plastics, manufacturing, and packaging might not be able to entirely eliminate fossil fuels from their products and processes overnight, they can make significant strides to improve their sustainability.
The Solution: Eliminate Fossil Fuels From Your Energy Supply
Businesses of all sizes and across every sector are making the switch to renewable energy in an effort to reduce their carbon footprint and meet ambitious sustainability goals. Mastercard, for instance, has pledged to cut its emissions by 20% by 2025 and reach net zero emissions by 2050. To that end, they partnered with Pivot Energy to install 1.5 megawatts (MW) of solar on carports at their facilities in Missouri and New York. Whole Foods, which also has significant environmental commitments, enlisted Pivot to install 13 solar arrays totaling over 1.6 MW on select facilities in California, Texas, and Massachusetts.
Such concerted efforts by businesses to slash CO2 emissions must become the new normal. As the alarming findings of the IPPC’s Sixth Assessment Report show, the time to make meaningful climate decisions on a large scale is now. And when you combine the reduced carbon emissions and the operational cost savings, the business case for solar is even more compelling. Take Extra Space Storage for example. Their 237 kilowatt (KW) array on their Chicago, Illinois facility delivered a 5-year return on investment that will save them $561,296 in electricity bills over 25 years. Going solar is a win for the planet and a win for your bottom line.
Going Solar With Pivot Energy
As a solar provider with its own ambitious ESG commitments, Pivot Energy deeply understands the sustainability goals of our clients and we are dedicated to helping them reach their targets by switching to solar.
Our experienced team has what it takes to design and develop projects of any size and in any sector. Our mission is to support you by making the switch to solar as straightforward and profitable as possible.
Contact Pivot Energy today.
Gunnison County Electric Association Partners with Pivot Energy for 675 kWdc Project East of Gunnison