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The planet's bottom line

Inspired Energy looks back at today’s sustainability live tweet Q&A

1. What steps could my business take to reduce energy use?

Utility bills form a large part of a company’s overall costs, and as energy prices continue to rise and new legislation is introduced, it’s important to look for ways to become more efficient.

Before considering your options however you should review your consumption data, because it’s hard to know where you’re creating the most emissions without seeing the figures.

The sheer amount of energy efficiency solutions available means there are plenty of opportunities to reduce energy use – encouraging behavioural changes in employees, switching to LED lighting and upgrading your metering systems to name a few.

2. I don’t have a water management strategy in place currently. Where should I start?

Hospitality and leisure businesses use significant amounts of water. Businesses across the sector should seize the opportunity to save water, make savings and boost sustainability. The most common areas for improvement include billing errors, faulty fittings and leaky pipes.

3. How do you distinguish between carbon neutrality and Net Zero?

Carbon neutral and netzero are two very similar terms. Carbon neutral means that any CO2 released into the atmosphere from a company’s activities is balanced by an equivalent amount being removed. In contrast, a commitment to net zero means you are not adding new emissions to the atmosphere.

4. How can my hotel – which is energy intensive - be transformed to Net Zero carbon? Is it even possible?

Hotels have the highest energy intensity of all commercial real estate, yet presents a real opportunity to reduce emissions at scale. The primary driver here is heat. It’s straightforward to decarbonise electricity (with the right tariff) but hotels have a high heat load.

The first approach should be to minimise the heat requirements as far as possible through better building fabric, air tightness and controls. Then there are a number of pathways to decarbonise the remaining heat requirement e.g. switching to elec for heat, but could be costly.

Other technologies are also available such as air and ground source heat pumps and solar thermal. Another route might be via a district heat network, coupling the hotel with a local, large heat source.

5. What are the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on Net Zero?

COVID has been a challenge for everyone - however, many businesses have used the pandemic as a catalyst to reassess and reset traditional ways of operating. In many cases, this has led to increased creativity, efficiency & productivity which has refocused attention to #netzero

The pandemic has forced businesses to rethink – highlighting the risks of inaction on climate change and spurring action on lowering emissions. Ultimately, there has never been a better time to take control of your heat, power and transport usage to reduce your carbon footprint.

6. How can I be sure my bills are accurate?

Up to 20% of utility supplier bills are understood to be incorrect, so it makes sense to trust expert validators, like Inspired Energy to ensure you only pay for what you use.

7. What can my business do to reduce its water footprint?

We recommend that you take a proactive approach to monitoring your water network in order to improve water efficiency. By working with an independent consultant like Inspired Energy, we can help organisations optimise their approach to water.

Leaks that go unnoticed can cost businesses thousands. You may not realise you even have a leak until you are faced with an exceptionally high water bill. Inspired Energy can install data loggers on your site/s which can quickly identify and locate any leakages.

8. What are the major challenges to tackling Net Zero and how could #hospitality overcome them?

Many organisations want to do the right thing but find it difficult to know where to start. It is critical to obtain buy in from across the business - you need to be realistic but ambitious when setting emission reduction targets.

9. What changes should I make now to prepare for Net Zero success?

Ultimately, there has never been a better time to take control of your heat, power and transport usage to reduce your carbon footprint. You should focus on your own scope 1 and scope 2 emissions in the first instance.

But also bear in mind scope 3 should not be ignored. This can be tricky to tackle and may only be dealt with initially with appropriate offsets. Close engagement with your supply chain is key.


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