The advantages of lowering your energy use
Are you looking to better engage clients and employees, reduce your risk, and increase profits?
Understanding your energy use could be a good place to start, says Simon Hutton, Senior Advisor, Sustainability and ESG at BDC.
For example, letting vehicle engines idle, using inefficient equipment and leaving office lights on after hours all create inefficiencies in your operation. These practices will increase your overheads and reduce your profits.
By lowering your energy use, you can not only reduce your environmental footprint, but also build a more efficient business that is more competitive and profitable.
1. It saves your money by cutting waste
Every watt of electricity your company uses that isn’t going straight into making a product or delivering a service costs you money.
If you’re looking for ways to save money and become more sustainable, reviewing your energy use is a great place to start. Replacing inefficient machinery, appliances and other energy sinks will also help fuel your growth in the future.
“When you save energy, you help the climate and you cut costs,” says Hutton. “There are very few places you can look at in the market and have a high degree of certainty that prices are going to increase quite dramatically—but energy is one of them.”
2. It attracts customers by proving your impact
By proving your efforts to lower power consumption are working, you empower consumers with the information they need to make informed decisions and buy into your sustainability story.
According to Hutton, this can help communicate that your company is investing in positive change—and make it resonate with your employees, consumers and communities.
It can also allow you to craft a simple success story to prove you’re serious about the climate crisis, that can, in turn, win new customers who are increasingly critical of whom they buy from.
“If you start with a meaningful win, you get engagement and get people excited. You catalyze momentum,” Hutton says.
Conversely, organizations that are seen to be ignoring the climate crisis are at risk of alienating consumers and other stakeholders.
Carla Heim, Senior Advisor, Sustainability and ESG at BDC, says having a better handle on your environmental footprint enables you to manage your risk. “It relates to how consumers perceive your organization and its relationship to the environment.”
3. It helps you plan and reduce risks
Understanding your energy consumption also allows you to better plan growth strategies for your business and protect against cost increases.
It can also reveal costly operational inefficiencies. For instance, you can compare your delivery routes against your gasoline bills to see if your vehicles could take more efficient routes, or whether upgrading to more fuel-efficient models is the way to go.
Likewise, money spent on sky-high heating bills might be better spent on window upgrades. Understanding how much energy you consume can help you find ways to become leaner, greener and, ultimately, more profitable.
Easy steps to start lowering your energy use
According to Heim, when it comes to cutting out wasted energy the first step is collecting information—not just for yourself, but for your employees.
You can start with three easy steps.
- Gather real data from your utility bills (or ask your providers) so you can understand how much energy your company is using. Also look at how much fuel you are using in your vehicles, if you have any.
- Next, arrange for an energy audit to find out where you’re wasting watts.
- Finally, get your employees on board. Challenge them to cut down on their business travel and power down their workstations when they leave for the day.
Afterward, review the difference these small changes are making over time to show your team how their efforts are contributing to a more sustainable business. Read this article for more ideas about how to reduce your energy use.