Top Executives see Energy Efficiency as a Money Saver

ALMOST 90 percent Fortune 1000 senior executives feel a moral responsibility to make their companies more energy efficient, and only 13 percent motivated by environmental concerns.

A poll by Harris Interactive, on behalf of Schneider Electric, found that 88 percent of executives feel a moral responsibility to cut energy use, beyond simply the ethical imperative to follow regulatory requirements reports Environmental Leader.

Executives revealed that cost savings are their biggest energy-saving motivator, with 61 percent of executives stating so compared to 13 percent choosing environmental concerns, while ten percent citied CEO mandates, and only two percent choosing governmental regulations.

Three-quarters of the 301 respondents said that saving energy has gained importance within their organisations over the past two years.

“The findings of the survey reinforce what we’re hearing daily,” Schneider Electric’s North America president and CEO Christopher Curtis said. “Business leaders want to be good corporate citizens regarding their energy management. They often just don’t know where to start.

“At the same time, we’re in the process of emerging from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, requiring cost savings to be a key part of the solution,” Curtis added.

The survey also revealed little confidence in the potential effectiveness of a nationwide cap and trade system for carbon in the U.S., with 40 percent saying cap and trade will not result in increased efficiency. Those respondents thought that such a system would likely cause industries to emit the same amount of carbon but charge more for their products to cover costs.

Another 38 percent said cap and trade would only increase energy efficiency if the revenue generated is applied directly to such things as initiatives to help companies reduce their energy use.

22 percent did believe that cap and trade would increase efficiency by forcing industries to adopt energy efficient technologies and practices.

“The simple truth is we’re sitting on the sidelines when it comes to devising industry accepted standards and requirements for de-carbonising our economy,” Curtis said. “Nothing meaningful is happening, which is unacceptable. The survey shows awareness is increasing, a good first step.

“The next step needs to be action — putting sustainable carbon and energy management programs in place and taking responsibility for them on a day-to-day basis,” Curtis added.

Picture by gyverchangphotos

Friday 11th February 2011

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