Managing and reducing energy consumption has rocketed to the top of many organizations' to-do lists in the wake of cultural and regulatory demand. Steve Kline, Chief Revenue Officer of Sustainable Resources Management at ENGIE Impact gives insight into key issues facing energy management and how to navigate them.
There's a lot of confusion in the marketplace on how to start engaging in a holistic energy management strategy, due in part to the variety of industry lingo. Carbon neutrality and Net Zero get thrown around a lot and are used ubiquitously. Clients will come to us and ask for help achieving their Net Zero or carbon neutral goals inclusive of an energy management strategy and need support to build all their requirements. We are coming to find that regardless of the term used, the common thread between these requests is usually a c-suite-driven initiative to start prioritizing the risk and benefits of energy management as it is a key component of a complete Net Zero or Carbon Neutrality strategy. When this is the case, we first identify what their overall goals are, where the directive originates from and what stakeholder involvement will look like. This helps us frame a more productive discussion and identify a tangible starting point.
Having stakeholder alignment across decision-makers is still critically important. This includes the folks who are going to own the budget, approve the levers that need to be pulled, allocate financing, and manage operations. In addition, your key operational and functional leaders in the energy and sustainability space need to be involved. Organizations that are excelling in the energy management space have prioritized this alignment and acknowledged the value of having a strategic partner that can provide a managed service approach including technology, professional services, and consulting. The outcome of these partnerships, for a truly engaged organization, is more than one-time project and results in an enterprise wide, scalable, energy management strategy transformation.
Your energy management strategy must be integrated into your corporate strategy. Every initiative in the enterprise is tied to increasing revenue, reducing costs and mitigating risk; these metrics have leadership’s attention and support. If you are building a sustainable energy management program as part of a larger Net Zero program, it will be necessary to demonstrate with data how the program is benefiting one of those key initiatives. For the program to have staying power, it will be necessary to have an executive sponsor or someone in the c-suite who can champion your efforts, break down silos between groups and help foster momentum for the program from the top down.
The pending SEC rule that could require public companies to regularly disclose certain climate-related information has everyone’s attention. Some organizations are apprehensive about potentially having to sign off on a Scope 2 emissions calculation they do not have confidence in—while also coming to terms with how this rule could play out in the market. While there are still many undetermined factors, it is likely that some level of disclosure is going to be required. Proactive stakeholders are spending time evaluating their value chain and refining their reporting to prepare for whatever comes.
Having a strong foundation of internal alignment is key for organizations to stay agile and build an energy management strategy that delivers on sustainability goals.
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