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Onsite Renewable Energy Projects - Why DIY?

Historically, energy projects were not considered part of core business function. So why are companies including REI, Mars, SunChips, and Smart Papers all embracing the do-it-yourself (DIY) approach?

The short answer is that the playing field has changed. Increasing costs and market volatility have made energy management a top priority for many businesses. At the same time, government agencies have laid on the financial incentives and supporting programs for renewable energy projects (U.S. EPA's Landfill Methane Outreach Program and California's Million Solar Roofs initiative, for example). Add to that the growing desire to couple corporate carbon reduction goals with visible carbon reduction projects, and you ve got a recipe for DIY worthy of Martha Stewart.

But don t take my word for it. Dan Maheu, president of Smart Papers, summed it up perfectly when he explained that his company's $30 million biomass project "enables us to have a future that is completely independent of volatile energy markets" while "reduc[ing] production costs and greatly reduc[ing] our greenhouse gas emissions." These are sound business strategies, and you should be considering them (if you aren t already).

The fact is, energy and carbon management may soon become a core competency for business, just as environmental, health, and safety was brought in-house once companies recognized these competencies as critical for successful business operations.

Why DIY? Better yet: Why not?


 Will has been providing sustainability, environmental and hydrogeological consulting services to private- and public-sector enterprises for more than three decades, with a focus on developing and implementing corporate-wide sustainability strategies, as well as comprehensive climate and water programs. His unique… [Read more about Will Sarni]