Effective energy and sustainability management in an organization offers a range of advantages including reduced operating costs, reduced environmental impact and a market advantage. These tips are designed to help organizations avoid some of the common pitfalls of implementing energy and sustainability programs.
1. Not looking at the big picture
Energy management and sustainability are intrinsically linked. A comprehensive sustainability plan sets the foundation and prioritizes initiatives based on agreed upon goals. Energy management and the reduction of energy consumption is a goal set by the sustainability plan. Take the time to set the foundation with measurable, achievable sustainability goals and translate these into specific energy management goals.
2. No business case
Sustainability and Energy managment programs usually require a financial investment. In order to prioritize initiatives, a business case evaluating options should be completed to ensure required payback periods are met. A business case for energy and sustainability initiatives will help sell the projects internally, as well as provide a baseline to measure success.
3. Slow and limited deployment
Rapid deployment of a solution delivers value quickly, increasing employee engagement and overall adoption of the program. Enterprise wide adoption of the program increases the likelihood of success. Limited pilots at one site can sometimes produce disappointing results, as they don’t provide the benefits of an enterprise wide program. A wider deployment in the same time period may produce significantly more positive results.
4. No change management strategy
An energy and sustainability management program is a big internal change that needs to managed. If adoption rates are low, the program will not meet goals. A change management program mitigates resistance to change, increases awareness, adoption and the ROI of the program. A change management strategy should include a communications plan including newsletters, starting kits, training, and program updates.
5. Missing opportunities to reduce deployment costs
If you have many sites, look for ways to reduce the deployment costs of your program. Use existing data collection infrastructure when possible. Consider manual data entry into a software as a service application if automated data collection is cost prohibitive. Consider remote monitoring and analysis of data for greater efficiency. Look at sites and group them into clusters by characteristics such as type of equipment installed, type of building, energy/resource consumption or size. After deployment, clustering sites also allows you to prioritize efficiency initiatives by cluster type.
Do you have lessons learned to ensure an energy and sustainability management program is a success? Please share!