3 Simple ways your business can work towards a greener future
3 Simple ways your business can work towards a greener future

Wesley Johnson, Energy Knect Adapting a green practice is rapidly becoming a leading trend for companies of all sizes. According to the KPMG Survey of Sustainability Reporting, 80% of companies worldwide are now reporting on sustainability, around 40% of companies now acknowledge the financial risks of climate change and one in five companies are reporting climate risk in line with TCFD recommendations. Research is indicating that businesses who are adopting sustainability practices are taking advantage of a plethora of benefits including the likes of a competitive advantage over their peers, reduction of costs, new revenue opportunities and forging stronger relationships with clients, according to McKinsey. I have highlighted a few popular “green” practices below that companies are currently adopting. Calculate your carbon footprint Calculating your carbon footprint at the first instance is a great place to start in order to obtain an idea of what areas need improvement and where you can prioritize your efforts. Thanks to the growing trend in businesses wanting to do their part to save the planet, there are now many useful and user-friendly online tools available for companies to calculate their carbon footprint. A few popular options amongst businesses right now are the Carbon Footprint, WWF Carbon Footprint Calculator and Climate Care. Depending on the complexity and size of your business, another option would be to seek support from an environmental and sustainability consultancy. They will not only calculate your net carbon output but also help you develop a plan to decrease it by providing you with a tailored and easy to follow management system to achieve your objectives. Furthermore, they typically provide the necessary training and are able to either request or offer you sustainability and environmental certifications to enhance your marketing efforts. According to a recent survey by KPMG, GRI remains the most commonly used reporting standard or framework used by businesses for sustainability. If you do decide to go down the consultancy route, it’s advisable to research firms that specialise in your field or market segment, as they are typically better equipped to understand your situation and needs. For example, the SME Centre is an advisory firm that supports SME’s with sustainability and carbon management systems and certifications. Their management systems are already tailored to suit SME’s which in turn could save your business time and money from unnecessary consulting fees. For the larger, more complex business types, top tier firms like Accenture, Bain and PWC are well-positioned to offer your business sustainability and carbon management support. Renewable energy source One of the most effective and easiest ways in which your business can reduce its carbon footprint is by switching to a green or renewable business energy tariff. As companies start to embrace their shift towards a lower-carbon future, the process of opting for a greener energy provider has become more efficient and cost-effective than ever before. Research suggests that this is a result of many challenger brands competing for their place in the market as well as the likes of low carbon technology advancements, accelerated investment into infrastructure, and concerns around climate change and fossil fuels. According to research by Forbes, right now, the big six “green” energy suppliers in the UK are British Gas, EDF Energy, E-ON, Npower, Scottish Power and SSE. There are also a few smaller, independent providers such as Bulb, Ecotricity and Octopus Energy that provide renewable business energy tariffs. The smaller independents often market cheaper tariffs for your business which as a result, could help your business save on your existing tariffs. If your business is interested in making the switch there are plenty of online comparison tools like U switch or Forbes Advisor that can help you explore what options are best for your business, budget and needs. Carbon offsetting Whilst most businesses do their very best in trying to reduce their carbon footprint, some forms of emissions are just unavoidable in order to remain competitive. As a solution to this roadblock, businesses can offset their unavoidable emissions, by purchasing carbon credits, which are then used to support environmental projects around the world that either reduce greenhouse gas emissions or absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Despite some controversy around the lack of transparency and concerns over the quality and integrity of offsetting schemes there still seems to be a growing trend of companies around the world flocking to purchase offsets. Gold Standard, for example, issued 151 million carbon credits from over 900 projects in 2020 according to their most recent market report and Bloomberg quoted that the number of offsets sold in the past two years has doubled. Perhaps the reason for the increased uptake is the growing perception that voluntary carbon credits can play a vital role in accelerating the transition to a global decarbonized economy and that avoiding emissions is typically the most cost-efficient way to address atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, according to McKinsey. The verdict In the past, companies typically shied away from green initiatives, as the return on investment was often difficult to quantify. However, with more companies incorporating green initiatives, it is now becoming evident that we are seeing positive and measurable impacts including the likes of improved efficiency, employee retention, cost savings and revenue growth, along with a competitive advantage and good brand reputation. Is your business taking advantage of the "green opportunity"?

