In the current environment, it is easy to fret about the future of energy efficiency initiatives and clean energy policies. As highlighted in the ACEEE article, there is much that will come under review (and possibly the axe) over the coming months. However, it is important to remember that in the private sector, energy efficiency has never been overly buoyed by or reliant upon government intervention and support.
In fact, Metrus is seeing an uptick in action by our customers and the private sector in general. For business, energy efficiency is about improving the bottom line, increasing the resiliency of business operations and mitigating the adverse impacts of climate change on both people’s daily lives and long-term investments. Shifting political winds and turmoil will not disrupt the determined call to action to adhere to sustainability targets, especially when it is proving to be good for business.
In the built environment, tremendous steps have been taken in the way in which it collectively does business. This includes results generated by the following four private sector-led initiatives:
- Better Buildings Challenge (BBC) Program: According to the BBC, since the program’s launch in 2011, the BBC’s business partners have cumulatively saved 160 trillion BTUs and $1.3 billion across 4.2 billion square feet—with financial allies investing $5.4 billion between 2012 to2015. Learn more at: https://betterbuildingssolutioncenter.energy.gov
- We Mean Business: Similarly, We Mean Business has started a “low carbon revolution” with 508 companies signing on—representing $8.1 trillion in total revenue, largely inspired by the Paris Agreement. More than ever before, the private sector understands that leadership on climate action makes business sense—U.S. companies are generating as much as 81% IRR on climate action investments. Find out more about specific actions being taken by companies at: wemeanbusinesscoalition.org
- Low Carbon USA: To date, 950 companies across 46 states have joined the Low Carbon USA. Signatories (see list at lowcarbonusa.org) have more than $100 million in annual revenues and $5 billion in assets under management. These companies are publicly signing on to science-based sustainability targets that represent global commitments to climate change initiatives, including increased energy efficiency.
- Second Nature – Climate Initiative: It is not only corporate America who has voluntarily signed on to higher sustainability standards. At the higher education leadership network, Second Nature (secondnature.org ), more than 600 colleges and universities have committed to take action on climate change, including self-reporting of sustainability actions. These groups are holding themselves accountable and setting a standard not mandated by government or imposed by regulation.
Energy efficiency has always been the quickest and most cost effective route to sustainability. Going forward, investors and customers will increasingly value energy efficiency as they look to undertake climate change actions that will define the global economy of our future. Metrus is proud to be part of this private sector movement and will continue to provide financing to our customers to ensure that deep efficiency projects get done. It is unclear what impact the current administration’s climate change agenda will have, but it is crystal clear that the private sector is taking the opportunity to shape a better and more sustainable way to do business.