Sunny days and blue skies surely lie ahead. But we know the world has changed. You and your organization are changed. And so are we at 360 Energy.
We must never forget the people and organizations that will have been lost because of this COVID-19 pandemic.
Some people believe things will go back to the way they were before this crisis. Simply stated, that just will not happen. The world will not be the same.
Our reliance on burning fossil fuel contributes to air pollution and to the heating of our planet. With so many of us now working from home, it is frequently reported that the air quality in our cities has vastly improved. One important lesson from this pandemic should be that the environment is the holding company for society and all our businesses.
For the sake of our future, we need to come out of this COVID crisis with a new 21st Century business model where Mother Earth is recognized as our key stakeholder.
For us to truly thrive in the next economy, businesses will need to think more seriously about energy. Businesses will need to know how they use energy and know what energy they require for operations.
Businesses will need to figure out what is needed to reduce emitting the gases that harm our environment. Adopting this simple objective will drive innovation and creativity throughout society.
In the challenging times ahead, the drive to cut carbon emissions to zero will define the companies that thrive. Reporting progress in achieving zero emissions will soon be the common denominator of successful, resilient companies.
We already see organizations declaring a commitment to pursue net-zero carbon emissions. More companies will join them. I believe this will become common practice due to voluntary action or due to stronger direction from the government. The trend will start slowly, but gradually pick up in steam. Suddenly, there will be a rush to embrace this ambition and it will become mainstream behaviour.
This direction will be demanded and required by society. Companies that do not get on the net zero-emission bandwagon will struggle in the new reality.
Many companies that claim they are pursuing net-zero emissions do not have a well-defined pathway to achieve this goal. Today, they may be relying on a perceived ability to purchase carbon offsets in the future. Heavy reliance on carbon offsets will create strong future demand. Carbon offsets prices will increase significantly.
Relying on carbon offsets is the last thing energy consumers should do when pursuing net-zero emissions. Companies can only manage what they can control. The one reliable pathway for successfully achieving this goal is to manage real-time energy use to make emissions go down.
It is very important that we start implementing this new business model. At the moment, the practical expertise to implement it is limited. But that will change as more companies get experience with strategic energy management.
The first step for any organization is to fully understand their energy usage. The next step is to develop a pathway for improving energy efficiency. The third step is to replace fossil fuel energy consumption with renewable or zero-emission energy wherever possible.
For all this to occur, 95 percent of our organizations will need to focus on, measure and understand their energy and water usage at the enterprise level.
Organizations will need to benchmark their emissions to know their starting position. They will need to develop and execute internal management processes so they can measure the results of their actions. They have to have the means to track energy costs and carbon emissions so they know if they are achieving their goals. 360 Energy has dozens of customers that are already doing this – every day.
The world has changed. It is a different place. Hopefully, when we emerge from this pandemic, we all will work to make it a better place. I believe society and our environment will require it of us.