In the current political climate, America may not be the first place you’d think to look for leading examples of sustainability and low-carbon practice.
Yet, last week, a new report highlighted how almost half of the US’s largest corporations are now actively embracing sustainable business practice – and reaping financial rewards for doing so.
The report - Power Forward: How the largest US companies are capturing business value while addressing climate change - has been produced by sustainability heavyweights including the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and CDP (formally the Carbon Disclosure Project).
The authors looked at data released by Fortune 500 companies, and found that 48% now have climate or energy targets in place – an increase of 5% on last year.
Huge economic benefits
In terms of economic benefits, companies including Microsoft and IBM are saving “tens of millions of dollars every year” through measures to reduce emissions, improve energy efficiency and increase renewables generation.
Energy efficiency projects alone are generating $3.7 billion in collective annual savings for the top 190 companies.
And when it comes to CO2 savings, the companies studied have also decreased their annual emissions by 155.7 million metric tonnes, which is the equivalent to taking 45 coal-fired power plants offline for a year.
Understanding where to start
The business case for sustainable practice is certainly becoming clearer. But we know from talking to our customers, many businesses are still unsure about how to adopt the best approach.
It’s often tempting to dive straight in with high-profile projects such as installing on-site renewables, or adopting the latest energy-saving technologies.
Yet without pausing first to fully understand how and where you use energy, it’s impossible to formulate an integrated strategy that maximises the complete range of savings you can achieve – and continue achieving over time.
Start with insight
That’s why we’ve invested in sub-metering and monitoring technologies – so that our customers can gain valuable insight into their energy use.
We also offer detailed analysis and audit services, alongside energy management and education programmes that then start to deliver savings.
With the right intelligence, you can devise a clear plan of action, set realistic targets, identify return on investment and build a strong business case that clearly demonstrates why sustainable business makes financial sense.
And at the top end, we offer a fully integrated approach via our Energy HQ offering. Here you can dovetail your energy purchasing strategy with energy efficiency and demand-side response initiatives, so you maximise savings without consequences such as volume breaches.