4 Reasons to join the Green Revolution
4 Reasons to join the Green Revolution

Wesley Johnson, Energy Knect The pressure to shift towards a low carbon future is certainly not a novel concept. Pressures to save our planet from ‘doomsday’ has been around for decades and the discovery of global warming dates back to the late 18th century. So why the sudden change? The events of the past year have sharpened investors interests in sustainable and resilient assets, including renewables, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency.  Moreover, climate change has now been listed among the top 10 risks to global businesses according to the Allianz Risk Barometer 2021. Consequently, carbon management and ESG( Environmental, Social and Governance) has now become a crucial strategy for any business that is looking to remain competitive and stay ahead in today’s economy. Deploying effective ESG and carbon management strategies boasts a plethora of benefits and opportunities for companies including the likes of accessing large pools of capital, robust relations with clients, development of a stronger brand and achieve sustainable long-term growth. We have listed a few of our favourites below. Gives your company a competitive advantage According to a report by KMPG, companies with a higher ESG performance are likely to have better financial performance, talent retention and long-term value creation. 3M’s Pollution Prevention Pays initiative(3P) is a great example of how companies can gain a competitive advantage through the deployment of effective ESG strategies. 3P prevents pollution at the source, in product and in manufacturing. 3P was introduced in 1975 and to date, has resulted in the elimination of more than 3 billion pounds of pollution and saved them nearly $1.4 billion. Supports revenue growth An effective ESG strategy that differentiates your business in the market by providing climate leadership, can lead to new client acquisition, an increase of profitability and the development of new products and services which will allow your business to tap into new markets. According to McKinsey, they found that upward of 70 per cent of consumers would pay an additional 5 per cent for a green product than for a comparable non-green alternative. Furthermore, according to multiple research reports, it is evident that sustainable investing and superior investment returns are positively correlated. Reduces costs According to McKinsey, effectively executing an ESG strategy can help reduce rising operating expenses including the true costs of raw materials, water or carbon. One of their studies found that by reducing resource costs, businesses can improve operating profits by up to 60 per cent. Brewing company Heineken, for example, is heavily reliant on quality water for their products and to sustain their business. Their latest finance and sustainability report revealed that they reduced their water consumption by 33 per cent in water-stressed areas since 2008 including a 51 per cent drop in carbon emissions from production. Consequently, this has saved the company €15 Million since 2009. Mitigates risks ESG has become an essential management tool for businesses to identify and proactively mitigate risks. According to EY, Investors increasingly believe that companies that perform well on ESG are less risky, better positioned for long growth and better prepared for uncertainty. For investors, ESG reporting is helping them avoid companies that might pose a greater financial risk due to their ESG performance. For businesses, ESG reporting is helping them shift away from traditional compliance-based thinking and reactive mindsets, helping them focus on a more proactive risk mitigation approach. Furthermore, according to KPMG, ESG reporting is challenging organisations to be more transparent about the risks and opportunities it faces which in turn pushes for more robust processes and enhances the credibility of what’s been reported. Ignoring these risks can be detrimental to businesses in the long term, as it can lead to a lack of funding, have an adverse effect on brand reputation, stagnate business growth and potentially see yourself fall behind your peers. With the increasing pressures from investors and stakeholders for businesses to disclose consistent, comparable and reliable data and the plethora of benefits attached to joining the green revolution, it probably doesn’t seem like a bad idea to hop onto the ESG train to set your business up for a fruitful and long-term growth journey, like so many businesses are already doing.    

The Oil & Gas Industry- so much pressure, little know-how
The Oil & Gas Industry- so much pressure, little know-how

Wesley Johnson, Energy Knect.

The Oil & Gas industry is under increasing pressures to reduce its carbon footprint, not next month, not tomorrow, but now.

According to a Harvard Law School article, policymakers and society are pressing change, threatening the operator’s license to operate. Investors are increasingly conscious of environmental issues and are now pushing companies to disclose consistent, comparable, and reliable data. The events of the past year, as per a recent report by the International Renewable Energy Agency, shows that investors have sharpened their interests in sustainable and resilient assets, including renewables.

So where does this leave oil and gas companies and how do they pivot successfully whilst remaining competitive?

According to McKinsey, there are three key questions that leaders of oil and gas companies should consider as part of their transition strategy;

  1. How can we make our core hydrocarbon businesses more resilient?
  2. Should we expand into low-carbon businesses, and if so, how?
  3. How will our operating model need to change to flourish in a low-carbon world?

