Aligning with existing business priorities

If the EEMs being considered can be shown to align with existing business priorities, then gaining management support and approval is likely to be significantly easier. Business priorities should therefore be thoroughly understood in order to identify potential alignment.

In the initial stages of this toolkit, the creation of an energy vision, policy, and strategy were discussed, which should be aligned with organizational values, culture, and strategy. In order to improve the likelihood of EEMs being approved, however it is important now to consider individual projects more closely. The following are examples how alignment might be identified and achieved, although in practice it will depend on the specific EEM project:

  • Gain a fundamental understanding of existing business plans and priorities within the organization, and work with the management team to develop a strong connection between the overall direction of the business and the energy policy and its associated strategies
  • Study other organizational goals, targets and programs, and determine if the energy efficiency project can link to whatever is currently ‘hot’ within the business
  • Study new compliance requirements to see if there is an opportunity for a focus on energy efficiency
  • Identify problems or pinch points within the organization and see if an energy efficiency project can deliver or contribute to the solution – for example to increase employee productivity
  • Use plans for new buildings, construction, retrofits and site expansion to design in energy efficiency. For example, if equipment is due for replacement then this could be the main focus of the business case proposal, with the energy efficiency outcomes a co-benefit
  • Look for 'low hanging fruit'. Develop your business case for low and no-cost initiatives when capital is difficult to access and the organization's focus is on cost savings
  • Look for the most energy-efficient options when procuring new equipment
  • Implement projects during maintenance shutdowns to optimize costs and minimize downtime
  • Build energy efficiency into practices and procedures, for example into maintenance and operations