Now that most of the low-hanging fruit has been captured, businesses are looking for alternatives to drive energy and sustainability management decisions, according to Ecova’s 2016 Energy and Sustainability Predictions: Findings from Leading Professionals.
More than 700 energy, facility, finance and sustainability professionals from numerous industries across North America participated in Ecova’s annual survey. While cost savings remains the number one driver of energy and sustainability management decisions, this year’s survey results reveal significant shifts in the way companies approach energy and sustainability management.
Ecova found that water conservation and management is no longer a choice for businesses, with nearly 60 percent of survey respondents reporting that they have implemented multiple measures to reduce water consumption. Sixty-four percent of the quick serve restaurants that responded have implemented water conservation measures.
Waste optimization and zero waste initiatives are also growing priorities. Forty-seven percent of respondents indicate multiple priorities for waste data and multiple waste initiatives. There is a significant uptake of strategic waste disposal and diversion efforts, including optimizing service levels or “right sizing,” zero waste programs and improving pricing and terms through procurement activity. Sixty percent of grocery and convenience store organizations support zero waste strategies such as reporting landfill diversion.
Half of survey respondents indicated that they are leveraging meters, energy/building management systems or other data collection/monitoring devices to manage resources at a more granular level. One-third of respondents are currently considering including distributed energy resources (DERs) in their energy management strategies, while another 35 percent of respondents are already leveraging DERs in many of their sites.
LED retrofits continue to be the best investment made by respondents; however, this trend is expected to slow as more companies complete these retrofits.