Representatives from Best Buy just published its newest venture into the renewable energy realm. The tech giant will construct an ambitious solar farm - its most significant to date.
The solar farm, named “Prospero 2 Best Buy Solar”, began development in August of 2021 and is associated with U.S. Bank and Longroad Energy. Current plans for the project place its size at 2,500 acres, which will generate enough energy to offset the carbon emissions of 30%, or 300, of Best Buy's stores in the United States.
This news comes adjacent to the 10-year agreement signed this August between Best Buy, PepsiCo, two CBS TV affiliates, and McCormick & Company. The large companies struck a deal with energy provider Constellation to offset their carbon emissions via renewable energy certificates. Named the “Big Star Solar Project,” the agreement is expected to reduce carbon emissions associated with energy usage by 257,000 metric tons annually.
An Impressive Resume
The “Prospero 2 Best Buy Solar" field isn't the first venture into sustainability or even renewable energy for this tech giant; the company has integrated various sustainability initiatives in the past. It claims to be one of America's most sustainable companies, appearing in first place on Barron's List of 100 Most Sustainable Companies on two separate occasions.
"At Best Buy, we aim to meaningfully reduce our impact on the environment and help our customers do the same. We make decisions with the future in mind, to strengthen our business, improve people's lives and promote the health of our communities for years to come," says Best Buy CEO Corie Barry.
The company's website has a rather extensive section outlining its sustainable priorities and the recent signing of The Climate Pledge, an agreement to be carbon neutral by 2040.
Amazon and Global Optimism co-founded the Climate Pledge in 2019 to hold companies accountable for their environmental footprints and guide them in the journey to net-zero emissions. As a part of this Pledge, Best Buy will:
- Measure and report greenhouse gas emissions regularly.
- Implement decarbonization strategies in line with the Paris Agreement through real business change and innovations, including efficiency improvements, renewable energy, materials reductions, and other carbon emission elimination strategies.
- Take actions to neutralize any remaining emissions with additional, quantifiable, real, permanent and socially beneficial offsets that achieve net-zero annual carbon emissions by 2040.
The tech giant also operates the nation's most extensive e-waste recycling program and provides its comprehensive Environmental, Social, and Governance Report on its website. Additionally, it offers ethical statements on its non-discriminatory code, climate change, conflict minerals, water, human rights, and the environment.
Another fascinating feature on Best Buy's website is the highlighting of its eco-friendly products to help consumers purchase items with a lower environmental footprint.
Lastly, the company invests in underfunded communities around the country via its Teen Tech Centers. Best Buy offers skills and support to individuals who might not have that access, further exemplifying its commitment to each aspect of sustainability.
Solar Energy Can Power the United States
A hot topic in the world of sustainable growth, solar energy provides a relatively reliable source of cleaner energy compared to fossil fuels.
Since its mainstream inception in the 20th century, solar energy has followed a steady upward trend. However, that continued growth turned into a rapid surge over the past decade, as the demand for sustainable development became more and more desirable among consumers.
Thanks to this increased interest and technological advancement, the cost of solar PV panels has dropped substantially since 2014 by roughly 70%. According to the U.S. Solar Energy Technologies Office, solar is "more affordable, accessible, and prevalent in the United States than ever before."
The U.S. Department of Energy has declared how the implementation of solar energy could significantly lower the country's reliance on fossil fuels and environmental footprint. They state that "PV panels on just 22,000 square miles of the nation's total land area – about the size of Lake Michigan – could supply enough electricity to power the entire United States."
We can see how businesses, like Best Buy, implementing solar energy can yield a positive outcome for the future of climate change remediation. Additionally, we can expect solar power to expand and develop even more through the years, lending itself to a genuinely optimistic outlook for humanity and the planet.