19 June 2019, Brussels, Belgium: Today, at the EU Sustainable Energy Week in Brussels, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) launched the first guidelines to help companies successfully develop and execute an integrated energy strategy. These guidelines provide companies with an understanding of the business case for sourcing and using low-carbon energy, while driving innovation across their value chain.
“To be successful and meet the Paris Agreement, companies should take an integrated approach to their energy strategy. By becoming more efficient, circular and low-carbon, companies will gain a competitive advantage in managing their costs and being more resilient to climate change” said Maria Mendiluce, Managing Director, WBCSD.
The guidelines released today are designed to help people in charge of developing corporate energy strategies move towards a more integrated approach. In addition, they explain the collaborative process of strategy development, implementation and continuous improvement.
It’s urgent for companies to develop or improve their integrated energy strategies. Doing so helps them respond to current and upcoming changes in the energy system, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions to limit global warming to 1.5°C as set in the Paris Agreement and aligning their business models more closely with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
A traditional energy strategy lays out a plan for achieving a company’s financial and environmental objectives as they relate to energy. It’s inward looking and usually only focuses on company operations.
In contrast, an “integrated” energy strategy looks at a company’s energy use in its own operations as well as across its energy-related value chain. It describes how a company works internally and with upstream and downstream stakeholders and also defines how all energy-related inputs and outputs become more efficient, more circular and low-carbon. An integrated energy strategy can also act as a roadmap to take a company from being a passive energy user to a proactive player.
In the course of 2019, WBCSD’s New Energy Solutions project will build on these guidelines by developing follow-on principles that explain how to work with upstream and downstream stakeholders on reducing energy consumption through energy efficiency, sourcing low-carbon energy and investing in natural climate solutions.
In parallel, the project will be publishing a portfolio of business cases to help companies understand emerging energy solutions.