Over the last decade, energy prices have increased in Europe, making energy costs in the retail sector an even larger portion of their operating expenses. Therefore, gaining insight into cost and consumption is critical, but this can be a time- and labor-intensive process, especially for companies with multiple sites across multiple countries.
One global clothing manufacturer and retailer found this to be true. With 271 sites spread across 19 countries in Europe, its energy bills varied in format and methodology depending on the supplier. With over 300 suppliers, the clothing company uncovered operational inefficiencies when it came to their own utility expense and data management system.
Prior to 2017, each country’s sites owned their own utility management process to organize and capture the energy and cost data. Unsurprisingly, the process was inconsistent from country to country, with little to no visibility between energy costs and consumption on a site and country level. This lack of visibility made it difficult for the global clothing company to comply with regional or local regulations as well as track internal sustainability goals. To ensure 100 percent compliance with climate-related regulations, meet their sustainability goals and create a global energy strategy, the clothing company knew they needed help gaining accessibility and visibility into their energy data.
The clothing company selected ENGIE Impact as their partner of choice, experienced in utility expense management with a robust energy and sustainability management portal. ENGIE Impact provided utility bill auditing, from which it could collect, organize and validate the bill data in Europe.
An immediate outcome of the partnership was cost savings as a result of bill audits that uncovered and resolved billing discrepancies. ENGIE Impact ensured their client company paid only for what they used, not what they were charged. Bill data was then validated, organized and stored within the web portal. For the first time, the clothing company had their data visualized on one central platform, with a comprehensive view of cost and consumption data that enabled insights for their global energy strategy.
Using ENGIE Impact’s global and multilingual energy and sustainability management platform, the retailer could create reports based on energy consumption, cost of energy and type of energy procured on a regional or global level. These reports were essential to the company’s strategic sourcing department because they provided insights on a country, regional and global level.
The reports revealed how much of the company’s portfolio was green energy versus brown energy; on average how much each country or region was consuming and spending on energy; and which sites were high consumers versus low consumers. Access to this information armed the clothing company with the right insights to guide their global strategy and meet country-specific regulations.
Proper data management creates a solid foundation for creating a global energy strategy and complying with country-specific regulations. Throughout this engagement, the clothing company utilized ENGIE Impact’s services to:
1. Comply with the ESOS scheme in the U.K.
2. Identify viable sites for renewable procurement
3. Leverage comprehensive utility data to track their carbon reduction goals
4. Catch discrepancies on 20 percent of their utility invoices
5. Increase the number of utility invoices processed by 12 percent
As their utility expense and data management plan became more streamlined, the visibility into all their consumption data gave the clothing company insights that will help them further their sustainability goals and global energy strategy.