It’s Time to Activate an Efficient & Sustainable Future
The days of a procurement officer working alone to sign long-term energy contracts are drawing to a close. Same with an operations manager deciding to pursue an LED lighting retrofit project. Or a sustainability director who enters into a power purchase agreement (PPA) with a wind developer.
And it’s not because there’s no value in these pursuits. They each have immense worth. But they can be so much more transformative when they are managed as a cohesive strategy.
As energy-related concerns grow, leading companies are changing how they buy, sell, use and track electricity, natural gas and other resources. Combined management of these activities gives companies a holistic view of their performance — and access to the data they need to refine their strategies to drive innovation.
By reducing energy consumption and environmental impact, these companies create real-time and long-term savings, as well as a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
In fact, the returns are greatest when the procurement officer, operations manager and sustainability director collaborate. Together, they may decide on-site generation with storage, critical infrastructure upgrades and a multi-faceted efficiency program will drive the greatest savings and operational resiliency while helping the company make significant strides toward its climate commitments. Procurement also gets an option of energy sources and flexibility, and can make buying decisions based on price- and carbon dioxide-reduction targets.
Energy Management with Integrated Decision-Making
Given increasing regulatory and competitive pressures, and calls from shareholders, customers and employees to operate with a lighter environmental touch, many companies are at a crossroads. They must re-evaluate their strategies and develop new operating models. It is not enough to plan and complete a few projects to reduce energy costs, consumption and carbon emissions. Though these initiatives must be considered together to deliver maximum benefit, they often are managed independently due to departmental divisions.
These barriers promote inefficiencies and yield missed opportunities. And they are often fueled by inconsistent data and poor visibility across the organization.
In leading companies, energy and sustainability functions are becoming tightly integrated, and work together to support strategic goals and initiatives. It’s an era when organizations are discovering new efficiencies and finding new savings opportunities. Progressive companies are already laying the foundation for this reality and its subsequent rewards. It starts with smarter data collection and access to more real-time information.
It’s even growing to include on- and off-site renewable energy procurement, predictive analytics for greater efficiency, increased automation and control of facilities, microgrids for increased resiliency, and much more. As energy prospects become more diverse, savvy companies have taken a different, more strategic approach to capitalize.
This is the Active Energy Management movement. In fact, whether it’s intentional or not, most organizations — even those with developing or more traditional programs — are already on this path. That’s because the trends driving the evolution are universal and impact business in all sectors.