Deloitte Study Finds Businesses are Fighting Climate Change

 

Spurred by consumer demand for eco-friendly practices, many businesses across the US are moving aggressively to reduce their carbon footprint, including a major embrace of renewable energy and alternative-fueled vehicles, according to Deloitte’s “Resources 2018 Study – Businesses Drive, Households Strive.”

The survey shows that businesses see addressing climate change as key to long-term industry resilience. Sustainability seems no longer optional – it has become important to fostering business growth and satisfying a wide range of stakeholders, including customers, suppliers, partners, employees and investors.

Although 86% of residential consumers believe the government should be active in setting a vision and path for energy strategy, it is the private sector that is advancing the cause to manage resources for cleaner, more resilient, secure and affordable energy supplies.

“Businesses are not waiting for government to act on addressing climate change. They have picked up the gauntlet,” said Marlene Motyka, Deloitte US and global renewable energy leader and principal, Deloitte Transactions and Business Analytics LLP. “They are now driven to double down on their energy management efforts as they view their long-term viability through the climate lens.”

Results

Among the key findings:

  • Of the 87% of businesses familiar with the US pulling out of the Paris climate agreement, 4 in 10 are reviewing or changing their energy management policies in response, with 75% of those increasing their commitment and investment in energy management.
  • About 70% of customers are demanding companies procure a certain percentage of electricity from renewable sources.
  • The number of companies with carbon footprint goals has jumped to 61% in 2018, from just over half the year before.
  • Sixty-eight percent of residential consumers say they are concerned about climate change and their personal carbon footprints, outpacing the previous high of 65% in 2016.
  • Nearly three-fourths (74%) of residential consumers stated that climate change is caused by human action, up six percentage points from 2017.

Renewables rated key to energy independence, millennials tip the scale

More than three-fourths (76%) of survey respondents cited renewables as key for achieving energy independence, jumping five percentage points from 2017. This seems to represent a change in mindset with many respondents now seeing a connection that was once widely thought to be implausible.

In addition, many millennials – greener and “techier” than other generations – see renewables as the answer to their environmental concerns. In fact, 64% rank utilizing clean energy sources among their top three most important energy-related issues. Also, they are more likely to adopt new solutions, such as electric vehicles, home automation systems and time-of-use rates.

Businesses making EVs an easy choice 

Many businesses not only say reducing their electricity consumption is important to staying competitive, but they are also helping to transform the transportation sector as more consumers and employees eye electric vehicles and hybrids as a prime pick for their next vehicle.

Business respondents expect gasoline or diesel vehicles will make up less than half (49%) of their transportation fleets by 2020. If so, it would mark the first-time vehicles powered by alternative fuels will constitute a majority of corporate fleets. In fact, businesses are accelerating their efforts to support employees who drive electric vehicles, with well over half (56%), offering EV charging stations. Fifty-two percent of these businesses own the charging stations themselves, while 41% belong to the building owner.

Businesses Turn to Self-Generation for Greater Control Over Energy 

On-site generation also is on the rise as distributed resources are increasingly viewed as being realistic and cost-effective, and as businesses desire greater control over their energy supplies in terms of price, quality and reliability. Fifty-nine percent of businesses now generate some portion of their electricity supply on-site, and of those businesses, 13% are using renewables, 13% use on-site co-generation and 10% are using on-site battery storage.

Nearly half of business respondents are working to procure more electricity from renewable sources, and nearly two-thirds (61%) said combining battery storage with renewable sources would motivate them to do more. Additionally, businesses are responding to increased power outages by purchasing backup generators, adding battery storage units, and expanding the amount of electricity they self-generate.

Smart home apps not catching on, cyber concerns cooling interest 

Despite support for more innovative energy savings, only 20% of respondents have automated home functions, such as smart thermostats. In fact, amid growing reports of hacked home devices, 21% of respondents cited privacy and security concerns as a barrier to upgrading their thermostats, compared to 15% last year. In addition, penetration of smart thermostats and automation systems remains very low with only 4% using a home automation system and just 8% utilizing a programmable thermostat.

A majority of both businesses and residential consumers want environmentally responsible, reliable assets, preferably close by, that they can control to optimize reliability, flexibility and cost. However, this year’s survey seems to emphasize that privacy and security concerns should be addressed by providers soon to maintain the momentum for a clean secure energy future.

“Utilities are being challenged to get to know their customers better, and the industry has a long way to go,” said Andrew Slaughter, executive director, Deloitte Center for Energy Solutions, Deloitte Services LP. “What appears clear is that the electric utility sector’s transformation will likely be one of decentralization, digitalization, and decarbonization driven by business and residential consumer demand for a cleaner, more resilient, secure and affordable energy supply.”

 

 

OSHA Written HazCom Plan
Sponsored By: VelocityEHS

  
Practical Guide to Transforming Energy Data into Better Buildings
Sponsored By: Lucid

  
OSHA ITA Cheat Sheet
Sponsored By: VelocityEHS

  
Five Steps to HazCom Compliance
Sponsored By: VelocityEHS

  

Leave a Comment

User Name :
Password :
 
If you've no account register here first time
User Name :
User Email :
Password :

Login Now
Translate »