Property businesses wasting money by failing to implement cost saving energy measures

2degrees, one of the world’s leading communities for sustainable business, has today published a report which reveals that some of the world’s largest businesses, including those in the property sector, are missing opportunities to cut energy costs by failing to implement proven energy saving measures. The findings also show that it is the senior leaders of some companies who are proving the main barrier to action on energy efficiency.

The Sustainable Business Trends Tracker shows that while a small number of businesses are leading on energy performance, half of property businesses said they have no plans to implement initiatives such as switching to a renewable energy supplier, investing in solar panels or insulation of their building stock. The Carbon Trust has estimated that big businesses in the UK are wasting £1.6bn annually on energy bills, which reveals the scale of the opportunity being missed.

The Trends Tracker is the most comprehensive of its kind revealing business attitudes towards sustainable business and is based on survey responses from 490 businesses, including some of the world’s biggest corporations such as Tesco, Unilever, McDonald’s, Tata Steel, Coca-Cola and GSK.

Businesses also said that communicating to employees the benefits of energy efficiency is a key barrier to implementing energy saving measures, with 62% saying engaging colleagues is the greatest impediment to energy efficiency. Senior bosses were identified as the main barrier to energy efficiency at one-third of businesses.

Surprisingly, given their energy intensive activities, fewer than 30% of property companies said that sustainability was central to their overall business strategy, significantly lower than other sectors.

Martin Chilcott, CEO of 2degrees, said:

“At a time when energy prices are going up and increasing the cost burden on businesses, it is worrying that business leaders are holding up achievable energy saving efforts. That property companies are falling behind other sectors in prioritising sustainability is a concern, especially as the government plans to axe the Code for Sustainable Homes.

“As the UK Green Building Council has said, there is a real danger of the significant in-roads on sustainability the industry has made being undermined by the scrapping of the Code. It is therefore incumbent upon the industry not to let standards slip and for businesses to keep taking cost-saving sustainability measures.

“Businesses in a range of sectors are orienting their strategy around sustainable business initiatives and are reaping the benefits. The tools are available for property businesses to respond to the sustainability challenge. Those that respond most decisively will position themselves best for continued growth in a shifting global economy.”

To access the full Executive Summary of the Trends Tracker please visit: