NOW Is The Time for Energy Savings!
You’ve been reading on-line, in journals, perhaps even in Environmental News for You and seen the arguments of why a climate change program is beneficial for your company:
• proven reduction in operational costs;
• opportunity to generate carbon credits for potential additional revenue;
• create new, attractive products and re-package old ones;
• use as a chip to fast-track important projects;
• impress customers;
• satisfy shareholders and improve your corporate image;
• raise employee morale.
Energy savings is the cornerstone of this and is very related to your environmental work. And you can contribute to this effort raising the value of your work to your firm. You may be convinced of the importance of energy savings to your company, but perhaps the people who control your budget still need to be convinced. Here’s some convincin’.
Energy is a Risk Issue – It Can Affect the Very Viability of Your Company!
So much of climate change is energy – or specifically the combustion of fossil fuels. However one feels about climate change, no one can deny that fossil fuels are a finite and dwindling resource as only so much oil, natural gas, and coal remain in the Earth. Estimates show that oil and natural gas in particular will begin to be in serious short supply in just a few decades. Even if new supplies are found, the price of energy will only go up from its already high levels, resulting in greater costs and reduced profits for your company. Using less fossil fuels will put your company at a competitive advantage.
But this goes beyond costs. What if a plant is dependent on fuel oil to generate needed steam to manufacture your products and it becomes so short in supply that it either cannot be had or only at an exorbitant price? The plant may not be able to function anymore. What may that do to your company’s share price and profits? Thus, energy is a true risk issue affecting the fundamental competitive position and even viability of your company.
Therefore, a key to your firm’s long-term success and competitive standing is increasing your energy efficiency (as well as efficiency of other limited resources), and will be a critical part of sustaining economic success, throughout your operations.
And I did not even bring up business risk due to potential catastrophic events tied to climate change predicted by the world’s leading climatologists. Thus, climate change is not only an environmental program, but also a core business and risk issue for your company. This should be a discussion point for anyone in upper management still unfamiliar with or hesitant to aggressively embrace climate change or sustainability now.
There is much your company does that is energy-related that can be made more efficient, such as buildings, manufacturing processes, transportation systems, and your products. Not only will producing more with less energy save you real money, but by making products that are more energy efficient, you will be in a better competitive sales position.
Additional Cost Savings
Some companies are ho-hum about investing in energy efficiency and its benefits. It’s not a hot item in business reports, like sales are. However, there is a lot to it financially. If your firm can save $1,000,000/year on energy costs (less than $100,000/month), this is equivalent to increasing sales by ten million dollars (assuming 10% profit). At your company, is it easier and does it cost less money to generate an extra 10 million in sales (in these challenging times) or to wisely reduce energy consumption? And remember, once energy efficiency is achieved, you save money year after year without any more changes, while sales is a transitory gain. You’ve got to go out there and sell some more!
There are additional direct savings caused by reducing energy use. For example, timers to turn off equipment when not in use will also save equipment replacement costs (less wear & tear). Reducing usage by 33% will enable systems to last one-third longer, reducing both annual capital costs and labor of replacing/maintaining systems. A 15 year replace-ment policy can be made into a 20 year one, saving your company money up front.
And it’s less expensive than ever for companies to perform energy assessments, given the experience in the area and the growing number of direct subsidies and tax credits to perform such work from governments and other organizations.
And finally, there is the environment. Reducing fuel use will reduce emissions, helping you meet your regulatory and permit limits without additional controls and reduce fees.
EHS leading your company in a thorough energy evaluation, followed by long-term, financially-prudent projects and monitoring results will benefit your career and company. There will be more to come in future newsletters on how to succeed with less energy!
This document is not meant to be a complete how-to on energy efficiency. All entities should work with a qualified professional when preparing for such a program. CCES has professionals to perform energy assessments for diverse facilities, help you develop beneficial long-term programs, and tie it all to your business and environmental goals.