You’ve been asked to support green products and companies for years now. The pitch is often some version of “buy this product because it’s better for the Earth” or “you need to vote with your wallet.” I support this 100%, but it’s not enough. Too many companies in the sustainability space treat their customers with the same disregard as mainstream businesses. As businesses that are truly “for the good,” we have to treat all our stakeholders as true partners. That means giving our customers as much of a voice in our business as possible, since it’s their business as well. Our success, and our ability to help the planet is only possible with the help of our customers.
To move beyond platitudes and into something concrete, Neighborhood Sun is forming a Customer Advocacy Board (CAB). The CAB will represent a diverse cross section of our customers, from various projects, demographics, and geographic locations. While this is still a new concept and we don’t want to determine its outcome, the idea is to do the following:
Give customers a seat at the table in the company’s strategic decision making.
- Have an outlet where customers can hold us accountable.
- Give us greater insight into what our customers want.
- Advocate for customer rights.
- Have fun together and build stronger bonds.
With our new CAB in place, we’ll be an even better B Corp., adding to our already strong record on the environment, good governance, and transparency. We’ll be able to better support all customers, but especially the underserved communities in Baltimore and elsewhere that for too long have been the targets of rapacious energy companies trying to rip them off (sadly, even so called “clean energy” companies). For our customers, who we consider members, the new CAB is a call to action. We want you to walk with us on this journey as partners, and we need to hear your voice. Apply to be part of the CAB and help steer the company in the right direction.
Our mission as a company is two-fold. We want to fight climate change and pollution by helping people switch to community solar. We also want to build stronger communities. It’s this second part of the mission that makes me so excited about the new CAB. As our slogan says, “together, we’re building a solar community.” Establishing a Consumer Advocacy Board will be the keystone in our efforts to live up to that aspirational goal.