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Sustainability and profitability – proving lower carbon is not always a zero sum game

Why Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)?

Unlike previous initiatives SDGs are time-bound which means businesses have clarity of what they need to do and by when, allowing greater organisation of resources, strengthened collaboration and networking of stakeholders.

Another important aspect of the SDGs is that they promote a long-term approach to addressing global challenges with targets for the next 11 years meaning that they reinforce the commitment of governments regardless of changes in national political landscapes.

How do the SDGs relate to you? 

Three critical goals impact energy for business: 

Goal 7: Clean and affordable energy – aims to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. Energy is central to nearly every major challenge and opportunity the world faces today. Be it for jobs, security, climate change, food production or increasing incomes, access to energy for all is essential. Increasing the use of renewable energy by 2030 is a key goal. 

Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns promotes amongst other things energy efficiency with one goal being to achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources by 2030. 

Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts; more people are turning to renewable energy and a range of other measures that will reduce emissions.

So how does this affect your business and what can you do to challenge your current practices?

Of course managing cost to your business is always top of mind. Whilst very large businesses have benefited from a regulatory framework encouraging their ability to compete globally, other businesses have not had that support. But there are actions you can take:

  1. Source your supply from renewable sources – a Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGO) backed electricity supply gives you the confidence to be able to report zero carbon emissions.
  2. Optimise your energy – understanding your energy usage is the first step. Through data visualisation tools gain an understanding of where and how you use your energy. Shifting when you use your energy or turning down your usage at appropriate times could be a first step to identifying where further energy efficiency improvements could be made.
  3. Control your energy – maximise your energy through intelligent building control, lighting, heating and air-conditioning. (will need an appropriate URL here)
  4. Self-generation & storage – generating your own energy, particularly from renewable sources such as solar and wind, provides clean energy; any surplus can be either stored with battery storage for later use, or used as a fed into National Grid’s flexibility services or if you can’t commit to those simply exported as a source of revenue.

1 Survey of 7,000 adults across UK, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Czech Republic and Hungary. Research conducted by research institute puls on behalf of E.ON

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