Environmental and social responsibility has leapt up the corporate agenda among global businesses, as they increasingly look for leadership in energy to ensure their long-term viability, according to new research released today.
- Energy savvy businesses are more likely to be successful – six in ten (61%) best performing businesses demonstrate advanced energy leadership
- Only one in eight modern businesses identified as true ‘sustainable businesses’
- Seven in ten businesses recognise the need to be more flexible in how energy is generated and used
The research report, Distributed Energy Future Trends: The insights behind sustainable business growth, from Centrica Business Solutions, points to the growing importance of environmental stewardship for businesses, who now view it as the third most important organisational priority behind financial prudence and efficiency, jumping three places in just two years.
The survey of nearly 2500 companies identifies eight traits that truly sustainable businesses demonstrate, from nurturing talent through to action on the environment, with only one in eight businesses deserving of the title of a ‘sustainable business’ – one that balances economic and environmental performance well.
The most forward-thinking businesses are those taking control of their energy supply, with energy security seen as one of the fastest growing business risks - over a third (32%) viewing it as a substantial risk to their long-term success.
Businesses are ready to respond to the need for new energy capacity, with seven in ten recognising the need to be more flexible with how they generate and use energy. Four out of five (81%) of those already generating energy on-site plan to increase the amount they self-generate over the next five years, essentially becoming the ‘power plants of the future’
Profitability is a further driver for sustainability, with one in five (18%) now viewing energy as an asset that can be traded, unlocking revenue streams and competitive advantage through the use of smart technology, such as demand side response services.