The news that more than two thirds of UK employees are interested in energy saving at work should be a further wake-up call for every business.
The strength of feeling around workplace sustainability is reinforced by the YouGov survey which also reveals that 20 per cent of employees care “a great deal” about the need for saving energy in the workplace.
It was good to see that people working in the hospitality and leisure industry are by far the most proactive when it comes to sustainable business attitudes. This is an area where SaveMoneyCutCarbon has been delivering effective energy and water saving solutions, not just for short-term boosts but also for the very long term.
The survey shows that 82% of people employed in the hospitality sector care about saving energy where they work. It’s understandable that the awareness is highest there – the consumption of utilities is very apparent to anyone earning their living in the 24/7 environment of a hotel, for example.
Energy-saving case studies
Our case studies in the hotel sector and other parts of the UK economy underline how businesses can rapidly transform themselves from utility guzzlers to sustainable, more profitable organisations with cost-effective, rapid payback measures.
We believe that while great strides have been made in reducing energy and water consumption, there is more to be done and the survey echoes this, with around two-thirds (60%) of those polled indicating that the companies they worked for had taken steps to save energy. That leaves a third – quite a sobering figure – of businesses where workers do not see energy-reducing strategies.
This will surely change so that every single company and organisation in the country has adopted and is actively pursuing the most effective, long-term energy saving and water management strategies. Whatever government we find ourselves with after next Wednesday, there will be increasingly urgent pressures for big reductions in consumption of utilities, not least to ensure that carbon emissions targets are met.
The need for comprehensive energy-use planning in all companies and organisations becoming stronger month by month – and the tactics employed do need to go far beyond changes in behaviour, as useful as these are. The survey indicated that of the 1,118 respondents, 43% said that all lights and computers were switched off when not being used while a quarter were aware of regular energy audits being carried out.
From our experience, there are compelling commercial reasons allied to sound environmental benefits why every organisation should know in detail how, where and when it is consuming energy and water. This data is priceless for planning and for effective reaction to usage.
It’s also clear, from another survey just published, that most business leaders are keenly aware of the benefits of sustainability strategies that go beyond “ticking the box”.
According to an Ethical Corporation poll, 70% of CEOs acknowledged the corporate value of these policies, with nearly nine in ten of all corporate survey respondents advising that sustainability was an increasingly important element of enterprise strategy.
Currently, the budgets being allocated to implement these new strategies are relatively low, but this is almost certain to change, as consumer demand and supply chain pressures combine with changing regulations and the need to control utility costs.
The survey links with the Ethical Corporation State of Sustainability 2015 report, in which 1500 business leaders and other company influencers advise that effective sustainability policies have a clearly positive financial effect. More than two thirds say that they can link higher revenues or business to these policies.
At SaveMoneyCutCarbon, we have long argued – and proven – that being sustainable is great for business, and indeed for every organisation. Savings made, with rapid payback on investment, from responsive, effective energy management and water conservation, form a big part of long-term strategies, in our opinion.
And businesses that fail to heed the call are likely to suffer in the marketplace as a further poll from clean energy provider SmartestEnergy reveals, with 81% of consumers saying that they would be more likely to buy products and services from companies that have a positive approach to sustainability.
The survey also highlights that companies have a way to go in the way they promote their sustainability strategies, with 45% of those polled having no awareness of the range of actions being taken by brands.
We have seen that agile businesses which understand and act on the need for sustainability strategies quickly feel the positive, ensuring effects in both hard commercial results and brand reputation. Time for every company and every organisation to make the move to sustainability.