Many commercial companies are beginning to realize that corporate responsibility is actually good business. The concept does not mean sacrificing the bottom line in pursuit of trendy causes. Rather, it means incorporating a business plan that not only maximizes profits but improves society as a whole, a company that makes money and gives back. A healthy, growing community is one that is filled with customers who want to buy goods and services.
One area of corporate responsibility that has been in the news recently has been renewable energy technology. Many people are concerned about the effects of fossil fuels on the environment and are eager to utilize renewable energy and patronize companies that do the same. A number of companies have responded to this sentiment.
Walmart, the big-box store, is busily converting its locations to run on renewables. The vast roof spaces that Walmart stores have are perfect for deploying solar panels. Walmart has worked deals with solar energy providers that do not involve the company paying for the installation. In return, Walmart buys electricity from the solar providers at reduced rates.
A number of electrical utilities are offering their customers the option of getting the power entirely from renewable energy sources. A Texas company named Reliant offers a plan that uses electricity from West Texas wind farms, a growing source of energy in the Lone Star State most known for oil and gas.
Residential solar power has become something of a growth industry. A number of companies are making money installing rooftop solar systems for homes and businesses. To be sure, the industry is currently heavily dependent on government subsidies. But as the efficiency of photovoltaic cells increases and the cost of installation decreases, solar is likely to become competitive with fossil fuels, even with natural gas, which has become cheap due to the fracking boom.
The bottom line is that corporate responsibility and profits are not mutually exclusive. You just have to be smart about combining the two.