Step 1 - Vision

Establishing a clear vision is vital to initiating a successful energy efficiency program. Although it does not have to be a formal document, it should provide a:

  • clear statement of intent,
  • demonstrate an organization's commitment to improving the energy efficiency of its buildings and,
  • form a framework for subsequent program development and implementation

The key ideas represented in the vision should be reflected in the more detailed documents that will subsequently be produced to support it as part of the wider energy efficiency program. Desired outcomes will differ between organizations, but critical elements include a clear picture of what is desired and consistency between different elements.

There are three main components to the Vision Stage of this toolkit - click on the tabs below to explore these areas further

Obtain Executive commitment

Obtain Executive commitment


What?

Strong and clear statements from the highest levels of executive management (e.g. Chief Executive Officer or equivalent) demonstrate how the commitment to energy efficiency is or will be embedded into an organization’s vision and culture. Ultimately, a move towards well-defined energy management practices will be required, however commitment at this stage may take the form of a broad environmental or sustainability agenda (as long as a link can be drawn to energy). Such executive commitment is not only vital at the start of an energy efficiency program, but it needs to be continuously reaffirmed at regular intervals and communicated broadly within the company and beyond.


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Why?

As with any form of organizational transformation, an energy efficiency program is, initially at least, a top-down approach that starts with a commitment from the highest levels of executive management. If sustained and ongoing executive support can be achieved, then the chances of achieving significant energy savings will be enhanced. Inversely, without such support, an energy efficiency program is more likely to lack traction and become marginalized.

A successful energy efficiency program requires resources of both time and budget. The initial commitment from the highest levels of management should include consideration of the resources (financial, staff, etc.) expected to be required to deliver the Energy Vision. This means company budget holders (e.g. Chief Financial Officer or equivalent) should be engaged at an early stage in energy efficiency program development.


How?

It is crucial to the success of an energy efficiency program that the business case for energy efficiency is clearly articulated before taking action, including considerations of ‘soft’ (indirect and less tangible) benefits. Executive management will want to understand the potential value of an energy efficiency program before providing the initial commitment required to support the effort.

The identification of a champion or energy manager is another important aspect of the early stages of an energy-efficiency program. The role must be empowered by the executive management of the organization to manage and drive the program forward. This person may not be new to the company or hold an energy specific role, and in practice will often have additional responsibilities (establishing an energy team).

Committing to a third party energy-related initiative can help demonstrate or reinforce executive-level commitment (communication strategy).

Companies that have signed up to the WBCSD Energy Efficient Buildings Manifesto1, the UN Global Compact, and other commitments are reporting positive results from their actions in implementing energy efficiency measures in buildings.

References

1 World Business Council for Sustainable Development, 2014. Energy Efficiency in Buildings: An insight from companies Available online

 

 

What?

Strong and clear statements from the highest levels of executive management (e.g. Chief Executive Officer or equivalent) demonstrate how the commitment to energy efficiency is or will be embedded into an organization’s vision and culture. Ultimately, a move towards well-defined energy management practices will be required, however commitment at this stage may take the form of a broad environmental or sustainability agenda (as long as a link can be drawn to energy). Such executive commitment is not only vital at the start of an energy efficiency program, but it needs to be continuously reaffirmed at regular intervals and communicated broadly within the company and beyond.


Why?

As with any form of organizational transformation, an energy efficiency program is, initially at least, a top-down approach that starts with a commitment from the highest levels of executive management. If sustained and ongoing executive support can be achieved, then the chances of achieving significant energy savings will be enhanced. Inversely, without such support, an energy efficiency program is more likely to lack traction and become marginalized.

A successful energy efficiency program requires resources of both time and budget. The initial commitment from the highest levels of management should include consideration of the resources (financial, staff, etc.) expected to be required to deliver the Energy Vision. This means company budget holders (e.g. Chief Financial Officer or equivalent) should be engaged at an early stage in energy efficiency program development.


How?

It is crucial to the success of an energy efficiency program that the business case for energy efficiency is clearly articulated before taking action, including considerations of ‘soft’ (indirect and less tangible) benefits. Executive management will want to understand the potential value of an energy efficiency program before providing the initial commitment required to support the effort.

The identification of a champion or energy manager is another important aspect of the early stages of an energy-efficiency program. The role must be empowered by the executive management of the organization to manage and drive the program forward. This person may not be new to the company or hold an energy specific role, and in practice will often have additional responsibilities (establishing an energy team).

Committing to a third party energy-related initiative can help demonstrate or reinforce executive-level commitment (communication strategy).

Companies that have signed up to the WBCSD Energy Efficient Buildings Manifesto1, the UN Global Compact, and other commitments are reporting positive results from their actions in implementing energy efficiency measures in buildings.

References

1 World Business Council for Sustainable Development, 2014. Energy Efficiency in Buildings: An insight from companies Available online

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