When It Comes to the Environment, Collaboration is the Best Way Forward
In the last eight months, we were confronted with devastating wildfires that burned across California and Australia; experienced the warmest January in modern recorded history; and heard a rallying cry from chairman and CEO of BlackRock as to why climate change has us on the edge of a fundamental reshaping of finance. Outside of climate events, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted life as we know it for businesses, communities, governments, and families alike.
This series of events was eye opening for me, especially as a father. It’s clear that today, more than ever, the future of business is, and must be, green.
As the cost of renewables fall, clean energy is a forward-looking solution that companies like Kohler, General Motors, Anheuser-Busch, and Bloomberg are adding into their long-term strategies to reduce their carbon footprints and create business value.
While many Fortune 500 companies have taken steps to buy clean energy, other organizations – including schools, colleges, governments, and mid-sized businesses – are also taking action. Investing in clean energy is never a ‘one size fits all’ approach, and customizable energy plans have allowed organizations of all types and sizes to take part in addressing climate change.
To ensure every organization feels supported on their journey to adopting sustainable practices, it’s imperative that clean energy providers take the necessary steps to approach a customer’s specific needs:
- Understand your customer. Organizations have many goals and objectives. Building a deep understanding of those is the foundation to developing a renewable energy solution that best fits its needs.
- Get creative. Business strategies vary by company and energy management is no different; there isn’t one sustainable energy solution that meets the needs of all companies. When designing a sustainable energy solution, it is important to understand which risks the customer is trying to manage and then create a solution that best manages those risks.
- Stay connected. It’s essential to stay connected to your clients because their business goals and objectives will change. As their energy partner, it’s important to be a resource for them as they adjust.
My team at Enel Green Power takes a unique and collaborative approach when addressing customers’ needs. From start to finish, we consult with them through every step of the energy procurement process, identifying ways that our services can support their sustainability strategies and business goals.
At our Rattlesnake Creek wind farm in Nebraska, we are helping two of the leading technology companies, Facebook and Adobe, to make significant progress on their carbon reduction goals through the technology industry’s first aggregated purchase of wind energy.
During our initial meetings with Facebook, and listening to their business needs, we were confident that we could design a solution that met their goals through a customized PPA on the output from our Rattlesnake Creek Wind project.
As discussions progressed with Facebook, Adobe also expressed interest in the project. They were hoping to be able to participate in a small portion of the offtake from the Rattlesnake Creek project. By taking the time to understand both of their needs, we were able to get creative and present a customized solution designed to help them both further their sustainability efforts.
Starting last year, Facebook began using the wind energy produced at Rattlesnake Creek to support 100% of its data center in Papillion, Nebraska as a part of its larger sustainability strategy – making it one of the most energy-efficient data center facilities in the world.
As their trusted partner, we stay connected with both Facebook and Adobe, as we do with all of our customers, so that when they expand their sustainability goals and look for additional opportunities to increase their renewable energy commitment, we are there to provide them solutions.
Enel Green Power customizes power purchase solutions for any company’s unique energy needs. For companies like Adobe that are in need of a smaller energy supply, collaboration is the most promising way forward. This partnership enabled the creation of a flexible plan that allows Adobe to benefit from utility scale renewable electricity at competitive cost.
By working together with industry peers and sustainability leaders, companies of all sizes can achieve their independent sustainability goals and collectively impact the environment, demonstrating how collaboration can solve some of the most difficult challenges of our time.
If you’re ready to explore customized power purchase solutions for your company, our team is ready to help.
Mark McGrail - Head of Commercial Office, USA & Canada, Enel Green Power
Head of Commercial Office, USA & Canada, Enel Green Power
Mark is an energy industry veteran with extensive experience in the development, operations and management of large-scale renewable energy plants. He joined Enel Green Power North America in 2011 and is currently the Head of Commercial Office, USA & Canada, for Enel Green Power. In this role he is responsible for the commercial off-take contracts with corporate, utility, banking and insurance customers.
During his years with Enel Green Power, Mark has been involved in various strategic initiatives within the organization, including managing the launch of a renewable energy program focused on serving corporate and industrial customer needs. Mark’s establishment of this internal group has provided Enel with a unique ability to grow its renewable energy fleet by offering customized solutions to corporate partners.
Prior to Enel, Mark worked for First Wind Energy in both Asset Management as well as Origination. Mark graduated from Syracuse University in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and Accounting.