A look at how the U.K is struggling with embracing sustainable business practices.
In an age which is dominated by eco-consciousness, the color green is more popular than ever. In every aspect of our lives there are suggestions on how to improve efficiency or be kinder to the environment, giving us plenty of room for improvement.
It’s not just the humble consumer who must do their bit for the planet though. Businesses are increasingly being prompted to act more ethically and find ways to limit the impacts they have on the world around them. Preservation for the future is the ultimate goal and despite some occasional reluctance to change, most business are eager to adopt new practices, like focusing on the triple bottom line, especially if it means helping the environment.
Perhaps the biggest area which comes under scrutiny when evaluating the eco-credentials of businesses is their chosen power source. Even the smallest office will consume their way through a significant amount of energy on a regular basis and if this is drawn from unsustainable and non-renewable sources then the implications are clear.
Yet, aside from the financial benefits businesses could stand to gain from moving to modern energy sources, such as wind and solar power, the economy could also get a decent boost from the change. Whilst businesses would see a drop in their energy bills through schemes such as Feed-In Tariffs (FITs), the UK economy could stand to gain £20 billion by 2030 if offshore wind power replaced traditional gas energy sources.
The data was released by WWF and Greenpeace who also revealed that the UK would not meet their targets for reducing harmful carbon emissions if they continued to rely on gas.
Despite this recent news, which follows regular reports on the crisis concerning the availability of fossil fuels such as oil and gas, the British government still seems to be favoring traditional power systems. Chancellor George Osborne is already viewed as a strong advocate of gas power and this means the country may be slow to adopt alternative methods of power generation.
In a business sense, where you obtain your energy from is not always a prime concern. So long as you have the electricity needed to continue your operations and are paying a reasonable price, the source of the energy is given minimal priority.
However, this attitude could cause problems further down the line. Embracing new power sources now allows you to stay ahead of the curve and gives you the upper-hand on your competition – something which should always be encouraged in the world of business.
With restrictions on the availability of gas also expected to come into play, embracing alternative sources can also ensure future stability.
On a wider scale, the boost to the UK economy will provide a stronger environment within which to work. According to the data, a 0.8% increase to GDP could be expected from investment in offshore turbines compared to gas. This would equate to £2.48 trillion. Lower costs for the energy would mean offshore wind power would only be 1% higher than gas generation in 2030 too.
This article has been written by Peter S Jones a business analyst.