The Importance of CSR for Energy Companies
Is your energy company doing all it can to maximize goodwill within your local community?
Defining Corporate Social Responsibility
A growing number of energy companies recognize the importance of being connected with initiatives that demonstrate their commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). According to Harvard Business School, CSR is defined as “the idea that a business has a responsibility to the society that exists around it.”
The Challenge of Localizing CSR Initiatives
While a noble concept, the challenge is finding a tangible localized way for energy companies to demonstrate their CSR — one that citizens can take notice of throughout their daily lives.
Partnering with Adopt a Highway Maintenance Corporation for Litter Removal
Thanks to a collaboration with Adopt a Highway Maintenance Corporation® (AHMC), two energy companies have realized that sponsoring litter removal programs on heavily traveled roadways is a clear way to say, “We care about the environment and the community where we are based.”
Thomas Oilfield Services, a Texas-based company specializing in oilfield rental equipment and professional trucking services, and Moore Energy, a premier renewable energy firm in Pennsylvania, are two of the most recent energy companies to join the highway sponsorship programs.
Why Litter Removal is a Big Issue Now
Throughout the country, state Department of Transportation (DOT) offices take on the responsibility of maintaining roads and removing litter, a financial challenge at times. AHMC works with the DOTs across the nation to align their mutual desire to keep the highways safer and cleaner for commuters.
This is accomplished through highway sponsorship, which offers businesses a way to give back to the community at a reduced expense to the state DOTs. AHMC provides their team of professionally trained maintenance crew members to perform the litter-removal services on behalf of the business sponsor.
For energy companies, funding litter removal efforts help to provide the opportunity for the sponsor to be recognized for giving back to the community in a very visible and tangible way. In return, the financial assistance from highway sponsors allows the DOT to subsidize the cost associated with highway litter removal efforts for the state.
Litter on Texas Roads Spurs Thomas Oilfield Services into Action
As Thomas Oilfield Services began work during the drilling season this year, the company decided that it was time to further its CSR efforts and give back to the community. The Texas-based provider of oilfield rental services for land well site operations wanted to demonstrate that they, too, are committed to being part of the solution. Becoming a highway sponsor on a heavily traveled highway seemed to be the logical way to meaningfully impact the community.
“As energy companies in Texas, we all have to step it up and show people we are taking measures to better our state,” said Melissa Cartwright, Regional Sales Manager of Thomas Oilfield Services. “With all the time we spend running those roads, we need to do our part to make sure the space is clean and kept nice.”
Renewable Energy Company Sees Sponsorship as an Extension to its Environmental Commitment
Similar to Thomas Oilfield Services, Moore Energy was looking for ways to promote its commitment to a clean community. The renewable energy company, which specializes in solar power systems for residential, farms, public schools, military bases, and municipal government properties, was particularly interested in having an impact on highly traveled Philadelphia highways. The company ultimately joined the AHMC program as a means to keep the highways safer and cleaner for commuters.
“We only have one environment, and it should really be a team effort among energy companies to protect and keep it clean,” said Barry Moore, CEO of Moore Energy. “That’s why I choose to sponsor a highway.”
Nuts and Bolts of Highway Sponsorship
Highway sponsorship pays for litter removal services along the sponsored area of the highway. “Our professionally-trained and certified crew members conduct the litter removal services and maintenance on behalf of our sponsors,” said Robert Davis, National Director of Sales and Marketing of AHMC. “The professional litter removal gives energy companies pride in their sponsorship and also prime brand visibility in their community.”
Each highway sponsorship sign is placed on the right-hand shoulder of the highway, displaying the name and logo of the business that is responsible for sponsoring that portion of the highway. Many companies sponsor a five, ten, or even 20-mile corridor on the highway. For example, a five-mile segment on each side of the highway totals 10 miles of a corridor and exclusive brand awareness.
Signs are unique to each state as well, with Pennsylvania’s sponsor sign featuring the tagline “Pennsylvania Business Is Picking Up.” Additionally, Texas’ signs display the Texas flag, along with AHMC’s partnership with the “Don’t mess with Texas®” litter-removal campaign. Sponsorship signs are seen 24/7 along some of the busiest highways across the country — reaching hundreds of thousands of motorists each day.
“More and more consumers want companies, especially those in their local community, to give back,” said Davis. “Our sponsorship program is a strong way to create a positive CSR message that connects your company to cleaner and safer roads for the community.”
Energy companies Thomas Oilfield Services and Moore Energy could not agree more. “Energy companies benefit from the community, and we believe the community should benefit from us,” said Cartwright. “Sponsorship through AHMC shows we are invested in the community, in Midland-Odessa and Texas overall.”
“We all need to take steps locally to do our part, and sponsoring the removal of litter on roads and highways is a great way to start,” concurs Moore.
With only one Earth, the time to act and become a major leader in environmental awareness starts now.
To learn more about sponsorship opportunities, call AHMC’s toll-free number 800-200-0003 or visit www.adoptahighway.com.
About the author: Kellie Dietrich is a Public Relations and Marketing Specialist at The Communication Solutions Group, Inc., in the Greater Philadelphia area. She writes on educational and environmental issues.