Shaping a low-carbon future on Earth Day and beyond
As reducing their environmental impact becomes increasingly important, how can energy management help organizations combine economic and environmental drivers to ensure responsible, ongoing success?
An increasing number of businesses are changing their legacy thinking around energy and the role it plays in their organization, and they are making energy management a fundamental part of their overall business strategy. They are embedding sustainability into the heart of their corporate agenda and placing a strategic focus on energy to balance efficiency and financial performance with being more socially and environmentally responsible.
According to our Distributed Energy Future Trends Report, 83% of organizations consider sustainability to have economic and environmental dimensions, and combining these two drivers is becoming a key focus for businesses on their journey to becoming sustainable. Organizations that are striking a balance between economics and the environment are more profitable and ready for a commercially and environmentally sustainable future.
Environmental responsibility has increased in priority
The way businesses are transforming their thinking about energy is being accelerated by the heightened value on environmental sustainability. Sustainability has increasingly become a focal point of conversation and a business investment priority. According to our research, being socially and environmentally responsible is now a top 3 organizational priority – this is a significant jump from 2017, where it ranked sixth on the corporate agenda.
Consumers are now becoming more selective in their buying behaviors and looking to make a positive difference to the planet, and many are choosing suppliers that have strong environmental credentials. To attract and retain customers, today’s businesses need to find innovative ways to balance their financial performance and environmental policies in order to drive growth and competitive advantage. But how?
Discover how energy can help prepare businesses for a more commercially and environmentally sustainable future.
Energy creates countless economic and environmental opportunities
Operational excellence and cost management are a core focus for all organizations, and they are looking for opportunities to improve their operations and reduce cost and consumption without losing sight of carbon reduction goals. This is driving a new wave of sustainable energy innovations. Our research has indicated that only 1 in 8 businesses are classified as a “sustainable business,” and so there are countless new opportunities for business to explore.
Here are several opportunities that have economic benefits while also making a positive contribution to the climate crisis.
Knowing exactly how energy is consumed throughout an organization’s infrastructure is critical to taking control and boosting operational effiency so that less energy is consumed – enabling energy cost reduction and a lower carbon footprint. Our Energy Insight solution measures the output of assets and processes and sends the data in real-time to our energy management platform, PowerRadarTM, so organizations can clearly identify and rectify inefficiences. By using real-time intelligence, organizations can ensure the operating health of their assets, or they can leverage the power of data to build a business case for investing in newer, more energy-efficient assets.
On-site generation with Solar
One of the most visible testaments to demonstrating environmental stewardship is Solar. Installing commercial Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on-site can reduce reliance on grid energy and lower energy costs and carbon footprint – by using Solar PV panels to generate efficient, sustainable energy on-site. There is an assumption that installing renewable energy technologies like Solar will be too cost prohibitive. However, a lack of capital is not a barrier to accessing these new energy opportunities – a range of innovative financing methods can help to overcome these investment barriers.
Turn energy from a cost to an asset and use Energy Optimization to power sustainable growth. Advancements in energy generation technology and innovation in demand flexibility software enable organizations to use energy more effectively, reduce costs, and even generate revenue. Organizations can be rewarded for relieving pressure on the grid by using Demand Response to tap in their energy consuming or generating assets, generating revenue by reducing their consumption during times of peak grid demand – enabling organizations to lower costs and operate more sustainably.
Electric Vehicles (EV)
In the U.S., the transportation sector accounts for the largest proportion of carbon emissions, which many experts believe is accelerating climate change. As we continue to make progress in decarbonizing the electricity supply, transportation is the next big sustainability challenge. Organizations can make a huge contribution to reducing the threat of climate change by transitioning to electric fleet vehicles. Our EV Enablement solution provides organizations with the complete end-to-end support needed to provide at-work charging for employees or turning parking lots into EV friendly spaces.
Green Power Supply
Rethinking energy supply can be a cost saving, environmentally friendly win-win. One of the fastest and easiest ways to green up energy are Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) and carbon offsets. RECs represent the environmental impact of one megawatt-hour (MWh) of renewable energy. When purchased alongside traditional power, RECs guarantee that equivalent energy was produced using renewable sources like solar or wind. Carbon offsets are another quick way to decarbonize. Purchasing these helps counteract the greenhouse gases your organization produces.
Organizations looking to make the switch to green power supply can pursue custom sourced renewable power or a green power purchase agreement. Custom sourced energy supply comes from a specific renewable source, like wind or solar and can support regional development of clean energy. A green power purchase agreement (PPA) allows you to buy energy directly from a renewable power developer. Both custom source and green PPAs can offer long term savings and help grow renewable power generation.
Earth Day brings climate change to top of mind
Earth Day presents an annual opportunity to remind all of us of the role we have to play to combat climate change and shape a low-carbon future – in fact, the theme for Earth Day 2020 is “climate action.” At Centrica Business Solutions, we’ve taken action by partnering with customers around the world to help them become a sustainable business and transition to a low-carbon future in the most sustainable way.
In addition, we are taking responsibility for our own impact on the environment. In 2019, Centrica introduced its Responsible Business Ambitions, with commitments out to 2030 to reduce our customers’ emissions and to enable the decarbonization of energy systems through flexible, distributed and low-carbon technology. And as a group, we have committed to be net zero by 2050.
Prepare for a commercially and environmentally sustainable future
Innovative energy solutions can accelerate your journey to energy efficiency, resilience and sustainability – according to our research, organizations with the most advanced energy strategies are 6.7 times more likely to be operating a sustainable business model. Energy efficiency and energy management measures provide a springboard for businesses to invest in smarter, more advanced technologies and on-site power generation.
Organizations of all sizes can leverage energy as a strategic asset to help prepare them for a more commercially and environmentally sustainable future. In combination with our sister company, Direct Energy Business, our solutions can help transform your energy into a strategic asset that ensures responsible, ongoing success. Renewable energy options range from energy management tools designed to increase efficiency to green power supply. We can help you determine the best combination of renewable solutions to help you meet your sustainability goals.