The origin of Metrus’ name — and a defining characteristic of the company — is about collaboration: Metrus is at the center of multi-party transactions, and how it executes its deals matters. To better understand the nature of the partnerships that are at the heart of Metrus’ growing business, we caught up with Aaron Schneider, who was recently named the company’s first Director of Strategic Partnerships.
You recently stepped into a newly created position at Metrus. Can you describe your role and speak to why the timing was right to build out this function at Metrus now?
There is a clear need for more sustainable energy for businesses, institutions, and local communities. There is also a thirst for credible Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) projects. Despite a global pandemic and recession, our portfolio of clean energy projects has proven resilient and performed above expectations.
With the growth we and our partners are seeing for sustainable energy-as-a-service there was a clear need to have dedicated resources to serve and expand those relationships. It just made sense to put it all under one roof, and I have the honor of leading the charge.
What are your prerequisites for a partnership to be successful?
First, we look for shared values on our mission to reduce greenhouse gases. There also must be mutual trust, and a willingness to work through the challenges that naturally arise during the development of large sustainable energy projects. Equally important are partners that see and appreciate our distinct value and are a pleasure to serve. I think the same holds true for partners when they are thinking about working with Metrus.
Underpinning everything is great customer service and communication. The best partnerships bring value to all parties, whether it’s deal flow, custom products, or market intelligence, and aligning on ways to keep the partnership in a place where everyone feels like they are getting fair value.
What are a few examples of existing partnerships Metrus has in place and what’s made them a success?
There’s an expression that I really like that applies here: ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.’ We have a great partnership with the team at Centrica Business Solutions. Centrica is fantastic at working with large-scale customers to select and implement the equipment that best meets their needs. It’s a tailored, customer-focused approach that aligns perfectly with our project finance structure. That’s a good example of how building trust and appreciating how our businesses bring value to each other, and to our customers, can pay off.
We also couldn’t do it without our financial institution partners, such as Key Bank, who was our partner on our Daimler Trucks project, as well as Citi and Bank of America on various other projects.
We also invest in partnerships with mission-driven organizations like CDP, NAESCO, Second Nature and the Alliance to Save Energy. The purpose there is to drive more education, attention, resources, and policy to climate positive projects.
These are exciting times in the sustainable energy space. What are you particularly excited about and what might that mean for Metrus and its customers and partners?
Yes, that’s certainly true and Metrus is uniquely positioned to benefit from some significant tailwinds. The market trends that I’m looking at include:
- The growth of the climate solutions market. Check any forecast from the leading consulting firms and you’ll see the amount of investment flowing into climate solutions companies. We are positioned to grow as the market grows.
- Policy is a major factor. There continues to be strong rationale for a price on carbon. The Biden Administration has had a strong start on several environmental items. And the SEC is looking at things like climate risk disclosure being a requirement for public companies. So, policy is in our favor.
The last thing that I’ll mention is that everyone — and I mean everyone — is starting to seriously look at the underlying climate risks and the supply chain risks that attach to climate disasters. As businesses more frequently experience soaring electric or natural gas prices, they realize the prudent, smart, and necessary thing to do is to get resilient by making the move to sustainable energy.
The ecosystem that propels the thriving energy efficiency business is robust; Metrus is proud to be a cog in this vibrant “green” machine.