More UK businesses now view energy as a key part of a sustainability strategy.
Research by Centrica reveals that 61% of UK businesses now have an energy strategy with specific targets, actions or budgets compared to 52% in 2017.
The study shows that 48% of UK businesses are adopting energy-efficiency measures, such as LED lighting and insulation. LED can reduce lighting costs by over 80%.
At the same time, 31% are embracing smart energy management while 25% are implementing on-site energy generation. Investing in smart energy like lighting controls can further reduce lighting costs by 50% or more.
Increased energy risk
UK companies in all sectors also have big concerns around energy security, supply and cost volatility. Energy resilience and security is now a top 4 risk.
In particular, 82% are concerned about high volatility in the cost of energy. They see the rapid changes are being driven by digitisation and energy business transformation.
Also 31% of UK businesses say interruption to energy supply is a growing concern, and 73% report not being well prepared for it.
However, businesses are increasingly seeing energy as a strategic asset. 22% of UK companies see energy as an asset that can help them generate revenue and drive competitive advantage, a jump of 10% from previous research
Customer in driving seat
A big part of what’s reshaping business attitudes is that the acceptance that the customer is in the driving seat.
Customers are increasingly buying from companies that prioritise environmental issues. This is a key reason why 61% of UK businesses are accelerating plans to develop more sustainable products and services.
Centrica found that 86% of UK businesses consider sustainability to have economic and environmental dimensions.
Alongside that, 41% believe that offering environmental products and services is very influential in a customer’s decision to work with them.
It’s clear that UK businesses which place a strategic focus on energy can balance their efficiency and financial performance with being more socially and environmentally responsible.
For the first time, Centrica found that environmental and social responsibility has joined financial performance and efficiency as a top 3 organisational priority.
Centrica researched over 1,500 businesses and energy decision-makers in large organisations across 10 countries in 7 sectors to understand the experience businesses are having and how they are adapting to these changes.
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