Majority of firms say energy crisis impacting emissions plans

Some 84% of business leaders in the UK and Irish transport sectors say the energy crisis will impact their organisation’s ability to meet emissions reduction plans, according to research published by Schneider Electric.

More than half of the 1,500 large organisations surveyed said said they are delaying planned investment in sustainability and net zero plans – 60% – due to the crisis with a fifth saying they have more immediate business challenges to meet. Almost a third – 30% – claimed emission reduction targets are “no longer an issue” for their stakeholders and more than a quarter – 27% – said taking practical action to hit targets was “difficult”.

But the news comes as evidence shows a direct link between decreasing emissions also reducing energy use, and therefore overall costs, providing “a useful boost to the bottom line in a challenging economic climate”, Schneider Electric said.

Additionally, 38% believe that climate change and net zero ambitions will become more of a priority over the next three years though – but only 13% believe that national net zero commitments will be diluted in that time.

The survey also reveals that only a fifth of transport business leaders surveyed believe that energy prices will fall over the next three years, while 70% think their organisation will still be addressing the energy crisis in 12 months’ time.

Speaking about the findings, Kelly Becker, Zone President, Schneider Electric UK and Ireland, said: “Business leaders tell us that the energy crisis should be seen alongside the many other challenges they have faced over the last twelve months, including economic pressures, cyber security and skills shortages. Yet our research suggests that some of those working in the UK and Ireland’s transport sector are ‘kicking the carbon emissions can down the road’, as a result of the energy crisis.

“As fears grow about progress against global commitments made under the Paris Agreement, and the UK’s Climate Change Committee warns of a lack of progress on emissions cuts, the UK and Ireland need these firms to play their part and stick to their net zero and emissions reduction targets.”

But Becker said “it’s not all doom and gloom”

She continued: “As our research shows, business leaders still believe in their climate change ambitions – they simply need to push the subject back up the corporate agenda. The technology required to help businesses decarbonise is already available – and the return on investment for these solutions has never been more attractive, with payback periods measured in months rather than years.”

Image courtesy of Schneider Electric

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