Why senior management buy-in is critical
Whether you’re an energy intensive manufacturer, or a shopkeeper with heating and lighting bills, energy costs are likely to be a significant portion of your annual budget.
Understandably, it’s often the case that energy efficiency gets prioritised only when the supply contract is due for renewal, or when you do a budgeting exercise.
The challenge is to set in place an energy efficiency programme and maintain momentum throughout the year – and that usually requires the endorsement of senior management.
Why energy efficiency programmes fail
In our experience, the biggest cause of failure in energy management programmes is lack of focus, for which the senior management team is responsible.
When businesses decide to prioritise energy cost reduction for the long-term, their staff are more resourceful in finding solutions. In addition, awareness of the issue of energy cost management becomes more widespread and this helps to create an energy efficient culture.
Of course, it is difficult to maintain momentum on long-term programmes, but the answer lies in ensuring that energy is on the agenda for every Board meeting.
The benefits of senior management buy-in
There are two main benefits to having senior management buy-in to an energy efficiency programme. Firstly, it sends the right signals to all staff so that energy efficiency becomes part of ‘business as usual’. This means everyone is encouraged to play their part – even in everyday ways such as closing doors to maintain temperature or switching off lights and equipment when not in use.
Secondly, senior management buy-in gives staff the authority to spend the necessary time working out cost reduction solutions and then implementing them. Small businesses will find it quicker and easier to get staff to work to the same agenda while large businesses and manufacturers will need to generate co-operation, usually between the finance and operational teams.
Senior management buy-in doesn’t mean an individual director has to focus a large portion of their valuable time on energy cost. What it should mean is a better general awareness of the impact of energy use on the business so that each senior manager can encourage their teams to play their part in reducing cost.
For further information about how we help businesses to run successful energy efficiency programmes, please get in touch on 01244 571830.