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UK ranked fifth in global energy efficiency index

UK ranked fifth in global energy efficiency index

UK ranked fifth in global energy efficiency index

UK businesses working hard to improve their performance on sustainability and the environment might be encouraged to know that they are operating in the world's fifth most energy efficient country, according to recent research.

The UK featured fifth on the 2016 International Energy Efficiency Scorecard, which was published by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy.

Germany continued to occupy the top spot, followed by Italy and Japan, which were tied for second place, and France.

The research showed that the UK was more energy efficient than the two biggest economies in the world - the US and China - as well as other nations including Spain, South Korea and Canada, which completed the top ten.

While the UK performed well, the report authors noted that the country's ranking did not reflect recent energy policy changes such as the cancellation of the Green Deal, which was designed to help property owners fund energy-saving improvements.

The study assessed 23 countries using 35 policy and performance metrics across four categories: buildings, industry, transportation and national energy efficiency efforts.

Discussing the rising importance of this issue and potential for further improvements, ACEEE executive director Steven Nadel said: "Energy efficiency is often the lowest-cost means of meeting new demand for energy.

"Governments that encourage investment in energy efficiency and implement supporting policies save citizens money, reduce dependence on energy imports and reduce pollution. Yet energy efficiency remains massively underutilised globally, despite its proven multiple benefits and its potential to become the single largest resource to meet growing energy demand worldwide."

How can my business boost energy efficiency?

Aside from responding to consultations and offering feedback to local MPs, government departments and ministers, there is relatively little businesses - particularly smaller firms - can do to influence public policy and decision-making on energy efficiency.

However, all companies have the power to determine their own standards and strategies to be as energy efficient as possible. As well as reducing your organisation's carbon footprint and helping the environment, this can provide significant operational benefits by cutting costs.

Here are some of the steps your firm could take to boost efficiency and sustainability:

• Work with the right partners - If your business sets high standards for environmental performance, then you should always be looking to work with third-party suppliers and commercial partners who share the same goals and have strong green credentials.

• Boost staff awareness - Employee habits and behaviours are a crucial part of the overall energy efficiency of your business. Dedicated training schemes and awareness-raising efforts can help to ensure that your staff feel part of the energy efficiency project and follow best-practice guidelines.

• Use the right products - Electronic devices and appliances - from computers and printers to dishwashers and fridges for the office kitchen - account for a large proportion of workplace energy consumption. It's therefore important to ensure that you are using the most efficient products available. Replacing old-fashioned lightbulbs with new, energy-saving alternatives can also reduce power consumption and cut costs.

 

Posted by Julie Tucker

Image courtesy of iStock/Grigorev_Vladimir