Adopting science-based targets and the onsite generation of renewable energy are two steps you can take to cut your business electricity rates – and boost your reputation.

Despite being a significant financial cost, most businesses don’t fully understand exactly how, when or where they use energy. Adding to the confusion is the rapidly changing energy landscape where new regulations and the pressure to become sustainable has reinforced the need for businesses to rethink their energy usage. 

The United Kingdom was the first country in the world to declare a climate emergency. In a 2019 poll by Opinium, 63% of the British public agreed that we are facing a climate emergency. Additionally, 76% of Brits said they would vote differently to protect the planet and climate. In response to this, parliament has set a target of net-zero carbon emissions by the year 2050. 

To meet this target, organisations will need to make fundamental changes to their business models and operating practices. 

Here are 7 ways that your business can contribute to the UK’s net zero energy target. 

1. Incorporate science-based targets (SBTs) into your energy management strategy

Science-based targets (SBT) are targets aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions – consistent with the goals established in the Paris Agreement. The SBTs provide a trajectory for companies to reduce their emissions in line with the level that scientists believe is necessary to keep global warming below pre-industrial levels of 2C.

NGOs such as Gold Standard exist to assist businesses looking to adopt SBTs into their energy management strategies – ensuring best practice standards are followed for climate and sustainable development interventions. A business energy broker like Smarter Business can help your business reduce their climate impact by offsetting unavoidable emissions with high-impact carbon credits from Gold Standard-certified projects.

2. Switch fleets to electric

Transport is the biggest contributor to the climate crisis in the UK – accounting for 26% of Britain’s greenhouse gas emissions. To combat this, many companies are switching fleets to electric or hybrid vehicles. This is because electric vehicles produce much less carbon dioxide when compared with petrol cars. 

Countries such as Sweden that generate most of their electricity from renewable sources have reduced their CO2 levels by as much as 70%; currently, the UK are saving about 30%. This amount is likely to increase as electric vehicles become even more efficient and more CO2 is taken out of the electricity generating system.

Smarter Business is a business energy broker that can help you to understand how you’re using energy and where you can reduce consumption. Our team will help you interpret data so that you can make informed decisions about utility costs and usage savings.

3. Invest in onsite generation and battery storage

A recent study has found that 80% of businesses believe a quarter of energy needs will be generated onsite by 2025 – but why? What’s in it for businesses?

Although onsite generation and battery storage can be costly, they do have long-term benefits. Not only do they allow businesses to reduce their reliance on the National Grid, but they also give energy managers greater control. By allowing companies to sell surplus energy back to the grid during peak periods, they not only stand to earn extra revenue but are also recognised for their support of the increasingly renewably-focused grid of the future.

4. Audit your supply chain

According to the Carbon Disclosure Project’s Global Supply Chain Report 2019, emissions from a company’s supply chain are, on average, 5.5 times higher than emissions by the company itself. This is because, for decades, businesses have been allowed to outsource their environmental impact to other companies, and even countries, in their supply chain. However, with more and more pressure for businesses to ‘go green,’ companies are beginning to account for these emissions – asking their suppliers to disclose, measure and improve their environmental impact. By auditing your supply chain, your business can become a powerful actor in the move to a more sustainable economy. 

5. Promote healthy carbon behaviour amongst your staff

One of the least obvious but most effective ways to reduce consumption is by promoting greener behaviour from your staff.  This can be achieved by commissioning a carbon psychology assessment. Much like a traditional psychologist, a carbon psychologist suggests ways that employees can alter their behaviour, helping them embrace more energy-efficient ways of working. Through learning about your business’s energy habits, it becomes much easier to introduce subtle, low cost and effective changes to help keep down your energy bills. 

6. Improve efficiency with effective monitoring and reporting

Most energy managers are already well aware of the benefits associated with installing smart or automatic meter reading (AMR) equipment, but it is vital to incorporate this technology with advanced reporting and monitoring processes. Together, they allow businesses to monitor and periodically adjust their energy use. 

Business energy brokers, Smarter Business, offers two proprietary energy management systems letting you see exactly how much water, gas and electricity is being consumed in your daily business operations. Dataview technology gives you dynamic, online energy measurement using smart meters connected over ‘The Internet of Things.’ Openview gives you complete control over your energy contracts, future prices, tendering and your site energy management portfolio, empowering you to take advantage of favourable conditions in the energy market.

7. Source your energy from a ‘green’ supplier

One of the easiest ways that businesses can contribute to the UK’s net zero energy target is by sourcing their energy from a ‘green’ supplier. Smarter Business has partnered with reputable green energy suppliers that can guarantee sustainably-sourced energy. 

Let Smarter Business help your business to reduce your climate impact. All you need to do is get in touch with a Smarter Business consultant, who can help you find the right green energy supplier for your business’ needs.