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What does volatility mean for your journey to net zero?

Amidst rising energy costs, digitalisation, growing pressure from stakeholders and increasing regulation, organisations may struggle to define their pathway to a low-carbon future. What can you do to protect your business’ net zero plans from the challenges of volatility?

Disruption and volatility are putting organisations under pressure. Digitalisation and new technology developments continue to challenge existing business models. Its increasing dependence on energy and encouraging businesses to drive change to secure competitive advantage. And as customers, employees and shareholders look to engage with companies who understand the importance of decarbonisation, pressure is mounting to prioritise sustainability.

On top of this, businesses also face rocketing gas and electricity costs. Companies with thin margins rely on predictability to ensure profitable operations, especially in sectors like manufacturing with significant energy overheads. So, even as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic begin to slow, disruption presents huge risk.

250% average gas bill rise for SME customers on a year-on-year basis, based on delivered prices (Source: Cornwall Insight, 2022)

Against this backdrop, many organisations may struggle to define how to achieve their net zero ambitions. A lack of clarity on where to decarbonise, limited understanding of their energy usage, or financial constraints can all make it difficult to know how to balance the demands of planet and profit. But companies that fail to progress their goals may face growing pressure from stakeholders and erosion of their brand’s value.

The most successful, sustainable organisations search for a balance between economic and environmental responsibility. They know that they cannot focus exclusively on rising energy costs without also considering their environmental impact – and they know that prioritising environmental concerns over financial performance would leave them without a viable business model.

Balance is key

But it’s possible to find this balance, and volatility can create opportunity. High commodity prices don’t have to be a hurdle on the net zero journey. Instead, this widespread volatility could be the starting point to future-proofing your energy estate.

81% of business leaders surveyed say decarbonisation through energy management is a critical part of their sustainability plan (Source: Why wait to pursue net zero? Centrica Business Solutions, 2021)

Disruption can provide the impetus to explore solutions that can build resilience and improve efficiency and sustainability at the same time. You don’t have to be set back by volatility – with integrated energy solutions, you can bounce forwards instead.

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Drive energy efficiency through data
Monitoring your energy usage can equip you with the information you need to streamline your operations, pinpoint waste and inform your decision-making.
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Unlock new revenue
With energy management solutions like Demand Side Response, you can be compensated for adjusting your energy usage at times of instability or peak use – unlocking new revenue for your business and helping to balance the grid.
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Generate your own sustainable energy
By generating your own secure and sustainable energy supply, you can safeguard against grid disruption or even reduce your energy costs.
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Become a sustainable business
As customers look to support sustainable companies, inaction on your net zero goals could erode your brand’s reputation. Investment in decarbonisation could help to boost this, as well as improving operational efficiency.

Build your response to volatility

There are many integrated energy solutions available to help you respond to volatility - from safeguarding against uncertainty with onsite generation or battery storage solutions, maintaining the performance of your assets with Operations & Maintenance, or reducing the economic pressure of investing in your future with flexible financing options.

25.9GW of new Solar PV capacity installed in Europe in 2021 (Source: en-former, 2022)

No matter the solutions you choose, you’ll need to combine the right blend of technologies and commercial options into an overarching energy pathway – helping you to translate long-term plans into short-term actions with tangible results. Furthermore, senior executive support can embed change into your company, responding to pressure with a credible plan to deliver on your operational ambitions and decarbonisation goals. 

Disruption has illuminated the need for energy resilience; now is the time to future-proof your organisation. Read our report to learn how you can bounce back from volatility.