As a CEO, with so many competing priorities, energy efficiency can often take a backseat within your corporate strategy. But it can actually provide the foundation you need to reach your business goals.
The potential of energy efficiency to transform a business starts at the top – so it’s time to put it at the top of your priority list.
In the drive to compete, many CEOs look inside their companies for growth through cost reductions. Energy efficiency is a natural fit with that strategy.
Your executive team may have competing agendas, but they’re all looking for investments in new, growth-driving activities. The budget for those projects isn’t easy to find – but there are significant savings hidden inside your business in the form of energy efficiency.
Undeniably, the most obvious benefit of energy conservation is the dramatic cost savings many organizations can achieve. For too long, executives have approached energy costs as fixed, since the prices are beyond their control and it’s a cost of doing business. But in reality, energy is a controllable cost if an organization takes the right measures, whether that is more efficient lighting or more extensive capital projects. Even with relatively low-cost investments, the savings can hit hundreds of thousands of dollars – even millions, in some cases – all of which can be diverted to higher value initiatives that drive growth.
The financial savings that come with energy efficiency go beyond the bill. As just one example, energy-efficiency measures can reduce wear and tear on equipment, ultimately saving on maintenance costs in the long term.
The right tools can also offer insight into how your operation uses energy, so your team can make smarter decisions that achieve further savings. Depending on the nature of your business, for instance, you could employ demand response, which shifts energy-intensive work to off-peak periods, when energy is cheaper.
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Boards today are playing a more active role than ever before, and managing their priorities is yet another challenge for the CEO. From risk management to sustainability to talent and culture, boards have high expectations – and energy efficiency can help the C-suite deliver.
For many CEOs, accelerating digital transformation means seeking out strategic ventures and joint partnerships with entrepreneurs. To do it effectively, your company needs to be seen as smart and forward-thinking. Undertaking and promoting your energy-efficiency strategy is one way to show that your company is committed to preparing for the future.
Maintaining productivity, employee wellness and morale are consistent challenges for leadership. Here, energy efficiency can be a game changer. Many of the same investments you’d make for energy efficiency are also in line with the air quality, thermal comfort and lighting requirements for the Well Building standard. Whether it is improved lighting for a higher degree of safety, efficient ventilation for improved indoor environmental quality or other measures, energy efficiency can make the employee environment healthier, safer and more comfortable – reducing absenteeism and even boosting morale.
Canada’s largest bank, RBC, worked with the National Research Council to uncover the impact of its green building investments. After analyzing its data sets, it found that along with improving the bottom line, the bank’s more efficient buildings also had a positive impact on workplace productivity. One U.S. survey also found that employees who work in LEED-certified buildings – which are more energy efficient than conventional buildings – are happier, healthier and more productive.
These benefits beyond the bottom line are a major differentiator in the war for talent. In an environment in which talent plays a vital role in an organization’s value, C-suite leaders need to do everything possible to make their employees champions for the business.
Staying ahead of your competitors isn’t easy, but making energy efficiency a priority can help you lead your business into the future.