Why do sustainability professionals need energy know-how?

Why do sustainability professionals need energy know-how?

Recently, I found myself in Edinburgh presenting to a room full of payments professionals from worldwide locations as diverse as the Seychelles, Hungary and California.

This wasn’t my usual audience. But they were all eager to hear what I had to say about making net zero achievable and financially-viable for their organisations.

The one thing that connected us was a professional interest in sustainability. But for many in this group, being given responsibility for delivering net zero was leading them into new territories.

Acquiring technical literacy
Understanding the technical aspects of identifying and tracking the different greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, how to set workable reduction targets, the supporting technologies to introduce and how to best time and fund them – these types of activity usually fall to those at the sharp end of energy management. 

But if you’re tasked with plotting your organisation’s path to net zero, then they’ll become part of your remit too.  So if this applies to you, here are my top six recommendations:

1. Create a joined-up strategy 
It can be tempting to opt for a scattergun approach. But to be successful, you need to take your time to create a plan that will clearly take you from where you now are to where you want to be.

2. Understand the data as a starting point
It’s easy to get seduced by high-profile projects, like installing solar panels or switching to electric vehicles. But unless you fully understand what your emissions are now, you cannot effectively track or understand reductions. 

3. Ensure projects work together rather than in isolation 
For example, there’s no point installing on-site renewable generation or negotiating a deal to buy emissions-free power until you’ve minimised energy consumption – otherwise how will you know how much energy you’ll need?

4. Always ensure a strong business case before investing 
Spend wisely. Ideally, net zero can deliver cost savings. So check what the return will be before you invest in interventions or new technologies, and factor in appropriate timing.

5. Technology and innovations are developing at pace
Consult experts to get the latest view. And remember, things change and what isn’t commercially viable today may well become so tomorrow.

6. Finally, look to work with a partner to maximise benefits
If you are unsure about the technical aspects, the most effective delivery, or what technologies would best fit your organisation, find someone who can help you.

If you’d like to get clearer on your organisation’s emissions – and the potential inventions that could help you with your decarbonisation plans – do check out our new Net Zero CalculatorIt’s a fun, free and interactive tool to bring your data and different low-carbon options to life.

And if you’d like any support or guidance from our team of energy experts, do get in touch. Drop us an email to info@npowerbusinesssolutions.com – or talk to your Client Lead or Account Manager if you’re an existing customer.


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