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How to future-proof your energy needs

The journey to becoming a sustainable business can be complex and challenging.

Genuine economic and environmental sustainability isn’t something that can be achieved overnight. Still, irrespective of size or industry, more and more companies are working towards becoming sustainable businesses. Typically, this involves taking the following key steps:

Setting targets

To get results, it’s vital that businesses start by setting realistic energy targets – both short and medium-term. These targets give the business a clear direction and can be used as the basis for a wider energy strategy.

Sustainable businesses are now setting carbon targets as far ahead as 2030, with many focusing on becoming carbon-positive in the future (creating processes that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere).

Preparing a robust energy strategy

Once targets are set, an energy strategy is needed to map the journey to how the targets will be achieved. This strategy should outline these targets, as well as include specific actions and budgets that will be used to deliver the energy technology roadmap. It should stipulate the investment required, summarise any risk to the business, and outline any opportunities.

This energy strategy also needs to form part of the wider business strategy, so it’s not simply a siloed consideration.

Create an energy leadership team

In order to make energy a priority, it’s important to assign responsibility at the board level. This person should be able to both lead and champion smart, sustainable energy use within the business. Fortunately, this is a trend that is already happening. Our research showed that 45% of organisations already have a dedicated role responsible for energy, sustainability and environmental issues.

Balance your own future needs

To succeed long-term, businesses need to approach energy in a holistic way. It needs to be a whole-of-business consideration – one which impacts everything from the products and services the business offers, to how it manages its supply chain or markets itself to customers. As digital transformation becomes an ever-increasing priority, businesses need to think about their energy needs in the decades to come - how it can help provide additional resilience and keep costs down, as well as help the business meet ever-changing energy regulations and legislation.

Consider the economic viability of any initiatives

True sustainability is about balancing economic and environmental priorities. As our research revealed, innovative sources of energy, like battery and solar, have the potential to minimise costs for the business, and improve resilience, long-term – despite the initial investment.

In fact, a significant number of businesses (37%) are prepared to take the energy price risk in order to manage their own supply long-term. Also, for these businesses, there are a range of ways to minimise risks and up-front costs, including government grants and incentives, OPEX-based financing and energy-as-a-service options, making it easier and simpler to invest.

Choose the right partner

Becoming sustainable is a challenge for all businesses, so it’s important to choose a reliable energy partner to help you get there. Whether your business is big or small, Centrica Business Solutions can help you navigate the funding landscape and identify the solution and approach that’s right for you.  

What steps should you take to future proof your energy needs?

If you would like help developing and managing your long-term energy plans, the team at Centrica Business Solutions can help.

Download our full report here to learn more about the outcomes of our research, and get practical advice on the transformation steps that are right for your business.