24 July 2008 | Jake Kanter
Employees' energy efficiency is the number one cost-cutting strategy among UK businesses, according to research.
A survey by the Carbon Trust of 857 UK business leaders this month found 31 per cent said encouraging staff to become more energy efficient and to reduce waste is the highest priority to reducing costs.
This was followed by general energy efficiency, such as turning down heating, buying low energy light bulbs and maintaining equipment properly, with 27 per cent. Passing on costs to customers through higher prices was third with 25 per cent.
Other actions included changing suppliers, which was preferred by 23 per cent of the respondents. Some 21 per cent said they were considering reducing business travel.
The CT estimated UK business could collectively save £2.5 billion a year by introducing energy efficient measures. Large companies are particularly keen to take action, with 33 per cent of managers in firms of over 250 employees suggesting carbon reduction has increased in priority.
Hugh Jones, solutions director at the CT said in a statement: "If companies are starting to feel the bite from the economic downturn, the first place to look for cost savings should be their energy bill. There are literally millions of pounds going out of the window every day, across the UK."
"Energy Efficiency is one of the most cost-effective measures that business can take to reduce operational costs and improve their competitiveness," added David Boomer, head of energy efficiency and climate change at the Institute of Directors (IoD). "The IoD's research shows that those businesses currently addressing energy efficiency have reduced their bills by 6-10%, with savings of up to 20% being achievable."