30 April 2024 Energy Management, Net Zero, Renewable Energy

What do UK CEOs’ attitudes towards sustainability tell us about corporate decarbonisation efforts?

According to a recent PwC UK CEO survey, a substantial majority of business leaders are ready to tackle the challenges of climate change through decarbonisation. In this blog, we discuss the perceived technological barriers and strategic approaches influencing organisations’ paths to a sustainable future.

Almost 80% of CEOs want to decarbonise their organisation, according to the latest PwC UK CEO survey. The study questioned over 4,700 CEOs on the uncertainty climate change brings to their business.

Despite the encouragingly high percentage of respondents saying they want to pursue organisational decarbonisation, the survey also highlights how different considerations are inhibiting proactive measures on sustainability. The most prevalent challenge reported is that almost half (49%) of CEOs believe a ‘lack of climate-friendly technology’ is limiting their ability to achieve carbon reduction objectives.

While it’s understandable that some CEOs might perceive a lack of accessibility or availability of technologies as being a barrier to sustainability, it’s essential to recognise the significant advancements in sustainable technology that have occurred in recent years that serve to dispel this notion.

Low-carbon technologies are more accessible and affordable than ever

Indeed, the landscape of clean energy and environmentally friendly technology has evolved rapidly, offering a plethora of options for companies of all shapes and sizes aiming to reduce their carbon footprint. From renewable energy sources like on-site solar to innovations in energy-efficient manufacturing processes and electric transportation, there’s now a wealth of solutions available for businesses looking to embrace sustainability.

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) technology alone has declined by 82% since 2010, demonstrating just how much more accessible and affordable it is for businesses to invest in renewable energy technologies and solutions today compared to just a decade ago.

Our work with Travelodge – whom we helped integrate Building Energy Management Systems across their UK estate of 400+ hotels – is just one real-world example of how new technology can be effectively implemented to achieve large cost savings and significant carbon reductions.

However, it’s crucial for CEOs to realise that transitioning to a greener business model isn’t solely reliant on technology. Often, the most significant barriers to decarbonisation stem from organisational culture.

Cultivating a green mindset: energy efficiency at the core

Effective sustainability strategies involve a holistic approach that encompasses not just technological upgrades but also changes in mindset, policy advocacy, and stakeholder engagement. By embracing a broader perspective on decarbonisation, CEOs can unlock new opportunities for innovation and growth while contributing to a more sustainable future for their businesses and the planet.

Implementing initial step changes in energy efficiency catalyses such a shift in organisational culture around sustainability, helping demonstrate tangible benefits and fostering a mindset of continuous improvement.

By prioritising ‘low-hanging fruit’ energy efficiency measures such as upgrading equipment, optimising processes, and implementing conservation initiatives, companies can not only reduce costs and environmental impact with relatively immediate effect, but also encourage employees to embrace sustainable practices, sparking conversations, collaboration, and innovation across departments.

It’s easy to see why the PwC survey found that 65% of CEOs already have or are looking to improve their organisation’s energy efficiency.

A strategic partnership with Net Zero consultants

Engaging with an expert carbon reduction partner as the first step in embarking on a business sustainability strategy is essential for several reasons.

Firstly, expert energy consultants possess specialised knowledge and experience in developing effective sustainability initiatives, ensuring that your strategy is well-informed and tailored to your specific business needs. Secondly, such experts can conduct thorough assessments of your current carbon footprint and environmental impact, identifying key areas for improvement and setting realistic targets for emissions reduction.

Additionally, partnering with experts in carbon reduction provides access to cutting-edge technologies and best practices, accelerating the implementation of sustainable solutions and maximising the efficiency of your sustainability efforts.

By enlisting the support of a knowledgeable partner from the outset, businesses can navigate the complexities of sustainability with confidence, driving meaningful change and positioning themselves as leaders in environmental stewardship.

In short, the recent PwC CEO report underscores the need for greater awareness regarding decarbonisation strategies amongst CEOs, and the combined roles that technology, energy efficiency, and organisational change play in this process.

As experienced net zero partners, we can streamline this process and drive decarbonisation initiatives within your organisation, serving as your dedicated partner in sustainability efforts.

Helping you rise to the Net Zero challenge

Our Energy Services team provides business energy solutions and strategic carbon reduction projects, helping your organisation realise its sustainability objectives.