Web Portal Opens Door To Leading Corporate Energy Efficiency Strategies

As energy prices continue to swing and the prospects for carbon constraints grow, it’s no wonder more and more companies are focusing their efforts on energy efficiency. But while most firms recognize the benefits of energy efficiency, many lack the information and resources required to take their efficiency programs to the next level.

To help provide these resources, we have launched a web portal with tools and information to help companies develop stronger energy efficiency strategies. The key feature of the portal is a searchable database of the energy efficiency activities undertaken by the 45 companies in the Center’s Business Environmental Leadership Council (BELC).

Also included on the web portal are results of our recent survey distributed to 95 major corporations that offer key insights for those exploring best practices in corporate energy efficiency. These include:

  • Firms recognize the energy paradigm is changing rapidly.
  • Companies are responding by establishing corporate-wide energy efficiency targets.
  • Senior management support is critical in the development and implementation of energy efficiency programs.
  • The most common challenge companies face in pursuing efficiency gains are resource constraints, especially limits on capital.
  • Employee engagement is an effective, but possibly underutilized strategy for improving energy efficiency.
  • Energy efficiency can be a gateway to wider business innovation.

The portal and survey are part of a larger research project that seeks to document and communicate best practices in corporate energy efficiency strategies across the following categories: internal operations, the supply chain, products and services, and cross-cutting issues. The next step of the project is the release of a comprehensive report summarizing our findings at a major conference in Chicago, April 6-7, 2010. The project is funded by a three-year, $1.4 million grant from Toyota.

There is certainly no shortage of reports and initiatives centered on energy efficiency. But the project is unique because of our emphasis on drawing information directly from leading companies. To do this, we conducted the 65-question survey, held four workshops where over two dozen company representatives and efficiency experts shared insights, developed six, in-depth case studies of particularly unique and effective company programs, and assembled an 11-member expert advisory committee to help guide us through the process. All this information is available on the portal. By highlighting the successes, challenges, and lessons learned from companies that have developed effective corporate energy efficiency strategies, we hope to provide insights to other companies seeking to travel further down this road. Check back often, as we will regularly update the web portal as this project progresses.    

Andre de Fontaine is Markets and Business Strategy Fellow