An international survey of more than 1500 professionals shows that while most companies see the cost benefits of energy efficiency measures, the majority lack a systematic approach to energy efficiency throughout the organization.
These findings emerge from a survey conducted by the certification group DNV GL – Business Assurance and the research institute GFK Eurisko.
Of the companies surveyed, 57 percent have an energy efficiency strategy and 55 percent set measurable goals, with percentages around 10 points higher for businesses belonging to the energy intensive sectors.
However, energy efficiency is still a generic ambition, with goals mainly set at company level (37 percent). Very few set concrete targets on activities, even among energy intensive firms.
Sixty-seven percent of the companies have invested in energy efficiency initiatives during the last three years with costs driving sustainability: 46 percent stated that they invested in energy efficiency measures in order to obtain more efficient tools, or to reduce energy consumption and costs. Companies are making concrete efforts in order to optimize their energy management, but without a long-term view. Only 26 percent have an energy management plan. More sophisticated initiatives such as staff training (21 percent), having energy managers (20 percent) or performing audits and assessments (20 percent), play a minor role.
Less than half of the companies that have undertaken efficiency activities are able to quantify the energy savings obtained.
Management awareness is not a problem; it was mentioned by only 18% of the companies. Economic constraints are the main obstacles preventing companies from making more progress: other priorities (36 percent), expensive implementation (33 percent), lack of returns (25 percent) and focus on short term results (24 percent) top the list.
A systematic approach would help firms make the right decisions and get a proper return on their investments. However, the benefits are already perceived as exceeding the costs (59 percent), especially in terms of savings (54 percent).