This session will explore the reasons as to why energy efficiency is often overlooked as a driver of competitiveness and discuss how energy efficiency can complement and benefit companies’ strategic decisions and behaviour in the market. Panellists will deliberate the issue of energy prices and challenge the “Spend to Save” myth, providing insight on effective policies to best integrate industrial energy efficiency into competitiveness goals.
Today, industry is the single largest global source of GHG emissions (about 32% of global emissions) accounting for about one-third of the global final energy consumption. This share is projected to remain stable over the next two decades and to grow in absolute terms by 37%, mainly as a result of new industries and demand in developing countries and emerging economies. Over the past four decades, industry has steadily improved its energy productivity and energy efficiency has certainly played a significant role, but substantial economic opportunities remained untapped: the IEA estimates that existing best-available energy efficiency practices and technologies allow for economically feasible energy savings in the range of about 25% to 30%. Against this background, companies compete with one another for access to resources and market share, and adopt strategies to increase their profitability and overall performance.
In this context, the panellists will explore why insufficient recognition of energy efficiency as a driver for competitiveness persists, even in energy-intensive companies or in markets with tough price competition. Discussions will focus on policies for the integration of energy efficiency into corporate planning, and strategies for building awareness on the economic benefits of energy efficiency, such as directly enhancing company productivity, leaner production and profitability.