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Responding to the spread of coronavirus – Message from our Managing Director

Sustainable and Reliable Energy: Customers Want Both

Your customers want you to boost your sustainability credentials – but they don’t want this to come at the expense of their everyday needs. How can organisations strike the balance between these two priorities?

From single-use plastics, to air quality, to carbon emissions: customers are voting with their wallets, and increasingly want to buy from businesses who share their environmental values.

What does this mean for organisations? It means that there is no longer a choice between good business sense and becoming a more sustainable business: they’re two sides of the same coin.

Indeed, according to our Distributed Energy Future Trends research, more than two-thirds of organisations (70%) agree that it won’t be government intervention that will be the main agent of sustainable change. It will be market demand. After all, customer demand is a critical driver for shareholders. So, as customer preferences changes, so too will the expectations of shareholders.

At Centrica Business Solutions, we recently created a model of what a ‘sustainable business’ looks like. With inputs from business leaders and analysts, this model defined eight characteristics that help define what makes a business sustainable. One of them is having a relentless customer focus.

When we compared businesses who had a ‘relentless customer focus’ with other businesses, the results were striking:

To put it another way, customer-focused businesses are more likely to be putting sustainability-related action plans in place – due, at least in part, to the fact that they recognise what their customers want.

The importance of business continuity

More than half of organisations (56%) say green products and services are ‘very influential’ factors in their customers’ decision making processes. Implementing the latest green technologies and innovations can help organisations to meet this need.

However, green credentials aren’t the only thing that concerns customers, and so it cannot be organisations’ only focus. Having a secure supply of resources and key materials is viewed as equally important and was identified by 57% of organisations as being very influential to their customers.

While customers want to work with organisations that are sustainable and environmentally-friendly, they don’t want to compromise on quality and want to enjoy an uninterrupted service at all times.

When new green innovations emerge, it would be easy to just focus on the ways in which they can boost your environmental credentials. But in order to fully meet the needs of customers, it’s important to also consider if (and how) they will enable you to meet your direct customer obligations too.

At Centrica Business Solutions, we can help. We provide the expert advice, insights and carbon-reducing technologies that enable organisations to harness more innovative energy practices, address sustainability challenges, and secure competitive advantage. We can help you progress your journey towards becoming a more sustainable business, while making sure you’re always equipped to deliver against customer expectations. Learn more about the ways in which we can help you harness new green innovations to help progress your journey towards becoming a more sustainable business.

Find out how green innovations can help you to solve business challenges

Sources: Distributed Energy Future Trends Report - Centrica Business Solutions research, statistics based on a ten country survey of more than 1,500 energy decision-makers in large organisations.