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Fortune 5000 Companies Must Avoid the Climate Cliff–There’s a Simple Energy Solution

The cleantech industry has much to be proud of during the past few decades. Renewables generate close to 20% of all U.S. electricity. Wind and solar energy prices have dropped more than 55% and 85%, respectively, since 2010. We can and should be proud of this progress. 

But we must be honest with ourselves: We are still on the path toward the climate crisis cliff. Oil, coal, and gas still dominate global energy consumption at a time when we need to halve global emissions by 2030 – and be at net zero by 2050.  

We can and must divert course before we reach that point. But how?  

If we look at some of the biggest carbon polluters in the U.S. and beyond, the industrial sector and commercial real estate are two enormous culprits. According to DOE, the industrial sector accounts for 30 percent of energy-related carbon pollution. Buildings currently account for close to 40 percent of U.S. energy use.  

It’s obvious: Doing business as usual won’t cut it. We need action from Fortune 5000 companies now to reverse our trajectory.  

The Beauty of the PPA and the Birth of Redaptive 

I co-founded Redaptive in 2015 because of this exact problem: Companies have and continue to struggle to understand how climate change is impacting or will eventually affect their balance sheet. If a company is bought in on taking action, then the next barrier is the know-how and financing needed to cut energy waste and strengthen a company's sustainability posture.  

That has undoubtedly started to change. The advent of renewable power purchase agreements (PPAs) and the subsequent exponential PPA growth has shown that companies can think outside the box and find innovative financing solutions to deploy climate technologies. 

 Global volume in corporate PPA according to estimates of BloombergNEF.


In the coming years, I believe we will see a growth curve for EaaS similar to what we’ve seen for PPAs. 

Energy-as-a-Service: Analytics, Financing, Equipment, and Scalability  

Companies – including most Fortune 5000 companies – have struggled to calculate cost-savings and carbon-cutting opportunities across their operations. CFOs commonly view HVAC, lighting, windows, manufacturing equipment, etc., as areas that need "maintenance" when broken.  


This "don't fix it unless it's broken" attitude has been dominant for decades. But there is a massive burgeoning cost-cutting, climate-saving opportunity at their fingertips. 


Even before higher interest rates, companies needed help with the upfront cost of capital for projects that could unlock significant long-term, cost-cutting carbon savings. That's if they even recognized them. Historically, gathering useful energy data has been an elusive undertaking, so the cost-saving opportunity of making portfolio-wide changes might not be visible to a CFO, real estate manager, facility manager, or sustainability chief. And if they were visible, companies might have struggled with the know-how and resources needed for large-scale equipment replacements.  

Redaptive has tackled this problem in two major ways. We created the metering sensor technology, software platform, and analytics to partner with a company and let them know precisely how much money they're losing by wasting energy.  

Then we identify behavioral and equipment changes to cut energy waste and implement those upgrades. Redaptive’s energy solution provides a financing structure to empower companies to pay for these crucial projects over time by working with a third party on these investments. That means we eliminate the intensive upfront capital burden that irks many CFOs while providing the know-how, planning, managing, and installation capabilities under one roof to bring projects to scale across a company’s entire portfolio.  

A graph showing how Energy-as-a-Service financing model can reduce overall spend by decreasing a company's total cost of ownership over the projects and assets.


Redaptive is Ready to Revolutionize C&I EaaS

Analysts project EaaS to be a $100 billion market in less than a decade, with many in the industry expecting it to be even bigger. That's why companies and investors such as Honeywell, CBRE, Linse Capital, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, and Cintas have invested in and partnered with Redaptive in recent months to raise $250 million in funding and start deploying large-scale projects. 

Let's look at our partnership with Cintas to give a small snapshot of our work.  

  • Redaptive is working on a multi-year energy solution to get Cintas to net zero by 2050 
  • Phase I: Redaptive identified 100 Cintas facilities in need of lighting upgrades 
  • Replaced 42,000 incandescent/fluorescent fixtures with LED, cutting 7,050 metric tons of CO2 as a result 
  • Phase II: Currently working on solar array in N.J. to cut CO2 and costs compared to traditional power generation  

On top of these recent advancements, we’ve hit some incredible milestones lately, and we're excited to announce our new sustainability, building and performance insights platform: Redaptive ONE. 

A Real Step Forward with Energy Solutions

The late Doug Tompkins, the co-founder and former CEO of The North Face, once posed a question that Fortune 5000 companies, CFOs, and lawmakers must grapple with: What is a step forward when you find yourself at a cliff? Is it taking one more step forward? Or is doing a 180-degree turn and then taking your next step? 

We are at a crossroads, especially in the commercial real estate and industrial sectors. We have a lot of outdated, energy-wasting technology that has brought us to the edge of the climate cliff. But companies such as Redaptive have the data and energy solutions to help these companies turn around, cut carbon, cut costs, and put their balance sheets and the planet on a better path forward. 

I'm infinitely grateful for the Redaptive team's vision, dedication, and expertise to deliver on the promise of a better future through optimal climate-combatting solutions. We have a lot of work to do, but Redaptive is ready to deliver on our promise. 

Now let me ask–what is your next step forward if you’re a CFO, rest estate manager, facility manager, sustainability, or energy director? What are you doing to realize and act on your squandered energy savings? What are you doing to help avoid the worst of the climate crisis?  

This article was initially posted by Arvin Vohra on LinkedIn. View the full article here.

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