As imperative as the above-mentioned components are for a successful transition, environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) programs are equally as important according to a recent article by Rigzone. Albeit, a very complex program, research suggests that maintaining strong relationships with the supply chain and local communities can also contribute as a key component for transition success.

One of many companies leaning into this challenge and addressing climate risks, by first and foremost, reducing their own emissions and, secondly, by adopting a system to be more flexible and resilient, is Duke Energy.

Duke Energy aims to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from electricity generation at least 50 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 and to achieve net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050. According to their 2020 climate report, Achieving a Net Zero Carbon Future, Duke Energy 2020 Climate Report, they have already made significant progress towards their goals, reducing CO2 emissions by 39 percent since 2005, ahead of the industry average of 33 percent.

In their report they highlight that one of the key success recipes to build a path to net-zero is to work collaboratively with stakeholders and regulators in each of the states that you serve and to develop tailored plans that best suit their unique attributes and economies.

We welcome you to download Duke Energy’s 2020 Climate Report here for insights into their key strategies and achievements to date in their journey in becoming a net-zero business.

The more data and experiences we share the more efficient we will be. 😊

A 2-Point Growth Plan for the next normal
A 2-Point Growth Plan for the next normal

EI Series 1, Part 4

Wesley Johnson, Energy Knect As the world slowly starts opening up again and companies begin to rebuild and restructure for the next normal, they should start thinking about the tools that will be required to capitalize on all the new and exciting business opportunities that will be up for grabs. As a result of the pandemic, the priorities of companies and the mindset of business leaders have shifted to align with a strategy that encourages efficiency across their workflows. Consequently, this has led to a change in how companies perceive and buy services and products, according to a recent article by McKinsey. Subsequently, this has also encouraged many companies to analyse their existing product lines and services, along with their strategy and approach to ensure that their products and services remain aligned to their client’s current needs and objectives. Energy Knect have devised a two-point plan to support companies with their “re-start strategy”, so that they can stay ahead of their competitors and take advantage of all the new and exciting business opportunities that lie ahead. Insights & Analytics According to research by BCG, more than 75% of CEO’s, presidents and chief operating officers believe customer insight is critical to accelerating growth, but very few companies use-or even have- all the customer information available before making major decisions. A very common mistake for businesses is to skip the ‘analysis’ stage and impatiently go straight into execution and start running comprehensive marketing campaigns with the assumption that their products and services are fit for purpose. With this approach, you risk exhausting large amounts of your marketing budget very quickly and perhaps you will drive a high level of traffic to your website, but the conversion and end commercial success of what you are trying to achieve will ultimately disappoint. Thanks to continuing advances in big data technology, client insights are becoming easier to interpret and according to research by Forrester, data-driven organisations are growing at an average of 30% or more annually. Although big data is a very effective tool to harness your client analysis, that’s really just one component you should be leveraging to achieve success. We believe an over-arching and segmented approach to your analytics strategy is key. By leveraging multiple and inexpensive tools already at your disposal such as; your CRM, Google Analytics, online survey platforms such as survey monkey, conducting traditional market research, participating in events and most importantly having insightful conversations with your existing clients will help your company identify who your target client is and what their current needs and objectives are, so that you can identify new business opportunities and align your products and services to meet your client’s needs and objectives. A great place to start to help you identify and segment your target audience is through leveraging your existing database and CRM. If you need to grow your database and reach, there are a few user-friendly and inexpensive bolt-on apps such as Sellhack or Contact Out that can support you with this. Once you have identified your target audience and developed a compelling business proposition from your analysis, the next step will be to drive awareness and engagement. According to McKinsey, one of the biggest challenges for companies is to convert their insights into actions that can drive commercial growth. In the next section of this article, we will provide you with a few handy tips on how you can monetize your analysis and drive engagement. Awareness & Engagement Although many brands may not reach eponym status like Cola, Kleenex or Xerox, we suggest that your success should rather be measured on the following key components;
  • Your target audience and clients knowing what your business is about and the services/products that your offer
  • A social media user knowing that your articles are going to be thought-provoking and valuable to them
  • Clients choosing your product/service over your competitors despite you offering higher rates
Research suggests that brand awareness is pivotal to business success, as it helps you achieve your marketing objectives and encourages your business to stay ahead of your competitors, build an audience, and generate more leads. However, not all marketing campaigns are suited for all budgets, nor is there a one-size-fits all solution. The great news is, there are multiple options and cost-effective solutions that you probably just need to dust off from the shelf next to you. We have listed a few of our favourites below;
  • Social Media is a great way to increase awareness. Publishing an article on your social feed costs nothing but your time and can be a very effective way in showing off your knowledge and expertise, and engaging with your target audience. Show your audience how great you are at solving their challenges.
  • Participate in, or sponsor conferences that are relevant to your target audience. Speaker drop-outs are very common in the events industry, so make sure your speaking expertise are known to the organiser and that you will be happy to fill a gap if required.
  • Run ads on Google Display Network. The Google Display Network is said to be the No 1 global display ad network, reaching over 90% of internet users worldwide, with more than 1 million impressions served to over 1 billion users every month. It’s a great way to reach your target audience at the right time and can be very cost-effective, as you have control over your spending. We recommend you start small with a budget that suits you and then monitor your display campaigns to explore which one is providing you with the most return. Once you have identified your top runners, just adjust your budget accordingly in favour of your winners for maximum results.
  • Corporate newsletter- introducing a monthly corporate newsletter is a great way to build loyalty, raise brand awareness and retain engagement with your target audience. It’s a very cost-effective marketing solution and allows you to continuously update your target audience on your expertise and success with your clients.
  • Host an online interactive workshop series that tackles client challenges that you have identified through your analysis. We advise your sessions to be no longer than 45 minutes and conclude with a fun networking session to get to know your prospects and clients on a personal level.
Conclusion BCG research has shown that 80% of companies have only the basic customer insights tools and capabilities, and they underuse what little they have. Companies looking to expand in the next normal and capitalise on all the new and exciting business opportunities will need to think about devising a strategy that can augment their reach with existing clients and acquire new one’s. To achieve this, a company will need to revert to the drawing board and think about who their target market is and what their current underlining intent is, to ensure their existing product/service lines are still aligned to support their client’s needs and objectives. By developing a simple strategy like the above along with leveraging your existing resources, could be the fundamental difference in setting your company apart from your competitors and being able to mop up on all the vacant market share that will be up for grabs. As a result of the pandemic and in some cases, the playing fields have now levelled out. Is your company ready to capitalise on the new business opportunities that lie ahead?  

