Cost is by far the biggest influencer of energy and sustainability initiatives; however, 2014 will be complicated by the anticipated increased energy and resource prices, according to an Ecova report.
2014 Energy and Sustainability Predictions: Findings from Leading Professionals aggregates findings from a survey of about 500 energy and sustainability professionals, and reveals that 2014 will be a challenging year for those executives responsible for managing resources for their organizations.
Companies face “unprecedented pressure” to cut costs, conserve resources and disclose environmental performance, says Jeff Heggedahl, Ecova president and CEO. These challenges mean firms must develop a total energy and sustainability management strategy to remain competitive and meet resource management needs.
Water will emerge as a top energy and sustainability initiative, the report predicts. A majority of respondents (70 percent) noted that rising water costs are a concern for 2014. Water is also viewed as the second greatest area with opportunity for savings and improvement, behind energy.
Also in 2014, new benchmarking regulations will create an increasingly complex environment, Ecova predicts. Thirty percent of respondents are unaware if their buildings are currently required or will be required to comply with municipal, city or state level regulations. However, among the 38 percent of respondents who are currently required or expect to be required to comply with municipal, city or state regulations, nearly 86 percent feel prepared to respond.
Peer benchmarking represents an untapped opportunity. Twenty-seven percent of respondents acknowledged they didn’t know how their facilities performed in comparison to peers, and an additional 46 percent stated their buildings were performing only the same as or less efficiently than peers. This means that nearly 75 percent of respondents believe they have an opportunity to capture additional cost and energy savings compared to their current performance.
In other 2014 predictions, Ford says while the world has been fixated on going green, now the attention is shifting beyond recycling and eco-chic living to a growing concern for the planet’s water. In the automaker’s 2014 Trends Report, Ford identifies this trend as “Sustainability Blues” and says forward-looking brands are already investing time and money into better water management practices.