What Role can Solar Play in Your Corporate COVID Response?
What do the Corporate Experts Say?
Recently, one of my LinkedIn connections shared an article from cfo.com titled “Managing Through COVID-19: Six Imperatives for CFOs” and, although this article wasn’t directed to property owners or managers specifically, I think the advice of a group of CFOs can be beneficial to just about any business owner or manager.
In this extremely insightful article (which you can find in its original location here), the authors describe six distinct actions which will be imperative for CFOs to take to protect their companies and workforces.
In brief (ie, I’m paraphrasing greatly), those 6 actions are:
- Preparing for talent disruption,
- Bolstering liquidity,
- Communicating frequently with investors and other stakeholders,
- Driving operational improvements,
- Managing risks, and
- Plan for recovery post the COVID-19 crisis.
Optimize Your Rebound
Now I’m not here to pretend that commercial solar can or will solve the greatest challenges that companies and property managers are facing during these challenging times, especially in regards to the first and second items above. There’s simply no way for renewable energy to solve the critical issues a viral health crisis (as in, a literal virus) can have on your employees & industry at-large.
However, once we get past the first 2 of their recommendations, some interesting perspectives can be brought to light.
So, without looking past the crisis at hand or the devastation that many are facing, I will address those commercial property owners & managers who are not in a catastrophic situation at the moment, and are looking for some innovative approaches to prepare an optimal rebound.
Here I’ll go over the 6 benefits I see which a commercial solar project can offer to CEOs and commercial property managers, which of course will be directly connected to the 6 CFO-recommended actions described above:
The Multiple Roles of Solar:
- Send the right message to the talent you still have - show your in house talent and partners that health, well being and community investment are being prioritized by your company in a very real way. This crisis is a big reminder of just how vulnerable we can be to the forces of nature and the sentiment towards renewable energy has never been higher. As a bonus, there’s a strong likelihood that this messaging will resonate well with your customers & partners too.
- Once you’ve got enough cash on hand to survive, make your expenses more predictable - for many companies energy is one of the biggest property related costs, especially for those in the manufacturing, distribution, or other industrial sectors which solar is most beneficial for. A well designed PV solar system investment can take a large chunk of these big variable expenses and turn them into smaller, fixed expenses.
- Keep your stakeholders focused on the future - an investment in clean affordable energy will show your investors and stakeholders that you are confident in your team’s ability to navigate these troubled times and are still committed to your organization’s long term success & value in the marketplace. Investors especially hate uncertainty, but your confidence should translate into their confidence & support.
- Turn a negative into an opportunity - many businesses may be experiencing a decrease in day-to-day activity, especially within the well-defined walls of their facilities. Use this as an opportunity to make a big efficiency improvement with much less risk of it being a distraction to daily operations.
- Reduce enterprise & operational costs - this is a direct take-away from the original article. Every dollar counts when you're trying to outlast & outperform your competition, and that couldn’t be more true than it is today.
- Take this opportunity to really dial in your financial reports - let’s face it, you're already pouring over your financial forecasts, so now is the perfect time to evaluate how solar can affect your long term profitability & operational risks from a strictly numbers perspective. Find a Commercial Solar professional you trust and get custom data specific to your business to help you make an informed decision.
Prepare for the New Future
I think the big takeaway I’m making here is that once you have your day-to-day necessities in place (you know, Maslow stuff - food, water, shelter, and liquidity), the very next best thing you can do is to once again start optimizing your performance for the future.
Adapt and overcome. Focus on the future. Give your customers, investors, partners and employees a reason to look forward to doing more business with you as soon as possible and for a long time to come.
Plus, you’ll be saving a lot more than hard earned cash in the meantime :)
If you would like to discuss a solar future for your property or properties with me further, click the Contact Us link or send a Quick Response form and ask for Mike McGrath specifically.
Take care, and well wishes to you all.
NABCEP Certified PV Professional