Climate change is a significant topic today, and more and more people and companies are attempting to help solve global challenges. However, the issue is more complex than it may seem, as the goal is to not only take steps to cultivate a sustainable environment, but progress also needs to happen in a way that supports financial growth. Continue reading to learn about what is really driving corporate climate action.
GreenBiz Research Survey
Companies know that a healthy planet with healthy economies is the ultimate goal, and many organizations are taking a leadership position to help slow down global warming. Recently, Schneider Electric partnered with GreenBiz Research to have a better understanding of what is driving corporations to address climate change and to learn about the progress made so far. With GreenBiz Research, we surveyed energy and sustainability professionals from large companies worldwide. The findings show that public sustainability commitments have affected actions, and conservation measures, including efficiency improvements and renewable energy, are being adopted. While these are promising advancements, the research also reveals areas in need of improvement, including shifting views of project and program financing, better data quality and sharing, and more investment in new technologies.
There are four key findings from the research; the first being that 57 percent of the companies surveyed have made public sustainability commitments, and setting these goals seem to be driving action and accelerating corporate gains. These companies use a significant amount of available strategies and technologies at a higher rate, including on- and off-site renewables, combined heat, and power, as well as clean fleet technologies. It is twice as likely for organizations in Europe to make a public commitment as those in North America or Asia-Pacific, and companies that are committing are more driven by brand awareness and environmental concerns.
The next key finding is that capital for projects is available if there is a demonstrated ROI and executive leadership. Many people may think that capital is the main thing that is standing in the way of more energy and sustainability projects, but this is not true. In fact, 51 percent of respondents who claimed they are successful said demonstrated ROI was the key to success, 30 percent said executive leadership and only 10 percent said available capital.
Third, the survey found that lack of data isn’t the challenge, but the barriers are actually data quality, internal sharing, and collaboration. Companies are generating a lot of energy and sustainability data, and utility bills are the most common source of data (89 percent of companies use them.) However, nearly half of companies surveyed feel as though their data is unreliable, while 41 percent felt that they don’t have the right tools to manage the flow of information and 40 percent lack the expertise to analyze data.
The last key finding from the research is that energy efficiency dominates, renewable energy accelerates, and newer technologies are gaining traction. Ninety-three percent of respondents are working to be more energy and resource efficient, and renewable energy use is on the rise compared to research conducted in 2018. To meet climate goals, the world needs to scale renewable energy six times faster than the current pace, and global corporations have made a great start to drive the renewable energy boom. About 160 of the world’s leading companies have pledged to move to 100 percent renewable energy, which gives them a strong advantage for now and in the future.
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