5 October 2018 | Kevin Stanley
Private sector C-suite executives and energy managers are neglecting to set targets to cut company carbon emissions, according to a study by YouGov.
Despite the fact that carbon savings nearly always lead to financial savings, the survey shows that 61 per cent of C-suite executives and energy managers in the private sector have not set out a target to reduce their carbon emissions.
YouGov gathered responses from 848 C-suite executives and energy managers - 73 per cent of whom rank sustainability as being important for their organisation.
The findings have been released by Veolia UK to coincide with the launch of its white paper Tackling Energy Efficiency in Buildings.
Among respondents with an energy spend of over £2 million a year, 45 per cent think the condition of their buildings is just 'OK' or 'poor'. Yet investments in improving energy efficiency provide a quick return on investment in the form of energy and utilities cost savings.
With the impact of Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) and Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) Phase 2 regulations coming into force, the research highlights how crucial it is for businesses to develop robust long-term energy efficiency plans. This will be further emphasised by government plans to require businesses to report their CO2 emissions from 2019.
Nick Painter, head of energy efficiency at Veolia UK, said: "Building efficiency plays a significant role in improving productivity, yet this latest research backs our experience that sustainability aims are not always matched by action. We know that real benefits come from adopting a site-wide approach and going beyond small retrofits such as LED lighting."
He added: "Underinvestment, both financial and time-related, is leaving a yawning gap between the ideals of the corporate sustainability policy and the reality on the ground. We hope this report acts as a wake-up call for business and spurs quantifiable improvements that move the debate beyond words and into action.
"More importantly, businesses are missing out on significant cost savings as energy prices continue to rise - savings that will make a positive impact to their bottom line and their corporate social responsibility reports."