Cami Boehme - Viridian Energy: Ahead of the Sustainability Curve Since 2009
What an exciting moment in time we are witnessing! With the recent extension of the solar ITC, the ground-breaking Paris Agreement, the U.S. Clean Power Plan and countless other sustainability efforts, we are truly at a tipping point in history. I have never been more proud to be part of an industry with the power to shape a far-reaching solution to climate change and global warming.
In this very moment in time, Viridian has never been stronger. We are a company built upon a rock-solid foundation with a business model so perfectly poised to educate consumers on responsible energy. We have launched some of the most innovative products in our history to help consumers make more responsible energy choices. We have a compensation plan that allows entrepreneurs, like yourself, to build rewarding businesses. And together with our customers, we are truly making a collective impact to combat some of the most critical issues we face globally, including climate change, renewable resources and energy conservation.
And as active dialogue and action concerning sustainability and climate change take place between government and regulatory groups, companies, individuals and even entire nations, I was personally honored to take part in Business Forward’s discussion on climate change, severe weather and the environment at The White House on December 9.
I walked away from those talks – which included diverse leaders from Best Buy, eBay and small businesses alike – more energized than ever about the role that Generation V can play as agents of change in the wake of these strong tailwinds. Our Viridian sustainability mission has never been more timely. The need for Power with Purpose has never been more critical.
Five years ago when we started Viridian, I never would’ve imagined that there would be such alignment around the world about the need for responsible energy and energy efficiency.
And in such a short time, recent initiatives have reinvigorated the conversation about renewable energy all over the globe. Look, for example, at the unprecedented agreement that was reached at the U.N. Climate Control Conference in Paris this month. Nearly 200 countries came together to set ambitious goals to limit carbon emissions and hold governments accountable for reaching those targets. This was not only one of the largest gatherings of its kind on any issue on the global stage, but is also the first time we reached broad consensus and commitment to lowering planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions to help combat the most drastic effects of climate change.
Coinciding nicely with this agreement, Governor Cuomo recently issued a game-changing proposal that will direct the state’s Public Service Commission to adopt a requirement that New York achieve 50 percent of its electricity from renewable sources like wind and solar by 2030. And – on top of that – Congress has just approved the extension of the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) beyond 2022. The ITC is one of the most impactful tools in our country to incentivize Americans to go solar.
But regulatory bodies aren’t the only ones getting involved. Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates recently announced his personal plans to team with 19 governments and 28 billionaires from 10 countries to invest billions of dollars in clean-energy projects to combat global warming.
These headlines are not by any means an exhaustive list, but instead illustrate the immense opportunity that stands before us.
Here we stand positioned in the middle of a global conversation. And I am gratified to know that Viridian has been leading the charge for corporate social responsibility for more than five years. Back in 2009, our company was founded on both the premise, and the promise, of sustainability. Since then, we have consciously built a community of Associates that supports our values and urges us forward.
In fact, in our 2011 Sustainability Report, our CEO and Founder Michael Fallquist astutely summarized the growing need for corporate social responsibility in business:
“We can no longer think of corporate responsibility as somehow separate from a company’s primary business function, or continue to view it as an extra or unwanted cost. As business leaders and consumers, we must begin to view it as an intrinsic part of a sustainable enterprise.”
And look what’s happening. States, and even entire countries, are getting on board with policies that are vital to changing how individuals live and treat the planet. Companies – some of the largest in the United States – are looking for more sustainable options to align with their business. Individuals are making smarter choices every day to secure a better future for generations to come. It’s all happening. And as a Viridian Associate, you play a role in creating that lasting difference.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – at Viridian, we never settle for the minimum. That’s why we’re so passionate about helping consumers make smarter energy choices every single day. As the driving force behind Viridian’s mission and vision, it could not be possible without you.
As I look back at how far we’ve come — from a scrappy start-up to an industry leader with a voice in Washington D.C., I’m grateful that Viridian has always been aligned with the sustainable activities that are now popping up across the globe. And as the world makes progress together in sustainable development, it is comforting to know that we are all working on parallel tracks toward a common goal.
Collectively, you all have a seat at the very table I sat in at the White House – just by being a part of this movement, and by being a part of Generation V.
As I walked away from our nation’s capital, I was left with a renewed vigor for where we are headed and a revitalized commitment for what Viridian stands for. Let us never forget that our unique vision is what makes Viridian so different and our opportunity so powerful!