Eighty percent of business leaders from UK and Ireland in the energy sector believe the energy crisis will impact their organisation’s ability to meet emissions reduction plans, according to research published today by Schneider Electric, the leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation.
Of that figure, around half of organisations say they are delaying planned investment in sustainability and net zero plans (49%). More than four in ten of the same organisations (41%) say they now have more immediate business challenges to meet while 46% claim that emission reduction targets are no longer an issue for their stakeholders. One in five (20%) of these organisations claim that taking practical action to meet targets is difficult.
Given the direct link between lower energy use and decreased emissions, firms that maintain efforts to meet their emissions targets will also reduce energy use as a result. This in turn will lower their overall energy costs, and provide a useful boost to the bottom line in a challenging economic climate.
Crucially, the survey of more than 1,500 large organisations reveals that energy business leaders working in areas including power generation, distribution and eMobility still recognise the importance of emissions reduction targets, as 42% believe that climate change and net zero ambitions will become more of a priority over the next three years. Less than one in ten (9%) believe that national net zero commitments will be diluted in that time.
“Business leaders tell us that the energy crisis should be seen alongside the many other challenges they have faced over the last twelve months, including economic pressures, cyber security and skills shortages. Yet our research suggests that some of those working in the UK and Ireland’s energy sector are ‘kicking the carbon emissions can down the road’, as a result of the energy crisis”, said Kelly Becker, Zone President, Schneider Electric UK and Ireland.
“As fears grow about progress against global commitments made under the Paris Agreement, and the UK’s Climate Change Committee warns of a lack of progress on emissions cuts, the UK and Ireland need these firms to play their part and stick to their net zero and emissions reduction targets”, said Kelly Becker.
The survey also reveals that only 16% of energy business leaders surveyed believe that energy prices will fall over the next three years, while nearly three quarters (72%) think their organisation will still be addressing the energy crisis in 12 months’ time.
Presenting the survey findings, Kelly Becker urged those in the energy sector to re-engage with their emissions reduction ambitions: “It’s not all doom and gloom: as our research shows, business leaders still believe in their climate change ambitions – they simply need to push the subject back up the corporate agenda”.