By Claire West
British businesses are stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to energy efficiency, a new survey reveals. energyrethinking, the energy-saving community, today released the results from a survey, commissioned in association with the Institute of Directors (IoD), which showed that higher fuel costs are pushing energy efficiency up the agenda within British businesses, but many find its implementation too expensive in the short term.
Of the 1000+ British business executives surveyed, 66% said that the increasing cost of energy is the biggest incentive to cut their energy consumption. However, there are some significant barriers to implementing energy efficient measures in the workplace. 40% of respondents named ‘large upfront investment’ as a key deterrent to taking action, with a lack of funding also being cited as a substantial barrier to implementation. 29.6% of those surveyed even believed they could not make overall savings via energy efficiency measures.
“The results show that this is really becoming a hot topic for businesses today,” says Chris Dodson, Chairman of IoD South. “It is really encouraging to see so many people willing to change their habits in order to become more energy efficient. We need to harness this enthusiasm to help businesses commit to greener practices. However, the cost barriers at the moment deter people and this is a real problem facing the future of energy use.”
Andy Wood, CEO of Adnams Brewery, a Suffolk-based brewer, led the creation of his company’s Social and Environmental Impact Policy and he says the company has never looked back. “It was a challenge to plan and implement our energy efficiency measures, but it was worthwhile and the benefits have been incredible. Not only have we cut costs, we’ve also been able to harness new technologies, such as turning brewery and food waste into bio-gas.”
The survey reveals that energy efficiency is not just good for the environment; it’s good for employers, employees and customers alike. The results found that one of the strongest drivers to implement energy efficiency measures is corporate social responsibility, with 39% of respondents indicating this is the case. With more environmentally conscious customers and job-seekers in the market, tackling energy efficiency could be a key differentiator for businesses.
energrethinking provides advice and information to British businesses, as well as consumers, on how to save energy and save money. Visit energyrethinking.org/employers for more information.