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How brands can influence green energy adoption

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Adoption of clean sustainable energy is becoming more urgent. PHOTO | COURTESY

Adoption of clean sustainable energy is becoming more urgent. In this regard, brands have a role in moving society in that direction.

They have a major presence and impact in society which makes their influence invaluable. It is this influence that can be harnessed to promote green energy adoption, helping the brands to grow their image and entrench themselves.

There are many ways brands can lead the charge to a greener environment.

For starters, companies that have gone green can showcase the greenness of their operations.

This way, the brands can establish themselves as champions of environmental responsibility.

Clean energy, particularly solar energy, gives companies an opportunity to cut down on energy bills while contributing to a greener environment.

Apart from lower energy bills, other benefits include cleaner environment, increased productivity and lower insurance premiums as fewer employees get sick. This information can be used to inspire and guide policy makers, the public as well as other brands.

As the public becomes increasingly aware and interested in clean energy, they will want to be more informed. Brands can be part of green energy conversations or, even better, spark such conversations with the public. They can do this by taking part in debates through sponsoring them, be among the speakers and organising them. This way, they can demonstrate thought leadership and be visible.

When it comes to product packaging, brands can use them effectively to promote green energy. Eco-labels, Fairtrade, organic labels and green stickers can form part of product labelling. Such symbols demonstrate the environmental-friendliness of a product and provides credibility to a brand’s sustainability claim as they are usually awarded or mandated by law.

Manufacturers, energy assessors and the government can come together to develop a series of clean energy labels that will guide the industry.

In United Kingdom alone, the carbon footprint reduction label appeared on products with retail value of approximately $3.2 billion in 2010, according to a report prepared by National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Using promotions specifically tailored on clean energy as a way to educate and engage consumers is another way brands can influence this adoption.

Companies can form partnerships to promote clean energy. Such partnerships can reinforce messages on clean energy. Such collaborations can help create stronger and more unified voices for clean energy.

It is also more efficient, effective and has a wider and deeper reach than going it alone. Clean Energy Business Network, for example, has collaborated with Advanced Biofuels USA, a nonprofit educational organisation, on sharing updates on biofuels policy with business leaders and communicating on the benefits.

Kenya can learn from these examples and implement initiatives tailored for this environment but meeting the objective of increased adoption of sustainable practices.