Barriers and Solutions to Corporate Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is often the least expensive way for businesses to reduce GHG emissions and also comes with added benefits of reduced operational costs and risks. Yet, there remains a gap between the available energy efficiency measures and those actually undertaken by companies. The following series of charts are a compilation of the most common barriers companies face in developing and implementing energy efficiency strategies as well as some of the tools that can help overcome these barriers. Many of the barriers were identified in our report, “From Shop Floor to Top Floor: Best Business Practices in Energy Efficiency,” a comprehensive study of corporate initiatives to reduce energy use. Both private and public solutions to the barriers are presented. “Private solutions” entail internal and external measures companies can take to overcome a barrier. “Internal actions” refer to measures companies can take independently, whereas “external measures” describe various partnerships or other programs companies can participate in that rely on collaboration with another private or non-governmental entity. Under “public solutions,” “public resources” consist of informational guidance provided by federal and state governments, whereas “public policies” refer to regulatory programs and grants, loans, and other financial incentives offered by federal and state agencies. The barriers are organized under separate categories for internal operations, supply chain, and products and services. (Download full version here.)

Internal Operations Barriers/Solutions
Companies usually first seek out energy efficiency opportunities within their own operations. The internal operations chart focuses on the financial, organizational and technical barriers companies encounter when pursuing these internal energy efficiency improvements. (Download Internal Operations Chart.)

Supply Chain Barriers/Solutions
Companies with extensive supply chains may find their carbon footprint comes mainly from the activities of their suppliers and will want to incorporate energy efficiency measures within their supply chain. The supply chain chart focuses on barriers that companies face in pursuing such measures within their supply chain. (Download Supply Chain Chart.)

Products and Services Barriers/Solutions
For consumer-facing companies increasing the energy efficiency of their products and services may be a high priority. The products and services chart focuses on barriers that companies may face in pursuing such measures. (Download Product and Services Chart.)

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