The Energy Knect Approach

Through our vast industry experience and global network of professionals, Energy Knect can help your business devise an effective strategy that identifies the key challenges that your target audience are currently facing and help you develop a compelling business development proposition that sets you apart from your competitors. If you would like to discuss your unique situation with us and how we can support your business with an effective strategy that aligns with your budget, please feel free to ping us a note at: info@energyknect.com    

Energy Knect’s Expert Insight’s Newsletter, Vol 2
Energy Knect’s Expert Insight’s Newsletter, Vol 2

Wesley Johnson, Energy Knect Welcome to Energy Knect’s Expert Insight Newsletter series where we aim to bring you the latest insights from some of the industry’s most influential leaders, best practice tips on how to grow your business and a series of event recommendations to help you augment your network and make more informed decisions. In our latest newsletter edition, we caught up with Chris Starling from Holt Energy Advisors and discussed his thinking on how best to conduct due diligence on acquisition targets, balancing time, costs and feasibility in a COVID-19 environment. We also offer you some insight into our learnings from our most recent research that identified the top three technologies that businesses of all sizes are leveraging to generate new business and revenue. Please feel free to download our latest newsletter edition below. EK Newsletter- Vol 2, 2021 download; EnergyKnect- Expert Insight Newsletter Vol 2, 2021

Energy Knect’s Expert Insight Newsletter, Vol 1
Energy Knect’s Expert Insight Newsletter, Vol 1

Wesley Johnson, Energy Knect

Welcome to Energy Knect’s Expert Insight Newsletter series where we aim to bring you the latest insights from some of the industry’s most influential leaders, best practice tips on how to grow your business and a series of event recommendations to help you augment your network and make more informed decisions.

In our latest newsletter edition, we caught up with Ian Cogswell from Portland Advisers and discussed his thinking on the risks in which lenders specifically focus on, when financing those new oil and gas projects that are designed with the transition towards net-zero emissions in mind.

We also offer you some insight into our learnings from our most recent research that identified the key challenges that businesses of all kinds are facing with regard to new business growth as a result of the pandemic. We provide you with simple techniques and solutions to overcome these challenges.

Please feel free to download our latest newsletter edition below.

EK Newsletter- Vol 1, 2020 download; EnergyKnect-Expert Insight Newsletter Vol 1, 2020