While the pandemic is showing no signs of slowing down, the longer-term impact of such a dramatic behavioural and societal changes are already being felt. The energy industry hasn’t escaped such decline, as new research from the International Energy Agency reveals 2020 to be the “weakest” year in a decade for energy efficiency progress.
Energy efficiency is akin to new technology, and new technology requires significant investment from individual and businesses. So, it’s no surprise that the reduction in purchases of new cars and focus on energy-efficient property has played a significant part in 2020’s poor energy record.
Pairing this individual responsibility with the redirection of government resource to support the needs of those affected by the pandemic, the global focus on energy efficiency has certainly lessened – but the necessity for focus on such goals is more important than ever.
Improving energy efficiency in 2021 and beyond
The planet is a shared responsibility. Climate change is a global crisis which requires a concerted effect to manage. Individuals and businesses can make a major impact on such figures through several actions (more on that later), but the governments must lead the way with energy efficiency in order for us to return to the planned progress in 2021.
The pandemic has shown us how quickly things can change, so by ensuring energy efficiency is at the core of every government decision, we can avoid another slowing progress in 2021 – regardless of how the pandemic develops.
Buildings account for 40% of the world’s carbon emissions, so investment in new property and retrofitting old buildings is a must. From encouraging renewable energy to actively seeking new and innovative power and heating technology, the world’s buildings will become more energy-efficient and save money for those who need it most.
What businesses can do
If you are one of the 10,000 businesses that require SECR compliance in your annual report, then you should already have an energy efficiency strategy in place. It’s not just big business’ responsibility to minimise environmental impact, and there are significant financial benefits that come with being a more energy-efficient organisation.
Identify “green” team leaders
While it’s your responsibility to lead the company’s sustainable strategy, it helps to identify key players in your team who can drive the progress within their respective departments. Take your green strategy to the next level by turning it into a competition between teams, from waste management to preserving electricity, there is a lot your team can do as part of their every day working life.
Assess your waste
Waste management is a critical part of any energy efficiency strategy. As your team returns to the office after a period of remote working, make sure waste protocol is standard, including access to recycling bins. Work closely with your procurement team and suppliers to ensure you are making the most sustainable choices. This could be anything from supplying reusable cups for the team to enabling remote meetings over in-person travel, there is a lot you can do to become a more energy-efficient company.
Appoint an energy efficiency consultant
Finally, one sure-fire way of ensuring sustainability is at the heart of your company’s values in 2021 is to hire an energy efficiency consultant. At Integral Energy, we work with businesses of all sizes to identify key savings, make more sustainable choices and drive energy efficiency from the ground up. Ready to get started? Contact us today.